2006-06-23 / Letters

Hopes For Another BC Block Sale Dear Editor,

I want to congratulate whoever got together to have that great block sale over on Shad Creek Road on Sunday, June 11. And I hope they have it again in the fall.

Why, I got a lot of nice stuff. A nice string of beads, sunglasses, two very interesting books and flip flops, all for $2.50. And I also met some very nice people! See ya again, neighbor.

MURIEL BERRY

Longstanding Water Bill Finally Corrected

Dear Editor,

In August 1993, I received a most surprising piece of mail- a water bill for almost $3,000. I called the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and they sent an inspector to check the meter. It was broken and a new meter was installed. The inspector told me I would be receiving a corrected bill.

However, my next bill reflected the same $3,000 incorrect change and an additional penalty and interest for non-payment.

During the following months I was calling the DEP on countless occasions, but to no avail. I finally went to the DEP office in March 2006 in desperation.

At the first meeting of the Neponsit Property Owners' Association in May 2006, I brought the current bill to the attention of Mr. Lew Simon, Democratic Leader, and I explained the situation. He said I would be hearing from the DEP shortly.

The next week an inspector came out, found the meter to be faulty and I received a call five days later from the DEP. The bill had been corrected to my satisfaction.

I would like to take the opportunity to publicly thank Lew Simon, for his assistance in resolving this long-standing problem. Without a doubt, he is an extremely valuable asset to the Rockaway community.

WILLIAM MCCALLION

The Dunes

'Must Be Removed'

Dear Editor,

It is a sad day for the democratic values we as American citizens hold dear, when a handful of private citizens can surreptitiously pay a City agency to construct something on public property- against the will of thousands of tax-paying residents- that negatively affects their health, quality of life and safety. The fact that The Wave (representing an objective free press, concerned with fairness) would support this illegal and undemocratic act is a disgrace.

The claim that the dunes were erected to address beach erosion is simply not credible. Your editorial staff fails to ask how it is possible that only four beaches , physically identical to other Rockaway beaches, were "endangered"? How can your journalistic "quest for fairness" fail to condemn the elected officials who have turned a blind eye to this blatant bypass of the rights and will of the people? Instead, the tone of your editorial mocks the "concerned citizens" who oppose the dunes, when we are simply trying to right a wrong, protect the aesthetic beauty of our beachfronts, and keep our children safe and healthy.

Shame on you! The dunes must be removed.

JANE GARFIELD FRANK

Thanks For Stathis

And Relay For Life

Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate my daughter, Jeannine Stathis, for a job well done for the Relay For Life. She was asked by the Cancer Society to take this job on.

Having two small children and being a full time student, I know it wasn't easy for her, but she did it and did it well. I would personally like to thank Jeannine, my family, friends and everybody who helped make this event successful.

I was disappointed and a little sad with some of the people who got this Relay For Life going in the Rockaways. Big lack of support. I thought we were all in it together in the fight against cancer!

DEBBIE HARTMAN

Downzoning Belle Harbor

Not Necessarily A Good Idea

Dear Editor,

The Belle Harbor Property Owners Association is trying to downzone our community. We have attended numerous Property Owners meetings on this topic; the most recent meeting was held on June 20.

Unfortunately, these discussions were conducted by a small percentage of residents, compared to the total number of homeowners in our community. It is our opinion that many people are either unaware of the ramifications of downzoning and how it will adversely affect our community, or are unaware of the meetings, as there certainly should have been greater attendance. It is extremely important that Belle Harbor homeowners attend these meetings and voice their opinions or a small group of homeowners who have their own agenda will drastically affect the value and nature of our homes, including our ability to remodel or make additions to them.

Based on what we have learned at the meetings, in conjunction with our independent research via reliable sources, we would like to make the readers aware of some critical points:

Real estate professionals say the stricter regulations are turning off potential buyers and forcing some sellers to lower their asking prices (NY Times 6/16/06).

Brian Heffernan (in a Wave ad) and other neighborhood realtors agree that downzoning would adversely affect property values in Belle Harbor, as well.

In the event of a catastrophe that destroys your home, such as a hurricane or fire, you will not be able to rebuild your home to its pre-catastrophe size if your exterior wall is currently over 21 feet. You will be restricted by the stringent R2A zoning. Note that many homes existing in Belle Harbor today have exterior walls over 21 feet high. Many homeowners will not be able to do simple renovations such as dormering or enclosing a front porch due to the restrictions.

If you would like further details concerning the restrictions of R2A, please contact William Gati, AIA, President of the Queens Architects Association at 718-805-2797. Email wgati@architecturestudio.us

The trend since 1974 is that homes have grown nearly 40% larger according to a Special Report in House and Garden Magazine, January 2006. With home and apartment prices soaring many children are coming back home after graduating from college because they can't afford apartments. In addition, our parents are living longer and we are trying to make room for them too. We may want to dormer to make more space, enclose a porch, or extend a few feet to accommodate these needs, and may not be able to under the proposed R2A downzoning. People all over the country are trying to maximize their living space, not downsize. Our community must remain in the forefront of these real estate trends if we want our homes to attract buyers at competitive prices.

People are complaining about the "Mcmansions", a word that is too loosely applied to large homes. Most of the new homes are beautiful and will only increase our property values. In rare cases where people are overbuilding and not building to current codes, these people will find loopholes no matter what the codes are. Ask the City to enforce the current building codes - R2. Don't strangle us with more stringent laws.

Some people are resistant to change and when the Victorian house that you loved next door is knocked down and a brick Tudor or contemporary replaces it, people are disgruntled, but the person who purchased that piece of property is entitled to have the style that they like. That's why we live in America.

We urge every Belle Harbor homeowner to find out when the next meeting is and attend. Contact Belle Harbor Property Owners Association or Barbara Larkin, President, to find out the date. Our homes are our biggest investment. Let's protect them. Don't let others make this important decision.

FERN LIBERMAN

SHARON CLAYMAN

Remembrance Of Weiss'

Dear Editor,

I came across your article [about Weiss' Restaurant in Broad Channel] in a Google search, while seekingsome information about that establishment.

Why was I "Goggling" for Weiss'? As I will explain, Weiss' restaurant just happened to play a big part in my growing up. As I reach further and further into middle age, I suppose I now reach out more and more to grasp hold of the memories, the people, places and events that have made up my life up until now. Maybe I'm writing a book. Maybe I was just looking for someone else who has traveled the same roads as I. Anyway, Weiss' happens to be one of those places.

So, I'm reading your articleand thinking "wow, this is great stuff," but it wasn't untilI read your first mention of Sy, that I knew I had to write to you and share my remembrances.

My God, someone else remembers Sy! Howard, I swear to you, I can see him in my mind, hear his voice almost like it was yesterday; and the last time I saw him had to be at least thirty, thirty-five years ago.

You see, my parents had a thing for Weiss'. Funny thing though, I don't ever remember Mom and Dad referring to the place as anything other than "Sy's." Every Sunday, from as early as I can remember until probably around the year the restaurant closed, we made our weekly pilgrimage to Weiss'.

I remember the trip out to "Sy's" from Forest Hills, taking what seemed like an eternity to me in the back seat of Dad's '57 Bel-Air (then '65 Impala, '68 Electra, ''71 Grand Prix, yes I remember!). The car radio playing: Nancy Sinatra and her boots, Downtown , syrupy orchestral renditions of L'Amour est Bleu (Mantovanni, perhaps). And yes, Broadway Joe and the New York Jets taking down the Colts in Super Bowl III. All heard on the way to and from Sy's on any given Sunday.

How many years did we go there? Eight, perhaps even ten? I remember I graduated from booster seat to "big-people" chairs at "Sy's." I even remember making my first trips to the men's room - all by myself. Actually,it was Sy that walked me there the first few times. Sy was that kind of person: A gentleman, and a model waiter of the highest order. Always polite, always a broad smile, and unfailingly,a warm welcome that made you feel as if, when you walked into that dining room, you were coming home. Everybody's Uncle Sy, he was. At least he seemed that way to me.

My late father loved the lobster bisque and his red snapper (which seemed to be the catch of the day whenever we went). Broiled. Mom usually also ordered fish, sole, if I recall correctly. I remember the Thumbits-and the "Sy sauce", how could I forget! Being no more than twelve or thirteen the last time I saw the menu, I hadn't remembered a thing on it. You brought it all back for me: Beefsteak sauce and Saratoga chips , of course! (Howard, if you have a menu somewhere I wish you'd scan it and email me a copy, it would be priceless to me! And I'll gladly shell out a small fortune for your wife's ersatz "Sy sauce" recipe!!!)

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your article, and I share your fond memories of Weiss' restaurant. It was a fixture, a landmark on Cross Bay, and its loss a reminder that times do indeed change, and sometimes not for the best. The places that were so much a part of our lives when we were young, we mourntheir passing because we realize that a little piece of ourselves is forever lost as well.

FRED MARKS

THONOTOSASSA, FLORIDA

Thanks To Participants

At Leukemia Benefit

Dear Editor,

The Ward and O'Sullivan families would like to thank everyone who cares and supported the Benefit held at the Kerry Hills Pub on Sunday, June 4, in aid of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The affair was a tremendous success; a total of $10,300 was raised.

We would like to thank the following businesses for their donations of door prizes:

Rockaway Perfumes

A&J Jewelry

Brown's Hardware

Rogoff's Card And Gift Shop

Station Liquors

Belle Harbor Steak House

Blockbuster

Pine Nails

Top Top Nails

Rocco's Salon

Ultimate Headquarters

Carvel

Original Ciro's

Beach Beverages

George's Florist

Dragon's Den

Flowers by Debbie

A special word of thanks to JKS Printing for supplying the fliers and tickets. Also to Ludwig's Catering for the delicious heroes.

CARMEL O'SULLIVAN

Not In 'Good Hands'

In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

It's with a heavy heart I'm writing this. I came to the Rockaways when I was four years old and moved here permanently 51 years ago, when Rockaway was a small community, with movie houses, bowling alleys, and Playland.

I've been in the "Good Hands" for years, but lo and behold I've been "dumped." Why? Hurricanes in New Orleans. I've never suffered from hurricanes and never missed a policy payment. Never been late, never made a claim against those "Good Hands."

I made several calls to our representatives. AARP said nothing they could do "to help" because their insurance is Hartford?

With all of our new construction, what insurance companies are they dealing with? Maybe they can "help me."

With all due respect, the girls at "Good Hands" have tried to help. But here is what "Good Hands" can offer me: NYS Insurance, which is extremely expensive. And I have only until the end of June to submit an application. Because it will stop taking applications after June 30, but will re-open again in November. What's that all about?

In closing, I also would like to add that I was told if "Good Hands" had my car insurance, they could bride both policies and I wouldn't be dropped. Scam, scam, scam.

I guess if I had a car, I wouldn't have a flood.

EILEEN WHELAN

You Left Me Hanging

This letter is directed to the person who rear-ended my car in the Duane Reade parking lot at 12.09 p.m. on Friday June 15th.

Just in case you were wondering, this is the damage you did to my car: a foot-wide dent in the rear bumper, a five inch tear down the bumper, denting to the panel above the bumper and of course, broken taillights. I'm sure it was an accident, as collisions are, but the moral reaction to an accident is to take responsibility for one's actions. Seeing that my car was parked, engine off, and no one in it, I believe it's clear where the responsibility lies.

If you think that my insurance will take care of this unexpected repair bill, think again. Insurance companies process claims, and then pass the expense on to the first available party.

Since you didn't leave me your information, that expense now falls to me, and will not fall under coverage until I reach the high deductible, which makes it not even worth putting in the claim. I now have to find a way to pay the repair bill, which will take a few months to pay off.

One of the things I love about Rockaway Park is the sense of community, the friendliness of the people, and the great neighbors who'll look out for you. As your neighbor, I hope that you will, in the future, a) be more careful driving and b) take responsibilities for your actions.

TAMAR MAHAFFY

The Wave is not responsible for photos or copy left as part of announcements or stories. We will make every effort to return the photo or copy if requested but cannot take responsibility in the rare occasion when the photo or copy cannot be located. We advise readers submitting material to make copies of valuable photos.

All letters submitted to The Wave, including those sent via e-mail, must contain names, addresses and phone numbers. All letters are subject to editing and publication at the discretion of the editors. The Wave will no longer publish letters in which the name is withheld, unless, in the opinion of the editorial board, there is a compelling public interest to do so.

If you didn't see your letter this week, don't despair. The volume of letters we receive each week dictates that some be held over for the following week.

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