2006-06-30 / Editorial/Opinion


Rebuttal To Letter

To the Editor:

I read Peter Stubben's diatribe of my "Bush and Global Warming" column regarding the Administration's distortion of facts, and I have to admit I haven't had such a good laugh since I heard, some years ago, that the contrails produced by high flying planes are really the government's way of testing various chemicals on us. Rather than bore anyone reading this rebuttal, let me keep it as simple as possible and take some of Mr. Stubben's own, distorted comments to task.

I neither wrote a poison pen column nor did I accuse Bush for the problem of global warming. I stuck to actual facts regarding the Administration's distortions of scientific analysis as relates to environmental changes. Mr. Stubben could not honestly challenge these facts because he, too, cannot accept the truth, so he distorts them.

Where in my column, Mr. Stubben, did I even infer anything having to do with "nasty '04 and '05 Gulf weather...caused by the cruel, mean-spirited and pernicious policies of Bush "43"?

You write that I "speak so glowingly" of the Kyoto Protocol. I never spoke "glowingly" of the Protocol. I wrote that Bush rejected it and his allowing industries to set their own regulations have brought some major problems re: target dates.

America has never been greener or cleaner? I should wake up and "smell Mother Nature returning to the Northeast quadrant of America...with a vengeance"? Does that include acid rain due to fossil fuel air pollution among other "natural" phenomenon? Might I suggest that you do some research before making such, for lack of a more appropriate word, erroneous statements? Do you know why one or two black bears have been found in the leafy suburbs of NYC? Do you know why a lone coyote was found in Central Park? Bottlenose dolphins, Mr. Stubben, are not "cruising regularly along Rockaway's surf." Dolphins do not 'cruise' in any surf...it's not their thing.

It amazes me how people have a tendency only to believe what they want to believe. Conspiracy theories, false witnessing, the "devil made me do it" and "I refuse to believe it" excuses are the ways people reject truth. The truth about earth's warming is all around us and it's the industrialized nation's entire problem...yes, including China and India and the U.S. It's the world's problem.

My sole purpose in the article was to criticize the Bush Administration for distorting scientific fact. Some of those facts were presented in my "Drawing on Science" columns on Global Warming in the Wave editions of 4/28 and 5/26. In fact, "Bush and Global Warming" was supposed to be the third installment in the series, but I found it was a critique rather than a science article, so I presented it as an "It's My Turn" article.

Finally, Mr. Stubben, Mr. Ehrlich is not, has not, and never will be my friend because he's dead and has been that way since 1915, some time before I was born. You see if you had done your homework you would have found out that Paul Ehrlich was noted for his research in chemical treatments for diseases; he discovered salvarsan for the treatment of syphilis after extensive research and experimentation. Thank goodness no one distorted his truths! And, by the way, here it is, again, what I quoted Ehrlich as saying: "Laypeople frequently assume that in a political dispute the truth must lie somewhere in the middle, and they are often right. In a scientific dispute, though, such an assumption is usually wrong (italics mine)." I hate to think what some readers will say when the Wave prints, somewhat modified, my previous Drawing column concerning sand dunes.


Fearful Of

Katrina-Like Storm

Dear Editor,

Anyone living in a coastal area can't help but be fearful after witnessing the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The experts tell us that it is not a matter of if a hurricane is going to hit Rockaway, it is a matter of when.

It therefore boggles my mind that a NYC Government agency, the Parks Department, would willfully destroy naturally occurring storm surge protection on our beaches. This naturally occurring storm protection is sand dunes and beach grass. Most of the time the winds blow on shore in Rockaway. At low tide the wind blows the exposed sand shoreward. Beach grass catches the sand, instead of blowing it onto the Boardwalk or down the beach blocks.

The sand drops at the base of the beach grass. Over time this develops into a mound known as a sand dune. The roots of the beach grass can grow down some forty feet looking for access to groundwater stabilizing the dune. Near the surface the grass interlocks making a mesh that further stabilizes the dune. With this help from Mother Nature it is possible for our beaches to grow naturally. During times of hurricanes or winter storms these dunes and beach grass form a barrier against the rising tidal swells and large waves, protecting the beach from being washed away.

I would like to address some of the arguments I have heard against the dunes. 1) Animals defecate in the beach grass and dunes. If someone's dog defecates on beach grass we do not blame the beach grass. 2). It attracts litter and garbage. If someone throws litter on the beach we do not blame the beach grass. We just pick it up. 3). It might attract nesting shorebirds. Wouldn't it be nice not to have to go to the Bronx Zoo aviary to view exotic shore birds? Wouldn't it be nice to live in an environment with them? When I go for a ride on my bike I can't help but admire how the people of Breezy Point are able to share the beach with these exotic creatures. Beach grass and sand dunes are a good thing.


Illegal Dunes Cause Injury

Dear Editor,

Congratulations to our editor for printing "The Dunes Must Be Removed" by Dr. Jane (Garfield) Frank in the June 22 issue of The Wave. The letter was so well written and gave all the reasons why the dunes must be removed. I was quite surprised, since our editor is very "pro-dune."

I began to equate our editor with "Dan Rather," brazen and unfair. I searched The Wave to read about a recent catastrophe that occurred on the dunes. A young high school athlete jumped off the top of the dunes on Beach 142 Street, where he lives, and landed on open-fence wire. He ripped his ankle apart and received over 60 stitches. He has no feeling in the back of his foot or toes. His athletic career is over. He had great potential for a college scholarship. He now has suffering and pain for his summer vacation.

I couldn't find any reporting of this incident in The Wave. If this isn't newsworthy, I can only assume our "pro-dune" editor sees this as a big reason why the dunes must be removed. Our editor should shake hands with Dan Rather: Biased and Unfair.

If the illegally built dunes were not on our beaches, this catastrophe would have never occurred.

Parks employees ask, "What was he doing up there?" It doesn't matter. Kids love a challenge. The dunes shouldn't have been there. They must be removed now before any more children get injured.


Praise For Beverly

Dear Editor,

I am sending this simple letter to publicly thank our local, Beverly King.

There is no ulterior motives, there are no politics or name bashing involved, just a simple thank you !!!!

I believe too many people in our Rockaway community get too involved in all the above mentioned issues and forget that this is OUR community and one we should all be proud of.

Those that spend their days thinking of ways to belittle others must live very shallow lives, when was the last time they thanked anyone in the community or even smiled at a stranger or said hello to someone just passing by ???

I want to send these special thanks to Beverly King of Beverly Brokers for going above and beyond her job as a local realtor. I recently went to her office and explained to her my circumstances. I am a resident of Rockaway and wanted to find an apartment for my daughter and two grandchildren whom I wanted to help relocate near my home from Florida, as I find this community a very nice place to live and grow up in. This task wasn't an easy one, as my daughter in not here yet to look for herself.

But, Beverly took the time and patience and lent a listening ear to my dilemma and through her character and newly found friendship, we were successful in finding a place for my family.

I can never thank her enough for giving my family a chance to relocate to this lovely neighborhood and for going the extra mile by giving them an opportunity to join this community.

I'm sure my family will be as happy here as I am, isn't that what counts on building a strong community ????

Thanks again Beverly, we couldn't have done it without you.


EXIT Realty Helps Make Homeowner Dreams

A Reality

Dear Editor,

About four months ago my fiance and I were looking for a home to buy. We tried on our own at first. Then we went to home buying seminars and they told us to beware of any agency that tries to do too much. In other words, one-stop shops (brokers, realty, lawyers, etc.). Shortly thereafter, we were introduced to a wonderful group of women named Lourdes Adams, Maribel Canceliere, and Marcia Morom. They run a new realty company called "EXIT Realty" in Far Rockaway. They never made a promise that they couldn't keep. They held our hands through the whole process. They never let us give up even when we became discouraged, and whenever a problem arose, they always had a connection to a competent professional in whatever field that the problem occurred. Our dream of owning a home has been made possible by this honest and compassionate group of women with a dedicated staff. We would like to thank them personally and may we say that we feel blessed. Our lives are richer just by having met them.


Lew Helps With

Medicaid Mix-Up

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Lew Simon for helping me obtain my prescription medicine under my Medicaid coverage. I have been diagnosed with cancer and was unable to fill my prescriptions due to a mix-up with another woman who has Medicare, lives in the Bronx and is older than I, but she has the same first and last name as I do. I had made numerous calls to the Medicaid office as well as to public officials for assistance, to no avail. No phone calls were ever returned.

I then called Lew. He was kind and compassionate. He knew what I was going through. His mother also had cancer. Lew was relentless, spending hours and hours on the phone with Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare office, social workers and pharmacies in order to resolve this problem. He would not take no for an answer.

I cannot praise this man enough and I will be eternally grateful to him. He is truly my hero. God bless you, Lew.



First Hand View

Dear Editor,

Congressman Gregory Meeks aptly points out in last week's Wave how necessary and vital for decision-makers such as himself to personally visit and investigate on the issues before him. The Congressman seeks the unvarnished view and first-hand encounter.He warily reports he cannot rely solely on State's foreign affairs experts, or America's diplomacy corps.And so, if that means winter visits to the Caribbean and spring in Paris, well, so be it...the people's business comes first.

Here on the Rockaway Peninsula, on everyone's mind these days are dunes, tidal erosion and piping plovers, and how to resolve the fragile and delicate issue of creeping development.As we need best-informed decision makers, I humbly propose that Rockaway's "great powers" fund my investigatory trip to better inform the Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park Associations, the Rotary Club, CB-14, among others.I'd be delighted to pictorially illustrate my work for the seniors of Beach Channel and Far Rockaway High Schools, especially those students intent on seeking engineering careers.

Regrettably, my unvarnished and first hand investigations would require visits to the Outer Banks (early Fall), Oahu's North Shore (winter), Phuket Island (December thru February),Africa's Kwa-Zulu-Natal (March and April), Majorca (Spring) and finally Bondi Beach.I'd be reporting from the front lines of fragile eco-systems, creeping beachfront development, urban dwelling, five ocean tidal patterns and aerial migrants.

My cell phone is on...I'll be waiting for your call...


Need More Police Presence

The following letter was sent to Captain Charles Neacy, the Commanding Officer of the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach.

Dear Capt. Neacy,

I'd like to welcome you to the neighborhood and hope you take note of some ever-present issues that your predecessors were unable to address.

Speeding down both Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach Channel Drive between Beach 116 Street and the Marine Parkway Bridge is an ever present danger as well as the running of traffic lights in those aforementioned road strips are constant problems that never seem to get any attention.

I often wonder how many makeshift memorials along those roads we have to have before we can get a radar car out there on a regular basis.

My second concern is the mayhem that is Beach 116 Street during this beach season. I just witnessed, first-hand, shoplifting, fighting and utter chaos on that street in the middle of the afternoon.

The bands of marauding "beach-goers' who are taking over the strip are loud and belligerent, and are allowed to imbibe, urinate, curse, and scream at will.

It's a three-block corridor yet no police present is apparent and this is an area that CLEARLY needs the police to keep it reasonable and safe for the rest of us.

For the sake of our community and the rest of us law-abiding citizens, we ask for your immediate action regarding these two pressing issues. Thank you.


Polluted View

On Father's Day

Dear Editor,

What a wonderful view at 5 p.m. on Father's Day from the Million Dollar Penthouse of the Ocean Grande!

It was enough to make you sick. All you could see was the filthy, garbage- filled stretch of beach from Beach 115 Street to Beach 118 Street.

It makes you want to reconsider the purchase.

Don't fret, however.

Summer is only 12 weeks long, and you will be able to enjoy your view from late September until late May.

The Parks Dept. must triple the amount of garbage pails allotted on the populated beaches.

Let's get it together, Commissioner Benepe.


Gas Rip-Off In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

Will someone please explain to me why our local gas stations charge at least ten cents a gallon more than the stations in the Five Towns with the same brands?

It seems to me that somebody is taking advantage.


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. 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.

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