Some Vitriol Directed At Wave
You have once again demonstrated that your publication is a complete joke. Miriam Rosenberg's article ("Developer Tries End Run Around New Zoning Rules"), demonstrates clearly that you have no clue. Your "reporter" who is clearly biased against all of the developers in this area, can't keep her facts straight as usual.
The developers are providing desperately needed housing for a growing community and are being opposed by a small group of sleazy bigots who want to keep Orthodox Jews and other minorities from invading their neighborhood.
The developers have played by all the rules despite constant harassment from these despicable neighbors and opportunistic and disingenuous politicians like James Sanders Jr. who would sell out his mother for a dollar, and the repulsive Tony Avella who should be manning a deep fryer somewhere.
Your article fails to mention that the developer had all of his permits in order despite the contentions of the neighboring resident racists. This was in fact confirmed by the DOB attorney. This is why you will be writing an article shortly about how the BSA has granted the application despite the objections of Community Board 14's Jonathan "Weasel" Gaska, Tony "Would you like fries with that?" Avella, and the neighbors. You should keep your slanted reporting on the editorial pages where they belong, or at a bare minimum check some facts.
Omitted Word In Dayton Towers Letter
While The Wave published my Letter to the Editor in its July 28 edition, captioned "Dayton Towers Rules Are For All," it erroneously omitted a key word and by doing so effectively undermined my conciliatory and complimentary response, Re: Ms. Ann West and MR. Hugh O'Hare.
Specifically, I wrote, "I'm sure that many patriots reside at Dayton Towers, not unlike Ms. Ann West or Mr. O'Hare, who honor and support our troops."
I trust that the omission of "not" before "unlike" was merely an inadvertence and nothing more. As a professional journalist you surely understand how the exclusion of that word from that sentence changes the meaning and skews the readers' understanding of this writer's honorable intentions.
Thanking you in advance.
Shore Front Parkway Debacle
On Monday, July 31, I spoke with M. McCarthy at the DOT to voice my complaint regarding changes made to Shore Front Parkway. She advised that she arbitrarily made the changes because one day, while driving through the "community" (she does not live on the Peninsula, as I asked) she noticed an illegal maneuver made by a driver on SFP. So here again, we all have to suffer because of the action of one. McCarthy also told me not to expect reversal of her changes. So, now that The Wave, Joseph Addabbo, Lew Simon and others have spoken out against the changes, what's next? Is a meeting being scheduled with the Mayor or Transportation Commissioner so that our politicians and others can voice their objections? There is no common sense to the changes made by McCarthy, for a host of reasons, that we all know about. Lew Simon, please grab your megaphone; I am ready to demonstrate with you.
Shore Front Parkway Complications
It has been one month since the new Shore Front Parkway traffic pattern was begun and all it has done is create an impossible situation for drivers. Now drivers are the second-class citizens of that road.
Not only has the new configuration caused one lane of traffic, but everyone and his brother is all over the road and I don't mean the drivers. Bicycle riders are all over the place, even where they are not supposed to be, people walk wherever and there is double-parking along the north side of the road and all of the cut-offs that were put in the road originally to assist drivers have been closed off. The 94 Street turnaround to the bridge has been changed so now you are not allowed to circumvent the traffic lights by going totally around the curve and again picking up Shore Front, but you have to turn as though going to the bridge and then make a right turn back to SFP. If anyone can tell me the reason for that, I'll try to understand, but it makes absolutely no sense but to frustrate the drivers.
The newest thing that I saw this morning was a tan car riding on the boardwalk. No signage on the car to identify it as belonging to an agency, and there seemed to be a young girl driving.
Will somebody please change this road back to the way it was supposed to be - for auto drivers and do away with all the \\\\/ / / / along the road? It's driving everyone crazy and creating an accident waiting to happen.
What Do You Call Someone who ...?
What do you call someone who is in recovery from addiction but does not practice any recovery principles, attends no meetings and has no sponsor?
What do you call someone who professes to be a Born Again Christian but whose behavior belies his faith regarding the poor, children and the elderly?
What do you call someone who does the opposite of everything his father says or does regardless of the principle? What do you call someone who says that God talks to him and whose message is one putting others at physical and emotional risk?
What do you call someone who shows no remorse, cannot admit error and who does the same thing over and over again despite failed outcomes?
What do you call someone who exudes charm but also shows a limited range of emotional responses? What do you call someone with no empathy for others, see things from the perspective of others or who can't put himself in the shoes of the other?
In the field of psychotherapy we might call such a person a borderline personality with sociopathic features. Perhaps someone with a psychosis due to the auditory hallucinations.
In today's society, however, we call such a person "Mr. President."
Outrage Over Lifeguard Test Administrators
After reading your article on the lifeguard situation and knowing of it firsthand, I thank you for taking notice of the injustices done or the shame done by the test administrators Richard Sher and his sidekick crony Javier. It is said absolute power corrupts absolutely no matter who or what they hurt. This time it was a group of good teenagers who gave up their time in the winter on rainy, cold and snowy nights to attend lifeguard classes and try to learn as much as they could off these maligned teachers, in which whenever they felt like it, showed them with attitudes.
I thank the politicians for trying to infuse the satellite program and get as many good kids involved by not having to travel to Manhattan at 59th Street and 11th Avenue. All they got in return was a slap down for trying, and the politicians were told where to go with their program. It is an insult and I feel my son has been robbed of a summer job, violated by these selfish, mean-spirited actions of the lifeguard association, the aforementioned test and head lifeguards, whose own mean track record speaks for themselves in shame sly disregard for these bright-eyed, nave, young people.
My son swam for four years in varsity for Xaverian High School and instead of correcting him after failing the hold part of the test the first time, they made him take it three times, never telling him what he failed on, what he did wrong or what to correct. The same goes for his swim time. He never saw people stop-watching the times.
My son wanted this job very much after working as a lifeguard for three years in Dayton Towers (by the way, always on time and never missing a day).
This is not about a parent crying sour grapes because their child did not obtain a position, but proud of the fact that he stood up when he knew something was truly wrong with this system. He spoke up when he saw derelict of duty by people in authority administrating the test, picking and choosing and not watching their stopwatches while testing at certain times.
There is a great travesty here. You have men in power who grew quite cynical and mean-spirited over their 40 years of tenure on the job. You would think they would take this knowledge to pass on, rather than be so spiteful. I am glad you are just provisional bosses for city workers and not year round to see what more crap you could get away with. It is time for a change, Mr. Stein. Good riddance of this cancer. You are who you surround yourself with.
Absolute Power Over Lifeguards
I would like to make a few comments regarding your recent article on the failure of the lifeguard-testing program. This problem existed when I took the test over 20 years ago and I am saddened to hear that it is still going on.
Unfortunately, this group of male dominant, foul speaking, disrespectful men has tortured and humiliated boys and girls because they have no one overlooking them to provide a system of checks and balances that other departments of city employees have. This has resulted in unfair testing.
Ultimately, these practices lower the quality of standards of our lifeguards because some individuals have passed just because the people who are in charge of hiring have the power to pick and choose who becomes a city lifeguard. This bias practice of hiring continues year after year and young children are subjected to these men cursing, yelling, and failing them instead of being hired and being an asset to our beaches only because of the politics of this department.
Some of the Rockaway beaches have recently been closed and we have the lifeguards willing to work. They have taken the same course, passed the same test but have been told they failed because of the select few in power. This unfairness has to stop!
Dedication of Goldie M. Maple Way
The family of Goldie M. Maple would like to personally thank all the family members, friends and public officials for sharing in this historical event.
Beach 57 Street became the Goldie M. Maple Way on July 29, adjoining the Rev. Joseph H. May Drive, located directly in front of the Goldie Maple Academy. This is a first in American history.
Special thanks to the Union Choir: Edna Harris, President; Jacqueline McMikle; Thelma Hill; Juanice Price; Mary Davis for their rendition of "Order My Steps;" guest speaker, Bernard Robinson, author of "Reflections of an Urban High School Principal;" Johanna Gregory, for the beautiful flyers; Tyrone and Viola Hinton, for invitation index cards; Rev. M. Edward Reid, for the use of his folding chairs; Ernest Brown and David Hooks, for initiating the school name; and finally but not least, my sister Desiree Maple, for initiating the street name.
There would not have been a Goldie Maple without a Jesse Maple, her late husband who granted the vehicle for Goldie to attend the numerous community affairs leading to her triumphant success.
As former NAACP President Lovette Glasgow stated, Goldie M. Maple was "a phenomenal woman."
Challenges Pheffer To Debate
The following letter was sent by Republican candidate Stu Mirsky to Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, the incumbent.
Dear Ms. Pheffer,
As I trust you have heard by now, I have declared my candidacy for the New York State Assembly to represent the 23rd AD, the seat you currently hold. I've been endorsed in this endeavor by the Queens County Republican Party, the Queens County Conservative Party and the Queens County Independence Party; I fully expect to be appearing in November on all three ballot lines.
You have represented the 23rd AD since 1987 and I have been pleased to meet and speak with you occasionally during that time. I believe we've always had a cordial relationship and hope we can continue in that vein. However, it is my belief that democracy demands competition, not just in terms of the number of names on the ballot but in terms of genuine competition in the realm of ideas. You and I represent very different viewpoints on a variety of issues and it would be good for democracy and good for the voters here in the 23rd AD to have a chance to hear precisely how our views differ, firsthand.
A few months ago The Wave, Rockaway's primary local weekly newspaper, offered to sponsor a debate between us so that we can present our thinking and plans for the voters' consideration. I think this is a wonderful idea and have already indicated my acceptance, both publicly, by a letter to The Wave, and in private. I hope you will do so, as well, and that you will also join with me in seeking further venues around the 23rd AD where we can appear jointly in this same manner in order to present our competing visions of good governance and local representation to the community.
The voters of the 23rd are entitled to know where their representatives stand so that they can make an informed decision on Election Day. Will you join with me in accepting The Wave's kind offer, as well as in seeking out other forums around the 23rd AD where we can present and debate our views together from the same stage?
Win, lose or draw, I look forward to a frank and serious campaign for State Assembly this fall and pledge my intention to focus on the issues.
Concerns Over Possible Tsunami
We are the International Association of Auxiliary and Volunteer Firefighters, a Weather and Disaster special services team. We have been in service for over 25 years within the greater metro New York area. We go in harms way 24-7 so others may live. We have been fighting for the past eight years to get some sort of recognition from the City and State of New York, but it seems that both administrations have seen fit not to give a care about dedicated Volunteers.
It seems to us that the City and State could care less about the lives of its citizens in Kings and Queens counties. The worst of the City and State agencies are OEM and SEMO. They have come up with so called ideas about hurricanes only, and over looking the greater danger at hand which is tsunamis, which could hit us and wipe out the greater New York area. We have been fighting for over four years to get this project going.
If a tsunami should come our way, we would have only 9 to 12 hours to evacuate all areas near or on water areas. The tsunami can and will generate up to 150 feet high waves, and devastate most areas of the Metro area. Millions of lives can and will be lost, and all due to the lack of interest of the City and State.
All Emergency agencies must know that a tsunami has 10 times more destructive power than a category 4 or 5 hurricane, and not being prepared in our area can kill. We attended two town hall meetings in the Rockaways, in which OEM and Red Cross attended. Most of the public was confused as to what was said. There was no down to earth talk about the subjects at hand. Not once was the subject of tsunamis brought up. It was only about hurricanes.
Tsunamis are a greater danger to us than hurricanes, and we should have an ongoing project in our area with proper evacuation, shelters and escape routes to the north. With just one person from OEM living in the Rockaways, OEM is not going to be of help. The Red Cross is useless in the conditions of a tsunami.
The citizens of Kings and Queens counties must take this problem into our own hands. In the event that the City and State sees fit not to do anything, we should form our own Rockaway OEM and let us do the job that has to be done to save lives.
The problem is that the City and State are doing nothing but playing politics with this problem and it seems that even our local elected officials could care less. It seems that all the City and State care about are the bugs and bees, and not the greatest danger we could face.
My organization has booklets and flyers by FEMA, which we give out to the public. If more people would read and take notice, then more lives can and would be saved. What are we telling you is the fact that it could happen here, and millions of lives will be lost.
We hope to get this project resolved as soon as we can before it's too late to help anyone. If the volcano in the Canery Islands blows up and sinks the island of Las Palmas, we have only 12 hours at the most to evacuate our areas.
We are in great danger from this problem, and it is not only us. Giant tsunami tidal waves will hit the east coast from Boston to Miami, and millions will be killed. Do you wish this to happen? We ask you to call or write to your mayor, governor, president and all of our elected officials, be they City, State or Federal.
We have to take action as fast as we can. We ask you to send letters and make calls to our elected officials, and ask them to take some action for us. We are living in a great danger area and remember that this year is an election year. If our elected officials who are running this year will not do anything, then we must vote them out of office, and put in people who will take heed to what we are saying.
You cannot play politics with people's lives. You cannot have one agency fighting other agencies, like Red Cross, to take control of any incident that could hit us. When we do have a chance to speak to a City or State official, all we get for our trouble is double talk. We call out to print this letter at once and not wait for one month or not even print it at all.
It seems to us that this paper does not have freedom of the press, and that it does and says whatever our local elected officials tell them, like they control what is said and done in the paper. We call out to demand a large town hall meeting here in the Rockaways, with all City, State and Federal agencies, including the mayor and governor.
We must have some sort of input to this problem and it has to be done very fast. This paper must take a stand on this problem. We hope that something good will come of this problem. We would like to see all emergency groups working together as a team.
Thank you for your attention to alerting the public of the danger that can and will hit us. We need your support on the above matter. For more information on this subject, we ask the public to contact us at (347) 230-4691 at any time.
CHIEF JAKE GOLDSTEIN
INTL. ASSN. OF AUX. AND VOL. FIREFIGHTERS, A WEATHER AND DISASTER UNIT
A Great Summer
My week attending the Presidential Classroom: Future Leaders Summit was an unforgettable experience. I met people from Asia, United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa, just to name a few. Not only did I learn about them, I learned things about myself. We lived and worked together for one week, and shared in each other's lives.
We played the World Trade Game, where you bartered with other countries for food, clothing and other necessities. We visited various embassies including the British and Turkish Embassies, went to the Holocaust Museum, watched the changing of the Guard at Arlington, and visited the Lincoln Memorial. I realized there is so much to see in our own backyard and it makes me proud that other countries saw what we have. I would recommend this to other teens interested in politics or history.
I made friends for life that week. I consider it one of the highlights of my summer.
A Betrayal Of Trust
The following letter was sent in by Liz Graham, the wife of Harold Graham, former owner of Dragon's Den Florist on Beach 116 Street.
I have always been a "cockeyed optimist," a Pollyanna, one who believes in the best of people. Imagine how my world was turned on its end when I found out that members of my own family were spreading lies about my husband and aiding in trying to harm him and our family!
On the boardwalk last week my young cousin, who happens to be my godson and the godfather of one of my triplets, accosted my husband to tell him that, "Everyone in the neighborhood knows what a piece of (.....) you are. You blamed my mother for ruining your store!" the kind of hateful and vitriolic words that came out of that "conversation" were amazing to me. Where did he come up with all this crap? Not only was that particular accusation blatantly untrue, but he and his mom seem to be doing just that, blaming my husband for whatever they can. Apparently, she is telling anyone who'll listen how horrible he is and all the awful stuff he did.
Somehow, after three and a half years of trying to make his business work and make a better life for us all (family and employees), he's a bad guy. If taking care of his employees, making sure they got paid every week no matter what, staying open after a flood so they wouldn't lose pay, not selling the store when he could have so as not to screw his employees, trusting them and treating them like family makes him a bad guy, then I guess he is, but I don't see how. Then, when they went to start their own store, he offered to sell them anything they needed at a reduced price since he was closing anyway, but that wasn't good enough. They had to take what wasn't theirs- the customer data, including phone numbers, credit card numbers, and personal information! That basically destroyed any chance he had of digging himself out of the hole he'd dug. But he's a bad person? How much rationalization did they have to do to come up with that? He'll be the first to admit his many mistakes and shortcomings, but it seems that looking out for his employees and trusting them was one of the biggest mistakes he could have made.
In today's world, caring is often misconstrued as weakness. I guess he should have been looking out for number one like so many people do, but that is not us. Never has been, and, even after this rude awakening, never will be. I feel terrible because it was my family member that we trusted with our livelihood, and who betrayed that trust. I thought that trust was deserved, but came to find out she was just married to my cousin, she is NOT my family and doesn't really care about me, my children or our welfare. That's an awful realization after 30 years, wouldn't you say?
Not to worry, though, I will not be losing my positive and helpful attitude. The world needs more Pollyannas and caring people, and fewer "looking out for number one" greedy, deceitful types, so we'll keep working at it and not give up hope on the rest of the human race just yet. And, while I can't find it within myself to wish them well in their new business, maybe someday I'll be able to look at them without my stomach twisting into a knot.
Overgrown Parking Lot
Well, I have to say I think Rockaway has the potential to be one of the most beautiful places in all of New York City. I know that with all the home building it might get over crowded... but, it will be beautiful and I believe worth it. I was thinking though with all this beauty...why is it that when you first arrive in Rockaway over either bridge we have a very poor welcome for visitors? Let me illustrate.
When you cross the Cross Bay Bridge and head straight to Shore Front Parkway via the Cross Bay Parkway, you are greeted with an overgrown parking lot with a deteriorated fence that is used for police parking, as well as unsightly concrete blocks that surround the newly renovated exterior of the precinct.
The city spent a million dollars to spruce up the southern parking lot, but left the other one alone.
Is the city saying that because it is parking for police it is an unworthy project to fix up their parking area? This area could be fixed up very simply...first, repair the parking lot and remove the fence on the Rockaway Freeway (replace it with a new wrought iron fence if we must have a fence). It wouldn't hurt to fix the cracked concrete on the elevated railroad either. Second, remove all the concrete blocks on 94 Street and return the street to use. If security is an issue, a permanent and more decorative concrete barrier should be erected on the sidewalk surrounding the precinct.
There is no reason to prevent traffic from driving on 94 Street. The current conditions force people to make illegal turns in order to continue on 94 Street instead of getting on the bridge.
Now at the Marine Parkway Bridge, for the most part it is a very scenic view when you enter Rockaway. But, I have noticed lately more and more people parking along the bay wall and pitching tents in order to fish. Now, I think having the tents and fishing is fine, but there is a legal parking lot across the street. Why not park the cars there? I would like to see that area where people fish cleaned up and fixed. The sidewalk is broken in many spots and holes exist. Why not put a bicycle path there and plant trees and bushes?
People could still fish. Add trashcans and maybe build a concession stand with a bait store. Put some new benches in for the fishermen families and perhaps some BBQ pits like Riis Parks has on the other side of the peninsula.
SCOTT A. BATTAGLIA
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.