As I write this my hope is that most people in Rockaway will remember the headlines in The News, The Post, The Wave and television last September. It is almost a year (September 23, 2005) my daughter was killed by an out of control driver. It is almost a year and nothing has been done to the driver of the vehicle. It is almost a year that I get up in emotional pain and try to sleep with this pain.
I realize my case is not top priority. I've accepted all the reasons for the delays and the game playing. Our justice system needs to be changed. It is too liberal and we have to elect non-liberals to run out courts. The D.A. has received close to 1,000 letters requesting the maximum sentence for Edward Bain. I lost my beautiful child and now lost contact with my grandson. We had a very close relationship and I'm happy for the opportunity to reunite with him. I have lost my faith, my spirit and my heart is broken forever.
Shame on Verizon for keeping him all those years! Shame on those who accused The Wave of sensationalizing the story.
I put my mind at peace when possible knowing she is in a better place. The better place should have been in Ohio, where she had planned to relocate to in 2000. I wish he would get life - he undoubtedly should receive the maximum allowed by law of 115 years.
JACKIE MURTAGH ABRAMS
Bernie Feuer, writing in last week's Wave, seems to have problems with people he alludes to as mainland politicos offering a conservative perspective in the Wave in the absence of Stu Mirsky's column, The Rockaway Irregular.
Stu, of course, is currently on a kind of short term sabbatical while he runs for the Assembly seat now held by two-decade incumbent Democrat Audrey Pheffer.
In his place, The Wave has invited Eric Ulrich of Ozone Park to contribute a conservative bi-weekly column. But Feuer skewers Eric by suggesting that it's somehow inappropriate for him to be writing a column in The Wave because he's not from Rockaway. Furthermore, Feuer suggests that Eric has political ambitions because he may have an interest in running for the City Council seat currently held by Democrat, Joe Addabbo, who, as it happens, also hails from Ozone Park. But Feuer, aren't you a member of Lew Simon's Democratic Club and isn't it well known that Mr. Simon is, himself, intent on running for the City Council seat now held by Mr. Addabbo?
Personally I applaud Simon for his public involvement though I disagree with many of his positions.
You also make the statement that "As we all know, the mainlanders have controlled the west end of Rockaway for decades and what do we have to show for this?" Are you suggesting that the Democratic leaders and politicians on the West End are under mainland control and have failed in delivering on the quality of life issues you raised which affect Rockaway (beaches, transportation, parking, over development, etc.)? In fact, isn't it time for some real political competition here in Rockaway, beyond the Democratic infighting that currently defines our political landscape?
The Wave is providing the community a great service by enabling a balance of voices so that more than one side of the political spectrum can be heard. While Mirsky's column is suspended during his campaign for Assembly, Eric Ulrich, a young and energetic leader from the mainland has gamely volunteered to fill in. Eric is President of the Judge Angelo Gracie Republican Club in Ozone Park, the oldest GOP club in the 23rd AD, and has been a great friend to Rockaway. In fact, Eric's a member of the Rockaway Republicans and attends nearly all our meetings. He's also a regular columnist in the Ozone Park See-n-Save, the local weekly published in his community so he has genuine bona fides as an experienced columnist.
It's true that Mirsky often wrote articles with a Rockaway slant. But he also addressed larger issues including city, state and national concerns. Eric is certainly well equipped to continue that tradition. Feuer, Eric's youth and enthusiasm are an asset to him and to us. We don't need more fuddy duddies writing articles (no aspersions intended re: any other past or present Wave columnists)! We have far too few young persons involved in politics these days. Just look at the make-up of our political clubs on both sides of the spectrum. That a young man like Eric Ulrich has the focus at his age to aspire to public service should be applauded not stifled as would occur if he were shut down as per your suggestion. Is it possible that the Rockaway Democratic machine is afraid of a little competition?
As to the issue of the causes of the crash of flight 587 which you raised, I and some thirty other eyewitness actually saw what occurred as it was happening and many of us continue to believe that the investigation into the cause of that awful event was shortsighted. But that is neither a Democratic nor Republican issue. It's a human issue!
In the meantime, all of us are best served when there are many voices and all sides in a debate can be heard. I, for one, am grateful to The Wave for inviting Eric Ulrich to sub for Stu Mirsky during this election season. After November we'll see which way the wind blows. Who knows, maybe Stu will be too busy commuting back and forth to Albany to be able to pick up where he left off with The Rockaway Irregular? Maybe Eric will even decide he likes the beach enough to move a bit closer to it? And maybe we'll finally see some political competition and real democracy in the voting booths of Rockaway and the rest of the 23rd AD!
Stop The Large Building Construction
I was wondering why nothing is being done to leave the community alone with one and two family homes like it is. We don't need six or more stories in a community of one and two family houses. We came here to get away from big buildings like in the city, etc. we don't need six story buildings on Beach 91 Street to Beach 92 Street and Shore Front Parkway or Beach 92 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Somebody needs to put a stop to this madness. Can Audrey Pheffer, Joseph Addabbo and Jonathan Gaska stop these people from changing our neighborhood and taking all our open air by putting big buildings. They must be stopped and put one and two family houses in our neighborhood.
Ms. McCarthy of the Department of Transportation (DOT), give us back our Shore Front Parkway. If you want, do some changes in your neighborhood and create one lane where you live, not in our backyard. It seems the more houses they put here the less roads we have. As you travel on the peninsula we become a one lane community, which is crazy. We need help and not from Ms. McCarthy, who doesn't care about the people who have been living here for 30 or 40 years.
Wave Speeded Up
Unfortunately it seems the City 311 number works better with the aid of The Wave.
A road cave-in at Beach 136 St. and Beach Channel Drive was a very serious hazard for a month.
This condition was reported to 311 but not corrected. However, after the Wave published a photo of the cave-in and supporting article, the repairs were immediately made.
Police on Bikes
Is it any surprise that we would have crime on the boardwalk? It's summer. Great weather for people to hang out or go for a stroll in the evening. And very little police presence. It's the perfect place to commit a crime.
I have been complaining to the community board, 100 Precinct and 101 Precinct for the past year to add police on bikes to the boardwalk and surrounding streets. They would do far less damage to the boardwalk than cars and be able to patrol areas otherwise not accessible by car.
The neighborhood around Beach 24 Street to Beach 27 Street off the boardwalk has become a place that desperately needs cops on bikes. Pit bulls are being raised between the narrow alleyways of bungalows to kill other dogs. Dogfights are going on day and night and no one will help. Who would want to tangle with pit bulls? But unless cops are sent in by bike to patrol this area the situation will only get much worse.
Last year I brought it up at a community board meeting and was told by the 100th precinct police captain that they just didn't have bikes or enough cops to put on patrol by bike. Yet just a few months later, someone donated 50 bikes to the precinct.
A few weeks ago, I asked some cops about it and I was told the bikes are locked in a room and never used. Why not? We desperately need police to get out and talk to the community and find out what's going on in the streets and on the boardwalk.
We have a ton of development coming along the boardwalk and this will dramatically increase the population along the boardwalk. If we don't put a stop to it now we are going to be seeing a serious rise in crime in the very near future.
The 101 Precinct has only four cops on bike patrol along the boardwalk and I don't know if any are in the 100 Precinct. It seems like such a simple solution to a very big problem. We don't need that many, just enough for people to know they are around, unexpectedly.
Police on bikes can get into areas otherwise not patrolable. They will detect more drug activity and crime just from being around neighborhoods and talking to the community.
Dealers don't like nosey cops (and neither will my neighbors raising fighting dogs). It would be easier for them to move their activities to other places with no police around!
So let's put the excuses aside, get the bikes out, share them among the precincts and let's see some personable, friendly police on bikes patrolling our neighborhoods!!!
At Tribute Park
I attended the first Friends of Tribute Park fundraiser on August 24. It was a nice event and the park is clearly a tribute not only to the heroes and victims of 9/11, but also to the dedication of dozens of local people who made it a reality.
While many people were being thanked, and some being asked to speak, I was surprised that there were some local people who were not acknowledged appropriately, and some not at all.
I know of one local elected official who provided the seed money for the park when it was no more than a crazy dream. This person should always have an honored position at any event in the park, but the fundraiser was held on a day when she was literally on the other side of the planet.
I know of one local government employee who greased the skids for years with government bureaucracy, a person who was one of the founding members of the park, but he wasn't there because accommodating his schedule was not a priority.
I know of one local person who created the artwork in the park who was not even mentioned. Considering the litany of people thanked that night you would have thought the artwork simply sprung from the ground.
And finally I know of a local woman who conceived of this park and made it her holy grail. Who struggled for years to make the park a reality, who repeatedly overcame obstacles that would have defeated anyone less determined. Instead of being an honored guest, she was not even acknowledged.
With their deeds these people have earned their permanent place of respect at all events in that park. They have performed an enormous service to this community. No person and no committee has the right to simply ignore their contributions and try to re-write history. Petty jealousies and personal rivalries have no place on this hallowed ground.
As you can see, the names have been removed to protect the innocent. But I don't have to mention their names. Even people not involved with the park can identify each person described above. That proves their prominence and importance to the creation of the park. Yet the Tribute Park committee pretends they don't exist. Are they afraid the spotlight on the committee will be dimmed if it is shared with those who made the park possible in the first place?
Perhaps someday the contributions of the Tribute Park committee will equal the contributions of those who have come before. But not today, not yet.
The Tribute Park committee is now in charge of the park. The baton has been passed. They now have the power. Now they must prove they also have the wisdom to undertake their obligations with class and dignity. This was not an auspicious beginning, but I hope they will discover that generosity of spirit is a virtue.
The City Impacts
Our Everyday Life In Ways We Can't Control
Each time I go from my apartment on Shore Front Parkway there is something else the city has done to make my life more difficult. I never knew that there were this many ways to do that until the city started its Kafikesque remodeling of this once beautiful oceanfront road. First they painted white and yellow lines in what seems to be an indiscriminate pattern but is probably done to raise the amount of money the cvity gets in fines from discombobulated moterists who have no idea what they mean.
Those lines limited the road to one lane in each direction. I could live with that, I guess, if everybody obeyed the lines, but virtually nobody does. People pass on the right, they pass on the left. They drive in the bike lanes, which begin and end without any rationale at all. Then, they closed off the possibility of dropping passengers off along the southern lane of the parkway, something that everybody does on a regular basis. Then, the closed off the unused bus stops from any traffic at all.
The next stop was to cut down on the parking on Beach 73 Street, a place we all used as an overflow for our guets.
It was not enought to cut off the turnarounds that we used to get into our complex, they closed the turn lane at Cross Bay Parkway as well.
What's next? I Shudder to think about it.
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