The following letter was sent to Louis Rivera, a shareholder of the Dayton Beach Park Mitchell-Lama Co-op from New York State Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer on October 3, 2006.
Dear Mr. Rivera,
As the Assembly Member representing the Dayton Beach Park Mitchell-Lama Co-op along with Dayton Towers Mitchell-Lama Co-op, I am uniquely aware of the vital roles these developments play in our community.
In 1955 the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program was created for the purpose of building affordable housing for middle income residents. The program provided low interest mortgage loans and real property tax exemptions, while requiring limitations on profits, income limits on tenants and regulations and supervision by DHCR and/or HPD. Developments are eligible to withdraw from the Mitchell-Lama program after 20 years upon repayment of the mortgage or 35 years in the case of developments aided by loans prior to May 1, 1959. When developments leave the Mitchell-Lama Program, apartments are no longer regulated by DHCR/HPD and do not have to remain affordable for moderate income families.
With the current housing boom in Rockaway, "Luxury Co-ops" are being built along with high end market rate houses. While this is a welcome addition to the Rockaway community, affordable housing must also be available.
The elimination of quality affordable housing for the thousands of Rockaway residents who reside in both Dayton Developments, would be devastating to our community's middle class.
Quality affordable housing must be preserved to ensure the future of the Rockaway community.
AUDREY I. PHEFFER
MEMBER OF ASSEMBLY
Rockaway Map Was 'Disappointing'
The following letter was sent to the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation, Margert Community Corporation, and Councilman James Sanders Jr.
I was told that several years ago the Borough President's office published a newsletter with a map of Queens on its header- without the Rockaways! We're wondering if the same people were responsible for putting together the Rockaway map that was enclosed with the September 22 issue of The Wave.
A stranger to the Rockaway community would believe that only Catholic churches exist here. Missing was the First Congregational Church (the oldest church in the Rockaways), as well as other Protestant churches and all the Jewish temples. Of course, many communities were also missing- Roxbury, Neponsit, Rockaway Beach, to name a few.
Although your intentions were obviously good the result was disappointing. We are a wonderfully diverse community- and this diversity should be used as an advantage.
PASTOR, FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
What Is Really Going On?
I normally wouldn't go out of my way to write a letter to The Wave, but I must reply to the letter written by Dayton Beach Park board members last week. It's time we all wake up. Something is very wrong at Dayton and with this Board. We can't let two members who finally brought real diversity to Dayton's Board get kicked off because these other Board members don't like the fact they are telling the Shareholders what's really going on. Jennifer Grady and Hazel McLean are doing what they were elected to do, represent and be a voice for all Shareholders and stand up for us.
They've been telling us what's really going on the whole year about our money (or lack of it) and the new maintenance increase. Seems to me, the board members who wrote that letter are saying a rent hike isn't true because they want to get reelected first. Jennifer and Hazel told us the truth and they want them out. And I have to ask why are they only going after them, when it's documented that Bruce Jacobs and Ella Van Zanten were disruptive many times and were suspended from the board?
Joanne Smith our president has been disruptive at meetings and in my opinion so have other board members. Why is it another standard for Ella and Bruce who's been on record lashing out at meetings since he was elected two years ago and most recently at the Capital Assessment meeting where he was screaming at people in the audience? Why is it another standard for Joanne Smith and the other Board members? Where are the resolutions to remove them? Everybody open your eyes and ask what's really going on here!
With the fast and ever-changing landscape of the Rockaways, you would think that someone would take notice of what signs are going up and which ones aren't.
On Rockaway Beach Boulevard from Beach 74 Street to Beach 79 Street there are no street cleaning signs, yet there were six tickets written on October 16 for violating the street cleaning rules.
Also, on Rockaway Freeway at Beach 80 Street, there is a turning lane heading south where it is a one way heading north.
On any street I don't think that would be very safe, even worse on the block of a school. Is anyone paying attention to what is going on in this town? The ticket will be a nuisance to fight, but what will happen when two cars crash or worse a child crossing the street, not knowing that a car that was directed to make a turn comes in a direction they didn't expect. Pay attention and give me a sign!
Last week I read comments in the letters section made by Dayton Beach Park Board members, Joanne Smith, Anne Lyons, Leyla Macauley, Jean Fearon, Michael O'Connor, Dolores Lyons, Maryanna Lane and Mary Reed.
I'm a Dayton shareholder and I must say after reading that, I'm very disappointed that these people represent the shareholders of DBP. I supported their group, voted for them and attended meetings. Based on what I saw and heard, in my opinion many (if not all) of the claims they made in their letter are untrue.
There HAS been discussion of another maintenance increase that shareholders have been hearing about for months. We all got letters from the accountants about the increase of 18% this summer. Dayton does have a lot of problems with the way the buildings are kept, security and other important issues. These important things haven't been addressed in many months but these Board members have the time to compose petty letters to The Wave.
There HAS been a lot of arguing and fighting BUT the Board has been fighting for a long time and most shareholders know it. There are other members who are far worse in their behavior in my opinion and they are still sitting there without their seats being challenged. To single out Jennifer Grady and Hazel McLean, especially when they've been the only two who show enough respect for shareholders attending the meetings by acknowledging their opinions and concerns, is wrong. The Board didn't elect them, the shareholders did. Why do these Board members feel they can disrespect shareholders wishes?
Setting The Record Straight
I want to set the record straight concerning my visit to the Bayswater Civic Association a few weeks ago. Two recent letters from members of the Association's leadership, reprinted in this paper, suggested that I was not there by official invitation. This, I found out after I had arrived, was true, although the president of the Association did allow me to speak briefly before the meeting began in order to introduce myself, but not, it was stressed by the other officers and board members, to give a "political speech." The problem, of course, was that there was no other reason for me to introduce myself except to explain to the audience why I was there, i.e., as a candidate for the Assembly seat in the 23rd AD. Thus, besides saying "hello, my name is Stuart Mirsky," anything else I had to say would be political by definition.
Thus, I was caught in a kind of Catch-22. As soon as I said anything beyond that first sentence, the Association's officers and board members became very agitated and began murmuring their disapproval in very audible tones, causing me to feel extremely uncomfortable. Although there were many friendly and receptive faces in the audience (along with at least one person who was not), I realized, as the murmuring continued, that I was in a no-win situation and decided just to thank everyone for their time and leave the lectern.
On my way out of the meeting I was followed by two ladies, one of whom made a point of telling me she thought I was just another dirty, sleazy politician because of what I had written about my opponent (I had likened her, in a recent article in The Wave, to a medieval dragon of old sitting on a rich cash hoard, while I had hardly any campaign funds at all). Although I tried to explain to the lady that it was only a literary metaphor, not a personal attack, she was determined to construe it otherwise and nothing I could say would mollify her. I got the distinct impression she was just looking for something to slam me with and that metaphor was as good as any other pretext. Indeed, I was advised, subsequently, that this lady was actually one of my opponent's supporters. I wasn't surprised to learn that.
All in all, my visit to the Bayswater Civic Association was a very uncomfortable one for me, and this was disappointing since I grew up in Rockaway, attended Far Rockaway High School and, after I married, lived for a number of years in Wavecrest which is within walking distance. In fact, my wife and I often walked the area on Saturdays, visiting friends there, etc. I had thought I was 'coming home' when I visited the Bayswater Civic Association but instead I was treated like an unwelcome interloper and it actually hurt. I understand the Civic Association's desire not to be political but frankly I think it's a mistake not to invite candidates to present their views or give voters the opportunity to know what their options are.
I cannot force the Bayswater Civic Association to give me a platform. Nor would I. But I wish they would do so. Nothing is gained and everything is lost when we close down democracy's essential machinery and fail to develop genuine political competition.
CANDIDATE FOR ASSEMBLY
The Most Giving Couple
When I write that Barbara and Marvin Eisenstadt are the most giving couple of the Rockaways that's an understatement. The shortened version of their bio for the Chamber's Dinner Dance on October 23rd did not do them justice, the whole paper cannot begin to cover their contributions to the Rockaways, to the city and actually to the world.
Barbara is Chair of the Board of Rockaway Music & Arts Council after serving as its President for fifteen years. She envisioned and created the RMAC Fall Festival Of Music, Art & Crafts 23 years ago, an event that has become a Rockaway tradition, as well as the RMAC Sunset Picnic Concerts. Barbara delights in creating ideas and connections such as music memory of the Riverside Symphony, bringing this innovative teaching program to Rockaway schools. In addition she has been past president of Rockaway section of the National Council Of Jewish Women, and as such was responsible for sending toys, clothing and educational materials to the needy in Israel. She was President of the Friends Of Rock Hall Museum, is a board member of the Belle Harbor Garden Club and the Neponsit Property Owners Association. She is the recipient of the 100th Precinct Community Council "Community Service Award" and was also presented with the Rosemary Gunning Memorial Award for being one of the "Outstanding Women of Queens" which is a richly deserved honor, and is a wonderful title for Barbara (although she is too humble and classy to put on business cards) because she truly is an Outstanding Woman of Queens.
Not only is Marvin is the Chairman of the Board of Cumberland Packing Corp., he is Executive Vice President of Peninsula Hospital Center, President of the Maimonides Hospital Research Foundation, sponsor of the Annual Sweet'N Low Rockaway Rotary Ocean Run, Dancing Under the Stars and is a generous supporter of Rockaway Music & Arts Council and many other charities. When he was with the United States Army Medical Corp from 1954-56 he was an Instructor at the Medical Leader School in Munich Germany, received the highest academic score in the school's history and was given a medal for this achievement. Marvin was also the recipient of the 2002 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Paul Harris Fellow awarded by the Rotary Organization and the United Hospital Fund Distinguished Trustee.
In addition, Barbara and Marvin and their family have been instrumental in building Peninsula Hospital's new state of the art Emergency Room and newly opened Ambulatory Surgical Center.
Whew, I'm exhausted....thank God they are not!
ROCKAWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
She Won Her Bet
I religiously read your newspaper on a weekly basic. I must commend you for upholding your high standards of reporting.
I read the original letter Joanne Smith, Anne Lyons, Jean Fearon, Mary Ann Lane, Dolores Lyons, Leyla McAuley, Dolores Lyons and Michael O'Connors wrote to The Wave for publishing.
They put up copies of it in the laundry room of our buildings. I was disgusted and appalled that our investment rests in the hands of these eight members.
It is frightening to say the least. I believe these eight board members should resign their seats immediately and be replaced with people of integrity, decency, and some moral values. I could not help but wonder what is it beneath all of this that they are willing to stoop to that low level. If this is what we have as representatives of our business affairs we are headed for disaster. Joanne Smith as Board President took it upon herself to make the Co-op financial affairs public, for her own personal vendetta, and had seven gullible individuals follow her; so much for leadership.
It is disgraceful on the part of these board members that a newspaper company committed to selling news refused to print the original contents of that letter. I made a bet with my husband and neighbors that The Wave will not print trash and propaganda for the sake of selling newspapers. Thanks I won the bet!
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.