2006-11-17 / Letters



In the November 3 edition of The Wave, we ran a story about the Rockaway Theatre Company that was accompanied by an erroneous Headline. The Headline, "RAA Going To The Dogs," should have read "RTC Going To The Dogs." We apologize for any embarrassment this might have caused either Rockaway Theatre Company (RTC) or the Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA).

Some Thoughts

On Recent Events

Dear Editor,

Weiner states "I won by a wide margin," even though he ran unopposed. Perhaps he thought he could get away with it since many people did not vote that line at all, and he may have assumed people did not vote. His other famous quote was "Belle Harbor is a community of small bungalows" even though he represents that community.

I hope when he runs for Mayor the city will not be fooled by another stupid politician.

I would also like to thank the police officers who responded to the call to stop the egg throwers in Broad Channel. I would have been happy to see them on my block when eggs were thrown. I'm very sorry for the insults they had to endure while doing their job.



Going To Dogs

Dear Editor,

This letter concerns a very upsetting error made in an article submitted to you for publication in the Nov. 3 edition of your newspaper. While The RTC is always appreciative when you publish press releases involving the activities of our organization, we feel that incredibly careless errors like the one made in the headline of this article represent extremely poor journalism and are extremely detrimental to the events we are trying to promote. The headline on the article submitted to you read "R.T.C. has gone to the Dogs" While, in your usual style, you did not bother to edit any grammatical errors or typos in the article, you did feel the need to change the headline to "R.A.A. has gone to the Dogs". As this is the third time in my memory that you have felt the need to credit The Rockaway Artist Alliance with the newsworthy activities of The Rockaway Theatre Company, I feel that it is necessary to introduce my organization.

The Rockaway Theatre Company Inc. is a not-for- profit registered cultural organization which produces plays in our theater at Fort Tilden, runs acting workshops for children in all age groups, and participates in various community outreach activities such as: Performing in senior centers, at the Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting Ceremony and Breakfast with Santa, at the annual Night out Against Crime, at the Little North Pole Tree Lighting, The Peninsula Hospital Gala and the Gateway USO Show at Floyd Bennett Field. We will soon be celebrating our tenth anniversary as an active cultural arts organization housed on Fort Tilden serving the Rockaway Community with excellent community theatre. Other than being partners with other cultural and athletic organizations at Gateway N.R.A., we are in no way affiliated with The Rockaway Artist's Alliance, a point which we have made very clear on more than one occasion, but which you have evidently chosen to ignore.

The RTC has the distinction of being the only Gateway Partner Group obviously unworthy of having a Wave reporter cover or review any of its events. For this reason, as Publicity Manager for the RTC, I am forced to create my own press releases accompanied by photos taken by members of our staff and send them to you periodically. When any of these submissions actually find their way into your paper we are most beholden to you as without them, the RTC would receive no coverage in The Wave whatsoever. While I am cognizant of space limitations and therefore, always give permission for these articles to be cut or edited as needed, I have never given any permission to have our organization's name linked with, or substituted for, that of the RAA.

I would like to remind you that the RTC is an organization which places a great deal of advertising with The Wave on a regular basis. I am certain that you will find our advertising budget far exceeds that of your friends at the RAA. We presently are loathe to curtail our advertisement in your paper for two reasons: One, The Wave, is not only "Rockaway's Hometown Paper" it is Rockaway's only paper. Two, our representative, Marilyn Kohn, has always done a fine job for us and does not deserve to lose her commission. Marilyn also attends all of our plays, (an activity which is obviously far too onerous for The Wave's Managing Editor). However, if incidents like this one continue, we will be forced to cut back on our advertisement. We do have a very large following and a very large mailing list. If we must, we will continue to inform our constituency by mail and to advertise in Brooklyn, mainland Queens and in the Breezy Point News.

What you did to our article is appalling and unforgivable. The article involved a once a year benefit event which is extremely important to our organization and to me, personally, as the event is named for my late sister. It may surprise you to know that there are a great many people, here in Rockaway, who scan your newspaper looking for articles involving the RTC. These readers, having no interest whatsoever in RAA events, glanced at the headline and went right by the article. The decision not to use even one of the photos that I sent with the article was certainly your prerogative. However, your negligence in the headline caused us to lose revenue which was to be donated, in its entirety, to North Shore Animal League America, an organization which, at my request, placed a paid ad of its own in your paper that week, hoping for placement on the same page as our article. It was especially embarrassing when the Director of Offsite Activities for North Shore Animal League called because she was unable to find the aforementioned article in the paper.

I find it to be of special significance that as a result of your personal determination that the Rockaway Artist's Alliance is the only organization in Fort Tilden, you have forgotten our existence on three different occasions, yet, when the RAA placed an ad for a benefit performance at our theater, your advertising department conveniently managed to forget who the RAA is and to send the bill to The RTC... Oops! Interesting that when it comes to collecting money our organization finally achieves a place of prominence, above that of the RAA, at The Wave..

As The Rockaway Theatre Company, Inc. begins its tenth season, we would like you to be aware that our members (all of whom receive no salary) work extremely hard, on a purely voluntary basis, to provide entertainment and affordable theatre to the Rockaway Community. We are quite proud of our reputation which has already exceeded that of many community theatres in existence for twenty or thirty years. I hope we will never find that a letter such as this is warranted in the future. I conclude with a line from the song "Fame" which is the finale of our present musical, Salute to the Cinema: "I'm gonna live forever, Baby REMEMBER MY NAME"


Wave Wrong On D's And R's

Dear Editor,

Last week, Rockaway's Wave discharged her civic duties on Page 4 with candidate information & political endorsements for the up-coming elections.

Unfortunately, The Wave editor disregarded such things as ethics, competence & commitment to a better New York. Paramount to this editor, though, was the D after the candidate's name. All - not most, but ALL - candidates with a D were endorsed... all candidates tagged with an R were not.

The candidate explanations were perfunctory - at best - not sincere evaluations, it seems to me. Five endorsement examples might be illustrative...

For NY State Comptroller: This office manages NY's $100+ Billions in pension funds. The incumbent & present-day candidate was recently found to have his hand in the cookie jar in an identical offense for which he was reprimanded 4 years ago while serving then as NY City Comptroller. This candidate has been disowned by his own party & even the New York Times endorsed the opponent, a 24-year fiduciary & comptroller of upstate Counties, who is President of the NY State Association of County Treasurers, and a member of the National Association of County Treasurers. No matter, though, about credentials or competence or ethics for the Wave editor...the disowned & reprimanded candidate has a D after his name and is therefore endorsed.

For NY State Attorney General: If you needed a good lawyer - God Forbid - would you hire a hard-driving 20-year professional attorney or a government bureaucrat? The government guy in this AG election is an attorney, but has never practiced in the courtroom, but endorsed by this newspaper simply because - well, you know - because he carries a D after his name & his surname resounds with the letter D.

For State Assembly, the 31st District: The Wave regularly runs front-page headlines on the crime and gangs and drugs and violence of this district. The incumbent & present-day candidate often regrets the violence but rarely offers cutting-edge or hard-nosed solutions. Could anyone do less? On the one hand, The Wave commits reporters to cover the violence of this district, but displays no interest to even investigate the political races of this district...the editor freely admits he didn't even know the opponent was running until 14 days ago. Oh, and by the way, the incumbent is a D & therefore endorsed by The Wave for - according to their own records - doin' nothin'.

For State Senate, the 10th District: This is very interesting. The Wave professes no knowledge of either candidate, but endorses one of them. Guess which one, the one with the D or the one with the R?

For State Assembly, the 23rd District: The challenger in this race attended Far Rock High School and has lived on the Peninsula for over thirty years. The challenger also writes a bi-weekly column in this newspaper. Yet, yet, The Wave warns readers the challenger is an 'outsider'! The Wave further warns readers the challenger supports the President's foreign policies (Irak, as our soldiers recently pointed out to Jon Carry), as if NY's State Assembly will soon be declaring war or making peace with our foes on the eastern flank, you know, Connecticut & Massachusetts. On other pages of this newspaper the editor laments the State's dysfunctional legislature and the need for reform & transparency; but on this page he endorses the candidate who most represents these weaknesses and warns readers against the challenger seeking & campaigning for these very same reforms.

In short, and crudely paraphrasing the Wave's editor....(1) Like the boys at Enron, vote for the sticky-fingered Treasurer...(2) Don't vote for the 20-year professional prosecutor, because she's tainted - you know - with a philandering husband (oops, I shouldn't have said that)...and, (3) Don't vote for a local, thoughtful Rockaway boy because he's an 'outsider' and he might rattle the cages of those 2,000 pound gorillas in Albany.

I'm preparing & sending this too-long note before election results come in, so I have no idea who wins or loses these races. But I do know that for Wave readers who seek some sound & honest & frank judgments, I think they'd be better off reading this paper's movie critic than their managing editor.



An Ancient Symbol

Dear Editor,

Emil Lucev asks for the reason a "Nazi swastika" appears on the faade of the old Brighton Beach Bathhouse. The symbol exists in a number of different forms and is quite ancient, even predating the Egyptian Ankh.

It is found in many cultures including Greek, Indian, Japanese and Chinese. It has been found on the walls of caves in France as well as on pottery found in the ruins of Troy. The symbol has been used by Native American Indians (including the Hopi, Zuni, and Pottawatomie) for thousands of years as a symbol of good luck and long life. It represents good luck in the Hindu and Buddhist religions.

Hitler adopted the symbol for his infamous movement's flag in 1920 at the Salzburg Congress. He chose red for the Nazi social movement, white for its nationalistic theories and the swastika (representing a forward moving wheel) for the ultimate victory of the Nazis over "sub-humans" (read "Jews" in particular) and a Nazi work ethic. Because of its identification with the Nazi party the symbol will always have a hated meaning. But its use on the bathhouse was obviously not Nazi in character since the bathhouse was in existence before WWI and the Nazi movement in Germany. Most likely it was used in its original meaning for thousands of years: good luck and long life. In fact since the swastika appeared in many similar forms perhaps it is not broken at all. The photo is not, as Mr. Lucev writes, "out of its time sync."

There are, however, blatant discrepancies in the photograph; something that caught my eye immediately, before I saw the swastika, and I thought it was what Emil was asking the reader to spot. Note the shadows on the bathhouse. Light appears to come from the left, but the shadows of the swastika are obviously due to light from the right! The building on the left of the bathhouse seems to be a line drawing added to the photograph...a poor drawing at that. Note the three towers. The two left towers are not in perspective as the top lines do not meet at the same vanishing points as the roof. The right tower is way out of perspective with its top lines being horizontal. The figures (whose shadows also indicate a light source form the left) in front of the drawing are photographs making the image appear like those very early Max Fleisher movie cartoons with live action and drawings. Then, too, the curved shadow on the lower left of the bathhouse does not seem to be cast from anything in the photo. Even the "drawn" building would have cast a straight-lined shadow, but it couldn't because it appears to be set behind the plane of the bathhouse and would not have cast any shadow at all.

Now here's a thought for all you conspiracy theorists to contemplate: Based on this analysis is it possible the swastika was added to the photo (not the actual building) during or after WWII for some reason? Prior to computers and photo fakery it was still possible to add or alter photos. For the WWII generation, remember the famous Betty Grable photo all the GIs loved. You know the one with her tush facing the viewer. Did you know it was touched up so its, to put it mildly, "separation" did not show!


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.

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.

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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