2006-12-22 / Editorial/Opinion

Letters

What A Change In Rockaway Dear Editor,

What a change! After 15 years living down south, I moved back to Rockaway Park. Every night when we get off the subway, from the old Palm Gardens to Beach 119 Street, petty drug dealers and drug addicts have approached us on almost every block. I thought they hired 14 additional police officers.

BETTY JAMEs

Thanks For The Lights

Dear Editor,

I want to thank everyone who have made our neighborhood so beautiful.  Thank you!

As I’ve driven around the west end of Rockaway I have been astonished at how beautiful all the houses look decorated for the holidays.  It seems to me that this year the level of care that has gone into the decorations is just unparalleled.  For those of you who haven’t taken an “after dark” drive through the neighborhood...  please do! 

Take the kids... drive slowly. The decorated houses on each block are just simply deLIGHTful and a joy to behold.

To all of you who have invested time and money to make your houses so much fun to look at this holiday season... a great big THANK YOU.  

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Blessed Yule, Bright Kwanza...   

ASH MILLS

Thanks For Diabetes Awareness Day Coverage

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your coverage of the Diabetes Awareness Day at St. Rose of Lima Church. Your many photos reflected the numerous individuals and institutions that worked together to get information on diabetes directly to the community.

Our students were so excited to make the paper. They have been involved in several events this term, and they are always surprised at how welcomed they are. They have no idea how their willingness and enthusiasm gives a boost to us older, jaded, cynical types.

We currently have 50 Nursing Assistant students, who will take the NYS C.N.A. certification exam in June. They attend three double periods a week in the classroom/lab, and two clinical sessions a week, either with me in Bishop MacLean Nursing Home, or at Rockaway Care with the other instructor. Many of the students have taken the SAT’s and are arranging financing for degrees as RNs, Rehab Therapists, or other health-related positions.

After seeing their photo in your paper, I felt I had to write you as I recently put up a bulletin board display for the Health Careers Department called “Then and Now.” We used old “mimeograph” forms, commencement programs and write-ups and photos from The Wave that I had unearthed from a dusty filing cabinet. It showed the changes from 1979 through the 80’s and 90’s to now.

The Health Careers staff is proud of what the current program has to offer, and are also committed to getting better every year.

Thank you for your honorable mention, and I do look for our students in the future at other health care events in the community.

DIANA O’NEILL, MS, FNP

What’s With

Today’s Politicians?

Dear Editor,

During this past election year as we were bombarded with negative after negative campaign ads, my young son asked me, “Dad, don’t any of these people want to tell us something good they want to do for us?” All I could answer was, “I guess not son, but it must be a great gig to throw around so much dirt to get the job.”

I then started to look into why candidates would do anything this side of murder to get elected. One huge reason might be the fact that our Congress has just voted itself a new pension. Upon serving one term in office they receive $15,000 per month, yes per month. That’s $180,000 a year for the rest of their lives; you do the math. Their health care is second to none. They don’t pay a dime but have access to the best doctors in the country. Wouldn’t it be nice to become ill and get taken to George Washington University Hospital and receive no bill? I guess you’re starting to get the idea. 

These are United States Congressmen and Congresswomen who we elect to govern our country. Did you know that over 80 of them have been arrested for drunk driving?  There are numerous cases of spousal abuse, arrests for fraud, writing bad checks, shoplifting, assault, and drug charges. Over 100 Congressmen have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least two businesses. There are over 50 who cannot get credit cards. These are the people who are governing our country. Who is watching our political leaders?

A little closer to home we have our City Council, a group that has just voted themselves a 25 percent pay hike for a part-time job. Do you know how long it takes for a police or fireman to get a 25 percent raise?

They also want to end term limits, something the voters have voted on twice. We should not have to vote on this subject again, case closed. Did I mention the fact that they are working a part-time job? For the amount of money the council is being paid now they should have to work full-time. If you want to keep your old job, resign!

This leads me to the case of running for another position while holding another. With so many council members coming to the end of their terms they will be running for all kinds of seats from Borough Presidents to Assembly members to State Senators. This is wonderful; most of them are now experienced politicians. But, if you want to run for another office then forfeit your current position. Why should we be paying you to campaign for another office? How much work are you going to accomplish while running all over the city seeking a new position. This should apply to any politician whether it be Hillary, Chuck, Mike and yes, even Anthony.

  Let’s look at our local politicians. Coney Island is booming, Howard Beach is looking good, but what about Rockaway. We can’t get lifeguards for our beaches. Do we need another $1 store on 116th Street? Our population is growing by the thousands but we are closing lanes on our avenues. Our only diner closes, we lose parking spaces on our main shopping street. Where’s the pool we were promised starting when Schumer was our Congressman. It is time to spruce up Rockaway. I don’t want to badmouth Anthony, Joe and Audrey because they have done some good for Rockaway. But it’s time to step it up a notch.

 PALMER DOYLE

A Word Of Caution

On The Dunes

Dear Editor,

Being a resident of Belle Harbor on the beach block, I have taken an interest in the exchange of arguments created by a group of well-intentioned but misguided local residents who seek to have the removal of dunes on several of the blocks in the upper Belle Harbor and lower Neponsit areas.

In the first instance, I would like to point out that the peninsula at one time was covered with dunes from the ocean to the bay before the area was settled. Believe it or not, those dunes continued to exist, on what we call the beach, as late as the 40’s and early 50’s, which I remember covered many blocks in the upper Belle Harbor and Neponsit beaches. What I am trying to say is that the dunes have always been there. The dunes are not new to this community and, in fact, are part of nature’s landscape. It was and still is nature’s way of protecting the beaches from the constant and devastating erosion of the ocean.

Of more concern is the argument utilized by those who seek to remove the dunes that their removal will increase and/or assist public access to the beaches. Unfortunately, these arguments are sure to arouse those individuals, groups, organizations and possibly even city departments who would seek to assist public access by changing or diminishing the parking regulations that all of us not only need to enjoy the beaches ourselves but also hope to maintain so that we can avoid the disaster that would occur if we had the parking regulations changed, especially in the summer months. This is true particularly in the non-beach blocks, which would suffer the most since the beach blocks would not be affected because of the necessity of present regulations which were created in order to facilitate access to the buildings in those blocks by the Fire Department.

So, just word of caution to those of you that seek to remove the dunes, that this might lead others to seek changes in the parking regulations which has been the subject of their interest for many years. Believe me, there are an awful lot of people out there, including an editor of this newspaper, who are desirous of changing our parking regulations. This should be kept in mind as you press along with the lawsuit which to me is without merit and hopefully will not succeed.

WILLIAM F. LAFFAN JR. ESQ.

Intervention Needed At Local Precinct

The following letter was sent to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly from Dr. Timothy F. Rohrs of Sands Point Physical Therapy.

Dear Commissioner Raymond Kelly,

I am writing to you to voice my deep displeasure with your officers of the 100th Precinct. I have worked in Rockaway Park since April 2000. During those six years I have come to expect less and less of our local police.

In 2000, my paycheck was stolen off my desk. The officers who responded took no action and advised that I call the owner to cancel the check and issue a new one. I called our security company to check the record to see if there was an alarm event. No alarm event, but someone did deactivate the alarm at approximately 3:30 a.m. I called the precinct again to let them know that in fact the person who stole my pay was either a former employee or a cleaning staff member, since a code was used to deactivate the alarm system. Nothing they could do, I was told by the officers. That same day I received a call from a check cashing facility in Inwood, saying that they had a gentleman there who was trying to cash my check, but had no ID. I called the precinct, again, and their response was, “By the time we get there, he will be long gone.” I went to the check cashing place and spoke to their manager. They had a videotape of the person trying to cash my check. I took the tape, went home and downloaded it into my computer, cleaned up and brightened the video and put it on a new VHS tape. After alerting the police to my endeavors, they asked, “Did you recognize the man?” I did not, and they replied that there was nothing they could do. Perhaps the officers could call my boss and show him the tape. Maybe pretend that they cared. No such luck.

Currently, I own a physical therapy practice on Beach 102 Street. Our intersection is two blocks north of Beach Channel High School and is within walking distance to MS 180. For the past year and a half we have had a problem with school kids throwing rocks at our office windows. Almost three days out of every week between 2:45 and 3:15 p.m. there are rocks thrown at our windows. Five out of seven windows on the west side of the building either have holes in them or are cracked. All told, I have called 911 and the 100th Precinct about 12 times. On the occasions when I made the mistake of calling the precinct I waited approximately 45 minutes for a car to respond and on two occasions no car ever responded. Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I observed the kids throwing rocks, followed them down Rockaway Freeway and called police on my cell phone. No response that day either. The most recent incident was this past Wednesday when a new hole was put in my office window the size of a grapefruit. While I was treating patients, the police arrived in our parking lot and I sent my receptionist out to talk to them. Not only would they not even bother to come in the building, but they would not fill out a report since, “They cannot catch the kids doing it.”

The NYC Police Department’s mission states it “is to enhance the quality of life in our City by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide a safe environment.” It is these very quality of life issues that can make or break the lives of NYC residents. It is hard to imagine what success the police might have fighting terrorism or catching murderers when they cannot even bring themselves to catch some teenagers. We know where the rocks are being thrown and the 30-minute time window when they will throw them, but I guess that case is too hard to solve for our police. I would even feel better if they could muster the enthusiasm to write up the incident or to even walk into our office; there are no stairs to climb! I heard on the radio just yesterday that crime was down in NYC. I wonder if that statistic is more of a result of police officers not even filing reports.

Rockaway is experiencing a renaissance. With 2,300 new homes at Arverne by the Sea and condominiums sprouting up like so many weeds, I feel sad for those who are investing their hard-earned dollars to move to a community where the police seem not to care. At this point I am reluctant to call the police, knowing that I will be met with apathy. At my home I am reluctant to call for police assistance, but for another reason. When I call 911 at home, the Nassau County police respond with two to three cars, an ambulance and sometimes volunteer firemen who heard the call on the scanner and I am embarrassed by the commotion. In Rockaway, I hesitate because I fear no one will show up or care if they do show up.

I know this may seem like a trivial matter to some. First and foremost, it puts my patients’ health in danger. If a five by six foot plate glass window shatters and falls on someone, serious injury will result. I do not think it is too much to ask to put a car for 30 minutes at that intersection. Or perhaps a crossing guard since it is so heavily used by both schools. But those actions would be initiated by someone who cares.

I beg you to intervene, not only to stop this vandalism, but to instill some sense of motivation in our officers. Our community deserves better.

DR. TIMOTHY ROHRS, PT, DPT

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.

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