2007-01-26 / Letters


PS 225 Principal Must Go Dear Editor,

We are loving parents who unfortunately, because of zoning, have to send our daughter to PS 225. We were always warned not to send her to this school, just lie like some parents who have businesses on Beach 116 Street, change your address and send her to PS 114 because PS 225 principal Mr. Matthew ("I Don't Care") Melchiorre has no idea how to run a school and anything violent goes without any discipline. We see for ourselves now everyday.

First we would like Mr. Melchiorre to address these questions…why do pre-teens eat lunch with 5, 6, and 7 year-olds? Why do the lunch aides talk to each other all period like they're on a break? Why do children get assaulted outside at recess and have to go inside to get a lunch aide for help? Why is it too cold for the children to line up outside in the morning and wait for teachers but two hours later when it's still cold they let the kids play outside? Why do staff members never see an incident when it occurs? Why is there no supervision? Why do victims suffer over and over again? Why do bullies have excuses made for their behavior by staff members? Why does the back door stay open at dismissal without an adult who's seen as an authority figure? Why should children who are forced to attend school be afraid to tell the staff members problems they are having because they're like strangers? Why don't staff members acknowledge children when they see them in the hallways? Children must be comfortable talking to adults and not feel like they're being ignored. Why do they say hi or good morning when kids are with their parents? Why be a phony?

Fellow parents this is for you…has anyone ever tried to talk to the principal? Did he walk as he talked as if you were annoying him? Did he just refer you to the assistant principal or another school employee? Did he have a look on his face as if he were thinking, Why are you asking me for help I'm only the principal? Did he ever admit that he knew about an incident that occurred in his school? Does he ever do anything to deserve the check he gets from the Department of Education? Hopefully PS 225 won't turn into an empowerment school. If so there will be no stopping this principal from having more power to destroy this school.

We know some of you other parents think like we do, that you wish that your kids attend a school where the teachers, assistant principals and, most importantly, the principal cares, and they those people both protected and taught 0ur children. Our daughter learned more at home than at school. Department of Education: Where's our check?

If parents want to make a difference and want PS 225 to change, please call Rita Geramita ( district superintendent) at 718-642-5844.


Roadblock Rage

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to vent my frustration with the driving situation leaving and returning to Rockaway. It has become progressively worse, with each new day bringing new closures and detours- in particular, coming from and going to Far Rockaway and the Five Towns.

To begin, the roadway under the El is now closed from approximately Beach 73 Street to the 60's. That in itself leads to congestion on the other roads, which run parallel to it. Edgemere Avenue and Beach Channel Drive have become severely backlogged, with each of them having one lane and long traffic lights.

Once I finally reach the area where Beach Channel Drive meets Rockaway Beach Blvd (the road behind Peninsula Hospital), I feel as if I'm in the clear- only to find another detour bringing me back to the Drive. The way home has become equally frustrating.

I have become used to the detour from Rockaway Freeway, which brings me back to Edgemere Avenue. But tonight, just as I reached Edgemere Ave, I was surprised to see yet another detour. That road is now blocked off between approximately Beach 67 and Beach 73 Streets.

This brought me right back to the Rockaway Freeway, from which I had just been re-routed a block before!!

These details are tricky to explain, but for those of you who deal with it daily as I do- you know what I'm talking about. I think the problem stems from multiple building projects going on simultaneously. I am in favor of building up Rockaway, I just wish there was some better planning and coordination of these multiple projects. It is not fair to block off two of our major roadways leaving the peninsula. Roadwork should be staggered, and better coordinated. In addition to being frustrating, it also leads to unsafe driving. I see many drivers using bike lanes in an attempt to move forward in the traffic jams. This often leads to them re-entering the main lane, cutting off buses, only exacerbating the situation for everyone. I must allow at least an extra 30 minutes each morning to deal with this craziness, and be semi-punctual for work.

I know commuting is a part of life, but I just get frustrated when I see the problems that poor planning and lack of forethought can create. All those who are experiencing any of this frustration, please speak up. If nothing else, it feels good to commiserate.


A Rare Bird, Indeed

Dear Editor:

I read with fascination Emil Lucev's report of the rare novelacycloneamu flightless bird related to the Ialanthsemu.

Indeed, it is found throughout the peninsula, but is quite familiar to those who live in Brooklyn. In fact it is referred to in Betty Smith's 1943 novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn . One of its kind lives in front of the main character's (Francie Nolan) home.

It is commonly found in fields and near buildings being a very prolific species. As the photo shows it has the ability to devour cyclone fences among other objects. Perhaps The Wave can print photos of this organism, sent in by readers, devouring various objects.


The Most Inept President

Dear Editor,

Jimmy Carter the "most ineffective President" in the history of the United States a moniker that certainly will outlive the peanut grower from Georgia.

There are many things Carter will be remembered for but none of them useful or enhancing our beloved country.

Despite his pro-Arab disposition he was kicked around by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini and was unable to secure the release of the hostages and consequently the botched attempt to rescue the captives. One would assume that Mr. Carter would have learned from his mistakes; that it not possible to deal with religious fanatics of this sort, yet he still meddles in foreign policy, an area that he so miserably failed during his presidency.

He always was, and still is, peddling the Arab line, and shows an unabated anti-Israel stance that is a family trait. Did anyone forget Jimmy Carter's brother "Billy Beer" Carter who got a hefty sum of $250,000 from Libya? When questioned why he is siding with the Arabs, Billy Carter responded, because "there are more Arabians than Jews." Until this day Jimmy Carter brings discredit to the United States with his Globe-trotting and loose mouth.

During Carter's early presidency I was in Israel with my family sightseeing on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives. We encountered a young Arab that was offering rides on his donkey to kids for a small remuneration. As he was placing my grandson on the donkey, I asked the name of the donkey to which he replied with a big grin "the name of the ass is Jimmy Carter".

Now I have a question. What did this young Arab ass [sic] keeper know that eluded the American people, who elected this peanut farmer to the highest office of the land and the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee to pick this inept person and to award him the coveted Nobel Prize?


Rockaway Has

Suffered Enough

Dear Editor,

Haven't the Rockaways suffered enough at the hands of commercial and industrial business being allowed to build their empires upon the borders of the residences that have existed long before the concrete company, oil company, the City sanitation, the developers and now the latest, funeral parlors of the area. Yet with the overdevelopment of the beachfronts, which have displaced many of the animals who migrate back and forth between the beach area and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the city has forgotten to upgrade the schools, transportation and hospitals with all of the money they have collected making allowances for these businesses.

This funeral parlor that is supposed to open its doors on Beach 72 Street, not even a block from the Jamaica Bay, will have formaldehyde on the premises. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. It causes cancer. It will contaminate the land, the ground water and the Bay. We will be living in the next Superfund Clean Up Site. It will be similar to the decade when Kennedy Airport had to clean up the PCB's that were dumped into Jamaica Bay, when the Bay was closed to fishing and recreational activities. It's a shame. Rockaway should be known for its beautiful beaches, its spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Instead it will be known as the next Love Canal, a historic case of environmental contamination in Upstate New York.

It seems as if the city will allow anyone to build anything, open any type of business, as long as they can afford to pay a variance fee. After all, where else can you attend school next to a sewer treatment plant (Scholars' Academy/JHS 180 and Beach Channel High School).

Well look at it this way, at least when you pass on, the formaldehyde that you have ingested through the air and water will preserve your remains. It will be one less charge for your family to have to pay for your funeral expense.


Co-Op Boards Need Privacy

Dear Editor,

A bill, Intro 119, to require co-ops to give reasons for rejection of applicants is being considered by the City Council. While some applicants might like to have a written explanation of reasons for rejection, such a requirement would complicate the responsibilities of volunteer co-op boards.

Few New Yorkers, including co-op residents, are familiar with the role of effective co-op boards. Approval of applicants, unlike applicants for department store credit, is not primarily based on credit scores alone. Credit scores are now available to the general public, while the credit reports obtained by co-ops are confidential and may not be disclosed to applicants.

When considering an application for co-op, board members are more in the position of a parent who is meeting their teenager's new friends than a credit bureau approving new credit cards.

Board members must decide if they want the applicants to live in the apartment above or below them or their neighbors, share their garage, elevator and washing machine. Will they dispose of their trash and recycling properly, play loud music and will they be able to pay their monthly carrying charges?

As Secretary and now President of Shoreview Co-op in the Bayswater section of Far Rockaway since 1974, we have dealt with scores of applications. Most of the rejections were actually by banks and mortgage companies who deny credit to applicants who received our approval.

Due to our responsibility to protect the confidentiality of applicants, we cannot cite specific cases. A recent application involved a person who did not have a social security number and was not a legal resident of the U.S. While our Board did not want to become involved in the potential problems of this family, we do not want to create a written document which could be used to harm this family. Other applicants have been rejected when they withheld information about past financial problems or appeared to be investors looking for a profit rather than a home for their family.

Board members may consider factors including the personality of the applicants, their ability to handle future family and financial obligations, compatibility with neighbors and willingness to share in the responsibilities of maintaining the co-op. Like members of a jury, board members can vote their conscience without having to give a written explanation.

We are a former FHA 213 Co-op which was assisted by the U.S. Government to provide housing for returning World War II vets. While all the vets are gone, we welcome applications for affordable housing at reasonable prices from families of all ethnic groups.

If the City Council is looking for ways of assisting our co-op and our applicants, they can reduce our rising real estate taxes, control the rising insurance rates for buildings near the ocean and make low cost mortgages available to qualified applicants. We would be happy to review our application procedures with members of the City Council and testify at any public hearings on this subject.


Overhaul In State Government Practices

Dear Editor,

In a recent excellent editorial, you wrote that Governor Spitzer has pledged to "overhaul" state government, but that it would have to be "more than rhetoric if the legislature is to be responsive to the people rather than the will of the lobbyists."

The most important reforms needed to achieve this goal are to change the campaign finance and lobbying systems.

There are reasons the energy industry in New York State has, since 1999, given some $3 million dollars in campaign contributions and spent almost $10 million in lobbying expenses. El Paso Energy Company, for example, after applying for a permit to continue to dump waste water into the Hudson River without a review of environmental effects, gave the New York State Republican Committee $10,000. The permit was approved.

During the same time period, pharmaceutical companies spent $2.6 million in campaign contributions and $8.1 million for lobbying; they succeeded in blocking a bill that would have created a system of bulk purchasing of pharmaceuticals.

There are supposed to be limits to the amount a donor can contribute to a political candidate, but a gaping loophole allows any one person to control many companies and make separate contributions from each. Thus, a candidate can (and in the past elections some did) receive more than half a million dollars from just a few- or even one- individual.

The solution is public campaign financing, a system already adopted in Maine, Arizona and Connecticut. Governor Spitzer has indicated that he supports this path and as citizens and voters, we must call on our legislators to support him in this most important "overhaul" of all.


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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