2007-02-02 / Letters


Where Is Far Rockaway?

Dear Editor,

I searched the pictures you have on your website. I typed in Far Rockaway and the miles between said area and Rockaway I saw maybe five pictures of the town. Where is Far Rockaway?

The pictures you took were not of Far Rockaway. I am shocked that a newspaper that covers the Rockaways can not section the difference of the two. You do but only the bad part of it not the good.

The website shows the beach more than anything else. Where are the schools? (I do mean Far Rock) Where are the churches and restaurants that keep you guys in business?

Where are the local shops and stores that sell your papers? Where are the libraries and post offices that we use? They are not found in any of your pictures!

When the news comes to town after something happens there...It's shown with no problem.

Why the bad and not the good as well?

What about the local teams playing in the parks and beach areas?

What about the local programs we have for jobs and health plans?

What about covering Far Rockaway Day and it's festivities?

What about the sun shining in Far Rockaway?

I refuse to buy another paper from your company until I see other pictures of the town nearest to 878 highway, Surrounding St. Johns & Peninsula Hospital, Or the business located on Beach 20 Street and so on that provide for the residents of said town.

The Police and Fire Stations are not even shown unless something is afoot!

If I wanted to show where Far Rockaway is and what it looked like...

I could not use your paper!!!


American Memory Lapse

Dear Editor,

The memory lapses of the American public are truly amazing. After the announcement of the recent Chinese missile test, in which an orbiting satellite was hit, I waited for the mention of Loral. Loral was the company headed by Bernard Schwartz which illegally supplied missile technology to China, and was let off the hook by an executive order by then President W.J. Clinton. By the way, Schwartz was the single largest donor to W.J. Clinton's Presidential campaign. The fishy odor of this deal never went away, and in 2002, Loral was fined 14 million dollars for violations of the Arms Export Control Act.

Now that we have been put on notice that China can knock down satellites necessary to our defense, please remember to thank William Jefferson Clinton, co-President ( remember buy one get one free) Hillary Rodham, and Bernard Schwartz, who never did a day's time in jail for betraying his country while buying it's president.


Tenure Protects

Academic Freedom

Dear Editor,

Every so often voices are heard denigrating and attacking professional tenure in education. Mayor Bloomberg has again raised the specter of tenure, as the bane of American education. There are those who would have the public believe that tenure is a shield behind which incompetents hide to preserve their positions. Although there probably are instances of individuals abusing or incorrectly being granted tenure, one might wonder how those teachers, who have abused the protections of tenure, have qualities and characteristics that went undetected by administrators and supervisors in the three years prior to the granting of tenure.

The Mayor wants to make the acquisition of tenure much more difficult. He wants principals and administrators to use such items as test results in making recommendations about tenure for specific staff. Those of us in education for many years know very well that examinations and student performance are often determined and affected by factors and variables well beyond the control of individual teachers. The granting of tenure to teachers based upon such criteria as examinations, etc. is the result of incorrect thinking that would have people accept that teaching and learning can never be mutually exclusive. Those, who would wave tenure as a carrot in front of teachers to be obtained on the basis of test scores, etc. would achieve the result of politicizing and demeaning the true nature of tenure. Recent successful attempts to eliminate tenure by estoppel have had the effect if intimidating all teachers on the brink of receiving tenure even though they may have nothing in their record of probation that would justify the denial of tenure. An administrator, who did not do his job well for two years and ten months, can now deny tenure on a whim. How does this improve the educational system?

Most importantly, Mayor Bloomberg and his supporters have not addressed the true importance of tenure. It is not a sanctuary for incompetent teachers. After three years, incompetent teachers are present in the system because of incompetent management. Tenure is a sanctuary for academic freedom and creativity. Democracies built on human rights and livery cannot exist without academic freedom. Academic freedom cannot exist without tenure. One need not go any further than Socrates and ancient Athens. Socrates taught his students to think and seek the truth and to question the statements of others and particularly the government. Although Athens was the birthplace of democracy, its precarious existence prevented the development of a policy predicated on equality for all and the protection of free speech and liberty. Hence, it did not have tenure and Socrates went the way of creative and free-thinking teachers similarly situated. Those who could not beat the prospect of teachers encouraging their students to question and create did not provide a defense for such teachers. They did not provide tenure and academic freedom came much later for western civilization.

Individuals who would like to eliminate or restrict the granting of tenure must have their motives closely examined. There have been school districts that developed reputations for not granting tenure as a device for eliminating staff for economic reasons. Even if this is not the thought of those who originate attacks on tenure, it can be the modus operandi of those who ultimately lead the opposition to tenure.

In any case, those who would deny or restrict tenure and manipulate its acquisition by teachers go a long way to achieving the goals sought by fascism of the 1930's.


Keep Funeral Home

Out Of Arverne

Dear Editor,

I am sending this letter in reference to a funeral home that is to open its doors for business in mid-February 2007. Due to the size of the building, it is impossible for anyone to operate there as a funeral home properly.

The building is located at 72-02 Gouveneur Avenue, Arverne. The building is at the corner of Beach 72 Street and Gouveneur Avenue. Many neighbors are very concerned about this matter and have already signed a petition to keep the business out of the community.

Several concerns have come to my attention. One is for the community's health. The other is the proper disposal of used fluids, because, when we get heavy rain, the drainage system is a problem in the area. Water backs up and there is an overflow in the streets.

We do have issues to be considered.


March Brings Police and Residents Together

The following letter was sent to New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly from Councilmember James Sanders Jr.

Dear Commissioner Kelly,

On January 15, 2007, in the spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 200 of my Far Rockaway neighbors and constituents, along with clergy, local business owners and my staff and volunteers, participated with me as I led the March For Life against youth violence in Far Rockaway. The march began in front of Redfern Housing Developments on Hassock Street, and continued along Beach Channel Drive for 90 blocks to Hammels Housing Developments in Far Rockaway. Every step of the way there were officers from the 101 Precinct led by Commanding Officer Captain Brian P. McMahon.

Your officers, under the charge of Captain McMahon, displayed every aspect of the NYPD's CPR slogan. The officers were extremely courteous, professional and respectful. There is not one incident that can be reported as to have taken place during the duration of the march, related to any of the participants. The officers reminded my constituents of the fact that the NYPD is here to protect and serve. With the upsurge in violent youth deaths in the 31st district over the past few months, along with the shooting death of Sean Bell, police and community relations in the Rockaways has been wearing thin. The march showed curious passersby as well as the rest of the city who watched it on the news over the next several days, the possibility of a bond between police and community residents that has been long overdue. Officers interacted with participants in a humanistic way, and my neighbors appreciated being able to express themselves freely in a comfortably, non-hostile environment.

Commissioner Kelly, I applaud the officers of the 101st Precinct for all their work and I feel it necessary to inform you when members of your department live up to the expectations of their uniform. When New York City Police Officers do what is required of them and beyond their job description, it must be made known to my constituents, yourself and the media. When officers abuse their authority and don't adhere to the principles of CPR, I also feel that it must be brought to your attention privately. It is when matters continue to go unaddressed and unanswered for, that I will make these things known publicly, just as I do the good.


Very Concerned About

New Funeral Home

Dear Editor,

I'm writing this letter in response to the property at 72-02 Gouverneur Avenue. As a concerned neighbor I understand that a new owner is going to use the property as a funeral home. I'm concerned because of the chemicals and the fumes that will be involved because of the use of this property. I'm also concerned about the size of the building and its ventilation. There are a number of children in the area who may be exposed to different diseases.

I would like to ask that the proper authorities get involved and investigate. I'm concerned also about the sewage in our area which does not function properly.


Must Be Having

A Nightmare

Dear Editor,

Someone please tell me I am dreaming. Rockaway Beach Boulevard is now closed from Beach 69 Street to Beach 73 Street.

This is in addition to the Rockaway Freeway closures from Beach 59 to Beach 67 and the permanent Freeway closures, from Beach 74 to Beach 77 Streets. Add in all the construction happening on Beach Channel Drive and you complete the nightmare that has become Rockaway's roads. It can't be just me that sees how dangerous this situation is.

Let's just say, God forbid, that some kind of disaster, be natural (tsunami) or man-made (terrorist strike), were to happen. Exactly how do they plan to evacuate the peninsula? Do you really think all the people living on, or in the vicinity of, Shore Front Parkway will want to spend any time stuck in traffic on a bridge with a Tsunami bearing down on them? Ok, disaster too extreme for you? What if a water main were to break near Beach Channel Drive? Now how do we get around? With virtually all traffic now diverted to the Drive, what will the response time be for our emergency services? How many people are going to die now because EMS crews couldn't get to them quick enough?

I understand how important the work on the boulevard is, but lets use at least a slight bit of common sense here. When you need to do this kind of work on a major artery like this, the sensible thing to do is build a temporary road around the work being done. A temporary road through the lots on the south side of the boulevard is the obvious answer because the shopping center on the north side of the boulevard is scheduled to start construction in the spring. However, the land on the south side is now being built up to prepare for the new houses that will eventually occupy that area. Who exactly are the idiots that are planning and scheduling the work on Arverne by the Sea (ABTS)?


More Problems At PS 225

Dear Editor,

In the letter from Kathy Patrylo in the 1/19 issue of The Wave some occurrences at PS 225 were mentioned.

My grandchild is in first grade at this school. She came home in mid- November stating she had milk thrown at her in the lunchroom. In mid-December, she and another six-year-old went to the restroom without adult supervision. A third grader held the door to the stall so she could not get out. My grandchild does not feel safe in this school. I went to the school after the first instance and spoke to her teacher, an assistant principal and the principal. I asked the assistant principal how many children are in the lunchroom in one period. She said approximately 90. How many aides? Approximately eight.

I then talked to the principal and asked the same questions. He said there are approximately 90 children in the lunchroom and approximately another 90 children in the school yard. Eight aides for both groups??? I was also told by the principal that three first graders were responsible for the disruption in the lunchroom???

The bathroom event was confirmed by the other first grader who was sent to the restroom with her. My grandchild does not feel safe in this school.

My daughter was never informed about a meeting with the PTA. Just before Christmas vacation I was told by the assistant principal she was going to send out a letter to the parents asking for suggestions and a meeting where these incidents and other ones could be discussed. My daughter never got a letter if it was ever written.

There are other things that make me wonder what is going on.

My main concern is my granddaughter does not feel safe in this school and I am sure she is not the only child with this feeling.


Tied Up In Knots

Dear Editor,

I work at Peninsula Hospital on Beach 51 Street. At 7:30 a.m. each morning, Monday through Friday, I leave my home on Beach 120 Street and drive my daughter to the Scholars Academy on Beach 103 Street and then my trek begins. A ride that should only take 10 minutes, because of all of the new construction and street work and the fact that more people now live here have turned our roads into the "Ho Chi Min Trail."

When I made the decision to work closer to home, "lack of commute" was my deciding factor. However, at present the "A" train is looking better than the roads east of Beach 98 Street, hence my decision was not such a good one.

The stress of trying to navigate and traverse each day around all of the construction, closed roads, and detours is quite harrowing, and very dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers.

All of the roads east of Beach 98 Street are being worked on. If road crews are not laying pipes, they are blocking the roads off half way or completely, and there is no escape. All of this new construction brings more people to the Rockaway peninsula, and the experience of urbanization is very unsettling.

There is double and triple the amount of commuters going east to west each morning and the reverse in the evening. The traffic lights, lack of turn signals and narrow roads make it impossible to navigate. You are stuck in no less than a mile-long line of traffic with one traffic light (that is at Beach 60-something Street). Add the construction on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Beach Channel Drive, Arverne Boulevard and the fact that you can no longer drive under the El- because Rockaway Freeway has blockades set up every few blocks-this is a very dangerous situation and it is getting worse.

I am looking to The Wave to do a story, one that will be ongoing and hold the responsible agencies accountable and will be present to view firsthand exactly what is going on. Please use photos and follow-up with our government representatives, too. We need to be involved here. This is our community and the developers are ruining everything here.

There have been several bad traffic accidents, one this morning and it's not getting any better. The construction crews are working during "RUSH HOUR" creating very perilous situations. People will die, it's just a matter of time. Please dispatch someone during the morning hours of 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and if you feel you do not have enough footage, return for the evening "RUSH HOME." You will not be disappointed.


A Republican's Take

On Bush

Dear Editor,

Will it take 35 years and his death for George Bush to be rightly regarded for his singular and bold leadership?

Like the under-appreciated Harry Truman 55 years before, this President has been dealt a pretty tough hand and - like Harry Truman, it seems to me - Bush leads boldly and brilliantly! Seven examples, if you have a moment to read on.

In only his ninth Presidential month Bush's world - no, the whole world's world - changed: a decade's peace dividend immediately had to be reinvested, and the entire federal apparatus reorganized. Not since "Wild Bill" Donovan, George Marshall and President Truman transformed WWII's OSS into the CIA has such a fundamental shift in "intel-ops" been undertaken.

Expeditionary forces, all voluntary, have since been sent to the world's most remote regions to root out terror and topple the Taliban and Mid-East authoritarianism...massive, history-bending undertakings.

Domestically and only 90 days into his Presidency, Wall Street's famed irrational exuberance ended, ultimately whisking billions of U.S. dollars off the balance sheets of America's corporations and sucking millions of U.S. dollars out of the savings accounts of all of us. The NASDAQ fell 83.5%; not since the Great Crash of '29 when the Dow fell 90% have U.S. equities been so decimated.

In his fifth year, devastation unseen since the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake struck our major port city, New Orleans. Not for a hundred years had a U.S. city sustained such damage.

In his third year Bush engineered Medicare's greatest single expansion since LBJ, doubling Elder Care management as we know it. Retiree medications are now covered by Part D, Medicare.

Signed 12 months into his administration, No Child Left Behind now prods every rural, suburban and urban American school to do better...a George Bush and Ted Kennedy innovation.

The President also sought transformational Social Security reform, but the country isn't ready.

To right these wrongs, overcome these disasters, re-vamp the federal government and destroy terrorism, Bush chose unconventional financing. He engineered the lowering of America's taxes, not raising 'em...putting his faith in American entrepreneurial-ship. He adopted, in essence, the Target and Wal-Mart strategy of charging less to make more.

To pay for these extraordinary "events"...the $600 billion (and counting) for Afghanistan and Iraq, the $100 billion to rebuild New Orleans, the annual $100 billion to our 44 million retired adults for drugs, the $84 billion per year for our schools, all this in the face of a crumbling Stock Market...the nation's deficit immediately ballooned to the extraordinary $360 billion. Presently, though, Treasury's tax revenues are flowing at record levels, up 15% in '05, up 12% in '06 and now up 9% (so far) in '07. Mirroring the long-term success of Target & Wal-Mart, our deficit (down 50% already) is slimming down far faster than Rosie O'Donnell ever will. Despite the vile, irrational and insane efforts of a lunatic fringe, the U.S. economy's heart beats strong, not only resiliently pounding for 300 million Americans but also, through our trade deficits, supporting the nascent economies of Asia and the world.

Contemporaneously, President Truman was mocked and viciously satirized by the "papers" as the failed Kansas City haberdasher who, only through fate's failed hand, succeeded to the U.S. Presidency. One newspaper, so weary of Truman and so sure ole Tom Dewey should and would win the '48 election, ran the wrong election-day headline and still pays for it. Much, much later, retired (but unbowed) on his front porch in Independence, "Give 'em Hell" Harry was better remembered for firing the nation's famed and brilliant General Douglas MacArthur; implementing the Marshall Plan to restore European prosperity; saving Greece and Turkey from communism; first among world leaders to recognize Israel; backing Egypt against Britain and France in the Suez affair and dropping "the bomb."

By year's end, 2007 will have proven to be a great year for freedom loving peoples worldwide. Certainly and clearly, America's can-do pragmatism and in-bred optimism are presently severely tested by the slog in Iraq. "War," Clemenceau reminded his peers, "is a series of catastrophes that lead to victory." On the financial front, with each succeeding $1/barrel decline in crude oil, OPEC's annual revenues fall $9.9 Billion. Year to date (thru Friday evening, Jan 19th), crude's decline has already resulted in $90 billion less this year for the Wassabi-loving Saudis, Hezbollah-supporting Iranians and freedom-hating President Chavez...good news for even our French friends!!! Pinched financially, attacked ferociously by U.S. and Allied forces and drained emotionally, Mid-East terror is on the decline.

Our lives and our futures are in awesome debt to America's 150,000 presently-serving troops; hundreds of thousands of Gulf veterans; 23,000 wounded warriors; the tragic and heroic 3,000 who will never return to their wives and husbands (among them a Rockaway hero) and the wisdom and faith-in-America of George W. Bush...


911 Breach At 'Empowerment School'

Dear Editor,

On December 18, 2006 while working as a School Aide at MS 53 Queens here in Far Rockaway, I had an asthma attack. I immediately began to seek medical help from the school nurse, Maureen, who treated me for an asthma attack a week prior to this one. That asthma attack was so aggressive the nurse had to give me two treatments with the Nebulizer to assist my breathing. After seeing that I was in respiratory distress, she called 911 EMS. The ambulance arrived and transported me to St. John's Emergency room.

This incident on December 18 was seriously elevated. The nurse realized that my condition had become extremely acute and she said to Beverly (the school health aide), we must call an ambulance.

Mr. Monereau, principal, heard Nurse Maureen say she was going to call the ambulance. Mr. Monereau gave the nurse a direct order not to call 911. He said you will not call any damn [sic] ambulance to my school. I jumped off the examining table after hearing this and said to him, If you don't let the nurse call an ambulance, I'm calling one on my cell phone.

Mr. Monereau threatened me that if I called the ambulance he would write me up for insubordination. And then he said I will send you to the hospital by taxi cab. I'm instructing you not to leave the building until the cab arrives, and I will send Ms. Osario with you as an escort.

I arrived at St. John's Emergency room in acute asthma exacerbated. The condition was as such that I was admitted and at times the physicians felt they would have to incubate me to enhance my breathing.I was admitted to the hospital from December 18 and discharged December 24. I would like to underscore both the magnitude and the impact the denial of my right to receive emergency medical services at the onset of this life-threatening emergency has had on me.

Imagine this: if trained and skilled Emergency Medical Service Technicians were allowed to be dispatched to the school to provide pre-hospital emergency care, i.e. oxygen and I.V., and transported me by ambulance under medical supervision to the hospital, my condition would not have elevated to acute respiratory distress.

Now take a close look at this possibility, if this had been a child, would we be looking at another Shawn Martinez, who died as a result of a school nurse not calling 911 (see Daily News, January 10, 2007). Parents here in Far Rockaway must begin to investigate what type of principal has been trusted with the responsibility of their children in Mr. Monereau's school.

Chancellor Regulation A-412 clearly says "that school staffers must call 911 in a medical emergency." My medical emergency was equally critical as Shawn Martinez's; unfortunately he died. Fortunately I lived to tell the world that too much power in the wrong hands can and has been dangerous and fatal.

While Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein recently revealed yet another school reform initiative, it took the death of Shawn Martinez to remind the principals of one, if not the most important, regulation that could have saved Shawn's life, and prevented me from the same potential result.

In this case we are talking about a man who runs his school like a totalitarian state, and treats women in particular with disdain and disrespect. Parents need to ask their child about this man's behavior.

Mr. Monereau is always exulting that his school is now an Empowerment School, but no one has the power to tell him what to do.



The Animal Hospital

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the doctors and staff of the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways for the care and compassion shown to us during our cat's serious illness.

While we had used the hospital for well visits for our dog, we had never seen any of the doctors for illness or an emergency. When we first brought in our nine-year-old cat because of significant weight loss, we were told that his condition appeared grave. Test results confirmed that he had a serious liver problem and after discussing all options with the doctors we decided to try and treat the illness as best as we could with medication.

I was particularly impressed with the concern both Dr. Juris and Dr. Simon showed us at the time. Both called us at home to discuss the matter at length, explaining as best they could the cat's condition. Knowing that we had never experienced such a sick pet, they were especially kind and attentive to our needs.

The cat's heath grew progressively worse and we soon realized that we had to euthanize him to alleviate his suffering. The outstanding kindness of the entire staff helped ease the pain of this difficult decision. As soon as we entered the hospital we were escorted to a room where we could say our good-byes in private. We were given as much time as we needed, both before and after the procedure, to spend time with Manolo. Dr. Juris and the rest of the staff treated us with overwhelming kindness and respected our highly emotional state. We thank them so much for providing comfort and sensitivity for us and our dearly loved cat.

We presently have one cat and a dog that are happy and healthy and we wouldn't consider having any other animal hospital treat them. We encourage all pet owners who want outstanding and compassionate treatment for themselves and their pets to do the same.


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.

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Cudos are in order for Pete Stubben for his defence of President Bush! And to the Wave for publishing his remarks.
Cudos also to Mary Whelan of Florida for her letter re Maryanne Brown/Ford (first week, Feb.)

One would think, after more than 10 yrs of requesting her father's belongings, this woman would hand over Bill Leonard's personal papers,and other effects. This woman did send Tom Leonard his father's collectors plates last fall, in a thousand pieces, which was devistating. This did NOT occur in the post office. This was a malicious act on her part. She also gave my son Bill Leonard a pair of his father's shoes.

Perhaps the only way to resolve this is for his surviving spouse, and court ordered executor of his estate, me, visit Maryanne Brown/Ford at her home, with a police escort, to recover my husband's property. His children, brother and sister deserve to have these memories of their father and brother. Most are not valuable items, but are priceless to his family.

Margaret A. Leonard
West Babylon, NY

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