2007-02-09 / Letters


Thanks PHC

Dear Editor,

My brother, age 47, was taken by ambulance on New Years Day to Peninsula General Hospital's ER in a severe state of dehydration, delirium and immobility. The ER staff immediately began treatment to stabilize him. When he was admitted the attending physician prescribed 24-hour observation until his vital signs returned to normal. One week later he was released, with follow-up instructions for physical and neurological therapy.

We, his family and friends, are grateful for the compassionate, professional and attentive care both my brother and indeed, all of us received at Peninsula General. Having lived in Manhattan the majority of my life, I have seen first hand the treatment that patients receive in many larger and more renowned hospitals, both public and private. While all hospitals have their positives and negatives, Peninsula General stands tall with the rest. It is comforting to know that such a fine institution as Peninsula General Hospital exists in the Rockaways.


Pay Gang Members

To Give Up Guns

Dear Editor,

I'm a social worker at a mental health facility in Rockaway who primarily works with gang members and I'm very concerned about the "incentives" that the NYPD are putting in place to reduce the number of guns on the streets of Rockaway.

Specifically, I'm worried about the incentive that offers $1,000 to anyone who notifies the police of someone who has an illegal gun and leads to that person's arrest. I am very, very concerned about this because I strongly believe that it could very well result in many naive and innocent people being murdered. Nothing is ever confidential "on the streets" and someone, somewhere, is going to find out who "snitched."

Once that happens, that person and quite possibly their family will be a target for being murdered by an associate of the arrested person. Personally, I think a human life is worth a hell of a lot more than $1,000. I know that mine is!

I think there IS a way to reduce gun violence but my idea would never be approved. I think anyone who turns in an illegal gun themselves should be given $1,000, no questions asked. That WOULD get illegal guns off the street and one less gun on the streets means one less gun that could be used.



Learned All The Words

Dear Editor,

All the recent incidents and letters sent in to The Wave about PS 225 prompted me to add my own account of my granddaughter's experience attending that school in her Kindergarten class. The school year started off great! She was excited about attending and anxious to learn.

Fast forward a few months later, and she is reporting to her parents that there are a couple of kids in her class who call her names and throw things at her and threaten to hurt her or her parents on a daily basis. She now says she hates her life and hates school. She confided in her Aunt that she knows the "B" word, the "F" word and the "C" word. She is quickly losing her innocence and she is only five years old!

I heard of an incident from the parent of a boy in the 1st grade who said her son was beat up and had his pants removed! Where were the teachers? Where were the paras when this went on? There has to be a serious lack of supervision for this kind of activity to go on. This boy will probably be traumatized for life from this incident. These bullies are not held responsible for their actions and there are no consequences so they continue to act out. At the very least, the parents of these bullies should be called in to address this issue and their children suspended from the school until they learn to behave properly. It is not fair to the rest of the student population who are just trying to get an education.

When my son and daughter-in-law contacted the school about my granddaughter's experience and their options for possibly transferring her to another school, she was told that "these things happen in school and that in order for her to get a safety variance, her daughter would have to first be physically hurt". Well, these things SHOULD NOT happen in school and, naturally, they do not want to wait for her to get hurt before taking any action. The choices available to them are to pull her out of the school and enroll her in Catholic school or sell their house and move to Belle Harbor so she can enroll in PS 114. Either one of those options will cost them a small fortune.

The students at PS 225 deserve a safe environment to learn. The safety issue needs to be addressed at this school immediately. Parents should be able to send their children to the local school in their district and be assured of their safety. I don't know if my son and daughter-in-law are going to stick it out and wait for change to happen at this school but it needs to happen regardless, before it's too late and a more serious incident occurs, or parents start removing their children in droves.


Thanks To The

Rockaway Community!

Dear Editor,

On December 29, 2006, my husband, Jim Kelly, collapsed in St. Francis de Sales Church. Thanks to parishioner Mary Briody, who called 911, the firefighters arrived promptly and took care of Jim. They took him outside to the waiting EMS ambulance. Words cannot express our appreciation to Msgr. Brown, St. Francis de Sales pastor, Maryanne Ford and the firefighters who were so caring and compassionate to Jim and me.

When Dr. David Lichtenstein was contacted, he immediately called Peninsula Hospital ER so that when Jim and I arrived, Director Vicky Backus had the bed ready. Jim and I were impressed with the professionalism of the doctors, nurses and aides in the ER. We want the Rockaway community to know that we are blessed to live among such wonderful people.


Why Can't We Have

A Better School?

I am writing in response to all the letters about PS 225. My question is why is it not just as good as school at PS 114? Some letters suggest it is the parents and some suggest it is the administration, and then some suggest the students themselves. Are there ever meetings at the school to address any of these concerns? I am not yet a mother, (7 weeks) but in 5 years I want a public school available to my children in my district. I see all the effort that parents go through to get their kids into PS 114. Maybe all this energy in trying to manipulate the situation should go into making PS 225 better. From everything I hear parents at PS 114 could be classified as "too involved" (if there is such a thing).

What makes "Uptown" better? Why is PS 225 not filled with all of the building kids. Are we busing in children that are out of the district?

If so, why? This is our public school zone. Why can't we be as good if not better then PS 114? Don't we all want the best for our children? How is anyone addressing any of these issues? Parents and Administration must be on the same page before anything can change. I believe blaming one person is definitely not the answer. I am willing to do my part as a future parent now. Let your voices be heard now.


A Scary, Disastrous

School Bus Ride

Dear Editor,

The following letter was sent to Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg,

On Monday, January 22, 2007, our children who attend P.S. 47 Q, located at 9 Powers Road, Broad Channel, were given notices (copy of one enclosed) that their school bus route would be changing.

When we inquired from our present bus driver about the changes, because the two bus numbers listed did not match our present bus number we had assigned to our children. (Present bus - Q2722, new numbers Q2731 (a.m.) and Q9722 (p.m.). He said like the parents he heard on the news that the bus routes would be changing, but that is all the bus company or its drivers knew. In fact, according to the News Media, the bus companies were not given notification until Thursday, January 25th, 2007 of the changes.

On Friday, January, 26, our present bus driver of Atlantic Express, bus number Q2722, told us that starting Monday he would no longer be picking up our children in the morning for school, that he would only be bringing them home in the afternoon. Since we figured that the Board of Education had made this decision in the best interest of our children, we would wait and see how it works.

On Monday morning January 29, 2007 as stated on the paper, the new bus number Q2731 arrived to pick up our children. It turned out to be the most disastrous and scariest rides our children ever had to take.

The following is a summary of what transpired.

The bus driver who arrived was from Grandpa Bus Inc., not Atlantic Express.

The bus driver did not speak any English at all, only fluent Spanish, (which is illegal, people in public service are required to speak English.)

He did not know any of the stops or the route in order to pick up the children, He was not even familiar with the streets of Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park or Broad Channel.

When he finally managed to pick up one student, that student had to point and show him where the stops were in order to pick up the other students. Even the ones that get on the bus before this student. They had to back track, in order to get the other students.

After picking up the students located from Beach 73 Street thru Beach 95 Street, the driver made a crazy turn, stating that he was taking them to the school. The students, had to convince him and show him where the other students that needed to be picked up from Beach 95 Street thru Beach 116 Street were located. Even then he still passed up a few stops, leaving the children to find other means of transportation to school.

Finally, after all the pick ups, the children directed him toward the Cross Bay Veteran's Memorial Bridge located between Cross Bay Boulevard and Beach 95th Street, the bridge that the students have been taking every day since entering P.S. #47 Q. When the children tried to tell him to go over the bridge to the school, his only answer to them was NO - "Pay Money". Luckily, one of the students spoke Spanish, and translated for the older students. The driver stated, that he had no money, or EZ Pass to pay the bridge toll, and that he needed to try and drive through the local streets into the Far Rockaway raceway and Five Towns area of Nassau County where he was familiar with the streets, and knew how to get to Broad Channel that way without having to pay any tolls.

Once again lucky for the students one of them managed to call their mother, who immediately came to the bus and gave the driver her own money to take the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, and get the children to school. They arrived at the school late, scared, and crying, but at least they arrived.

I know that cell phones in schools are banned and not tolerated, but, in this emergency situation, I am one of the grateful mothers to any student on this bus this week that carries a cell phone. My own children included.

Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg, how can you justify removing and switching our present bus driver who has been working for more than 10 years on this familiar route, as saving money, while assigning a new bus driver unfamiliar with the area, to drive around helplessly, burning gasoline as the best choice for the interest of the children and budget, plus the damage to the environment with the extra idling and emissions.

Atlantic Express has been driving our children to and from P.S. #47 Q, for over 11 years daily both in the morning and again home in the afternoon. No only is this particular bus driver, the best driver to us, but all the children just love him. He knows each child by their name, he listened to their stories about school each day just like he was their dad. He even sometimes, if he can, attend their school plays, dance recitals and events. He even plays Santa on his break time for the younger students in the school. When the weather is inclement or he can not park the bus at the drop off location safely, he will walk the students to the school in order to make sure that they arrived safely, he does not just drop them off and go. We the parents feel very confident in him and we never have to worry or wonder if our children are in good hands.

We would like to propose a very easy, perfect solution to this problem that would not affect any other bus companies or routes except for the two stated.

Atlantic Express Inc. Bus #Q2722 has been reassigned to bring students to a Yeshiva located on Beach 9th Street in Far Raceway to school in the morning. Since that bus driver we have now been assigned from Grandpa's Bus Inc. Bus #Q2731 is familiar with the Far Rockaway and Five Town's area as he himself stated, let them switch routes. Give us back our original driver, and let the other driver do the Yeshiva.


Clinton Should Resign

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this time to wish all those politicians who have decided to run for president the best of luck. One candidate in particular though I would like to ask to resign. Senator Hillary Clinton is going to be very, very busy visiting Iowa, New Hampshire, California, etc. to properly represent New York. With such important topics on our burner now such as Iraq, health issues from 9-11, funding for anti-terrorist programs, education, well you get the picture; we want somebody with us 24/7.

This is not too much to ask from our elected senator. Clinton should have been fair and never run for office knowing that she had bigger plans. It's been a pleasure knowing her, but it's time to show her the exit sign and set up the special election.

There are two other things I would like to cover, one being the construction work being done on the roads through Rockaway and two, the city hall grilling of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Who in their right mind planned the roadwork through Rockaway?

Have they any kind of a degree in planning? How would we follow our evacuation signs in case of a disaster, eenie meeney miney mo? Can we please find out who is responsible so everyone who has suffered through this maze can call and blast them on the phone? What's our next plan, close the ocean come May for sand replenishment? Don't laugh, anything is possible down here.

What was Christine Quinn thinking when she held that grilling of our police commissioner in front of her Council. I guess she feels they have to earn their newfound wealth. There are better ways to spend the council's time and Kelly's time then to make him accountable to the likes of Charles Barron and Helen Foster. They happen to be two of the most racist politicians you could ever meet. Any council member with an ounce of integrity should have excused themselves as soon as either one of them started on Kelly. What a disgrace.

Last but not least, a thank you to Janet Fash (we miss you around here) and Dan Mundy for telling it like it is regarding our lifeguard situation.


Greed And Hidden Agendas

Dear Editor,

I am very leery of going so quickly into Rezoning for Rockaway Park. All the "R" designations are confusing. Would like to hear from others for some clarification as to what they really mean for the community, in particular, the blanket R3X Zone.

Whenever rezoning is called for, I know that greed or hidden agenda is often the main motivator. These are not parking meters, but people we are talking about, and the changing dollar value of people's homes. Where have Paul Graziano and the "Associated Cultural Resources Consultants" been? We could have used some advice, before all of the apartment complex developments sprang up helter-skelter all over the Rockaways: that was the time for "civic planning."

The Wave says, "If the Department of City Planning certifies the application it begins the lengthy and public Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP)."

"ULURP" sounds an awful lot like "USURP."


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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While Maryanne Ford was praised by the Kelly's, in reality she should be ashamed of herself for her behavior following my father's death. Ten years later, she still refuses to release his personal belongings and family heirlooms to his children. She is not a good Christian, and going to church every week does not make you a good Christian. Her mental instability and previous criminal record are no excuse for her behavior. She and her family should be embarrassed. She does not know the meaning of the words caring and compassionate.

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