Sending A 'White Flag'
To Our Enemies
The following letter was sent to all the members of the Queens Congressional Delegation who voted for the advisory bill that would restrict the President's "Surge" of troops to Iraq. The writer is the Legislative Chairman of the Queens County American Legion.
I am truly disheartened and angered by your yea vote for H.Con.Res.63! All that those who voted for this measure have done is to send the "white flag" up the staff to all of America's, and our Allies enemies, and to terrorists worldwide!
This was a sinful expression of pure "political football". At least the Senate had the courage to see beyond political gain, and kill the measure. On several occasions, I forwarded to your office the American Legion's position paper, our "Resolution 169, The War on Terrorism". It seems as though your staff failed to review it, and/or inform you of our side of this issue. If you would like another copy, I will drop one off at your Washington, DC office on Tuesday March 6, 2007; as your American Legion constituents from Queens County, NY will be stopping by during our American Legion's Annual Washington Conference. Until then, I remain,
JOHN N. SEVERA
What's going on with the "uglification" of Surfside Houses? Initially, I was happy to see some renovations beginning here. However, as the work began to unfold, I saw that it was just unnecessary paving of the parking lot medians. The work has left patches of loose stones being used to fill gaps in the parking lot. These patches turn into a pile of mud whenever it rains. There also continues to be a huge heap of broken cement slabs and a bulldozer sitting idle in what used to be a grassy area between two of the buildings. This pile is a remnant of work done last spring.
The latest addition to the unsightly appearance of our building is a stark, institutional, prison-like fence which only subtracts from the natural beauty of our oceanfront atmosphere. The shrubs that once lined the grounds are now gone. I only hope that whoever planned this design has some intention of adding some landscaping or some other feeling of warmth.
I have seen gated-in buildings that have maintained their charm by using a suitable fence material. It can be done. Not in this case, though. I feel that the money used in all these needless repairs would have been better spent in beautifying the property with landscaping, improving the lobby, updating the laundry rooms, etc….I know I am just a "renter," but perhaps there should be some input from the tenants on such decisions?
Wave Is Wrong
On KAPPA VI
I am writing this letter in response to your editorial on local schools in the last edition of the Wave. More specifically, I would like to correct the misinformation printed on the KAPPA VI school and its staff. I would hate for your readers to take such information as truth.
On a professional level, I have worked with the KAPPA VI staff since last spring when I was hired as a school aide. I witnessed firsthand the dedication of the entire staff and faculty as they worked diligently throughout the summer preparing lesson plans, conduct codes, school policies, as well as physically setting up our new classrooms and schools.
You write in your editorial that our principal, Peter Dalton has not been in a school since he himself attended one. This is blatantly false and any small amount of investigation would clarify the matter. Mr. Dalton taught for his first year in Elizabeth Blackwell in Queens as an ELA and Social Studies teacher. He went on to teach for ten years as an ELA and math teacher at Chaminade HS in Mineola, one of the most prestigious schools on Long Island. Additionally, he attended a leadership academy where he received principal's training.
You went on to state that of our five teachers, four have no teaching experience. Again, this is untrue. We have six teachers on staff. While only one is a veteran of the NYC DOE, our math teacher was contracted for four years by the Massapequa school district, our SS teacher taught for five years privately, and our science teacher for two.
On a personal level, I am familiar with the options that parents of middle school age children have on the peninsula. I believe KAPPA VI is a fine alternative to many Rockaway middle schools. As I have worked in the education field for over five years, it is rare to find a faculty as closely knit as the one at KAPPA VI with a leadership as supportive and available for all problems and concerns. This faculty has put much time and effort into creating a positive learning environment where all students are safe, encouraged to succeed, and respected as individuals. To predict that our school is "doomed for failure" is doing a disservice to the 75 students who have been working very hard since September, as well as to our future students for whom we have high hopes.
Editors Note: The information in From The Editor's Desk came from the Department of Education. On at least five occasions over the past year, The Wave has requested an interview with the principal and has been refused on each occasion.
Rockaways Stiffed Again
It was absolutely heartbreaking to read about the chaos facing grade school children whose bus schedules were unceremoniously changed in the dead of winter. Unfortunately dealing with nightmarish travel conditions by bus isn't limited to the youngsters.
Commuters who take the N31/32 bus lines from Hempstead to Rockaway are also stuck in a similar quagmire. Service between Hempstead and Rockaway is simply deplorable, especially at night. Yet other buses going all over Long Island and Jamaica pull in and out of Hempstead Terminal at regular intervals. Passengers going to Rockaway during the evening commute are often stranded, not knowing when the next N31/32 bus may finally show up.
Once again the Rockaways are held in contempt and the need of the riders who travel back and forth from Hempstead to Rockaway are ignored.
For once it would be nice to board a bus in Hempstead without the usual hassles of lateness and overcrowding on the ride back to Rockaway. Sadly that won't happen anytime soon. As usual, when it comes to public transportation, the Rockways are stiffed again.
Go Back To The Old Days
Where are all the guns coming from? Where are they kept? When I was growing up nothing came into my mother's house that she didn't know what it was or who gave it to us. She went through our drawers to make sure that there wasn't anything in them that wasn't supposed to be there; she checked everything we had.
We have to go back to those days. Once I asked my mother why is she going through our dresser drawers; she told me when I get a job and move out that's when things can and will be private, not before. We had to work around the house. We also had to go to church, whether we wanted to or not. We respected each other, we had to wear what our parents bought us. I used to hate those big black and white shoes, but I had to wear them or go barefoot. My mother's favorite words were, "When you get grown and get a job you can buy what you want, until then put those shoes on." It was never discussed. Again we also had to eat whatever she cooked; there was never anyone saying I don't like this or that. You ate what she cooked or went to bed hungry. If we want to keep our children alive we better go back to the old days and the old laws.
'Mistreated And Abused' At Peninsula
I am writing to you regarding my visit two weeks ago to Peninsula Hospital. I was mistreated and abused over there, and I think their conduct should be exposed.
I suffer from severe scoliosis, and this disease is squeezing my bones on the right side of my spine. I have difficulty walking, and conducting every aspect of my life, but I manage to go on. I am a fighter.
In addition to my scoliosis, I have difficulty breathing. I get severe pains and numbness in my body. Just standing up is a difficult chore.
On Monday, January 29, 2007, I collapsed in my apartment. The pain was so severe, I couldn't move an inch. My four-year-old daughter, Angela, is a hero. She saved my life. She brought me the telephone and I called 911. EMS came to my apartment was going to break down the door to rescue me. However, Angela carried a chair to the door and was able to reach the lock to open the door for them. EMS brought me to Peninsula Hospital.
I felt like I was going to be in safe hands. I found out how wrong I was.
I got to the hospital weak, dizzy and about to pass out. They checked my high blood pressure and fever, and told me to register in the office.
I asked them for something to drink and eat so I wouldn't pass out.
They said they won't give me anything unless I am admitted.
The doctor came to me and asked me what was wrong. I told him about my pain, from my scoliosis, and he said there's nothing he can do to help me. He said to go to a city hospital, like Elmhurst or Long Island Jewish Hospital.
I told the doctor, "I can't move or walk." He said to go speak to the social worker.
The social worker told me to go to the Addabbo Center to get insurance.
I asked for something to eat, or at least some medication, and she denied me.
The following day I called the Department of Patient Relationship at Peninsula. I wanted to make a complaint. The lady said she was busy and she'll call me back. Two weeks have passed and she hasn't called me back.
I called her three more times and she still didn't call me!
I am looking for justice! They were abusive and mistreated me. If you saw my back and how the bones are visibly twisted, you wouldn't believe I can survive.
Even when I left the hospital, I had no way to get home. My neighbor had to come save me and I am lucky to have her take care of me and my young child.
FLORENCE ANTHOUYLA CONSTANTAKIS
Too Many Criminals
Remain On Street
It is clear from reading the many stories about crime in The Wave and in other newspapers that there is something wrong with the criminal justice system in New York State.
There are simply too many crimninals who remain on the street after they have been arrested time after time for similar crimes.
Some of them plea bargain down their charges from a more serious to a less serious crime. We have seen criminals arrested for assault and who should spend at least several years in jail plea bargain the charges to a misdemeanor harassment charge that brings time served or less. Those criminals are then back on the street to commit more assaults even before the cops who arrested them are back at the precinct from the courthouse.
Murders become assaults. Assaults become harassment. This has to stop. I undersand that the court system would beome horribly clogged if every case had to go to trial, but we have to draw the line somewhere.
Others get parole after serving the minimum number of years in prison. Parole is a humane way of handling criminals and it clears our prisons for new inmates, but the parole system has become a revolving door for criminals. In one day, serve some time, out of jail. Commit another crime, back in jail, serve time, get out, commit another crime and back in.
Too often you read about a crime and find out that the criminal was out on bail after serving a minimum sentence for a major crime such as armed robbery, murder, assault or the like. The time has come to make sure that lifetime criminals stay off the street for good.
Whatever happened to the "three strikes and you're in for life" program? That is what we need. Perhaps it would force us to build more prisons, but it would also allow us to sleep better at night, knowing that fewer criminals were wandering Rockaway streets.
All The City Wants Is Money
I was one of those people who got a ticket on Thursday, February 15 for failing to move my car on an alternate side parking day. The problem was, my car was buried in icy slush and the other side of the street (where it was legal to park on Thursday morning) was piled high with ice as well.
Now, I know that the mayor thinks that I'm lazy and a whiner, but it is clear that our billionaire leader is so out of touch with his constituents that we would all be better off if he would go to his home in Bermuda and stay there for the rest of the year.
Even though Bloomberg, under attack for not understanding the problems of the common man, rescinded the tickets given that day, it is clear that the city is interested in only one thing and that's getting revenue from citizens by giving tickets for every little thing. The city's slogan should not be "We Love New York," but "Give Us All of Your Money."
Tickets for parking too far from the curb. Tickets for garbage on the street in front of your business. Tickets for not feeding the meter for one minute while running in for a newspaper or a bottle of milk. Tickets for drinking beer on the beach. Tickets for leaving your blanket while going in for a swim. Tickets for letting your dog run on the beach. Tickets for not paying your tickets.
We pay the highest taxes of those who live in any big city in America. That is not enough for the mayor and his minions. They have to add a ticket tax.
Grab them and make them pay. That is our mayor's mantra. It has to stop.
JONATHON SWIFT 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.