2007-03-23 / Letters

Deleting Miles Of Usable Road Dear Editor,

I would like to encourage my fellow Rockaway residents and the local Community Board to demand that the NYC Department of Transportation and our elected officials give us back our roads. By now it must be obvious to everyone, even the DOT, that two lanes are needed in each direction on Shore Front Parkway, Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Point Boulevard and Rockaway Freeway. In addition, the section of the Freeway that has been "permanently" closed should be reopened to traffic. It's time that we stop blaming the roads and hold drivers responsible for safe driving.

Taking away miles of valuable lanes in a community that is growing at such a rapid pace is just plain dumb. Ongoing road construction just makes this situation worse. The DOT seems to think that the universal answer to safer roads is to get rid of lanes. I strongly disagree. Single lanes are forcing otherwise safe drivers to take unnecessary risks in an attempt to move faster than the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks. Cars, trucks and buses are now forced to line up in parade formation behind the biggest, slowest vehicles. This is a formula for disaster! The DOT has turned Rockaway roads into those of a third-world country.

The creation of bicycle lanes at the expense of car lanes may be politically correct but it makes no sense whatsoever. There are many hundreds of cars trying to navigate their way east and west through Rockaway, compared to almost zero bicycles. Let's put an end to the stupid decisions that have led to this situation and get our double lane roads back before the paint is replaced by concrete. We can no longer assume that our politicians or CB 14 will protect us from a DOT gone wild. The time is now to get off our duffs and demand that the damage be undone. Surely there are more creative ways to make our roads safer without turning the transportation clock back 100 years.

RICK HORAN

Money Better Spent

Dear Editor,

Spending two million dollars for a memorial to the poor innocent souls murdered by the crash of Flight 587 (N14053) really misses the point.

To accept that the pilot used too much rudder and snapped the tail off is an admission that the plane was not designed correctly and the FAA looked the other way.

And, even accepting this, another Airbus (AA 903) experienced more lateral g forces at higher speeds and its vertical stabilizer did not fall off. Another Airbus rudder (not the whole stabilizer) came off on a flight out of Cuba with no apparent charge of excessive rudder use.

In fact had the Airbus been designed correctly the rudder would have departed long before enough force would have taken out the entire vertical stabilizer.

Two million dollars could have been better spent getting to the bottom of the cause of the accident and to force the FBI, FAA and NTSB to deal with the eye witness accounts of the plane crashing. The best theory I've read thus far is that one of the engines might have been going into a thrust reversal mode forcing the pilots to go to full power to check the decay in air speed. Thus putting so much load on the vertical stabilizer that it sheered off and causing the plane to spin like a top.

It is a shame that the FAA, FDA, USDA, FCC are all corrupted by big business at the expense of the innocent public.

I would hope that the families of those poor victims of flight 587 are not bought off by this memorial to honor their loved ones. I would hope that the Government of the Dominican Republic, the borough council of Queens and the families of those killed on flight 587 and on the ground would force the Federal Government to launch Senate hearings on how such a plane could have been certified. In the meantime I would hope that those whose lives were affected by this crash go to http://usread.com and get another point of view.

JOSPEH RENE DUPONT

Fix The 'Chopped Up' Roads

Dear Editor,

Will the builder/developer of "Ocean Colony" project between Beach 102 Street and Beach 104 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard properly repair and repave the boulevard road, which you so willfully chopped up during the construction process. It is a horror trying to navigate around such shoddy roadbed repair! Do the right thing and restore the roadbed to its original condition before you started building.

PAUL KOKKINIS

Simon Makes The Grade

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Region 5 Scholars' Academy PTA, administration, staff, parents and students, I would like to take this opportunity thank Lew Simon for correcting the dangerous and unsanitary puddle condition that existed on the corner of Beach 104 Street and Rockaway Freeway.

For over a year, we have been reporting this condition to 311. We were referred to various agencies throughout the city, none of which claimed to be the party responsible to make the necessary repairs.

This dangerous condition remained until Simon's due diligence resulted in the grading of the surface around the corner so that the water drains properly. Until his intervention, it was a source of frustration, especially during the winter when the puddle iced over and created a hazardous condition for our students. We are thankful that the proper repairs were made BEFORE a serious accident occurred.

LEE ANN CARMODY

PTA C-PRESIDENT

SCHOLARS' ACADEMY

Anti-Bush Is Not

Anti-American

Dear Editor,

Only an obedient non-thinker would attempt to equate being anti-Bush with being anti-American.

George W. Bush, the illegitimate, unelected President of the seized Washington White House and the bombed-out Baghdad Green Zone, is an enemy of the Iraq people, having murdered them by the hundreds of thousands while in the process of robbing them of their national oil assets for the benefit of Western oil companies. George W. Bush is equally an enemy of the American people, having murdered 3,300 of us while in the process of robbing the trust funds of our national Medicare and Social Security for the massive benefit of his private corporate and contractor friends.

Cretins have to be reminded that we are not a Kingdom, and no one in this country ever takes legal allegiance to the President- but rather, to the Constitution.

STEPHEN WOHL

Just Say You're Sorry

Dear Editor,

So much verbiage by the Irish Circle restaurant owners to defend admitted Board of Health violations!?! (Wave edition 3/9/07, pgs. 1 &10) Just say sorry to your patrons, close monitoring will prevent this from happening again, come one, come all and provide a free drink or discount food coupon in the next Wave edition. P.S. I go to the Irish Circle at least once a month and will continue to do so.

PAUL KOKKINIS

We Need An

Engaged Citizenry

Dear Editor,

This note follows a recent letter (The Wave, 3/16/07, Letters to the Editor) from one of your readers, who was responding to Stephen Wohl's "diatribe" that had appeared in a previous edition of The Wave. While I might not agree with most of Stephen's politics, I defend his right to say whatever he wants. The reader's point of view was hard for me to follow. On one hand she says that Stephen is privileged to speak freely in the USA, but then says, "If our democracy is not to your liking, I suggest you move to another country." Does that mean that anyone who disagrees with the government should either find a new country or keep their mouths shut? That doesn't sound like a country, or a citizenry that supports freedom of speech to me.

The reader also states incorrectly that we live in a democracy. As I'm sure she knows, the U.S. is not a democracy but a republic. This is an important distinction as it is not the people, but the politicians who actually make laws, or repeal them, which hardly every happens. Still, when it comes to stupid laws, we cannot hide behind the politicians we elect. It's not the government's fault that our liberty is being slowly legislated away. It's ours; the buck stops with us.

Today, Americans are taxed at higher rates, are more regulated and correspondingly enjoy less liberty than at any time in our history. Rather than being the world's beacon of freedom, as we once were, the U.S. now seems to be following other countries in restricting freedoms like never before. It's good that the brave men and women who gave their lives in the name of freedom will never know how we are so willing to give up the liberties they died for. At this rate the "Land of the Free" will soon be nothing more than a quaint idea.

It is our responsibility as Americans to always question the government and appreciate the price that has been paid for our freedom before we vote it away so easily. We should make sure that the politicians we elect share our values, especially those concerning individual rights. It's a proud tradition and critical if our country is to remain truly free. It's what makes us different. Although people with opposing views may frighten us or make us angry, an engaged citizenry is more likely to keep our government in check than one asleep at the wheel or afraid to speak out for fear of retribution.

RICK HORAN

Have To Protect

Our Coastal Zone

Dear Editor,

In response to the article by Miriam Rosenberg reporting on the American Dream Corp, and the Metroplex on the Atlantic site along the boardwalk between Beach 25 and 26 Streets.

This site is within the federal coastal zone boundary and is required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations established through the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972. Within this ACT under Section 1451 Congress has found that there is a national interest in the effective management, beneficial use, protection, and development of the coastal zone to the present and future well-being of the Nation. The habitat areas of the coastal zone are ecologically fragile and consequently extremely vulnerable to destruction by man's alterations. Important ecological, cultural, historic, and esthetic values in the coastal zone which are essential to the well-being of all citizens are being irretrievably damaged or lost.

Special natural and scenic characteristics are being damaged by ill-planned development that threatens these values. Global warming may result in a substantial sea level rise with serious adverse effects in the coastal zone, coastal states must anticipate and plan for such an occurrence.

The key to more effective protection and use of the land and water resources of the coastal zone is to encourage the states to exercise their full authority over the lands and waters in the coastal zone by assisting the states, in cooperation with Federal and local governments and other vitally affected interests, in developing land and water use programs for the coastal zone, including unified policies, criteria, standards, methods, and processes for dealing with land and water use decisions of more than local significance.

The CZMA Section 1452 is a national policy- to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance, the resources of the Nation's coastal zone for this and succeeding generations; to encourage and assist the states to exercise effectively their responsibilities in the coastal zone through the development and implementation of management programs to achieve wise use of the land and water resources of the coastal zone, giving full consideration to ecological, cultural, historic, and esthetic values as well as the needs for compatible economic development.

New York State Department of State and New York City Department of City Planning developed coastal management programs that were approved by the U.S Department of Commerce on September 30, 1982. New York State Coastal Management Program (CMP) and New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) have received federal financial awards since 1982 and over four Billion dollars of Environmental Protection Fund money

From the Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act to New York City to advance public access and park development, improve water quality and wetland restorations in the federal coastal zone area.

The entire Rockaway Peninsula that include 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and all of Jamaica Bay and Mott Creek are part of the federal coastal zone boundary and are federally designated Special Natural Waterfront Areas (SNWA) and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) that is to be protected from any inappropriate development under this program.

New York City's Waterfront Revitalization Program applies to all construction and development in the coastal zone area. The Department of City Planning and each permitting agency is required to have each proposed activity by an agency and individual comply and be certified consistent with Federal and State laws and regulations under the coastal management programs policies, guidelines and standards by completing a NYC WRP and NYS CMP Consistency Assessment Form (CAF) and environmental impact statements intended to mitigate any adverse impacts with all new construction.

Under the City and State management programs it is a priority to preserve, protect, develop, restore and enhance "existing" public access and visual corridors to the waterfront and public beaches that include streets and easements on private property and the 24 foot right of way that extends through the center of Metroplex site extending southerly from Seagirt Avenue to access the Atlantic Ocean.

The City and State have approved the Metroplex site which is in violation of the public access requirements as it obstructs the 24 foot right of way mapped by the city that would reduce the height, scale and density of this building from a 15-story tower.

The City and State have allowed the Metroplex 15-story 158 unit tower be self certified by the owners without compliance with environmental reviews and impact statement and consistency certifications required of new construction of 50 units or more that would reduce it to lower height, scale and density within the one story bungalow area that is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Metroplex project has not complied with local waterfront zoning laws public access and visual corridors Section 62-711 where no building permit shall be issued for zoning lots on a waterfront block included with the within a Waterfront Access Plan traversing the zoning lot that include the 24 foot right of way. It is also not exempt under Sections 62-41 and 62-42.

New York State Department of State and Department of Environmental Conservation are empowered and have enforcement authority over this project. DEC is empowered to place conditions and restrictions and mitigation measures on any activities and building structures adjacent to the DEC buffer area and include the new proposed plans by Metroplex DEC File No.R2-20060501-193 that is within the coastal zone boundary of the Rockaway Peninsula.

New York City and State have accepted the federal funds which are U.S Treasury tax dollars that are specifically intended for a public purpose under the CZMA but the laws are not being enforced by these agencies. The public purposes for new construction include the protection and preservation of existing public access to the waterfront and preservation of coastal communities through revisions in local zoning law.

RICHARD GEORGE

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