2007-04-20 / Letters


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.

What's Going On In Rockaway?

Dear Editor,

With the ongoing traffic nightmare continuing throughout the Rockaway community, is it safe to ask who is running the asylum? For months now anyone driving through our peninsula has had to navigate the many mazes to get through.

Now, in the DOT's infinite wisdom, they decide to scrape and repave our two main thoroughfares at the same time. People should be fired for such incompetence. Can we ask who handles the planning for the Rockaways, because we always seem to be a day late and a dollar short?

We build hundreds of new houses, welcome numerous new neighbors and move one of our firehouses some 12 blocks to the east. This leaves the Breezy Point area through the Dayton buildings with one truck company until the next truck fighting through all the new obstacles arrives. Remember it is the second ladder company that is supposed to search and rescue the top floor. Did our community have any input in this move at all?

While on the subject of incompetence, can we transfer the ticket police officer from the Waldbaum's, Beach 116 Street area and have him patrol Cronston and Newport Avenues for speeders?

Do we have to wait for a tragedy for such a move? So it costs the city some revenue, what's more important money or lives?

These are all reasonable questions, and I would appreciate a timely answer from the powers that be. Also start asking what is happening on Beach 116 Street.

What is going into the diner's site? We should all get our heads out of the sand and start asking questions. Be careful about putting your heads in the sand because more than likely some time around June they will be closing the beaches to replenish the sand on them. Do you really think I'm kidding?


No BC Cell Tower

Dear Editor,

I'm writing this letter as a concerned resident of Broad Channel, Queens and as a parent and would appreciate it if you would consider running it.

Just recently, construction commenced at 818 Cross Bay Boulevard (a vacant lot located on the corner of East 9th Road). Department of Buildings (DOB) Job No. 402228852 was issued for this project. The permit details that the ongoing work at this site is for the purpose of constructing a one-story building to accommodate "three (3) retail stores and a telecommunications structure." Please note that the owners of this property; Mr. Joseph Porto and NYPD Police Officer Ralph Porto, of Howard Beach, attempted to erect a thirty (30) foot cell tower on the same property under Department of Buildings Permit No. 401833780 in 2005. At that time, as you may know, there was considerable community opposition to this cell tower which resulted in the Porto brothers meeting with community members, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, as well as representatives from T-Mobile.

Despite the fact that no consensus between the parties was reached at this meeting, the Portos made a public statement asserting that they were moving ahead with plans to construct the cell tower. Mr. Porto falsely stated that his decision to move ahead with this project was based on the fact that community members had been convinced that it was safer for community residents to use their cell phones because the cell phones would "...use less power trying to find a cell." Again, continued strong community opposition was required to stop this second attempt to erect the cell tower by the Portos.

Our residents began immediately working with T-Mobile in order to find an alternative placement site for their cell tower. That work continues to this day. The Cell Tower Opposition Committee of Broad Channel has worked tirelessly to identify alternate sites for T-Mobile, all of which have been denied for various reasons.

Additionally, in January of 2006 The Portos announced a new plan to place a mobile cell tower van on their vacant property until such time as a "structure, perhaps a restaurant with cell panels atop the roof" could be constructed. Although the mobile van cell tower never materialized, it is apparent from a review of the Porto's current DOB permit that they are still intent on placing a cell tower on this property despite s erious concerns and continued opposition on the part of the Broad Channel community.

This communication is to reiterate that, in the absence of any real long term (at least 20 years) studies regarding the possible health effects of cell tower radiation that the community of Broad Channel remains opposed to the placement of a cell tower in the center of our town, feet from where our children play . Surely there is a reason these items are not placed on Board of Education property.

Again, we understand that technology will not be halted and must move forward, even in Broad Channel. However, with so little data available on the long term effects of exposure to these sites, should T-Mobile be allowed to gamble with our children's health? There is so much speculation out there that no one is POSITIVE, including the representatives at T-Mobile.

Again, rather than take a NO stance, we have worked, in good faith, with T-Mobile to find them a mutually-beneficial, alternate site. Of late, we have even received the approval from a residential property owner to offer a portion of land to the erection of a cell tower. This property is located on the very northern portion of town, away from other homes, parks or schools. T-Mobile technicians surveyed the property and said that the location was even better than the Porto property.

However, never at a loss for excuses, T-Mobile cited that there are restrictions as to what they can do CHEAPLY with undeveloped residential property. As a result, their business representative has outright refused this property. It has also been communicated to the Committee that if we, as a town, do not offer an acceptable alternative, "some kind of devise" will be installed at the Porto property as soon as construction is complete. This installation would most likely coincide with the increased number of children playing at the park as the weather turns toward summer.

Our kids deserve a fair chance at a healthy life and as a parent; it is MY responsibility to see to it that my children bury ME. It should NOT be the other way around.


Gun Bill Could Harm Citizens

Dear Editor,

My heart goes out to the victims and their families of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech University. I only hope that their sorrow can serve to wake up Americans to the dangers of handguns.

I commend Mayor Bloomberg and other national mayors who have united with many local and state organizations to get illegal handguns off our streets.

Mayor Bloomberg, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and several other Ohio mayors joined last week to sign a national coalition seeking to curb illegal gun sales- Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

ProtectPolice.org is a project of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bi-partisan coalition of more than 160 mayors in more than 40 states. Mayors Against Illegal Guns is dedicated to making America's cities safer by cracking down on illegal guns.

To the Mayor's credit, he has put his money where his mouth is by co-founding the brand new campaign, designed to let the public know what the NRA (National Rifle Association) is trying to do to our police officers in Congress.

Radical NRA supporters in Congress are working hard to try and pass the Tiahrt Amendment, which would keep law enforcement officers from sharing data about where guns come from before they're used in crimes.

"Keeping illegal guns off our streets has absolutely nothing to do with the Second Amendment or the rights of lawful gun owners," Bloomberg said. "It's about enforcing the law and cracking down on criminals."

It's true, the illegal gun issue has nothing to do with the Second Amendment and everything to do with law enforcement. Mayors have the direct responsibility to protect their communities and the police officers who put their lives on the line every day.

This means working to keep guns out of the hands of criminals; imposing tough punishments on those who sell and possess illegal guns; and ensuring that police officers have the tools they need, including critical gun trace data, to do their jobs effectively. Illegal guns are firearms that are sold, bought, transferred, possessed, or used in violation of existing federal, state and local laws, usually by those who already have criminal records.

The Tiahrt Amendment is a provision that NRA-supported Congress members have tucked into federal spending bills that restricts cities and police from accessing and using Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) trace data from guns recovered in crimes.

The Tiahrt Amendment restricts local governments from accessing the ATF gun trace data they need in order to understand and address the citywide and regional gun crime trends. So the amendment seriously limits the ability of cities to access their own crime gun data.

The Tiahrt Amendment prevents local governments and police from accessing ATF gun trace data from areas outside its geographic jurisdiction, greatly undermining regional efforts to control gun crime.

Cincinnati Mayor Mallory said, "Public safety is a regional issue that requires a united response…Criminals do not recognize municipal boundaries, and we need to make sure that our efforts do not stop at our individual borders either."

The Tiahrt Amendment blocks trace data from being used as evidence in any state or local civil action- even a gun dealer license revocation.

The Tiahrt Amendment also stops ATF from publishing reports that use gun trace data to analyze nationwide gun trafficking patterns.

"Plain and simple, we are trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," Bloomberg said. "Those criminals are killing our children and killing our police officers and it's just got to stop."

Therefore, I enthusiastically support the Mayor's campaign and ask that everyone reading this visit www.policeprotect.org and add your voice and assistance to the noble efforts to protect us all.


Rise Up Broad Channel!

Dear Editor,

We call it "the wedge." It's a well known football term that most seven year olds playing Broad Channel Football can do a decent job of describing to you.

It has connotations off the gridiron as well. To drive a wedge. To create a gap. To open up some space for maneuvering. For our purpose here we'll talk of a little wedge of property between the Broad Channel Athletic Club and the American Legion Hall.

The BCAC has been dealing with the AL for many years now concerning this little wedge of property. Many past Commanders of The Post have got to be ashamed or rolling over in their graves at the recent actions of the current AL heads.

Some of these past Commanders came back from overseas with the shrapnel and bullets of their enemies still carried within their bodies. These guys would never have sold out the children of this town under ANY circumstance. I know because I have spoken to some of them. I'm afraid these types of men are a dying breed. It's a shame.

The current leadership has made a habit of screwing the children of this town. The wedge of property was made available to the American Legion to try and procure when the land sales were in their infancy stages.

St. Virgilius, knowing it was bailing on the community soon, looked to dump the land to the highest bidder, and chose the Almighty Dollar over the communities long term interests. The AL jumped right on board (for what or how much no one will say), and remained not so mysteriously "neutral" while the Knights Of Columbus A.K.A. Okie Corporation tried to rape our town.

The AC won in court, bought their land, secured a future for sports in a town rich in sport history, and that was that. Okie Dokey?? Well- apparently not.

The American Legion leaders have held a huge grudge ever since the spoils of an "Okie Dopey" deal were lost. They have taken to the task of suing the BCAC for that wedge they lost due to their so called "neutral" stance at the time. Okie? You with me so far? The AC bought it. The AC owns it. But it was the last remaining corridor connecting them to the leased portions of parking lot. AHHHH hindsight. It's always 20/20.

"If we get back the wedge we can get back some of the leased land as well, but how?- -we'll sue the kids."

It's a major league long-shot and they know it. But that grudge, that wedge they created, has grown deeper and more unpredictable. So they are hoping that a lawsuit will bankrupt the BCAC and force them to fold.

Most of the current leadership in the American Legion has no relative children playing sports in Broad Channel. Hell, some are NOT even from Broad Channel. Why should they care? They will continue to force the AC to divert uniform, referee, equipment, maintenance, and tax dollars toward a law suit that for the life of me, I can't see them having a chance to win.

But that won't stop them from trying. It's a vendetta, a jealous rage, they lost something more than the property. They lost FACE. Well the AC will not fold. As long as the residents of this town are aware of what's going on here we will continue to fight. The children are worth it.

I implore all true BC residents to help the AC as we go on the offensive. Support them in any way you can. We will win. Justice will prevail once again with your help.


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