2007-05-11 / Editorial/Opinion


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.

Two Role Models In Community Have Passed

Dear Editor,

Recently, I was informed of the deaths of Sylvia Rogoff and Dr. Gerald Zweifler. My thoughts and prayers are with the Rogoff and Zweifler families.

I will always remember Sylvia Rogoff as a soft-spoken, elegant woman. Every September, Sylvia was there to help Sam with the children's school supplies in the famous Rogoff's store on Beach 116 Street. On that first day of school, I was always impressed with how Sylvia and Sam always had time to chat with me. People were important to them. Sylvia and Sam Rogoff were role models to me of how true love endures throughout the years!

Dr. Gerald Zweifler was my dentist for several years. He was not only skilled in his profession but had a great sense of humor. I always came out of his office laughing.

I remember how Mrs. Zweifler surprised her husband with a trip to Paris. She worked with the staff to reschedule appointments and arrived at Dr. Zweifler's office at 8600 Shore Front Parkway in a limousine with her husband's luggage and whisked him off to Kennedy Airport bound for Paris. What a great love story! Dr. Zweifler was a role model to me- live, love each day and see the humor in everyday life.


Let God Be Judge And Jury

Dear Editor,

I have lived on Beach 124th Street for 33 years. I have seen people come and go on the block. I have seen changes of homes and property being done. The one thing that has never changed though is the one neighbor who does not have a life of their own and seems to get pleasure in hurting their neighbors. What do I mean by this? Well I mean is simply this every time they see someone do any work on their homes these individuals or individual has a happy trigger finger in calling the buildings dept. and causing problems.

Is it that important to make someone so miserable because you are miserable? I guess so.

I guess it is also true that misery loves company. You know that for all the years I have lived on this block I have been nothing but nice to my neighbors, I believe in helping if I can and giving of myself to those who need me, but I suppose not everyone is like me and I would like anyone on this block to come to my face and tell me at anytime if I have ever done anything to hurt them in anyway or made them feel miserable just so I can get pleasure out of it as they do.

I want the coward who keeps calling buildings dept to face us, not hide behind the walls of their house and feel proud of what they have done. My neighbor is working on his house as we speak and he also went through the misery of this person or people calling on him as well and put a stop working order on his house.

This poor man went through hell to clear everything so he can continue working on his home. Why can't you just mind your own business and leave people alone. I am going to close this with "LET GOD BE YOUR JUDGE AND JURY," whoever you are because we did nothing wrong to you.


Sympathy Expressed

For PHC Employees

Dear Editor,

I wish to express my dearest condolences to both the families of Dr. Berge Tutunjian and also to Mr. Robert V. Levine. I express my sorrow for their losses.


PO Not Very Courteous

Dear Editor,

I would like to inform you of my recent experience at the Rockaway Park Post Office near Waldbaum's. Before leaving on vacation I went to the Post Office and requested that our mail be held until our return on April 21. A few days after leaving our son went to check on the house and found several days' mail stuffed into and falling out of our mailbox. He went every day thereafter and collected the mail that obviously had not been held. When we came home on the evening of April 21, we also found mail had been delivered.

When we came home from work on the 23rd, we found a large amount of mail had been delivered, leading us to believe that someone at the post office had apparently held some of the mail, but not all of it. When I stopped in there to complain, I was directed to Ralph Cadet, who indicated that he knew nothing about this and basically indicated it was not his job, but would take my address. When I responded in an annoyed manner to his negative attitude, he started yelling at me and said I was to respect him, that he would not help me, threw out the paper with my address on it and walked away.

This rude behavior is another example of the shoddy service that the Post Office provides Rockaway residents. I have reported this to the Post Office and they actually have called me, apologized and said they would investigate further. Hopefully they will, and some polite customer service will result.


Fond Memories

Of The Strand

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the editorial on the Strand Movie House. When I looked at the picture it took me down memory lane to that wonderful period in my life when Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway represented a place that I spent many hours of my life just having fun. The bell rang at 3 o'clock and the doors flew open at Far Rockaway High School and the bunch of us were outside before you could sneeze. We headed right to that wonderful luncheonette called the Colony where we grabbed a booth, ordered the usual egg creams and put many quarters into the jukebox that gave us Fats Domino, Johnny Ray, Elvis and all the oldies but goodies.

We would walk down to The Strand and see what was playing there on Saturday. When the weekend came we anticipated the fun we were going to have for a dime admission (I think), and get a couple of "Hooten Bars." Anyone remember those great candy bars? Thick square chocolate bars loaded with peanuts. Are they still around? Then we would find good seats and watch the movie. There was an intermission where a host would come out on the stage and call kids up by the number on their admission tickets to play games for prizes- usually 10 or so kids. They would hand out about three or four saltine crackers to each person and tell us to chew them and the first one who whistled won a prize. Our stomachs hurt from laughing as the crumbs flew into the air and filled the stage from kids trying to whistle with a mouth full of crackers. The games were so much fun and there was a newsreel and some cartoons- wow- for a dime. We had the time of our lives!

The Strand and The Colony will always be a part of my special memories. I consider myself so fortunate to have been a part of that era and luck to have been able to have so much fun as a teenager. So thanks for the memories, as Bob Hope used to sing, thank you so much.


Keeping It Real

Dear Editor,

Man, I love you guys at The Wave. Keeping it real, right? Letting the people speak out on all those big problems that Rockaway has no. Yeah, right. After reading that letter by Arthur Cholakis about the beach dunes, I had to laugh. Is he serious? Is this what he has keeping him up at night? How about gun shots? How about thinking if my check got sent out on time? I think King Arthur and his white knights need a reality check about where he's living. I mean, yeah, beach dunes are nice, but all the time he's thinking about the city taking them away, maybe in the meantime the city can come to the projects and take away the bags of garbage piling up here. Or fix the holes in the street, or the flooding behind Peninsula Hospital when it rains. But I guess they used up all that nice blacktop over in his neighborhood. Yeah, I've seen it. Smooth. I call it black on white.

Don't get me wrong. I want to better my life and move up to King Arthur's side. They told me about new houses up his way. Did he see them? I'm talking about those new ones going up by the junior high school, right next to the sewer plant. Would Arthur be willing to live in one of those? Hey, how come The Wave doesn't say something about those houses? I guess they thought it was a swimming pool with a funky smell. I guess they feel my people don't mind sleeping in a new house smelling what King Arthur and his people just flushed away that night. Yeah, keeping it real.


Glorifying Violence

Dear Editor,

Who cannot sympathize with the sentiments of Liz Bishop-Goldsmith in her Wave letter of last week - as a mother and grandmother decrying youth violence? Recalling the words of Jane Austen, though, how about some "Sense and Sensibility"? Unfortunately, Ms. Bishop-Goldsmith's solutions confuse the tools of the trade with root causes. Guns don't kill people...people kill people.

History does not report that the newly-invented guillotine sparked the blood-soaked French Revolution. Rather, the arrogance, violence and vengeance of the toppled ancien régime bled into the hearts of the new French Parliamentarians. History does not report that it was the swords, shields and chariots of Titus and his Roman legions that leveled Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of the Jews in 70 AD...it was the avarice, debauchery and megalomania of the Roman emperor and his court that dispatched these Semites to the four corners of the world.

Today in our democracy and in our city, youth - with free will - kill their neighbors in cold blood on Pitkin Avenue; in Rosedale; and on our beautiful Peninsula. For many and varied reasons they kill, but they are spurred on by music that glamorizes, glorifies and hero-izes violence against their neighbors, the police, women, the establishment, etc., etc. They are spurred on by blood-soaked video games that nullify the beauty and extraordinariness of life. They are abandoned and lost to drugs, sex and criminal gangs.

Their actions are sanctioned by a liberal maliciousness that seeks culpability anywhere and by anyone, except by the "doer." Worse, various city, state and federal subsidy programs that seek to help actually undermine the commonwealth: they disrupt the family structure and disincentive savings, investment, asset acquisition and home ownership...some of the very cornerstones of American life.

These, I believe, are the perditions Mothers Should Hate...


Revive The

Rockaway Music Scene

Dear Editor,

The Blues had Chicago, The Beatles had Liverpool, Punk Music had CBGB's, 80's Hair Bands had Los Angeles, and Grunge Music had Seattle.

Now, Rockaway has a music scene again, but it will wither and die like it did in the late-eighties if the Rockaway community, The Wave and other entities fail to support this cultural, economic, and socially uplifting opportunity.

Between 1978 and 1990 the Rockaway area had the potential of becoming a thriving and influential music scene.

Performers like Twisted Sister, Mazarin, The Second Effort, Wild Fire, Diamond, Larry Mitchell, The Cheats, Kerry Kearney Band, Gerald Bair, The Mystery Dates and others performed at clubs/venues like Rockaway's O'Gara's, Johnny's, Hickey's, The Den, The Grassy Point, Inn Like Flynn's, The Old Irish Circle and many other local establishments. Mitch Glider opened a rehearsal/recording studio on Beach 114 Street in Rockaway Beach. The TRC rehearsal studio opened in Far Rockaway. Local venues championed original music, but most of the bands performed a mixture of classic rock and original material. Acts like The Second Effort, who performed an Elvis Tribute Act at O'Gara's every weekend, drew huge crowds. The Cheats and Diamond became local favorites and were the house bands at Johnny's on Beach 5 Street, the Rockaway area's most famous watering hole. The potential for growth and exposure these artists and venues could have received never came to pass. The closing of the Playland Amusement Park, the neglect of our beaches, the drug/crack epidemic that assaulted the city during the eighties, the changes in the neighborhood demographic, and the lack of support from the community all led to the death of the first Rockaway music scene. Some of our artists left the Rockaways to perform in other locales. Larry Mitchell became recognized as one of the best rock guitarists in the world and toured with Ric Ocasek, Tracey Chapman, and other well-known acts. Steve Schneider, a Rockaway resident, changed his last name to Stevens and became the guitarist for Billy Idol's band. The Second Effort left the Rockaways and started to perform in Las Vegas a couple of times a year. The recording studios/ rehearsal studios all moved to other parts of the city. The Rockaway venues stopped booking local talent and began to give their best nights to talent agency-sponsored Top Forty Acts instead of local acts.

What could have been a powerful indigenous musical community became a homogenized musical cemetery.

Now, the opportunity to enhance and maintain a vibrant musical community has been resurrected and the Rockaway venues and local artists need your help. Entertainers like Squid, Wax R' Back, The Electrix, The Downtown Daddy-O's, The Lone Sharks, Sixth Boro, Walter Ensor, Under Cover, and others have fueled a renewed interest for music in the Rockaways. Venues like The Irish Circle, The Tap And Grill, The Harbor Light Pub, The Lobster House, The Blackwater Inn, The Den, and The Wharf have consistently offered live entertainment and a buzz has finally emerged. The fact that the Wave now has a Music Beat column speaks volumes about the presence of a Rockaway music scene and the need to keep it alive. The standard entertainment offered at Fort Tilden/Gateway isn't the type of musical fodder that is going to excite Rockaway residents and encourage them to patronize our local venues and businesses. Local popular American Music will do that. So catch a show at your local restaurant or pub. Eat, drink, and have a wonderful time at one or more of the Rockaway's fine eating establishments. The Rockaway music scene isn't just a boon for the local artists, it is a blessing for the entire community.

Let's support our local talent and the local restaurants and pubs that keep the arts alive.


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