2007-06-01 / Letters

Dog Run Could Be A Problem

Dog Run Could Be A Problem

Dear Editor,

I would like to comment about the Dog Festival, which was held on Shore Front Parkway between Beach 99 and Beach 100 Streets (the site of the proposed dog run) on Saturday, May 19.

I went with my daughter to see how the proposed venue would work out.

First, the setup. They had the tables on the boardwalk where the raffles were sold and free merchandise was given to the pets and their owners. They did give out and raffled some useful prizes, such as gift certificates to local vets, prizes for the dog with the best costume, etc.

Secondly, the vans for the micro-chipping of the dog (which was the reason my daughter came), North Shore animal league adoption van and the ASPCA van were parked along the curb.

To get from one area to the next you had to either walk to the next ramp at Beach 101 Street or Beach 98 Street respectively, or go through the dog run, which almost everyone did. While we were walking through the dog run, the problem started. There were approximately 30 dogs and owners in the run area when the fight began. A dog called "Brutes," which looked as his name implied tan and white dog, I am not sure of his makeup, but I believe it was part pitbull and weighed approximately 50-70 lbs of tight muscle. It was wearing two chains as a collar and was involved in a fight in the run with a dog of approximately the same shape and size, which went one for a short time. Other dogs were trying to get involved or run which added to the confusion.

There were also small children in the run at the time with their dogs who became frightened, started to run and the parents who were on the boards yelling for their kids. The fight was over shortly and thankfully no child or adult was injured. However three dogs had to go to the vets who were present to be treated, one of which was stitched. Thankfully, there were people from the ASPCA, and the mayor's office who took control, but what would have happened if there was no one there to help maybe some children or some elderly residents who would not have been able to handle it.

I looked at the petitions that were in the tent and while going through the sheets I noticed that the majority were not from the immediate area of the proposed run, some from Broad Channel, Belle Harbor (where one of the proposed sites were, what ever happened to that?) and other areas. Yes, there were members of the immediate area but definitely not the majority.

There are other concerns. Parking, there were over a dozen cars parked illegally at the site, yes it was a festival and parking violations are overlooked, but what will happen when the dog run opens. What about cleanup and security? Who is going to stop some people coming in the run with dogs that are trained to fight. And finally what about the people that put their life savings into buying a residence. The dog run was not there when they bought, is it really fair to them to be hearing the dogs everyday? It will definitely hurt the value of the investments. Dog runs are historically in parks with grass for the enjoyment of the pets and their owners, not on a cement area across the street from peoples' homes.

CHRISTOPHER SAVINO

Dunes Don't Cause Accidents, People Do

Dear Editor,

I would like to offer the following in response to the rebuttal offered by R. Agoglia Sr.'s "Letter to the Editor" of May 25, 2007 regarding the Belle Harbor dunes.

Although the content of my letter was limited to the scientific and provable facts regarding the benefits that dunes offer to coastline conservation, Mr. Agoglia has chosen to rebut that which was not included in my letter.

Nonetheless, since I have the advantage of being an eyewitness to the events he described as "a child's ankle" being "horribly crushed by a dune," my response will be based on the events as they occurred in real time and were personally witnessed by me.

I was on Beach 139 Street when the group of four boys was jumping off the dunes. Indeed, they were warned by three separate individuals on the beach to stop this activity in order to avoid potential injury.

One of the boys continued the jumping and cut his foot on an object which was protruding from the sand. After realizing his foot was bleeding, he ran home on his own accord, unassisted, on his own two feet.

Significantly, The Wave said that they had called EMS to find out if the rumor surrounding the "ankle horribly crushed" by "an unwanted dune" was attended to by emergency personnel on the beach that day. There is no record of a logged emergency encounter by EMS to this child on the beach that day.

Any injury of that magnitude is regrettable and unfortunate but to ascribe the "the horribly crushed ankle," the rumored loss of an athletic scholarship as well as the rumored potential of being maimed for life due to the presence of the dunes is well beyond absurd.

Nobody would ever want any child to incur any injury but to infer that an "unwanted dune" caused this injury not only marginalizes the child who sustained the injury but mocks the entire Rockaway community whose sense of decency is assaulted each and every time writers such as Agoglia Sr. seek to project their questionable agendas with mock concern for a neighbor's child.

Dunes do not cause accidents, people do.

DINO TRIVLIS

Knapp Is 'An Officer

And A Gentleman'

Dear Editor,

Last Wednesday my husband and I were having a problem fixing a fence a repairman did not close properly. Patrolman John Knapp came up to us on his bike and asked if we needed help.

He then proceeded to replace the fence all the while being friendly and kind. He is a perfect example of what we think policemen should be like.

We want to thank him and let him know he is truly an officer and a gentleman. God bless you and all policemen.

MR. AND MRS. HUGH FLOOD

A Wonderful Day

To Be A Dog

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, May 19 a wonderful time was had by Rockaway's dogs and their owners at the "It's My Bark Day" Event presented by the Allied Rockaway Foundation for Animal Recreation and Fitness (ARF-ARF). With the help and cooperation of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, our leashed pets were given the opportunity to stroll the boardwalk with their masters or socialize with their canine pals in an enclosed area of Shore Front Parkway.

At ARF-ARF's request The ASPCA spay/neuter clinic was present and more than 20 of Rockaway's furry finest were neutered right there at the event. The Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals was present and inserted microchips into more than 30 animals whose owners can now be easily located if their dogs should go missing. At the end of the day three adorable puppies and two kittens went home to good homes here in Rockaway instead of returning to live in crates at the shelter.

Event goers received wonderful and useful freebies for their pets generously provided by numerous local groomers, veterinarians and dog friendly businesses right here in Rockaway. There were many discount and gift certificates, free pet portraits by professional photographers, beautiful original paintings of dogs and huge baskets containing very expensive merchandise provided by the many generous sponsors ( too numerous to enumerate individually). All of these items were raffled off to many thankful, lucky raffle winners.

Obedience training demonstrations were given on the boardwalk and dog-owners with "Problem Pups" received one-on-one advice from professional dog trainers free of charge. Several talented canines received fabulous prizes for winning the various comical canine contests which were conducted on the boardwalk. All of this was set to the fabulous live music of the Gray Riders who generously volunteered to perform, making for a very festive afternoon.

Most importantly, more than 100 of Rockaway dogs got the run of the place, exercising and socializing freely, many for the first time. The mission of ARF-ARF is to establish a fenced-in, off-leash dog park where well-behaved canine citizens can exercise in a clean, safe environment without endangering or annoying people, property, or wildlife. ARF-ARF hopes to develop a beautiful, well-maintained space designed to satisfy the needs of dog owners and non-dog owners alike.

"It's My Bark Day" serves as proof-positive that this goal is achievable. More than 40 brand new dues paying members officially joined ARF-ARF at this event. More than 200 Rockaway citizens, dog owners and non-dog owners alike, signed ARF-ARF's petition supporting the establishment of a dog park in the Rockaways. Considering all the positive strides made on "It's My Bark Day," Mr. Bill Molloy's comments in his letter to the editor in last week's edition of The Wave were especially upsetting to members of the organizing committee responsible for this event. While Mr. Molloy is, indeed, a member of ARF-ARF, he in no way has license to speak for ARF-ARF's general membership or for us, the event organizers.

It is to be expected that when there is initial interaction among a large group of dogs of varying size and temperament, many of which come from "Single pet homes" and have never had the opportunity to socialize with other dogs, some scuffles may occur. However, the situation described by Mr. Molloy was evidently somewhat of an exaggeration, as none of the event organizers were even aware that an altercation had actually taken place prior to reading Molloy's letter. Doesn't it stand to reason that if an animal was severely injured, his owner would seek out event organizers, (who were clearly identifiable by their ARF-ARF tee shirts and name badges), and at least inform them of the circumstance?

While Mr. Molloy's intentions may have been good, by choosing to draw attention to this minor incident, he has amplified its significance and possibly may have posed a major setback to Dog Park advocates in the achievement of our mission. ARF-ARF is presently working with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, elected officials: Councilman Addabbo and Assemblywoman Pheffer and Community Board 14, as well as several local Homeowners Associations, all of whom have publicly pledged their support for the establishment of a Dog Park in Rockaway. The only issue which is presently still under discussion is the final location of a permanent Dog Park. Our Committee is in the process of finding a location that meets our needs, our pets' needs and the needs of our community. We believe we have made great strides in this endeavor. Our major concern is that Bill Malloy's questionable account of a tiny portion of last week's phenomenal event may have a significantly detrimental impact upon our accomplishments. By putting a negative spin on such a largely successful event, we hope that Mr. Molloy has not succeeded in becoming the very thing that he appears to abhor...A DETRACTER!

SUSAN JASPER

VALERIE MCCLEAN

PEGGY PAGE

KEREN FEUER

ARF-ARF BARK DAY COMMITTEE

Something Positive Is Cooking In Breezy

Dear Editor,

I have been reading so many negative items in your paper lately I decided to write something positive.

I was lucky enough to attend "Cuisine by Claudette" cooking classes this past winter.

All I can say is the food was EXCELLENT! And the classes were great. Go Claudette!

JEAN JOHNSON

Those Were the Days

Dear Editor,

In answer to Clint Hanover's article, I can understand how you feel, for I feel the same way. Nothing is anywhere that WE remember, and all I can say is "how sad." For how many good times did you have at Rockaway Playland? Ah! Those were the days my friend, when life was carefree and fun, when we were young.

Nothing like that anymore. Even all the old movie houses are gone; The Park on 116 Street, The New next to the phone company on Beach 79 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, The Columbia, The Strand, Far Rock, and the Cross Bay at Liberty Avenue is even gone, built in 1924. Now it's Modell's.

Not only are the good times gone, so are most of our friends and relatives, and PLEASE to pinch yourself, because you're still here, and a life is short, no matter how long you live.

And we will never live long enough to see the old LIRR branch back in service, from Beach 116 Street to Penn Station. "An impossible dream," and the "train to the plane" wasn't such a bad deal, from the Howard Beach station to Penn Station, and it only made a few stops. But now they have the 53 bus from 166 street to Roosevelt Avenue runs every 15 minutes. So we are really not stranded anymore.

MURIEL STEMMANN

Politicians' Actions 'Unfathomable'

Dear Editor,

"Unfathomable." Not one of Rockaway's elected representatives in Washington voted "Yes" in support of last week's War Funding Bill to support America's volunteer troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senator John McCain used the above adjective (or is it adverb?) to describe the voting behavior of these dissenters. For me, though, shameful, disturbing and disgraceful come to mind.

To recap: last Thursday, May 24, the Funding Bill passed the US House of Representatives 280-142. There, both Rockaway Reps Congressman Anthony Weiner and Congressman Gregory Meeks voted "No." The US Senate passed the Bill 80-14. New York Senator Hillary Clinton voted "No," while Senator Charles "Chuck" Schumer voted to "Abstain." Senator Schumer is never confused on Sunday mornings, but on this seminal vote that determines the nation's history and supports 150,000 young men and women 8,000 miles from home, he abstains!!!.

What little good it will ever do, I am sending all four DC reps a copy of James Casey's very moving tribute '"Why We March" that appeared in last week's Wave.

Today's present is tomorrow's history. How will we be remembered?

PETER STUBBEN

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