2007-07-13 / Letters


Hire More Lifeguards

For Rockaway's Beaches

Dear Editor,

Parks Enforcement Program (PEP) is a waste of taxpayer's money and only creates harassment on our beaches. I'm asking my Rockaway neighbors to call our legislators and demand the removal of PEP and hire more lifeguards for Rockaway- the hidden jewel of NYC.

I have spoken to Dan Mundy and his son, who informed me of flexible lifeguard hours in the past. Let's reach out to qualified firefighters, police, teachers and other former lifeguards as other communities do so that residents and visitors can enjoy our beaches until 8 p.m. on a daily basis.



Cut Him Some Slack

Dear Editor,

I read with much interest your recent article, High School, Fifty Years Later. I identified with your story, and, as I read, I thought of the changes I see in my life from grade school to now. (I'm 53 years old, in case you are wondering.)

I think you did a great disservice to Mr. Levokove; a man that apparently did not fulfill all of his early dreams.

You seem to hold up Levokove for comparison to all the others that, in your estimation, made a success of their lives. I suggest to you that Levokove's success, to re-make himself, was no small accomplishment. If we look closer, at the road he must have had to travel, I believe that Levokove might have exceeded many of the accomplishments of his classmates.

I too was raised during changing times, a child of the 60's and 70's. Drugs were rampant, and pressures on kids seemed to escalate each year, including the fear of going off to Nam. Today, the pressure on our children is intense. Chewing gum is no longer the big classroom offense, but coming to school "strapped", or worse yet, shooting everyone in sight, is the fear. War still rages, and the word terrorism is said more times in a given day than probably Mommy and Daddy. It is not surprising that some of our children lose their way.

Yes, Levokove did not fulfill his early dreams. He did pick himself up and make a new start. I am not proud to say that I too have judged people like Levokove. By judging them we might all feel a little safer, a little less vulnerable. But, as the old saying goes, there but the grace of God go I.

Cut him some slack Mr. Schwach.


Q53 More Erratic Than Ever

Dear Editor,

On Friday, June 22, I had planned to take my two nephews to the Mets vs. Oakland game at Shea Stadium. The Mets and the city have been urging fans to take mass transit, as parking at Shea is extremely tight as the new Citi Field is being built in the parking lot.

So, I mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to take the Q53 from Beach 116 Street. I checked the bus schedule the day before on Triboro Coach's website, and it seems that it's more of a "wish list" than an actual schedule.

My nephews and I got to the bus stop in plenty of time for the 5 p.m. bus. There were about 10 people also on line. Except there was no bus.

Alright, no big deal, there's one scheduled for 5:10. But again, no Woodside bus was to be found. Now it's getting close to 5:20 and the crowd has surged from 10 to 85, mainly beachgoers with their gear. And still there's no bus.

It was at that point that I decided to take Belle Rock Car Service the entire way to Shea Stadium. I didn't want my nephews to be late to their first outing at Shea. And after all, it's not their fault that the Q53 is lame.

It's just too bad with the population increase in Rockaway, that local mass transit is still so bad.


Staff At Temple Bethel Should Receive Award

Dear Editor,

My name is Geraldine Callands. This summer I worked in Temple Bethel serving breakfast and lunch to children with disabilities.

Their teachers were so caring and loving it was a shock to me. They were very patient and loving with the children. There was no screaming or yelling at them. After lunch, they played games with them.

Even though I had to travel further than I wanted to, I am glad that I had to work there. It was worth going the extra distance.

There is a little boy who never talks. But he came up to me and hugged me and that made me feel very good. I was told he has never done that before. There is also a little girl who was riding a scooter in the gym and she just came up to me and said, "God bless you." Also, when the children come on line to get breakfast and lunch more of them say "thank you."

In my opinion, I think the staff down there should have some kind of special award for caring for these children with special needs.


'The Beach Is Ours'

Dear Editor,

When are you eggheads (non-beachgoers) going to realize you don't own the public beach? The beach is ours and the people want the illegal dunes removed.

I will not respond to anymore of your meaningless letters. I don't have the time. I'm going to the beach with my 10 grandchildren. See you in court.



'Enough Already!'

Dear Editor,

I call Con-Edison and I have to "Press 1 for English." Then I receive food coupons for McDonald's printed both in English and Spanish, and then I go to Dunkin Donuts on Beach 116 Street, place an order and all of the counter persons are speaking a foreign language in front of and while serving the customers- how rude!!! What's going on here! Enough already!


Must Concur

With Federal Law

Dear Editor,

Regarding the "Metroplex on the Atlantic" story. New York City and State receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce to implement the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972. These funds are derived from U.S. Treasury tax dollars that are to be used for a public purpose authorized by the CZMA to implement New York City's Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) and New York State's Coastal Management Program (CMP).

These programs concur with federal law and the CZMA, where Congress established priorities to preserve, protect, maintain, enhance and restore "existing" access to recreational areas like Rockaway's public beaches and also preserve coastal communities through revisions to zoning and building codes.

The city and state have taken the federal funds, which are our tax dollars, and have not adhered to the WRP and CMP requirements that are to be consistent with: CZMA Policy §1452 and Administrative Grants §1455 (d); the regulations 15 CFR Part 923; NYC Waterfront Zoning Regulations 62-711 and 62-42; all of which can be found online through google.com.

The Metroplex construction is out of character with the existing bungalow development and historic district. The 158-unit, 15-story Metroplex apartment building that has a 24-foot-wide right of way to access the Atlantic Ocean running down the center of the site and entire Block 15817. It is a TYPE I ACTION that requires an environmental review to identify and mitigate any adverse impacts to the bungalow community and must be certified consistent with the WRP 10 Coastal Policies and CMP 44 Coastal Policies.

This project was self-certified by the owner, who submitted a Uniform Land Use Review without conducting the environmental and consistency reviews. Not only is this construction out of character with the existing neighborhood and historic district, it also obstructs the 24-foot-wide right of way that is on the tax lot map and recorded in their deeds and title and my deed and title.

This area of the bungalow development and where Metroplex is located were formerly intertidal wetlands of Far Rockaway Bay and Norton's Creek, shown on the 1910 maps on file at the City Register and Queens Borough Hall. It was artificially filled in for the bungalow development that included six rights of way for the public to access the Atlantic Ocean in and over the lands of the Atlantic Ocean as recorded in the property owner deeds.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has jurisdiction over the entire Metroplex project, with overlapping jurisdictions by New York City and State Parks, the Department of City Planning, and the Buildings Department. Before any approval, Metroplex must comply with the waterfront access provisions to preserve the 24-foot right of way. Also, the height and scale and density should be mitigated to eliminate any adverse impacts associated with this inappropriate construction.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has applied the Coastal Hazard Erosion Law, which is also part of the CZMA authorities, to have Metroplex remove the structure off of this hazard area. NYS DEC also has primary jurisdiction over the site under DEC REGS 6 NYCRR §661. 2, 4 & 5 and to preserve the 24-foot-wide waterfront access and permits for this multiple-story dwelling under the WRP and CMP Waterfront Zoning Regulations.


Hiding Behind The Dunes

Dear Editor,

Our organizations and homeowners' associations of Rockaway, Belle Harbor and Neponsit are all against the dunes. Yet, Cooper, Ain and Trivlis "without approval" spearheaded a dune project to simply privatize their homes as beachfront homeowners. Next, they will be planting piping plover nests.

I, by myself, have logged more time on the beach in one weekend than all three of these men put together in their lifetimes. In addition to the beach wall, these beachfront homeowners wanted more exclusion from beachgoers and have simply succeeded with overgrown weeds and sand piles, never intending to preserve the most beautiful beaches in the world. Cooper, Ain and Trivlis have stolen our beaches away from us and insist on constantly defending their dune expertise which is simply a way to keep everyone else away. You three stooges are Belle Harbor's most embarrassing individuals and a court date is soon coming.

Hopefully, the court will deem your actions illegal and take down what you have stolen away from all of us: Our Beach!! Maybe when the dunes come down one day you can join us in a volleyball game on the beach? If you need directions to the beach, call me. Wait a minute, I forgot, you three gentleman never go to the beach. How shameful and embarrassing! Sleep on that! That beach is everyone's place, not just yours!


Note From A

Concerned Tenant

This open letter was sent to Steve Valiotis, the owner of the Surfside Houses in Rockaway Park, by a tenant who asked that her name be kept anonymous for fear of retribution. The Wave has honored that request.

Dear Mr. Valiotis,

I am not sure of what your relationship is to the young woman who showed up on Sunday July 8 at the 1 Beach 105 Street pool with two friends or relatives and a small dog, however she made a point of telling people how her father owned the pool and that she was going to tell him to have his own poolside furniture installed so she would be able to sit anywhere she pleased.

This happened after she and her companions, plus the dog, plopped themselves down at a table that was private property of a pool member who wasn't present at the time. The pool member's relative was at the next table and nicely told the young woman that the table she was sitting at belonged to her relative and would she please get up. Miss Valiotis then sneered at the person and asked her to prove the table belonged to someone! Luckily, the relative had written her name on her table.

Shortly after a lifeguard asked Valiotis to remove the dog from the premises, she proceeded to move the dog and her party to another empty table owned by another pool owner. When another lifeguard went and asked her again to remove the dog, she demanded he show her where it was written that no dogs were allowed. Luckily, her brother who was working in our front office illegally selling day passes to the pool, came to her rescue and took the dog from the pool. The way she spoke to the lifeguards was embarrassing to witness. Had she been my child, I would have slapped her across her mouth for speaking to people in such a way.

The paying members at the pool are a very nice group of people, but the behavior of young Miss Valiotis was both ignorant and disgraceful. She treated paying members and the pool staff she came into contact with rudely, and from all appearances, felt the pool was indeed her private property. Haven't you taught her that her life of privilege has come from hard working people paying rent? What values are you instilling in this young woman? In an age where Paris Hilton has just done jail time due to her disregard of rules and thinking she was above the law, you may want to rethink your parenting skills. Miss Valiotis' behavior only strengthens the feeling many tenants already have that you (the owners) really think of us as a second class, not even worth speaking to.

The tenants of 1 Beach 105, 106-20 and 107-10 are fed up with the callous way you manage our homes. There is no communication as to when the parking lot will be fixed (going on two years and it still looks worse than when it started), when the broken up cement blocks will be moved off the grass, when the wind protection will be put up around the pool, when locks will be installed in the many expensive doors we'll soon be paying for, and my list can go on. Actually, the only time we get news from you is to let us know about one more scheme to raise our rents. To have your relatives strut around in such a rude display and then to have strangers invading the pool because young Mr. Valiotis decided to make some side pocket money is beyond acceptable. Were you aware that young Mr. Valiotis decided to open the office on Saturday and Sunday and sell tickets to anyone who passed by? The pool at 1 Beach 105 Street is offered to tenants as a private pool club, not as a public pool. Going to the front of the building to solicit beachgoers who have no connection to anyone living in the buildings not only adds risk to our safety and that of the many young children who are pool members, but the outside members who are charged $50.00 above the membership fees were livid!

It would be nice if someone persuaded the Valiotis children to write an apology to the many people they upset and offended with their un-professionalism and nasty attitudes. I was an observer to all the incidents noted above. If once again there is no response from the Valiotis family, there can be no doubt that the apples do not fall far from the tree.

Copies of this letter will be sent to the Rockaway Wave and the local Greek paper I see sold in Astoria (not that I believe for a moment they will print it).


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