2009-11-27 / Letters

Shame on You, Mr. Schwach!

Dear Editor,

What has happened to responsible journalism at The Wave? Your commentary column, The Rockaway Beat, in the November 6th edition is not only one-sided, it is misguided and certainly contains inaccuracies. I will leave others to deal with those.

You never state the purpose of writing such an article. Is it because my nephew has been deceased for 10 years? Has his family, who still mourn his passing, offended you personally in some way? Or was the purpose more sinister? Does it have something to do with local school board policies now, these 20 years later? And has The Wave been persuade to stir the pot? Now, that's an interesting point…

Yes, my nephew James Sullivan was the local Republican District Lead er, and politicians are not saints. However, neither are newspaper reporters. Yes, Jimmy was and is held in high esteem by the local Irish community. Every ethnic group is proud to promote the good they contribute to a community and honors their own, as your paper documents in its pages.

Your November 6th piece never mentions the positive contributions James Sullivan made possible in Rockaway during his tenure as the Republican District Leader, which many would argue outweigh the com pletely negative nature of your commentary. The Wave has published countless articles and pictures in the archives regarding the many people and businesses that have benefited from the hard work and untiring efforts of James Sullivan. And, why do you think the Rockaway Irish parade is so successful today? And, why do local politicians and businesses support it whole-heartedly? And, how much advertising revenue has The Wave received over the years because of the parade? It took years of day-in and day-out work—and yes, politics—to lay the groundwork for such an achievement, a fact you completely and conveniently overlook.

It's unfortunate that the young people who are hard at work continuing to solve problems in the Rockaways have read such an irresponsible piece of journalism. They are too young to remember all facts from 20 years ago and the countless good seeds that were planted then by James Sullivan and the local Republican leadership, and the rewards gained through those hard-won efforts of long ago. Your article does them and the community a grave disservice. Shame on you Mr. Schwach and shame on you The Wave.

JOHN J. O'GARA JR.

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