2010-04-30 / Letters

Front Page Stories

Dear Editor,

I am writing this email in anticipation of this weeks cover story. I will go out on a limb here and guess it will be the recent NYPD sting operation that led to the 70 plus arrests of gang members in Far Rockaway and Jamaica, Queens. Shocking. I cannot remember a recent Wave cover that did not have some report of violence and murder plastered all over it.

I can tell you on behalf of my company, Coastal Real Estate, you do not make my job any easier. Sure, the people who are familiar with our great peninsula will buy homes regardless. On the flip side, people who are unfamiliar with Rockaway and visit with an unbiased opinion, are immediately jaded by your front cover stories. Why can’t these negative stories be reported within the paper? The real truth is that outsiders actually laugh at our paper. Yes, laugh. I have friends from Staten Island and Long Island who live in towns with local newspapers. When they see the cover stories, they say “Hah! Rockaway is a great place to live?” I can tell you that this sentiment is coming from your readers as well.

In another personal experience, I recently worked extremely hard on persuading the real estate representatives of a major retail chain to come to the peninsula. They were completely unfamiliar with Rockaway. They came in here ice cold. What was the first thing they did? They picked up the local newspaper. Yours truly...The Wave. What was the first thing they read? A violent story. Imagine what was going through their heads. I know what was going through my head....embarrasment.

You may be saying that this is what sells papers. Absolutely, positively not true. I am willing to bet that if you wiped the violence off of your cover for one month, readership would remain the same. Let’s leave the shocking cover stories to the Daily News and The Post and start focusing on the positive aspects of the peninsula.

SEAN FITZGERALD

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Sean, It is interesting to

Sean, It is interesting to see your perspective, though I do not agree with it. Coming from an individual, whose job it is to sell a product in the peninsula, namely, real estate; your opinion is not surprising. In fact, it is kind of what you'd expect. Your point seems to be; stop running these stories, they're bad for business. This runs counter to the mandate of an affective newspaper. It is the job of any newspaper to report the big stories and inform it's readership. Murder, massive arrests and crime constitute such stories. My observations about The Wave are different. I--for one--am glad to see the crime coverage. In a way I'm also intrigued as to the minutia that seems to work it's way into the paper. You may see coverage of a little girl's first communion or a traffic accident, or, in this case, a major bust of 70 of the worst people in the city. At times the writing and arguments made in the editorials are flawed, but underneath it all is some pretty earnest reportage. I think your sales concerns should have more to do with the economy, rather than The Wave. Having moved recently to Rockaway, I can tell you that the crime reports in this paper had no affect on my decision. The ocean air, miles of boardwalk, and friendly folks are what did it for me. Having previously resided in Manhattan, Boston and northern Queens, I can say, without hesitation, Rockaway has been the best location I've hung my hat to date.

From what my friends who

From what my friends who still live in neighborhoods near Hammels tell me they hear guns going off all the time at night. The same happens down in the 50's on Beach Channel drive and Ocean Village. The Wave reported not long ago about a young boy being robbed at gun point of his bicycle in the c town shopping center. In broad daylight! I for one being born there in 1950 enjoyed the beach front friendly community up until the 70's when I saw what was coming and had to bail out. I still come down for the beach in Summer but only park my car near my friends homes. I lost two of them when we used to be able to fish on the Rock Jetties to thieves years back to car thieves near Dayton right next to St Rose. Clearly a lot must be done. Keep the stories right out front Wave.Be the Tsunami that gets the attention the town needs to return the place safe for all to enjoy the quality of life Rockaway Beach once was.

That was like removing the

That was like removing the Gambino crime family off the streets. People have the right to know. The reporting was just and fair and very reasonable. The Wave has every right to its freedom of expression as much as you do yours.

I for one admire The Wave for

I for one admire The Wave for not being afraid to report on the realities of Rockaway. Whenever I drive past Beach 81st St and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, I can't help but notice the balconies of the luxury condos that have a beautiful view of the Hammels Projects. I've been working in Rockaway for 15 years and I know the community well. The Village Voice gave the wave the distinction of being one of the finest community papers in NYC. I wholeheartedly agree. Journalists are supposed to report accurate facts. The Wave does that consistently even when the locals would prefer to sweep the facts under the table and pretend that they don't exist.


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