2010-12-17 / Letters

Wave Tells Lies

Dear Editor,

You and your newspaper seem to get a great kick out of belittling my building and my tenants every chance you get. Too bad you don’t have something more than you got, but you keep trying and hoping for more dirt. Why you keep doing this is a mystery to many in the community. I have come to the conclusion that you obviously possess a deep-rooted hatred for the blue-collar working class and that is the reason you never took me up on my offer to give you a tour of my Hotel. I am asking you once again to stop spreading hatred and lies about my tenants, and me, and if you have a compulsion to get answers to some of your questions, call me.

Here is something you and your readers might be interested in. There will be a few clues within to cast further light and a better understanding on the matters involving the Baxter Hotel. A few years ago I got a call from the city of New York and I was told that I would be visited by a group of engineers and architects. “Wow.” I said to myself. “The city has big plans for 116 Street and they are letting me take a look at them.” In they came, all four of them, to my office with their shiny suits and shoes, outstretched hands and smiles wider than the door they came through. Lord have mercy on my Mother. She told me that a handshake could be lethal: spreading all sorts of diseases. One of the smiling faces pulled out a brand new canvas set of drawings of my building. “Look Mr. Baxter we are going to put all new sewer lines in your building and it won’t cost you a dime, and instead of your sewer going all the way out to 115 Street it will be going out to 116 Street,” he said with a smile, like he was giving me the best gift I had ever received. I immediately thought of my mother. “Aren’t you the generous one?” I’m thinking.

I looked at them and their smiles had widened a little as they nodded their heads in approval. They waited for a response from me. “I thought you were coming here to tell me your plans for this area,” I said. “Oh no, we have no plans for this area,” a smiling face said. “Thank you Mom, I waited 65 years to get an example of what you taught me when I was seven years old,” I said to myself. “Imagine the city of New York being so nice to me. They discovered that my sewers were more than 170 years old and out of the goodness of their hearts they were rewarding me with new sewers. How kind of them, and how humble I should be. When I told them to roll up their new canvas plans and leave my building because there was nothing wrong with my sewers they were startled and surprised. Too bad there wasn’t someone there to take a before and after picture of the smiling daunted faces.

As for you Mr. Editor, Howard Schwach, when are you going to stop spreading your lies and innuendoes? I only filed two lawsuits in my past 45 years on the Peninsula. I won because I was right, but you choose not to highlight that aspect of the lawsuits. You also choose not to tell the people of Rockaway Beach how many welfare checks go to my building, or has gone to my building during the past 27 years that I have owned the Hotel. You are well aware that the answer is ZERO, but you choose to make believe that I only rent to the downtrodden to rest their weary heads. During the past 27 years I was never offered a dime for my building from a developer. West End Realty delivered a contract to me for 3 million dollars that was good only if the area was up-zoned to R7. Then the bottom fell out of the real estate business and I never heard back from them. So your assertion that I have held back development is only more of your adulterated hogwash. I’m not out to tear your skin off. I am out to try and get you to publish the facts. That is not asking for too much from you, since you could influence some into believing your lies.

As for you Mr. Jay Deutchman, you told The Wave that I offered you my building for 3 million dollars. That part you had down pat. You see I figured that the warm welcome you got from our elected officials and our Community Board you deserved another building. And when I saw Section 8 Rental Specialist and Community Board member Vincent Cas-- tellano helping you in and out with the old and the new tenants I knew you were in like Flynn. Now there would be two buildings that your tenants wouldn’t be hanging out in front of as you had promised at the meeting in District Leader Lew Simon’s office. But then when you stated you would be getting back to me in a year or so my hopes faded. If you knew the Rockaway residents like I know them I don’t believe you will be getting back to me in a year because I don’t believe you will be here in a year. Someone should have whispered in your ear how the Lawrence Hotel was closed down before you invested your money on 116 Street, and all the Community Boards and politicians on earth were not able to quell the anger in the people. One more thing, Mr. Deutchman. My hotel was never picketed.

JOHN BAXTER

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