A Matter of Fairness

Far Rockaway High School in 1963It has recently come to my attention that there is yet another Rockaway website making its way on to the Internet.  You may have been contacted as I was with the big 'news' that this new site promises to be the best thing since sliced bread and makes the point quite emphatically that it is absolutely, 100% FREE.  As a matter of fact, the word FREE in BOLD is repeated twice in the letter.  When I received the same letter that you may have received from this individual, I strongly reacted to the implication whether intended or not, that our site is not free.   This prompted me to write the following letter to the creator of the new site.

"I'm glad that you took the opportunity to write. Personally, I have no problem with your creating a site for Rockaway alumni. My position is and always has been that the more people can connect with former friends the better. So, if your site has been created for that purpose then I thank you for your contribution to the Rockaway community.

The only reaction that I have is your reference to the fact that "Your site is free and will remain free and completely funded by myself without funded donations". It makes it sound as though you are demeaning or ridiculing the fact that our site is maintained largely by alumni donations. We have never charged, and when people write and ask if their dues are current, they receive a letter back reminding them that we don't have dues. Their membership is completely free and any contribution to the expense of maintaining what is probably the largest school website on the web is greatly appreciated. Their donations over the years are a testament to their appreciation for what we have done and will continue to do.

What you may not be aware of is that there have been attempts in the past by professional alumni website developers to cash in on the work we have labored over for more than 10 years. They have used our database listings without permission (which of course is against the law) as a way to solicit new members, charging them an annual fee. Many unsuspecting alumni have sent money thinking that it was our website that they were contributing to. Of course, it was not.

So forgive me for possibly over-reacting to yet another attempt at signing up Rockaway alumni on yet another site. If your mission is as I described above, then I welcome your contribution to the Rockaway community and wish you good luck in your venture."


Skip Weinstock

I did receive a reply to my letter assuring me that there was no intention to demean or imply that we 'charged' a fee.  So I accept that assurance as being genuine.  However, there have been other alumni  who have received his letter and reacted more strongly than I did. 

So, as a way of allowing you, our loyal and long time viewers to this website to make up your own minds whether to support this new venture, I will be publishing the letters I receive relating to this matter, below.   The rest is up to you to judge for yourselves, the proper course of action to follow.  Please write to me at rockaway@astound.net


Skip Weinstock, Class of 1963

The letter below was written by Jeffrey Rosenberg to the author of the newly created website and a copy was sent to me.  I have been given permission by Mr. Rosenberg to post it.

October 25, 2007

The existing FRHS web site seems to perform its intended purpose at a very high level; and it has become well known and widely used for many years.

Therefore, it would "seem to me" although I can not know for sure at this time, that your purpose is to solicit the people already using that web site, trade on the names and good will established and developed by Skip Weinstock, who created that website, as part of an effort to benefit yourself economically by the appurtenant and prospective sale of advertising, rather than the disingenuous suggestion that you are motivated by some disjointed notion of family legacy. Is it your family legacy to reunite "FarRockawayites"?--I don't think so! This seems like some ephemeral filler, without any substantive meaning of any kind.

Of course, I may be way off base, and you may have genuine and purely eleemosynary purposes; and you may have done independent work that I do not know about, and as to which I just lack knowledge; and which may remove you as someone just trading on the intellectual property of another, whether or not that property is or is not fully protectable.

However, it seems to me that you could only have taken (copied) my name from the existing FRHS website, since, although I lived in Far Rockaway for many years, you could not have known that and, in any event, I went to Brooklyn Tech, and I did not graduate from FRHS and I am not in any FRHS roster or listing of any kind, other than the one that Skip Weinstock and others created. That would seem to indicate that you are copying his work.

One of my areas of expertise as a high profile Merger and Acquisition Lawyer lies in the "protection of intangibles" and the protection of "intellectual property". Thus, I am motivated in writing to you from a primarily professional and personal view that trading on the work of others is destructive and not constructive from any economic or moralistic model. It appears to me that Skip Weinstock and his associates may well have one or more actual or prospective claims against you; about which you might be, or should be concerned. (Please do not call me for advice. That is not what this is about!) Therefore, as a cautionary word of advice, if I were you, I would be very careful about the way you proceed. Make sure you are doing independent work, and not merely trading on and taking advantage of the work of others--if that is what you are doing. No one likes to see someone benefit from the work of others. In our society we call those persons parasites, sycophants and/or scum-sucking-bottom-feeders--imbued in our minds as the work of the catfish-analogous the the "Kingfish" of "Amos and Andy" fame--who comported himself substantially in this manner.

In sum, you should know and appreciate that I am sending this e-mail as a precautionary admonition to you with respect to continuing to trade on the good will of those that created the existing FRHS website, not because I have any relationship to them. I do not. In fact, they do not even know who I am. Rather, although I admit I can not know the extent of your own original work to develop a data base, and I can not know if you have traded on the data base developed by Mr. Weinstock, it is always my view that one should earn their way by one's own effort, and not from the hard work and successful efforts of others. In this case, I admire what Skip Weinstock has accomplished; and I believe his motivations to have been pure and unadulterated. While I hope that is also true of you, my visceral response and my fear is that this is not the case; and I do not want to see any prospectively predatory efforts destroy or denude the viability of the Weinstock construct that we have all enjoyed for many years now.

So that others may appreciate my personal views, and to promote debate among a group of persons that may have an interest in this topic, and primarily to give you an opportunity to demonstrate to us all that you are not doing what it appears to be trading on the work of others, and to therefore disabuse me of a mistaken notion, I am sharing this e-mail with current and old friends and acquaintances from FRHS, who, in turn, I suspect have a larger group of friends and contacts, who should be aware of these developments, and who, may have better insight than me, and whom, you may want to inform as to your good intentions and original work, or the absence thereof.

Please act accordingly.

Jeffery L. Rosenberg

November 1, 2007

Following up on the start page, someone with yet another fake FRHS site (www.farrockawayhighschool.net) is taking the email addresses that we posted here in good faith and spamming us to go to his site, which sure looks like is getting click money from some catering hall/restaurant.

Gene Steinberg

November 4, 2007

To The Operator of the New Far Rockaway Website, Not This One,

I've noticed that you emphasize the word FREE in your e-mail.  This is to let you know that the FIRST Far Rockaway High School site is FREE as well. There is nothing stating that a person has to pay to join the site, but, there are those alumni who CHOOSE to donate whenever possible, making that site far more informative, well run (they would have had their site up and running far sooner than you), and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

It's well known to the alumni who have joined the "other" FRHS site that it's FREE, and they don't have to advertise.

Thank you for giving me the pleasure of writing this..

Estelle (Wiesner) Markow

November 4, 2007

To The Operator of the New Far Rockaway Website, Not This One;

After corresponding with you and especially after reading the item which you just sent it became clear to me that you are a self-promoting manipulator. Of course there will be no "CHARGES OR FEES" to register, for since 1997 there has been an excellent FRHS site that never charged anybody a single cent, in my case a Euro cent. Why stress "FREE"? Is it because by the time the world got around to 1981 Authorities and High School Class Presidents were busy convincing decent folk that You Never Get Something For Nothing? Just who do you hope to attract with your pretentious Spiel? Were your classmates who are now alums susceptible for such a line?  Yours,

Dr. George K. Berger

November 14, 2007

Dear Skip,

I must have missed the email sent by that other Far Rockaway alumni website asking me to sign up for free. I was too busy trying to help my new friend General Mombassa in Nigeria collect his assets here in America, cash in my UK Lottery Winnings, while at the same time trying to enlarge my penis (hopeless).

I came out from behind my firewall just long enough to send you this message. Please know that your official Far Rockaway website is an oasis of love and nostalgia in a desert of filth and deceit. It must be protected at all costs.

I must return now to my cloistered existence before my identity is stolen and my computer gets turned into a zombie drone.

Keep the faith,

Marty Nislick, FRHS '62

November 20, 2007

Hi Skip,

I'm Larry Weiss 1966 grad. You may remember me as Sid's nephew from Sid and Sam's Candy store. Your website remains the finest example of unsurpassed dedication to a time and place that I have come across in the 10 years since the big reunion in 1997. You and Carol need not worry about the come latelys. No offense to the new site but you will always be my main one stop shop for memories of my Rockaway days. Anybody will be hard pressed to recreate the feeling of Christmas on Central Avenue as it appears here. I go to that scene when I'm feeling melancholy for the old days. Please keep up the good work. Best regards,

Larry Weiss, Class of 1966

December 5, 2007

To The Operator of the New Far Rockaway Website, Not This One;

This is the second e-mail I've received from you.  With farrockaway.com, the long-standing and brilliant achievement of Skip Weinstock and Carol Marston, why bother? There is no way their thousands of hours of hard work over countless years to build and refine farrockaway.com can be improved upon or duplicated. So, Far Rockaway High School is alive and well at farrockaway.com and has contributed so much toward that end. Why re-invent the wheel?

Whatever your motive may be; whether you are a con man or a fool, you're clearly wasting your time.   If you desire to begin an endeavor that will benefit others, perhaps you should look elsewhere. There is great need in the world; use your knowledge of technology and your time to help where help is needed.

Far Rockaway HS alumni do not need your help, we already have it: www.farrockaway.com.  Jeffery Rosenberg's letter says it all.

Perhaps you should desist before you waste any more of your effort, and please take my name off your mailing list.

Enough said!

Michael Goldfield, Class of '57

Once Again, To The Operator of the New Far Rockaway Website, Not This One;

Your response to my letter does not surprise me.  It is exactly what I would expect from a narcissist who is desperately trying to build his self-esteem with a project for which there is no need.

The 650 alumni to which you refer have been taken in by your smooth talk. Your efforts are not innovation; they are duplication.  Your are not reinventing anything. You are trying to copy and build on the efforts of others. You are, if fact, a cheap copycat of those who have devoted their time and effort to help others.

As I have said before, find some other endeavor to benefit those in need.  We don't need another FRHS alumni website. We have one.  And, in a word it is superb.  There is no rhetoric to support your ridiculous efforts.

Michael Goldfield, Class of '57

December 17, 2007

To The Operator of the New Far Rockaway Website, Not This One;

There is a website already at www.farrockaway.com   I would assume that you didn't know this

Skip Weinstock & Carol Marsdon have been running this site for years. I suggest that you link up with him and combine your records.  It makes more sense to collaborate. The Board of Ed is dividing up FRHS. Let's not do the same to the FRHS alumni.  FRHS was a place that all people of different backgrounds could coexist.

I don't know where you got my name and email address & how you know that I went to FRHS.

My fear in communicating with your site is both spam and confidentiality of my personal info. I regularly work with & for list brokers in my professional life so I am aware of the methodology of obtaining names.

Something isn't kosher here. Skip & Carol have always been most cooperative - adding other sites i.e. Evan Garber's FRHS Class of 1967, Marty Nislick's excellent 1962 page are just two examples of this cooperation. This is not a contest.

So honestly, where did you get my information? A little Rockaway honesty goes a long way, eh!

If you can't answer my question, please opt me out.


Henry Blaukopf 

December 21, 2007

This is your THIRD e-mail to me promoting your website. A few weeks ago we exchanged several e-mails.  At that time I made it abundantly clear that I was not interested in your FRHS website. I was quite emphatic when I explained that the diligent and tireless efforts of Carol Marston and Skip Weinstock over the years has produced a website (www.farrockaway.com) to satisfy the needs of any FRHS alumnus.

Furthermore, I specifically requested that you remove my name from your mailing list. Clearly you have not!  Your repeated attempts to entice me to "join" your club are annoying, and I have adjusted my software to direct any future e-mails from you into the SPAM bucket.

Please do not take the time to reply. Find another hobby!

Michael Goldfield

January 1, 2008

This is Phil Fishgold '72. I too received the notification from the "OTHER" FRHS web site owner. I didn't bother to check it out as I know that Carol and you developed "our" genuine home site from scratch. I am glad you took the time to rebut this guy along with the other former alumni fighting back.  Please keep it going and let me know the paypal account so I can make another token contribution. The site is getting better and more informative as time passes!

Best, Phil

January 16, 2008


Boy this guy is a piece of work! I'd like to see his FRHS diploma. Lots a smart people graduated from FRHS. He is obviously the exception that proves the rule.  BTW Since my correspondence with him which I copied you on, I have not received any solicitations.  Perhaps a simple "Please Remove" response might be suggested. He does seem to honor this.

Keep up the good work folks.

Henry Blaukopf

January 16, 2008

Skip, Carol:

It is truly sad how this individual is trying to rip-off fellow alumni.  He is currently asking $100/pp for a "reunion" at a catering hall that can't be charging him anywhere near that much.

I have a question: this person (who is apparently hostile to all inquiries) describes himself as "former Senior Council President".
"Senior Council President"?   I don't recall that title ever existing.  Does anyone else?

Thanks for all your great work,

Gerry Bixenspan '66

January 16, 2008

Hi Skip:

I should have known better having spent a long time in direct marketing; I never stopped to think where the new site got my contact information, and wrongly thought you must have given it to him. What a dolt!

I am requesting to be removed from that "other" site since I love the original one.  I am completely offended that he stole my contact information from your site--I'm just adding that site to my list of spammers.  Thanks for the heads up.

Aren (Abrams)


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