1999-08-21 / Columnists

On The Beach...With Beverly Baxter

On the state of the beach, the following letter was sent last month by the Chamber of Commerce to New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern in an attempt to ask that our safety issues regarding our shoreline be addressed and that aid be provided by the Parks Department.

Dear Commissioner Stern:

We, the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, are deeply concerned about the eroding beaches along our shoreline. Over the winter and spring months, more and more of our shoreline has vanished at an alarming rate and as more of our shoreline and sand disappears, so will the visitors who come to enjoy our beaches during the summer months. Many of our business members are dependent upon the revenues realized from visitors during the summer months to sustain their businesses throughout the year.

Additionally, Rockaway, unbelievably so, is still without a formal hurricane evacuation plan. This heightens the necessity and urgency of all conservation and protective measures to serve not only business interests, but also the property and safety of all Rockaway residents. It is without question that the current administration in Washington, D.C. places little importance on shore protection funding. Fewer and fewer funds are being allotted to the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers and more and more, the responsibility for beach conservation/ restoration/ protection programs will be falling upon local municipalities and individual states. The foregoing emphasizes the need for us to prioritize all shore protection efforts. Healthy beaches are our best natural protection against flood damage caused by coastal storms.

The Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, by unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, urges the NYC Parks Department to work with all other appropriate environmental agencies and experts to take whatever steps may be necessary to protect the beaches and properties of the Rockaway peninsula. This includes, but is not limited to, continued sand management, construction of additional dunes, and most particularly, seeking a long term solution such as groins coupled with replenishment cycles to preserve and protect our beaches. It is our belief that the solution too our eroding beaches lies with not just one, but all of the aforementioned and other proactive measures.

Trusting that the Parks Department will remain aggressive in its shore protection efforts so vital to the well being of the entire Rockaway peninsula, I remain,

Very truly yours,

Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, Inc.
Louis T. Caucig

***Martin Ain says, "Show me the Sand!" He states, "most think of us as an oceanfront community; however, we are that much more special because we also have a bay." In a recent New York Times Metro Section article, a judge ruled that the city was at fault, and should be fined, for allegedly dumping contaminated toxic sludge into the bay as an "experiment". One has to wonder where are our elected officials on this?

***It’s admirable that our community is so enthusiastic about recycling on Sundays—so much so that people are actually placing their recycling out on the curb early in the afternoon. Although commendable, its a little offensive to those who walk by on their way to the beach!

***How does she do it—all?! I’m referring to Barbara J. Morris, our number one community cheerleader! I was unable to attend; but I heard that her West End Realty Sponsored Fourth Annual Sand Castle Contest was a huge success. Barbara also had the greatest Tee shirts ad buttons made! The winners were: Johnny Magee, Megan Johnson, Christina McCabe, in the child with parent category. Robin and Maria Grant, Patrick Benn and Ralph Valencia, Samantha Fraser and Kristi Skehil won in the children eight to 13 years category. Cathy Johnson, Francois Gauvard, and Colden Grant won in the adult category. Congrats to all!

***Raffle tickets are already being distributed around town for the benefit of Michael Reilly, a local resident who was savagely attacked recently. Tickets are $100. each and there will only be 100 sold. Contact James Conway Sullivan for details.

***Since Hillary Clinton is one percent Jewish by her grandmother’s second marriage to a Max Rosenberg, perhaps Mrs. Clinton should consider an ambassadorship to Israel! Although I very much admire the first lady’s capacity for standing by her husband during the sordid details of his adulteress relationships, I do think that this new revelation about her "Jewish roots" is just politicking at its worst. It seems lately that every time the first lady opens her mouth, she somehow manages to offend people. After all she has publicly endured, why in the world would she want to romp around in the mud with Giuliani?

***Warren Beatty for President?! I’m so fed up with politics these days. There’s so little distinction between the two apparent front-runners that it’s actually boring. We need a "second party". How about this slate: Bill Bradley, Warren Beatty, Mario Cuomo , Paul Newman, and according to Kenny Good, Madonna as Secretary of the Interior! Hmmmm.

***Happy Birthdays to Amanda Palagonia on August 26 and to Brian Thomas on August 20.

See you On the Beach!!

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