1999-12-25 / Letters

Takes Swipe At Wave

Dear Editor:

I take exception to your editorial of December 18 where you claimed the community board fails to communicate to the public. You propose that a ". . .partnership between Community Board 14 and the local newspaper better serves the residents of our community." A partnership would be welcome, even necessary, but it is the "local newspaper" that has failed in its job, not the community board.

The agenda of community board meetings is mailed to community groups weeks in advance and sent to the "local newspaper" as well. Yet I only rarely see it printed in the pages of the "local newspaper". The agendas of committee meetings are likewise distributed, but they appear with the same frequency as a 30 foot flood. All meetings are held in public and anyone can attend, including he "local newspaper." When I was chairman of Community Board 14 it was not unusual to see two reporters from the "local newspaper" at the press table. I haven’t seen a reporter from the "local Newspaper" a community board meeting in years.

For example, if you had reporters at these meetings you would have witnessed the heartfelt concerns of the Beach 117 street residents whose neighborhood library had been virtually stolen from them by unsavory characters misusing the "lawn furniture" of an indifferent library administration. Their complaints are legitimate and deserve a response. The indifference of the library administration is noteworthy by itself.

Furthermore, if you had a reporter paying attention you would have found a great story about the supposedly "low income" project on Beach 24 street. Unfortunately the true story is not about bringing more poor people to Rockaway, the real story is far more sinister with elements of assault, extortion and sabotage because of nothing more than greed.

How many other stories have you missed because it was too much trouble to sit at a community board meeting for a few hours each month. Is the coffee that bad?

I would like to propose a different solution to the lack of communication. In fact, I will propose two. Either we have two "local newspapers" to create a little healthy competition, or maybe the community board can arrange to have an automobile accident in the middle of the meeting (with body parts strewn about the room) to insure front page coverage by our current, and only, "local newspaper."

VINCENT CASTELLANO

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