2000-06-03 / Editorial/Opinion

Fighting For Our Beaches

Looks like Rockaway is in for another fight. Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone and many of Rockaway’s beaches remain closed -- without lifeguards.

Rockaway’s beaches are our prize resource. Actually, in many ways, it is our only resource -- attracting people from all over the city during the hot summer months. Without lifeguards on our beaches, and with beaches closed, what will this mean for our summer season?

The Parks Department is saying that a lifeguard shortage, primarily because high school and college students are not yet available, is the problem. If this is so, then by the end of June this problem should be resolved. If it’s not, and Rockaway’s beaches remain closed, we know that the Parks Department has once again turned their back on our community. Would Parks do this in Coney Island?

It’s time to draw a line in the sand -- we must hold our elected officials accountable. Every resident should call and write Councilmembers Al Stabile and Juanita Watkins, demanding that they get us adequate coverage on our beaches. Maybe we can foolishly accept from our local elected officials that they can’t do anything about Rockaway’s slumping economy, 20 percent unemployment rate, and deteriorating schools, but at the very least we should expect them to fight for our beaches. Remember, we are a beachfront community! If they can’t get us lifeguards, what good are they?

Commissioner Stern -- please pay attention to Rockaway. We have been neglected for too long by your agency. Residents are tired of the city not giving us what we rightfully deserve. We will write, call, protest, and rally for what little we have left -- but what Rockaway loves so much -- our beaches.

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