2000-07-08 / Letters

Not To Boardwalk Vendors

(Letter written to Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington)

This letter is to express to you my anger and disappointment with the Giuliani administration regarding the Parks Department's authorization of vendors selling items on the boardwalks near Beach 116 street in Rockaway Park.

Banners have been placed on street poles advertising "Boardwalk Craft Festival, Beach 113 to 115 streets, every Saturday and Sunday July 1, 2, 3 through Labor Day Weekend, 50 exhibitors, 10 a.m. to dusk. Sponsored by the City of New York."

Mr. Washington, I have met you before and I know that you are familiar with Beach 116 street and how important it is to the Rockaway peninsula. Where does the Parks Department "get off" on slapping around the merchants who pay real estate taxes and support the community year-round? The merchants in this area depend on picking up every dollar they can in this area during the summer months; this is how they can pay to support local activities, baseball teams, and community groups.

This same Parks Department cannot staff these same beaches with lifeguards so that residents who pay for "beach front property" can actually use the beach. This same Parks Department could not open the bathrooms on Beach 116 street for the Ocean Run. Yet, this Parks Department can design and implement an event, which will negatively affect our local merchants every weekend of the summer season.

Why doesn't the Parks Department ask the community if they want lifeguards instead of this craft selling? Why doesn't the Parks Department fix the water-fountains and sprinklers that are broken every weekend? Why doesn't the Parks Department give us something instead of always taking away from this community? Does the city plan to reduce the taxes on the merchants who are hurt by this event week after week?

I have known you to be very available and forthright in our conversations. I am counting on a quick resolution to this matter. Thank you.

ROBERT CURRAN


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