2001-07-14 / Editorial/Opinion

The Riis Park Pool Mystery

The Riis Park Pool Mystery

For years, over several political administrations, Rockaway has been promised a state of the art, Olympic-style pool at Riis Park. It was first promised by Representative Floyd Flake, then by Representative Charles Schumer and, finally, by Representative Anthony Weiner. Just two weeks ago, Schumer, who is now a Senator, called to say that the money had finally been allocated to allow for a pool at Riis Park. He was effusive in his belief that the money that local legislators (including himself, Weiner and Clinton) have written into next year’s allocation for the Interior Department would include a pool. The following day, however, one of the daily papers carried a story that the National Park Service (NPS) planned to use the money for general repairs and infrastructure. Local activists, many of whom had been called personally by Schumer with the good news, were outraged. Calls by this paper to Schumer, Weiner and the NPS elicited the news that the park service had to use the money for a pool only if the House and Senate Conference Committee specifically writes the word "pool" into their bill. This week, Weiner told another daily paper that the money would be used for a "phased restoration of the bathhouse." It is hard to understand why three experienced legislators would trumpet to the community the coming of an amenity that the community has wanted and needed for so many years when they have every right to know that it might never be. That is disingenuous at best and downright dirty as worst. It is now incumbent upon Weiner, Schumer and Clinton to get involved with the debate and make sure that the pool is specifically written into the compromise bill. They owe us no less.

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