2002-12-14 / Columnists

Sprayview Sticks and Stones

By Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

By Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

It goes without saying that Rockaway has needed a Convention Center Entertainment Interpretive Center Complex in the Arverne-Edgemere Renewal Area off the boardwalk and located in a way for conservation of habitat, so nothing out of scale!

This approach would provide Rockaway a "waterfront identity for recreational-economic development.’ But since Rockaway is not in Jamaica or in Manhattan where all manner of waterfront proposals are taking place, e.g., 10 million dollar state and city funding off Harlem waterfront piers and restaurant development and Manhattan piers development proposals, etc. There is nothing comparable for Rockaway despite Emil Lucev’s historical reviews of a glorious crowd-filled recreational past.

Technodrome was an opportunity for such potential. But when asked of the influential Eugenia Flatow (Coalition for the Bight), see previous column, she told me the Corps of Engineers would not let it be built because of floodplain management issues. So what of the housing boom, sardine can style residential development planning issue and land clearing by city bulldozer brigades?

Eugenia Flatow, with a partner now at Regional Plan Association (RPA), where he is Senior Fellow, appear to be controllers or gatekeepers of what is to happen in Rockaway/Jamaica Bay and have little opposition for more meaningful waterfront development ‘up until now.’ To Sprayview knowledge he worked for the Cuomo administration. Andrew Cuomo, the son, was into housing construction and as Secretary of HUD would not stop funding land clearing of Rockaway sites by Consolidated Plan Vacant Lot Cleaning grants, held as "improper" with no oversight according to Friends of Rockaway and others.

Eugenia Flatow has not lived up to her potential to save "habitat strip-mining" or land cleaning, nor has RPA Senior Fellow Appleton. As Chair of the NYC Audubon Society, he and Trust For Public Land proposed a "Beach to Bay Park" in a "Buffer The Bay" proposal, which Dubos Point (aka "Shrine of Flies") initiated (see Smithsonian Magazine July 1990, page 110 for Friends of Rockaway involvement).

Instead of Olympic games, aspirations on our waterfront, we can continue destroying wildlife and habitat senselessly and big dredging and fill games (toxic sediments or not involved).

The Community Board arrangement, as advisory, is flawed as to breaking away for logical approached to waterfront as in the aforementioned. The puppeteer (from in and out of Rockaway) puppet relationship is apparent and pathetic. But enjoy if you, the readership, likes current Rockaway plans. But it removes Rockaway from the kind of proposals that bring tourist economy – environmental science museum educational pluses….

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