2003-03-22 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter
On The Beach With Beverly Baxter

As we stand poised on the brink of war, we must stand resolved with our troops and with this administration to see this through. Since I am very much a news junkie, I have watched closely and have been mesmerized by how we got to where we are standing today. At first, I was terribly against this pros­pect of war. The reasons had very much to do with President Bush himself and his cowboy vernacular.

For the past few months I have cringed with embarrassment whenever he spoke and could only imagine how the "sophisticated" French have dealt with this frat-boy who was drag­ged up through the privileged walls of the Ivy League. I found his motives for war suspect. After all, it seems whenever we’ve had a President from Texas with oil interests, we forge into war. Bush’s Preemptive Doctrine seemed to be the height of paranoia as well as a clear break from his campaign rhetoric. My feelings have changed. While Bush’s style is unilateral and alienating, if France, Germany, and Russia were truly our allies, they’d be with us. Instead, they have put their own im­mediate economic issues before long-term peace and global security. While they have succumbed to a tyrant’s blackmail, our cowboy has stood high in his saddle. The mass murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people on 911 changed the configuration of what justifies going to war. Tyrant regimes will take our sense of humanity and diplomacy and exploit them as they stall for time. We cannot afford to risk inaction. Terrorists do not make formal declarations of war. I agree that if we prolong any further this war, we will be participating in our suicidal demise. Nobody likes war; and it is sadly that I say, "Let’s roll."

***So, are you going to boycott the purchase of products made in France? Mais Oui! If the French can do billions of dollars in business with Iraq selling it parts for defense weaponry, pesticides, and anything else they could sell to terrorists to kill us with, I think I can live without Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Jean Patou, Moet, and Grey Poupon for awhile! I’m so enraged with the way France has behaved that I don’t even want to walk through my French doors!

AROUND OUR TOWN...I’m sure you’ve taken notice of all the building going on around the business-seat of 116 Street; however, I’m not so certain that it’s all for our general good. While many are pleased to see something being built on the bayfront in what was an empty lot, I’m not so sure that a Duane Reade is what we need in that space. In addition to being unsightly from land and from water, the structure may very well be illegal. It seems that in a Coastal Zone Boundary, there are more laws that govern the use of this particular land than the As Of Right Law. Federal, state, and city rules are applicable. In order for a builder to build within a coastal zone, he must adhere to the New York Waterfront Revitalization Program pursuant to the Coastal Zone Manage­ment Act, which states that a visual corridor must be maintained. There must also be a City Environmental Quality Review, and a traffic study, which conforms to the State Environ­mental Quality Review. Since more than the As Of Right Law applies, the process must begin with a public hearing with the community planning board.

***On the ocean side of Beach 116 Street, the Park Seaport has been sold. It was rumored that it will be a storage facility; but according to a reliable source who’s close to the project, it will be a mini-mall of designer outlet stores. There are also plans for a parking lot on the property behind the gated arcade stores where there is an old pool.

With plans for a seven story apartment building with 172 units on the oceanfront in front of The Beach Club, I hardly believe that this will alleviate our parking problems. It will add to its burden, especially during the summer months. Again, where is the community planning board and chamber of commerce?

***Belated Happy Birthday wishes to Katrina Marie Gummerman.

   See you...On the Beach!


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