2003-10-10 / Columnists

Sprayview Sticks Stones &

by Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum
Sprayview Sticks Stones & by Environmental Reporter Bernard Blum

Sprayview Sticks Stones

Unity within a group (and between groups too) is of value especially when it brings "peace" and there is spiritual commentary about this unity even when a ‘tolerable fib’ is involved.

But there is also spiritual commentary that evil is not to be performed to do good. So in the case of "lot cleaning" substituted for opening up the Dubos Point creeks’ (for actual mosquito control, which year after year imprisons a segment of the Arverne community in their homes during the summer, in the hottest months) what virtue has there been from the lot cleaning?

And where is all the missing topsoil that ordinary lot cleaning would never produce as a grade change impact (leading to water filled ponds as now at Dubos Point periphery)? Government subsidy for "actual land clearing for development" disguised as a service like mosquito control is "actual flimflam" and its more than a fib when public health protection is interfered with such that Dubos Point creeks are still closed and the swarms still develop in the stagnant water!

Other sites in the NYNJ Harbor Area have not been treated with such ‘evil unity’ for flimflam servicing (with taxpayer funding)! What an insult! So by the end of this year the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have completed a feasibility study for opening the creeks and there is no reason why a local sponsor (or sponsors) cannot be lined up now (see previous column). Pathetic that it’s taken so long!

As the year 2000 reply from the Independent Budget Office shows the "federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) is substantial (along with lesser city funding) for lot cleaning. Mosquito control by city funding is less, but lot cleaning for mosquito control called Community Board 14’s "mosquito weed program’ has certainly cost a lot of calloused souls their place in eternity (should they have such beliefs - an opinion).

It would be nice if some of Rockaway’s officials helped to divert some of the current federal lot cleaning funding towards actual Dubos Point mosquito control (as a byproduct of wetlands restoration) that the Corps intends to perform. All say Amen….

In 2001, the Parks Department – the logical local Dubos Point sponsor – refused to apply for state funds (Environmental Quality Bond Act 1996) by the due date of November 9 (11/9 is the reverse of 9/11). Newsday letters editor has yet to correct a spin that this agency has been cooperative for this planning direction funding.

More information on Dubos Point is available in Smithsonian Magazine July 1990, page 110. The Parks Department web page on Dubos Point completely ignores Friends of Rockaway as pioneer group for this parkland site which is negligence piled upon neglect! The web site sign is mounted at Bayfield and Beach 68 Street – no mention of "forever will mosquito swarms."

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