2004-02-06 / Community

Weiner Chides Mayor For AA 587 Meeting

By Howard Schwach
Weiner Chides Mayor For AA 587 Meeting By Howard Schwach

Representative Anthony Weiner has released a February 2 letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which the Con gressman charged the mayor with a lack "of consultation and consideration" in regard to a site for a memorial for those who died on American Air lines Flight 587 when it crashed in to Belle Harbor in November of 2001.

"On behalf of the residents of Rock away and the families of the victims of Flight 587, I am writing to express our deep concern about the lack of consultation and consideration by your administration in the planning for a memorial for the tragic crash,"Weiner wrote. "Recent reports in The Wave in dicate yet again that meetings about the future memorial have been held by officials of the Community Assistance Unit and Parks Department without notification of any of the representatives of either the victims of the community of Belle Harbor."

"Instead," Weiner continues, secret meetings and the revival of previously rejected ideas like a memorial at Beach 126 Street have been the order of the day."

The "secret" meeting that prompted Weiner’s letter was held between Jon athon Greenspun, the commissioner of the mayor’s Community Assis tance Unit and Rich Murphy, the Queens Superintendent for the Parks Depart ment.

They two men and members of their staff met at the Rockaway Sunset Diner for a meeting that did not include any of the other constituent groups such as Weiner, the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, the Belle Har bor Property Owners Association, or any of the myriad groups representing the families of the victims.

The city representatives looked at two sites on the Rockaway visit – the Rockaway Tribute Park on Beach 116 Street and the triangle of land be tween the bay wall and Beach Chan nel Drive between Beach 126 and Beach 129 Street.

Weiner, who is exploring a run for mayor against Bloomberg in 2005, offered his good offices in reaching a compromise on a site for the memorial.

"As the representative of Rockaway and as somebody who had met extensively with the families of the victims, I am available to assist you in navigating this complex and sensitive issue. I have previously extended this offer to members of your staff.

The community has officially offered a spot in Tribute Park to the families of those who died in the crash.

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