2004-04-23 / Editorial/Opinion

Coming Of Spring Revives Hope For Future

Coming Of Spring Revives Hope For Future

Spring is traditionally a season connected with the revival of hope and redemption, not only in the religious world, but in the secular world as well. The sun comes out, spirits soar and Rockaway residents turn to wearing shorts and T-shirts. This year, those who live on the peninsula should have more hope for its future than last year at this time. First of all, the first section of Arverne By The Sea is sold out and scheduled for an early summer opening. That should put to rest once and for all the Rockaway mantra that "even if you build it, nobody will come." The developers built it and thousand came. The next section, to be built on the section north of Rockaway Beach Boulevard, will begin shortly and may be even more expensive than the completed section. That is good news for Rockaway. Secondly, things are looking up for those of us who use the beach in the summer (and, why would you be living in Rockaway if you did not use the beach). The State is presently taking comments on a new Health Department rule that will allow New York City to designate surfing beaches as well as allow surfers and fishermen on our beaches after beach hours. That will solve one beach problem, but not another. We still want to see a change in beach and boardwalk access hours before Memorial Day begins the beach season. City Councilman Joe Addabbo says that the surfing question is just the first step and that he would then address the access hours. We will have to wait and see if he keeps his word. In addition, the new commanding officer of the 100 Precinct seems to be more attuned to the needs and mores of the community than the last captain, who has been transferred to another precinct (one without a beach and boardwalk, we hope). On the business front, Joanie Omeste, the newly-appointed Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce, who was active in the Business Improvement District (BID) in Times Square (Manhattan) is working with local business people to bring a BID to the west end of Rockaway. If that is a success, she says, then the east end is next. That, added to the new businesses planned for Arverne By The Sea, could bring an economic boom to the peninsula akin to the building boom that is now in its third year. All in all, things are looking up.

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