In last week's editorial in The Wave, the charge was made that the city's Department of Parks was closing a number of boxing programs and that the closing of Irish Ropes in Arverne was somehow connected to those other closings. A Parks spokesperson called, however, to say that the Irish Ropes program was not run by the agency and they had nothing to do with the closing of that particular boxing program.
Disabled And Disgruntled
Some years ago, I suffered a serious illness which left me with an artificial bone, and a metal rod from my hip to my knee. My mobility is obviously impaired and, at times, I have been confined to a wheelchair, or needed the use of crutches to walk. Currently, I use a cane which enables me to walk very short distances.
As a result of my medical condition, I was issued a blue handicapped parking hanger, specifically for use in designated handicapped parking spaces only. I also qualified for a New York City Special Parking ID, which is a pass you display on your dashboard. It permits you to park in metered spaces, as well as park in areas which bear the following signs: "No Parking Except Authorized Vehicles," and more importantly, " No Parking Anytime ." Obviously, this pass was of great assistance to me in my daily activities.
Up until the newly designed parking "extravaganza" began on Beach 116 Street, the general public was not permitted to park on the curb (because the sign read: " No Parking Anytime "). Since my permit allows me to park in the No Parking Anytime areas, I could park at the curb showing that sign, and thus have manageable access to the stores in which I shop.
This is no longer an option for me, because now our new parking rules call for everyone to park in the metered spaces along the curb , and so rarely is there a space any longer available. This is a great hardship for me, as I am only physically able to walk a short distance, and it might be a block from my space to my destination. Please note: There are no handicapped spaces available on all of Beach 116 Street, from Beach Channel Drive to the boardwalk, on either side. The only handicapped spaces are located in the municipal lot, which in my case, would allow me to walk as far as the train station, or the firehouse (not to any of the stores on either block from the municipal lot to the boardwalk. Kind of limits you, wouldn't you say?). Now, I must hit it lucky finding a nearby space, or rely on someone to drive me and drop me off.
The next change came shortly after our newly designed driving regulations on Shore Front Parkway. In addition to the chaos this has caused when driving, it also added another dimension. All along Shore Front Parkway, the signs previously read: "No Parking Anytime." I could, therefore, previously park anywhere on Shore Front, and walk to the beach, or across the street to visit family and friends who live in Dayton. The "privilege" is also now gone, because the "No Parking Anytime" signs were "replaced" by "No Standing Anytime" from Beach 108 Street to Beach 74 Street. My permit does not allow parking in a "No Standing Anytime" area, and so I face yet another challenge, and have come to lost more of my little independence.
When I looked up one day and much to my surprise, saw all the white No Parking Anytime signs has been changed to red No Standing Anytime signs, not only did I realize I was out of luck. I also kept wondering just WHO it was they felt was parking in the No Parking Anytime area to begin with? Oh, yes, a few worthy lifeguards who protect our beaches and our families, and park during summer months only, and only in the daytime! Then again, perhaps it is the few paddleball players who remove their cars at the end of the game! The rest of the time, there were never any cars parked on Shore Front Parkway to begin with (except those, like myself, who had special parking permits). WHY were these signs changed, and by whom? More importantly, did it "benefit" anyone? No- instead it "hurt" the handicapped.
As you can see, my special permit pass is now almost useless to me, and I am sure I am not the only one affected by these changes. I am a woman in my fifties. I hate to think of the elderly population. Who is it that makes these abrupt decisions? Obviously, it is not anyone who has given any consideration, or foresight, to the plight of the handicapped.
Like many, I have sat quietly by and watched a house being built in every possible square inch of available property (half of which are not sold, not rented, or not affordable). I realize the days of summer bungalows lining the streets of our beach community are sadly all but a thing of the past; however, I find it incredible that if you do drive down a specific street for a week, you will see more new, unoccupied buildings built, as well as continual changes in the driving/parking patterns.
I also silently resent the fact that Coney Island seems to continue to gain positive attention, including the Brooklyn Cyclones, while Rockaway gains housing, 99 cent stores, and banks! Have you recently tried to find a place to meet a friend for a cup of coffee? There are none. Next time there is a major storm, or hurricane, turn on any channel on the television, and guess which beach area they will focus on? You've got it!
While I may have remained quiet about my personal feelings concerning housing issues, or Coney Island's ongoing attention, I can no longer be silent about this handicapped parking situation, or my special parking permit which has all but become worthless in our community. The recent changes in parking regulations, and parking signs, have grossly impeded my life. I felt it should be brought to the attention of the community, the politicians, the powers that be, and that somebody should be working, the powers that be, and that somebody should be working to protect the needs of the handicapped, young and old alike.
Thanks New Sponsor
To the Editor,
For many years, there were few activities that Rockaway teens could participate in year-round.
The new Aviator Sports Complex in Floyd Bennett Field is changing that. The complex hosts many sports teams that Rockaway residents can join and form.
My friends and I decided to form a flag football team. After meeting with staff at Aviator I went in search of a sponsor. THANK YOU Century 21 on Beach 116 St. Century 21 is sponsoring our flag football team and supporting the teens in our community.
Republicans Are Targets
The following letter was sent in and directed to Robert Sarnoff, editorial cartoonist for The Wave.
Regarding your "clever" cartoon about President Bush's remarks about the Mark Foley incident: Foley stepped down and rightfully so, for engaging in computer sex, not actual sex, with an underage House page.
Democratic Representative Gary Studds actually engaged in physical sex, mind you, with an underage page and what was his punishment? He was rewarded with a chairmanship position!
Why is it all the time that Republicans are held to a higher standard of ethics than Democrats?
At Zoning Meeting
The following letter was sent in by Fran Stathis to Rockaway residents.
As you may/may not know, the Community Board has asked to local homeowners associations to survey their members regarding the re-zoning of their areas.
Because Beach 129 Street to Beach 108 Street is made up of different zones, the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association has held several meetings to inform/explain the different zonings. The fourth and perhaps final meeting will be held on Thursday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. The purpose of this meeting is to hear your voice so that the association may pass it along to the Community Board, who will then vote on the matter. This is why it is imperative that you attend the meeting and voice your opinion.
Speakers will be limited to three minutes and must be a member of the organization- so that every member will have a turn to voice his or her opinion. If you are a resident, but not a member, please join the organization so that your voice can be heard. It will have a lasting affect on our beautiful neighborhood.
The Neponsit and Belle Harbor homeowners' associations have voted to leave their zoning as is. One reason was that they don't have the overdevelopment concerns that other areas face.
Over the past few years, there has been an influx of new housing in the Rockaways. In my opinion, our area is overdeveloped. Much of the new housing is still For Sale. I've been informed that the beautiful Ocean Grande is Not Sold Out, in fact, I heard they are now trying to rent units; the new condos on Beach 125 Street Are Not Selling; Arverne by the Sea is Not Sold Out, and neither are the Belle Shores Condos on Beach 101 Street. Plus, we now have the new seven story apartment building going up on Beach 119 Street/boardwalk- which replaces one house, and the apartment building on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 124 Street. How many apartments/parking spaces will be provided? I don't believe Beach 124 Street has any.
The Chamber of Commerce has voted to recommend to the Community Board to up-zone commercial area which includes housing above stores on Beach 116 Street, Rockaway Beach Boulevard, and/or Beach Channel Drive on Beach 129 Street and/or on Newport Avenue.
We ALL agree that our commercial district needs development and a new face-lift. But at what cost? We don't need more dollar stores or housing.
Should we down-zone the residential area and leave the commercial zoning as is? Do you feel that the last thing we need is to increase density, especially in our commercial district? Should developers be required to provide one or more parking spaces per apartment/unit?
I think we should wait and see what happens with all this new housing before we decide to add more, but that's just my opinion. What's yours?
Let your voice be heard: attend the meeting. Let the association know how you stand on this very important topic. I've been vocal on this topic...you should be too.
All letters submitted to The Wave, including those sent via e-mail, must contain names, addresses and phone numbers. All letters are subject to editing and publication at the discretion of the editors. The Wave will no longer publish letters in which the name is withheld, unless, in the opinion of the editorial board, there is a compelling public interest to do so.
If you didn't see your letter this week, don't despair. The volume of letters
we receive each week dictates that some be held over for the following week.