2007-09-07 / Letters

Do The Right Thing On The Swimming Pool

The following letter was sent to City Councilman James Sanders, who represents the eastern end of the Rockaway peninsula. Dear Council Member Sanders,

As a member of this community with long family roots and personal activism, you are more than aware of the needs of our community.

What we have been promised by our government agencies is not what's being delivered.

What the Mayor states in his press release regarding the YMCA is not enough, "more than 65,000 square feet of open space will be developed to accommodate the expected expansion of the facility as the community continues to grow."

How much more do we have to grow to get what we should have now?

Letters As a community we have been living so long without amenities that other communities take for granted that we don't even know what we are missing.

To build a community center let alone a YMCA without a state-of-theart gymnasium is inherently wrong. What kind of programming will we have without a space for our youth to learn and participate in team sports and activities like volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, flag football, soccer, etc.?

These activities exist to teach and foster not only fitness, but more importantly, life skills of cooperation, sportsmanship, teamwork, accomplishing shared goals, leadership skills, empathy, cooperation, listening, questioning, respect, helping, sharing, and communication.

There is no provision for individual or dual sports, either. These are called lifetime sports because they are activities that we can participate in throughout our adult life, such as tennis, paddleball, handball, golf, racquetball, etc. What about our adult population and their need for lifetime activities that are offered at other YMCAs throughout New York?

Please work with the Mayor and give this community what it deserves: a facility that serves as a focal point for this diverse community to better get to know one another, both on the field of sport and activity and as a place for needed social interaction.

The time is now to obtain the funds needed for the expansion of the pool and the design of a state-of-the-aqrt facility that meets today's needs. The future is here. You have spoken about bringing home the bacon, with the money from our airports funded through your office. Please find the way to help fund this vital community need.

The money to cover the cost for this is also growing in the ground of the Rockaways as I write. It is the substantial tax base the city will reap from the development of both private and city lands throughout the community.

If ever there was a time for leadership, it is now.

Please do the right thing- get this city government to do this correctly in the present, not the future.


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