2007-09-14 / Letters

Where Is The Fundraising Effort?

Dear Editor,

For at least twenty years Rockaway residents have supported and worked for an athletic center with a full-size pool that would be used for swimming practice and competition by local schools and athletic groups. Members of swimming teams have always been a substantial source of new lifeguards. New community members and those planning community facilities should know that Rockaway residents will work together to win this fight.

I have participated in water safety training programs in three locations, Brooklyn College, St. Albans Naval Hospital (now Roy Wilkins Park) and the Brooklyn YWCA. All had full-size pools and all parts of the pools were used during the training class.

The cost of building a modern community center is substantial. Where is the campaign to raise money by selling life memberships for the center and pool? Do we want to have company names on the tiles around the pool?

New York City Department of Parks currently operates 45 pools (10 indoor). None are close to Rockaway. Why shouldn't the Parks Department contribute part of the construction cost? Teaching water safety and swimming is part of the curriculum in many good schools. Shouldn't the Department of Education contribute some of the costs and bring classes over for instruction?

Several developers of Rockaway housing have received extremely valuable beachfront land. Public streets have also been made private property. Many developers have received tax abatements, while longtime residents pay full taxes. Have these developers contributed their share to making our community the pride of the east coast? Why shouldn't they contribute part of their tax abatements toward the improvement of the community they are located in?

Most Rockaway elected officials seem to be looking for higher office. Shouldn't we tell them to finish the job of taking care of Rockaway before they think of moving on?

More than fifty years ago some Rockaway leaders (Was it the Chamber of Commerce?) decided that Rockaway's railroad service should temporarily be connected to the Fulton Street line in Brooklyn. We are still trying to correct that mistake. Let's not make another mistake that Rockaway residents will be trying to correct fifty years from now.


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