2008-02-29 / Letters

Show The Mayor Your Displeasure

Dear Editor,

I have never seen the Rockaway community in such agreement as I have regarding the proposed YMCA. The community, the Community Board and virtually every elected official from the City Council to the United States Senate has raised his or her voice to the Mayor that the YMCA as planned is inadequate. It does not meet the needs of our community.

We carry the burden of many of the problems of this city. Half of the public housing in Queens County is located in Rockaway. We have over 30 nursing homes and health related facilities. Although we carry the burden of many of New York City's problems, we get few of the benefits. We live in a community with very little for our children to do, especially in the winter.

The Rockaway community pays a price for the idleness of our youth. We have a problem with alcohol and drug use among our youth and there has been an increase in gangs. The Y as planned has only four lap lanes for swimming and no indoor gym.

Borough President Helen Marshall wrote a letter to Mayor Bloomberg requesting that the Y be expanded to meet the needs of our community. Our City Council representative, our Assembly representatives and our State Senate representative co-signed the letter. Our Congressman as well as Senators Schumer and Clinton contacted the Mayor to support the Y expansion.

Marshal even identified a funding source. The city has some $60 million it has received from the Port Authority of NY and NJ from the airports. We also pay a very big price for having the airports in our community. Our children's health is impacted by the noise and air pollution as well as the runoff into the bay. We suffer at times from crippling traffic, and let us not forget the plane that fell on our heads in 2001.

It is not right for the Port Authority to walk out of our community with billions of dollars and put nothing back.

What was our Mayor's response to the request by our community and our elected officials? He ignored it.

He never responded to the Borough President's letter. This Mayor works for us. I believe in treating people with the same respect I would like to receive. Mayor Bloomberg has no respect for our community or us.

It is my hope that my neighbors will show their displeasure with the Mayor, if he is foolish enough to show up at the Rockaway St. Patrick's Parade. No respect.

KEVIN CALLAGHAN

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