2008-08-15 / Letters

Wave Should Know Better

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to your criticism of the ad hoc committee's efforts to get a suitable recreation facility built in the Rockaways. You suggested that all the committee achieved was some notoriety and some ink in the local paper. My reading of the dictionary tells me that notoriety means "to be known for being notorious." I can assure you that notoriety and ink in the local paper are not things in which any of the members of the ad hoc committee on the recreation center are remotely interested in.

The Wave should know the developers of Arverne are not giving us a YMCA out of the kindness of their hearts.

The Wave should know there would be no plan for any YMCA if not for the efforts of members of the ad hoc committee. Twenty years ago when plans for developing Arverne were being formulated, members of the ad hoc committee stood up and demanded that if we were going to give away over three hundred acres of ocean front public land to a developer, the community should get as a part of the deal, a state-of-the-art recreational facility to meet the needs of all of Rockaway.

The Wave should know that in the last twenty years every time the plan for the recreation center was pushed off the table, it was a member of the ad hoc committee that put it back on the table.

The proposed plan calls for an outdoor gymnasium and a four lane pool. The Wave should know there is no such thing as an outdoor gymnasium. There is such a thing as basketball hoops in a parking lot, but this does not give the children of Rockaway an alternative to alcohol, drugs and gangs in the wintertime when they need it.

The Wave should also know a four lane pool has not been state-of-the-art since the 1920s.

I do not believe that, as stated in The Wave, the community is looking a gift horse in the mouth. To use The Wave's allegory, the community was entitled to a racehorse and we have been given a donkey. I would congratulate the members of the community board for standing up and saying the proposed facility is not good enough, because it is not.

KEVIN CALLAGHAN

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