Mixing Apples and Oranges
After reading Denis Hamill's article, "My Backyard," which was published in the Daily News on August 12, I felt compelled to respond as it is not "his backyard" and he is confusing the issues.
Your article in the Daily News titled "My Backyard" is a little confusing to me.
I have lived in Rockaway for over 25 years and 16 of them were spent on Beach 105 Street. That beach was always and is still staffed with enough lifeguards. The beaches you mention from Beach 25 Street up to Beach 70 Street, which has never been fully staffed is because there was never anyone on those beaches. For years you couldn't even walk on those beaches because of the piping plovers.
It is unfortunate that you did your walk through on a Tuesday morning when all of the "Belle Harbor and Neponsit Beaches" were staffed. You should have been around during the weekends in July when six beaches in a row were closed from Beach 130 Street down to Beach 124 Street for the whole entire weekend. You should check the 311 records and see how many "Belle Harbor" residents called to complain.
The lifeguard issue is certainly not exclusive to the east end of Rockaway. The same issues affect the west end of the peninsula.
Over the weekends in July when hundreds of families would have liked to enjoy the water and the shore we, "the affluent," were harassed by the PEP squad, too.
The harassment and the closing of beaches has nothing at all to do with race or how much money people have. It is a problem that the chief lifeguards have among themselves inside the lifeguard union.
Let's face it, most of the families that live in "Belle Harbor" and Neponsit" bought their homes long before they were tagged a million dollars. Most of the families that live in these communities are city cops and firemen. I have six firemen that live on my block alone. As far as bowling alleys and movie theaters, we don't have any of those either. I believe many of our children play AAU Basketball and that is open to everyone/
I think you are mixing apples and oranges that isn't fair. Or maybe you are just trying to help stir the pot.