2010-01-15 / Letters

AWOL Weiner

Dear Editor,

Contrary to the gentle to genial to generous local coverage usually af - forded Rockaway’s Congressman, may I interject a droplet of reality? The record of Congressman Anthony Weiner (AW) – not his press releases – seems to me mostly irrelevant to the Peninsula and somewhere be - tween duplicitous and dangerous for the Nation. Can I say ‘AW ... absent without leave’?

The good Congressman urgently walked the boards after our latest nor’easter to survey beach erosion and assure Rockaway residents he will do all in his power to replenish our glistening beachfront. Over the last eight years, though, where has Rockaway’s Congressman been to pro tect our vulnerable beaches from this all-to-real problem??? ... regrettab ly, AWOL. “ The Congressman is always eager to jump into a bay launch and survey marshland erosion in our historic Ja - maica Bay. Over the last eight years, though, where has Rockaway’s al - ways-energetic Congressman been to limit or reduce sulfuric discharge around the bay’s perimeter??? ... re - grettably, AWOL. And, over the last eight years, where has the Con gress - man been to streamline the many Ja - maica Bay regulatory agencies – some 20 city, state and federal bodies – to improve the bay’s regulatory environment and get stuff done??? ... regrettably, AWOL.

Rockaway is bounded by one of the world’s largest international airports, our gateway to the Western World. Flights, though, are stranded for hours due to insufficient traffic control, ‘near’ misses and runway limitations. Where has our Congressman been to fund airport expansion and FAA improvements??? Regrettably, AWOL. Seattle’s international airport (with roughly one-third JFK traffic) has received more FAA funding over the last 5 years than JFK. Inter na - tion al travelers now joke that our two Queens airports look more like third world destinations than gateways to the world’s greatest nation. Shock ing - ly, Congressman John Murtha’s airport in rural Pennsylvania (that handles three flights per day) is first class due to his untiring efforts; but La - Guar dia and JFK, in AW’s district, sit overwhelmed and dissolute.

Further, an interesting and beneficial waterway link between JFK, Rock away and Manhattan would be an improvement for all parties ... commuters, residents, tourists, travelers and our local businesses. This ‘blue highway’ concept is being vigorously touted across New York City by DOT. Where has Congressman Weiner been, though, to intercede on our be - half to initiate JFK-Rockaway-Man - hat tan ferry service??? ... regrettably, AWOL.

Let’s not forget his promises to im - prove services at the federally managed Riis Park and Wildlife Refuge (remember the Riis Park pool?). Where has he been, though, to fulfill those pledges??? ... regrettably, AW - OL. Riis Park, by the way, is rank ed among the Federal Park Service’s WORST!

Our good Congressman can’t even get a firehouse built for the Broad Channel Vollies!!! At the national level, though, AW has been active and ambitious. Rockaway’s Anthony Wei n - er and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders (a socialist, by the way) both fervently courted the national media to publicize, promote and advocate for health care’s Public Option. Will Govern ment (with a very big ‘G,‘ that is) im prove America’s health care? Here in New York, is the health care record of NYC’s Public Hospitals equal to or better than the record of NYC’s Pri - vate Hospitals? Is NYC’s Public Hous - ing, for another instance, equal to or better than NYC’s Private Housing? Broken elevators, dirty and dangerous stairwells and no heat are emblematic of NYC’s public housing projects, and these very same bureaucrats are gonna transplant your heart and re - place your knee ... earnestly, energetically, effectively and efficiently? Is that what you think; is that what Con - gress man Anthony Weiner believes?

Rockaway’s Anthony Weiner and Manhattan’s Jerry Nadler voted against a Barney Frank anti-discrimination bill because it did not ALSO include transgender discrimination. Rock - away’s Anthony Weiner and Brook lyn’s Nydia Velazquez spearheaded an Am - nesty for Aliens Bill. Rockaway’s An - thony Weiner is a big Cap & Tax (ex - cuse me, Cap & Trade) enthusiast figuring, I guess, that if gas prices go up another $1/gallon fewer people will drive to the job, drive to the stores, drive to the schools, drive to the is - land, etc., etc.

At the global level, Congressman An thony Weiner – from 2002 to 2008 – stood forthrightly against America’s heroic policy to build a democracy in the Mid-East (Iraq). Our good Con - gress man – from January ‘09 to present – now reverses himself to support American efforts to build a democracy in the Mid-East (Afghanistan). Was the Congressman’s change of heart a Damascus-like epiphany – do you think – to reverse his strategic world view?

Some wizened baseball scout re - view ing this young man’s record might say ‘press release power ... big PR, no RBIs.’ Me, I would say far, far worse ... absent at home and dangerous on the road.

PETE STUBBEN

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