2010-03-05 / Letters

Who’s Fit For The Community?

Dear Editor,

I was very surprised to see the article in Miriam Rosenberg’s “East End Matters” about the planning process. I guess no good deed goes unpunished. But I am even more surprised you wasted your column on printing my email for all to read. There surely must be more than this to write an editorial on.

But this seems par for the course. No one can do much good in Rockaway without being criticized. Is there anyone fit to represent the community? The Rockaway community has been so divisive that it is what has led us to where we are now.

Rockaway has been the butt of jokes for too long. And the kind of stone throwing you promoted in your article is just what divides the community and keeps it “status quo.” You should take a closer look at the title of your own column “East End Matters … ? If you really believed that you wouldn’t be the one to stir up trouble.

Of all people to question who the “community is.” Shame on you. You have known me a long time and know full well the people I and members of RWA have brought together. The events we have organized. The after school programs we lead. I am like countless others who work to improve the quality of life for the local Rockaway community. But it is a tough place to bring any sort of positive change when everyone is working against one another.

Our planning meeting had a great turnout with positive energy and excitement. But it almost seemed too good to just leave at that. I guess that is not what sells papers?

Nothing on this peninsula has happened by waiting for others to take the lead. Take a look around. Edgemere Landfill. Arverne East. YMCA, Natl Grid site. Jacob Riis Bathouse. Neponsit Health Center. Should I go on?

It is no small task to take on a planning process to get the community together. And unless we can get EVERYONE involved in this process it will not be successful. The meeting we had last month had a lot of positive energy and we want to keep it that way. Having meetings just for the sake of meeting is not productive and will only cause people to disengage.

Since the January meeting I have been meeting with others who have taken on similar projects and speaking with funders to get interest. This is not something that will require a team of community members. But bear in mind that after getting more information together we will be asking for people’s input. And on that note, Miriam, I will expect full participation from you at each meeting to take notes, write grants, lead tours and possibly even drive visitors around the peninsula. So catch up on your rest now. It may be the last time you get a chance to sit back and enjoy the calm.

JEANNE DUPONT

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