2010-03-12 / Editorial/Opinion

One Blow After Another For Rockaway

It has been a tough winter for the Rockaway peninsula, and it promises to be a tough summer as well. Rockaway has suffered one blow after another recently: the restoration of the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge; the end of the commuter ferry to Manhattan; possible cuts in the Parks Department budget that will make our beaches scarcer and surely dirtier; a subway line under massive reconstruction, necessitating closing stations one after another; a State Senator who is under federal investigation on several fronts, including his involvement with the decision to give his mentor, Floyd Flake, the Racino at Aqueduct Racetrack, his non-profit organization and his Hurricane Katrina charity scam; a federal Representative who is likewise under investigation; the pending closure Beach Channel High School, our only comprehensive high school; the continuing failure of many of our public schools despite the glowing ratings they get from the Department of Education; the closure of one of the major runways at JFK Airport, forcing even more planes to fly over the central and eastern portions of the peninsula; an order by a federal judge that may mean scattering more than a thousand mentally ill people into Rockaway communities; and the failure to renovate our wastewater treatment plant, which pollutes the noses of west end residents, especially in the summer. The list goes on and on. While some of our politicians are not under investigation for one thing or another, and while the development of the Arverne By The Sea amenities continues apace, the peninsula is drifting towards ennui and mediocrity once again, not because of the peninsula’s populace, but because of a corrupt and uncaring political infrastructure. Something must be done to address Rockaway’s transportation and educational needs, and it cannot be done by politicians who seem to care only for their bank accounts and their cronies, and not for the people they serve.

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