2011-05-27 / Letters

Wave Wrong On Hockey Rink

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to the misleading information that you printed in the May 20 edition of The Wave regarding the recently completed repairs made to the hockey rink on Beach 109 Street. In that article, you stated that all the repairs were completed by the NYC Department of Parks. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Last September Bobby Keane, Kevin Flaherty and I started the process of trying to get some desperately needed repairs made to the hockey rink. Several of the boards were rotting and the surface was in dire need of repair. There were cracks in the surface that had been temporarily repaired by the Parks Department, but which were getting worse every day, and a potentially dangerous situation was in place for the kids of our community. We went to our local politicians and the Parks Department with our concerns. They were all sympathetic to our plight but told us that there just wasn’t any money on the city or state levels to help out. We then went on to seek permission to make the repairs ourselves. Rockaway Administrator Jill Weber from the Parks Department worked side by side with us to get through the red tape so we could proceed.

Over the fall and the winter we had fundraisers and painstakingly met contractors at the rink to filter through different products and sort through estimates before we found a product that was conducive to the necessary repairs, met with Parks Department guidelines and fit within our financial constraints. Through the generosity of Rockies families, former players, local business people and civic organizations we have been able to — and continue to — raise funds for the rink repairs. Coupled with the hard work by several volunteers we were able to start the process of repairing the rink.

We did not just “patch and re-paint” the surface as you reported. We installed six square feet of asphalt, two 55-gallon drums of acrylic resurfacer (which includes seventeen 100-pound bags of sand), 10 gallons of court patch binder, 150 gallons of street ice blue sport surface, and several gallons of line paint.

The Parks Department kept their word and worked alongside us to replace several of the rotting boards and many of the broken kickers at the bottom of the boards after we completed the surface.

The Rockaway Rockies, Bobby, Kevin and I were never looking for credit for what has been accomplished. But we worry that your article may be misleading to all the people who have generously donated money to support the project, and that it does a disservice to everyone who worked so hard to bring it together. We hope that all the children of our community get to enjoy this beautiful rink.

MIKE LEAHY
PRESIDENT
ROCKAWAY ROCKIES

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