2012-06-29 / Editorial/Opinion

Keep The Beach 128 Street Flag Waving

We understand that, with the best of intentions, the family of a deceased woman who lived on Beach 128 Street for many years put up an “illegal” flagpole and memorial at the beach end of the block. And we understand that the city has its rules and regulations, and that it is very important for the City Arts Commission to approve each and every flagpole constructed in New York City. We also understand that DOT official Maura McCarthy, she of the convoluted bike lanes and white striped lines, has the right to take down the pole and remove the memorial because every bureaucratic ‘i’ was not dotted and every ‘t’ was not crossed. We understand all that, but we still believe that the pole should be allowed to stand and the flag should be left to fly in the Rockaway breezes while the family is going through the convoluted permit process to make it legal. It is hard to understand why anybody would oppose the flagpole in the first place. We visited the block and found the flagpole to be non-threatening and hardly the “monstrosity” and “cemetery-like memorial” as opponents claimed. Perhaps a compromise would be to leave the flagpole but remove the small, cemetery-like stone that sits next to it, apparently awaiting a plaque of some kind. Can a single pole block the site lines of a nearby home? We don’t see how. So, we urge McCarthy to let the pole stand, at least for now. Beach 128 is one of the few west end blocks without a flag. Let it wave until all legal avenues are explored.

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