Gateway Holds ‘Information’ Session
Gateway National Recreation Area held an informational session about the future management of the park on Wednesday afternoon and was greeted by a small, but angry mob of residents who are skeptical about their role in determining the park’s future use.
Many in attendance at Floyd Bennett Field’s Ryan Center were from Breezy Point and are concerned that Gateway will oust the community under the new plan and commercialize the park in order to make more money. The exact plans of how they will do that is interpreted differently depending on who you talk to. That’s most likely because the plan details remain extremely vague and offer no specific details on what each of the four alternative choices for the park’s future use really mean for the local community.
Therefore when residents showed up to the information session they were hoping to gather some concrete details, but were all told to record their comments on paper without the opportunity for a formal presentation or Q&A session. This outraged everyone in attendance.
Assembly District Leader Lew M. Simon hijacked the open house however and in his typical fashion, screamed at the National Park Service officials who were organizing the information session.
“I am here because of your attempt again to commercialize Gateway,” Simon screamed. “I’m outraged like everyone else is. You are not good neighbors to our community. You are constantly breaking the backs of the Rockaway Little League, The Rockaway Artists Alliance, The Rockaway Theater Company, the soccer, etc. It seems to be extortion. Why can’t you be good neighbors and allow us to use this as a community park. Instead it’s all about money.”