2013-02-08 / Columnists

It’s My Turn

Commentary by Hank Iori

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

This letter is being written to urge your office to continue to work diligently with all city, state and federal officials to ensure the immediate resurgence of the Rockaway Peninsula.

Short term needs!

We need to protect all the properties, especially those adjacent to the beachfront, along the entire Rockaway Peninsula to ensure that the tens of thousands of dollars already spent by taxpaying homeowners was not done in vain.

Replenishment of beach sand is a top priority! Currently, there is nothing stopping water from coming onto the blocks in the event a minor storm coupled with a high tide. This would be devastating! The boardwalk needs to be rebuilt as soon as possible, and must be enhanced with a seawall capable of stopping a surge. The beaches from 126th to 149th Streets need a seawall, along with other corrective measures designed by experts, to protect the homes in Belle Harbor and Neponsit.

Long term needs!

Inclusion! The Residents of the Rockaways deserve to have input on the planning that the city is doing relating to our beaches, bay walls, commercial areas and homes. I further agree with our local paper, The Wave, that a design competition should be sponsored by the City. This competition should focus on the long term plans to address future storms. The City of New York is the greatest city in the world! We have talented individuals in our Colleges and Universities, and the best architectural and engineering firms. New York City has a history of innovation. Our bridges, tunnels, water projects, parks, innovative buildings, etc. have always demonstrated our city’s creativity. Super Storm Sandy has given us an opportunity to rise to the occasion and demonstrate what a great city can do to renew its precious waterfront. Just as the freedom tower goes up, so too the Rockaways can rise from the massive devastation we have experienced.

The Army Corps of Engineers is slated to give a presentation to Community Board #14 on February 12th. Residents must come away from that meeting with a sense that coordinated efforts are being undertaken among appropriate City, State and Federal Agencies to ensure Rockaway’s resurgence.

Concerned residents of the Rockaways are respectfully requesting that they be a part of the planning process ensuring it reflects their vision of the greatness of New York City, the Rockaway Peninsula, in particular.

Knowing you to be an elected official who wishes his legacy to be evident throughout this great City of ours, I am confident your response will be one that will have a long lasting positive effect not only on the 130,000 Rockaway residents, but the millions of beachgoers who visit New York City’s finest beaches. Sincerely,

Hank Iori, President
Belle Harbor Property Owners
Association
CC: Governor Andrew Cuomo
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Congressman Gregory Meeks
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder
Councilman Eric Ulrich

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