2013-08-16 / Columnists

It’s My Turn

The More Things Stay The Same
By Sharon Gabriel

Reading The Wave last week, several articles drew my attention. Somehow it seems that as much as things change here in Rockaway, they seem to stay the same; such as the article about the National Park Service seeking public input on what is most important in carrying out a new 20-year-vision.

Somehow I can remember this same type of request at least twice in the last couple of years. Last summer they set up a tent on the boardwalk at Riis Park asking for recommendations and ideas from organizations in Rockaway. I went representing the Rockaway Music and Arts Council to see if we could find some way to continue our Summer Picnic Concerts. The people manning the tent did not really have any information other than to fill out a form and contact someone in either Floyd Bennett or Sandy Hook. I cannot remember just where. However, the whole day was just a sham.

There were people from other organizations and representatives from The Wave and we were all standing around thinking what was the purpose if the people there couldn't help. I'm sure the powersthat be reviewed those forms. So what did they do? Nothing. Now they are at it again asking for community input. Do they ever listen, do they even care, or just go on and do their own thing?

Another time, there was an article in The Wave, and I'm not sure which executive from either Gateway or the Department of the Interior made statements, but they wanted input from the community as to what they would like in the park. Ideas were given to them and you can see how well that went over. Now they are asking again.

According to the latest article, the public is invited to review the draft general management plan and share their input.

And then what?

My bet is that the community input will be put in the proverbial circular file. In other words, the garbage. It's sad that our government spends and spends and we get nothing for our dollars as far as our side of the park is concerned.

Maybe they will do three or four more reviews before they do anything. My long held theory is that they really want close this side of the park, Riis and Fort Tilden so they can save money. I hope I'm wrong and that I'll see some progress before I leave this world.

Another article last week had to do with the sand replenishment. Once again sand is going to be pumped onto our beaches. This is the umpteenth time it has been done. It's great that we will once again have big beaches but the thing that is needed is either groins or jetties.

As a child growing up in Rockaway and being at the beach every day back then, I can never remember sand having to be pumped onto the beach because each street had a wooden jetty which held the tide back. If we had them last October, maybe Superstorm Sandy would not have been so bad. It's like putting a Band-Aid on a large wound. It won't hold.

Last, but not least, I want to wish my friend, Kevin Boyle, good luck after his bike accident. Hey, Kev, maybe you need training wheels on that bicycle or better yet, use an electric cart to get around.

See you all around town.

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