2013-10-04 / Letters

Cure The Mistake

Dear Editor:

Mistakes have been made. When they shut down the electrical power in lower Manhattan for the coming Hurricane Sandy they forgot to include the Rockaway peninsula. The result was over 100 homes burned to the ground by fires that started in electrical boxes.

Mistakes have been made. When they spent the millions of dollars on lifeguard shacks, bathrooms and hipster islands, did they think that those things were more important than rebuilding the burnt homes?

Rockaway welcomes DFDs but for 12 weekends of the summer, so funkiness can flourish at the concession stands did we need to spend that money there, now?

It seems that with a fraction of that money we could have rebuilt the burnt homes. Now it seems it's all about the big money. We are going to spend 200 million dollars and turn our oceanfront into a construction site for many years. They want to build a 16 foot high wall of sand and boardwalk. One of the best things about living in Rockaway is the temperature drop when you come over the bridge in the summer. With a 16 foot wall against the ocean will those cool breezes be pushed above us turning Rockaway into a sweat box? We live on a peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean. There is some risk of flooding here. Pumping sand to make the beach bigger is a good thing. We should do it more regularly.

Repairing the boardwalk to its original state by Memorial Day 2014 is possible. They say the law prevents that. They say the new law mandates that the boardwalk be raised. Why? Protection? Just pump the sand and I'll take my chances with Mother Nature. I like to see the ocean and feel the breeze. The boardwalk of Rockaway, a 5.5 mile stretch of uninterrupted beauty running from Beach 9th Street to Beach 126th Street is our Central Park, It's a shame that a simple thing like a boardwalk has turned into a vehicle for a long expensive unneeded capital project.

I don't want to lose many years of using the boardwalk. I don't want to live by a construction site. Just replace what is missing and get it done by Memorial Day. You want to spend $200 million. Ok, let’s fix the boardwalk with 50; rebuild the burnt houses with 50 and save the other 100 million for a rainy day.

If the above is impossible why not have a plan B? We can petition for a scaled down temporary repair of the boardwalk which would give the community a connected run from Beach 9th Street to Beach 126th Street. If the government will not fund the repair maybe they would let us do it with private money. It seems the alternative is a long wait, a long way off.

What do you think?

JOHN EDWARDS

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