2016-03-18 / Letters

Edgemere Lights Are Offensive

Dear Editor:

As a resident and homeowner living in the Edgemere community (Beach 35th to Beach 50th Street), I am appalled and outraged by the lack of consideration and sensitivity shown once again to the Far Rockaway community and residents.

Since, Wednesday, March 2, Far Rockaway has been bombarded with high beam flood lights that are not just impacting the quality of life of residents, they are also infringing on our sleep, an intrusion to our civil liberties. In addition, they pose a potential traffic hazard when driving at night.

Apparently, Mayor de Blasio and Councilman Richards have chosen to use the residents of Far Rockaway as their social experiment in a $4.5 Million Crime Study Grant. This study is being conducted throughout the various NYCHAowned housing developments in Far Rockaway in which, gasoline generator operated high beam flood lights are being placed on public sidewalks in every entrance way of NYCHA developments.

This is not just affecting NYCHA residents; this is impacting the community as a whole. This is a six month study in which these high beam lights are shining from dusk to dawn (March 2 to September 2) to study crime in urban housing developments.

This is like having 24 hours of daylight, has anyone studied the psychological and social impact these lights are going to have on residents? This is offensive; there must be a better and more dignified way to study crime without the criminalization of a community. There was absolutely no community participation or advisement of public meetings, no flyers or door knockers signs given to Edgemere homeowners in close proximity to NYCHA housing nor NYCHA residents who also have been inquiring about these lights after their installation.

Is this another way of policing a minority community at any expense? What happened to the millions of dollars earmarked for lighting and cameras for NYCHA development? Where is the Resilient and Recovery money that DOT was allocated to install new LED street lights throughout the Rockaways post Hurricane Sandy? Where are the 1,000 new police officers that were promised under the new community policing reform?

This study is ill conceived and doing the Far Rockaway community a public disservice and stigmatizes every law abiding resident. These lights need to go - today!

JACKIE ROBERTS

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