Other Than The Sand
With the closing of sections of beach, here’s some free suggestions: walk around Rockaway and try two new bakeries in the 80s and 90s with heavenly croissants, try restaurants, and visit Boarders with all new bikes on 97th Street on the beach or visit them on Beach 92nd Street. The most amazing navy blue, yellow and red bikes for the community to rent. A friend went to 101 Deli and got me the most amazing hero. It could feed two adults, but I ate it all. Rockaway is like a piece of heaven hidden across from Manhattan, only a ferry ride or train ride to heavenly beaches that just need a little donation of sand…
Hidden Open House
A few days ago I saw a notice, apparently the only one posted, at the Beach 149th Street bus shelter. There is to be an “Open House” regarding a "travel path adjustment" for the Q35 and changes in the Q22. No details.
No details and not a lot of publicity about the "Open House." No notices about this on the buses themselves or on the timetable signposts at every stop. No one I know who uses the bus regularly had any awareness that the Open House was occurring.
On the morning of the meeting, I called City Council Member Eric Ulrich's office. They had not been informed and all their staff were committed to attending other functions that evening so they couldn't send anyone.
Suspicious, I decided to look on the web and to attend. At the “Open House,” a gaggle of MTA staff there said they had reached out, leafleted and put up posters. Strange, no one saw these. The MTA folks said they had informed Community Boards. Too late for me to check on this.
On questioning, the MTA folks there admitted they had not published any announcement in The Rockaway Times, a free paper with a wide circulation.
MTA reps told me that the poor attendance at the open house should be interpreted as tacit approval of the changes — even though the changes had, until the open house, never been widely disseminated or presented in user-friendly detail. They said that “surveys” had told them the Q22 needed improvements. Of course, if you ask anyone if they'd like to see improvements to anything, they'll say “yes.”
From my personal experience in government and international organizations, this is how you sidestep any possible opposition to whatever you want to do—slip this by and then say you had a meeting and no one seemed to care enough to show up.
On inquiry, we're told that at the meeting we can "learn and ask questions about the changes" not the PROPOSED changes. Just “changes.” Looks like they think this is a fait accompli and, having had an “Open House” they could check off one more box.
At the “Open House,” I was reassured that I and others would be “only mildly inconvenienced.” I thought that rather patronizing from all the well-dressed “well-bred and well-fed” bureaucrats who had never taken the already inadequate service out here. If you have to walk two to four blocks to a Q35 bus stop now, under the (apparently inevitable) coming arrangement, you will have to walk four to six blocks … and there will be no shelter when you get there. If they had, they'd know that walking an extra two blocks in driving rain or snow and waiting 15 minutes for a bus that theoretically should already be there is not a lot of fun. Better get some foul-weather gear. Mildly inconvenienced?
Incidentally, I asked a few of the MTA officials (who outnumbered community resident attendees) if they had come to the open house by Number 2 or 5 trains and then transferred to the Q35 and then to the Q22. I got rolled eyes from one and a terse NO from two.
The ferries are great but the bus routes are the lifeblood of the Rockaway Peninsula. It's not a lack of passengers, over 4,000 people ride the Q35 on an average weekday, this despite the wretched condition of the ancient buses.
Remember, every time they say they are doing something to improve our lives be sure to look very carefully.
The quote that was attributed to me in the May 10 issue of The Rockaway Times (The CB 14 Pipeline Article) did not reflect the words I spoke or the spirit with which they were written and delivered. My comments were truncated and words that I did not say were included. I have chosen not to repeat the quote here, as I find it harsh and divisive. Below is an overview of what I actually said at the Community Board 14 Meeting on May 8.
After listening to Williams Company representatives at a Community Board 14 Environmental Meeting, I am convinced of the dangers of the proposed pipeline. With its poor track record for safety, I believe that the company cannot be trusted to install and maintain a safe and sustainable project. I view the company’s grant money to local groups as an attempt to gain support for its assault on the safety and well-being of our peninsula.
While blaming or shaming those who accepted money from The Williams Company will not serve us, it is important that we name what has happened here. Only in standing together in truth, with our eyes wide open, can we protect life in Rockaway. So that we can have an honest discussion based on complete information, I ask that those with ties to the Williams Company disclose this when they comment on the pipeline and Community Board members involved with the company recuse themselves from voting on the issue.
With integrity, courage and heart, we can protect Rockaway from the Williams Pipeline. It was in this spirit that Community Board 14 voted to oppose The Williams Pipeline at the end of its May 8 meeting. When we take action from this place of fierce compassion, the possibilities are as infinite as the waves in the ocean.
Dear Rockaway Times:
Congratulations on another outstanding Summer Guide. The shot from above that captured the entire peninsula was inspired! Great shot. We keep the Guide on a table so all our summer visitors can have a look to see what’s available and going on. Congratulations again on a truly magnificent publication.
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