Frustrated In Far Rockaway

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 Dear Editor:

A few weeks back, The Rockaway Times congratulated all the community board volunteers that were reinstated for another two year term by the interim Queens Borough President. With that said, I'm writing this letter Tuesday morning Election Day as I walk along the beach in the mid and upper Beach 20s where I live.

Maybe our community board members don't spend time on the beach and surrounding area in Far Rockaway, because the beach in the Beach 20s is a disgrace. It is littered with debris which includes bottles, garbage bags, broken glass, and rotten food from religious nightly rituals. The same debris has been there since Sunday. This year, there isn't one trash can on the beach for beachgoers to use.

I also notice how the vacant lots surrounding the beach along the mid- twenties until about Beach 35th Street is littered with trash and illegally parked cars which also includes at least a half dozen abandoned cars. I see a beautiful public school on Beach 28th-29th Street with a well-groomed playing field. Unfortunately, those children whose windows face east see nothing but a parking lot with derelict/abandoned vehicles. Every representative of the community board has ignored over the last year and a half. Emails with pictures have been sent multiple times to our local community board without any response or action. Also, many calls and emails by me were sent to the 101 Precinct, the Parks Commissioner, the DOT, the Mayor, the Sanitation Department and our many local politicians. I have not received any responses or seen any changes.

In fact, as I'm writing this letter, I now see an abandoned car was now just left on beach 26th Street about 50 feet from our taxpayers’ $140 million boardwalk. The reason I find it hard to believe that Community Board 14 cares is because they have never responded to any of my emails laying out my concerns regarding my community. Those emails included detailed pictures. Where are the community board members from? I find it hard to believe any live in Far Rockaway. If they did, I'm sure they would have seen the lounge chair off of Beach 33rd Street that has been sticking out like a sore thumb in a vacant lot off the boardwalk for the last 10 months.

The board has been made aware of the garbage, illegal cars and abandoned vehicles. How hard would it be to for the board to call and make a plan with the sanitation department, the police and the DOT to do something about the trash, illegally parked cars and the junk littering our community, and why haven't they? Far Rockaway held the record for second highest death toll per capita from the coronavirus, yet until very recently, Far Rockaway, a community of over 70,000 had no permanent testing sites and why NOT?!

The shopping center that was in the center of Far Rockaway at Central and Mott was torn down for affordable housing. In doing so, one of the only two banks in Far Rockaway town proper was forced to close its doors. But no big deal, Far Rockaway residents can do what many Rockaway residents having been already doing, do most of their shopping in the Five Towns.

Truth be told, I see nothing in my neighborhood that makes me pleased that our members of Community Board 14 were reinstated for another two year term.

Harvey Brownstein

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