I am not sure if I have ever mentioned in my column, I am a proud board member of WISH of Rockaway. The day my friends asked me to serve on the board, I was so proud. We work so hard to make a small difference in our community. In the beginning of this awful pandemic, my friend Loretta Courtney was on our Telegram group chat with all different ideas about how we can spread some sunshine. Just as I was writing this column, I was reminded how our members have done such kind things the last few months, two being: delivering letters for front line workers and nursing home residents from local children. Loretta’s first idea was to have kids design rainbows in their windows. Well, walk around the neighborhood and look how many rainbows there are. It is so nice to see, and it does uplift the spirits.
Another thing that I love seeing on my walks around the neighborhood are the blue ribbons around the trees on Newport Avenue. WISH member Christine James brought the Blue Ribbon Challenge to our last general meeting and we organized it. The blue ribbon challenge was to place blue ribbons around trees to support local law enforcement. On March 5, WISH collaborated with St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy and Ms. Re’s sixth grade students and we had a great time. The NYPD Emergency Service Unit came and allowed the children to tour their equipment. It was a great day watching many people in the community come together. Broad Channel saw the idea and quickly decorated Cross Bay Boulevard to encourage the support of our local law enforcement.
Well, what a surprise this morning when my phone started “blowing up” with messages about a post on social media. Someone posted on “Friends of Rockaway Beach” (The page I am blocked from and I believe it was from this column), that they hope the person who placed the blue ribbons has a plan to remove them because the trees’ growth is being strangled. Wow, I thought during the pandemic I had seen it all and saw the worst in people, but this was probably the worst post I saw. It truly displays how people are so negative and have too much time on their hands and how this quarantine can be harmful to people’s mental well being. I am truly worried about this woman. I walk around and see the rainbows and blue ribbons and smile, and she sees tree murderers?
By Beth Hanning