From the Queens Tribune:
[David] Oats, who died suddenly on Feb. 5, 2008, spent a large portion of his career as editor of the Queens Tribune, but never lost touch with his first love – Flushing Meadows. When he retired from newspapers he continued to work tirelessly as an advocate for the park, even going so far as to travel to Europe to advocate both for a third world’s fair and for the park’s use as a venue for the Olympics.
Oats saw the park as a dynamic location, filled with the energy of not just the people who use it, but the events that have taken place there through the years. In short, the park was his first true love – a love that filled his heart until the day he died.
It is fitting, then, that a year after his death, a portion of the park may be named for him. The idea, first touted by this paper in the days after Oats’ death, is supported by this newspaper, its publisher, Oats’ widow and Borough President Helen Marshall.
Marshall has asked New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to rename the promenade around the Unisphere after this fierce park advocate.
“David loved the park and Queens, and I am happy to support this effort to provide some sort of fitting memorial to him for all he did for Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” Marshall said Wednesday.