Wednesday, March 31, 2010

State park in Rockaway slated for closure

From the Daily News:

As part of a drastic bid to plug a $9 billion budget deficit, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has chosen Bayswater as one of two state parks slated for closure.

If the budget, due April 1, is approved, this would be the first time in history a state park has been shuttered other than for seasonal closures, said agency spokesman Dan Keefe.

The closure would leave many city reel-casters without a fishing hole. It has also infuriated elected officials and advocates who note that the savings from the closure would be a measly $5,500 a year.

"In times like these we need our parks more than ever," said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates.

The recession has forced many people to scale back on vacations, and families are instead relying on nearby public spaces for escape.

Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, called the closure "almost punitive."

"That's less than a rounding error," Gaska said of the $5,500 figure compared with the 10-figure deficit. "At that rate, you would have to close 20,000 parks this size."

But state officials said every penny adds up.

I'm sure the fact that it's located in a not-wealthy black neighborhood has nothing to do with the decision. Since they only put $5,500 into maintenance of this site to begin with shows you how much they care about it.


Matt said...

The park is sort of in the middle of nowhere, so it's usually quiet, which is part of its appeal. It is barely maintained, but it doesn't get too dirty because not many people go there. JFK Airport sits a couple hundred yards across the bay, so the park is primarily popular with planespotters and fishermen. Pretty sure we can raise $5,500 to keep it open.

Anonymous said...

Dispicable - Leave the gates open for those who fish - this is a minuscule amount to save for the benefit to the public - reconsider gov Paterson and the Dems responsible? Stop throwing money at illegals and redistribute it to these tokens pleasures and local escapes that the local legal population need.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you still cannot fish there? Close the park and stop spending money on it. Folk can still walk to the beach to cast.

Ridgewoodian said...

Well, if it's really only $5,500 then maybe it should be turned over to the city to run. Or annexed by the nearby Gateway National Recreation Area.

Anonymous said...

jeezes...isn't there $800,000 in the budget to build trailers for prisoners' conjugal visits? and they can't find $5500 for a park?

this is about a post about birds in queens to cheer us up?

Helen said...

This is outrageous! How can anyone justify "spending" $5,500 on what amounts to a tiny fishing/planespotting spot? What sort of "maintenance" is involved here? Maybe the occasional collection of a wastebasket? Fishing isn't only about the fish but being outside with nature and as "Matt" wrote the "quiet appeal" of this little park.

Government jackasses are stealing away almost all forms of WHOLESOME recreation.

The accompanying photo reminds me of an Otis Redding song~ (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay. Can still hear his whistle at the end of it. He was stolen from us by a plane crash.
Rest in peace, Mr. Otis Redding.