I join my friend Hub Elkins whose letter appeared in the Oct. 29 issue of Port News, by adding my dismay at the opposition to the "50 plus" housing in the 41 acres in the Village of Port Washington North.
It must be stated at the onset that diverging intelligent, rational opinions deserve to and must be respected. Regrettably, by and large many of the comments made by the public were totally devoid of intelligence and rationality. Examples. One speaker threatened not to buy pizza in a Scotto owned establishment because, according to him, Mr. Scotto, the owner of this property, pushes down our throat" this development. As this speaker stated..."I'll take my business elsewhere."
Another speaker offered as an alternate to this development "a bird sanctuary." The same speaker objected to the possible increase in taxes caused by the infrastructure of this development. Who does she think would pay for the "bird sanctuary"? The Audubon Society?
The tragi-comedy continued with a comment alleging that residents of this development would vote against the school budget, because they won't have any children in the PW School District. How myopic is this comment! The author of this observation seems to forget that vast number of PW residents no longer have children in the PW schools, yet the school budget, even though it's bloated with bureaucratic expense, is overwhelmingly passed by the citizens of PW, year after year. It is safe to assume therefore, that all those residents who no longer have children in the PW schools but who at one time did, feel the responsibility to provide the funds to educate the children of this community, just as others in the past did for their children. Therefore, this argument doesn't "hold water."
Another specious argument involved St. Francis Hospital. A speaker expressed panic at the thought that the hospital, which according to her, already has a shortage of beds, a fact that is disputable, will be exacerbated by the proliferation of medical emergencies caused by all "those seniors," as if, according to her, all of them already had one foot in the grave! If that's the case, just think the booming business the local funeral parlor would enjoy.
Comments made by a representative of Thomson Industries were also surprisingly devoid of sensibility and sensitivity. For Thomson Industries to present itself as a "good neighbor," having the "community's best interest at heart," while admitting the noise it generates from its operation, is hardly "neighborly." The same can be said about Publishers Clearing House who erected a three story eyesore building at the end of Dock Lane."
The plethora of absurd comments, many of which were baseless and short on fact, and the hysteria that permeated, contributed to the demise of this project. Therein lies the tragedy. What is unfortunate is that the populace can, even in this day and age, be swayed by a level of demagoguery in the guise of a democratic process. One can only hope that what ever other project is presented for the development of this property, it will be deliberated with sanity and a rational approach that will truly benefit the residents of this community.
Stanley L. Ronell