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Letter: Four Years Later

Four years later! Simple questions. What would have happened if one of our elected officials had both the street and the sidewalks ripped up throughout the neighborhoods? What would have happened if those elected officials had no where to push a baby carriage? How loud would their voices had been if their children didn’t have a place to ride their tricycles or their two wheelers? What would they have done if their children didn’t have a place to skate in front of their houses and what would their reactions have been if a fence was erected and locked around their own back yards so that children couldn’t use those back yards? They would have screamed their heads off! But our elected leaders don’t live on the corner of Port Washington Boulevard and Harbor Road and, to be frank, they haven’t shown that they care, in the least, for the children who live there.

The Alvan O. Memorial Park was closed but it wasn’t closed because of the American Disabilities Act. It wasn’t closed because the basketball hoops didn’t have nets. It was closed because a giant bank acquired the park for millions of dollars of tax credits. That  makes me sick to my stomach. That bank should close its doors and move out of Port Washington because its leaders don’t care about our children. It is a disgrace to have that bank in our community.

The Town of North Hempstead Housing Authority has a mandate to provide affordable housing but it also has a  mandate and an obligation to improve the quality of life for the people who rent the apartments in the Roberta Nixon homes. Fencing the park and keeping it closed has significantly reduced the quality of the lives of the families that live in those apartments. For sixty years, the Alvan O. Memorial Park hadn’t been fenced and it hadn’t been locked but is has been fenced and locked for four years! The erection of that fence and the locking of the door to the park is as clear violation of everything that our housing authority is supposed to stand for. There is no reason for the fence to be locked. The lock should be opened and thrown away for recycling today not tomorrow! The place should be cleaned. Baskets should be put up. The fence should be ripped down (except along Port Washington Blvd) and children should be allowed in to play. Our elected leaders should give up the give lame excuses for not re-opening  the door to that park.

 Donald A. Peshkin