Friday, March 30, 2012

Yankees To Run Tavern On The Green? - Trump Says "Nobody Is Going To Go There"

“It is just too small a deal now, and nobody is going to go there.” - Donald Trump

Tavern on the Green Walk Through in February - Legends Hospitality Management LLC, the concessions and sports-marketing joint venture of the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are reportedly one of at least two companies submitting bids to run the scaled down eatery. The deadline is Friday. (Photo: Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times)

In 2010, Mayor Bloomberg rejected a $ 86 million dollar proposal by former Tavern owner Jennifer LeRoy - whose family had operated the iconic eatery since 1974 - that promised $30 million more than Dean Poll. Mr. Poll was awarded the new concession despite past financial improprieties with another Central Park concession.

That deal soon fell apart.


Are the New York Yankees going to operate Tavern on the Green for the next twenty years? The Yankees owned Legends Hospitality Management group are reportedly one of at least two companies submitting bids to the city to operate a dramatically reduced Tavern on the Green restaurant.

Randy Levine, who orchestrated the seizing of more than 25 acres of public parkland in the South Bronx, could run one of the country's most famous concessions in a park - Central Park.

The Yankees and Cowboys each own 34%, of Legends Hospitality the rest is owned by Goldman Sachs and CIC Partners LP. Goldman Sachs and CIC provided financing for the Newark, NJ, based company. The company handles concessions and premium hospitality at Yankee Stadium, Cowboys Stadium and a handful of minor-league venues.

"We're open to different types of opportunities," said Yankees President Randy Levine, who oversees the baseball team's Legends investment.

"The whole idea is to be expansive and not have any barriers," he said.

Legends, which has annual revenue "above $200 million," according to Mr. Dave Checketts, has successfully filled most of the suites and club seats in its parent teams' stadiums and fed millions of fans who have attended games there, but its concessions business has yet to penetrate other major venues.

Legends is currently advising the Rose Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Red Bulls on season-ticket and premium-seating sales.

Dave Checketts is Legends new Chair & CEO, he also owns of the NHL's St. Louis Blues. Mr. Checketts said he raised $50 million from private investors during the past year and is paying an undisclosed amount for a minority stake in Legends. He bought the equity in Legends that had been owned by CIC Partners - about a 16 percent stake in the company, according to Bloomberg News (12/13). Checketts replaced former Pizza Hut President and managing partner at CIC Mike Rawlings as CEO.

Checketts envisions building Legends into an international sports-marketing and entertainment business that advises franchises on media strategy, financing and building stadiums, then helps sell tickets and suites and handles concessions.

The three-year-old company started as a food and retail provider but added premium-seat sales and consulting services, ticket sales training and other services. It recently acquired CSL International and CSL Marketing Group, which does sports research and venue marketing, according to Sports Business Journal Daily.

Officers of Legends Hospitality, LLC are Zieg Steinbrenner, (George's wife) Randy Lewis Levine, Gerald Joseph Cardinale (Managing Director of the Principal Investment Area of Goldman, Sachs & Co., and serves board of directors of the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, LLC.) David Wayne Checketts.

The Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. announced the formation of Legends in October 2008.

Donald Trump - who had his own proposal - weighed in.

“It is just too small a deal now, and nobody is going to go there,” said Mr. Trump explaining why he declined to bid for the space that once held one of the highest-grossing independently owned restaurants in the United States.

He said the footprint “has very few seats and doesn’t work. Nobody is going to feel safe at night going in the dark to a small restaurant.”

- Geoffrey Croft


After kicking the tires of Tavern on the Green, the site of the former glamorous landmark in Central Park, at least two restaurateurs say they will put in a bid on Friday with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for a 20-year license to establish a restaurant and bar there, according to the New York Times.

The two are Legends Hospitality Management, which runs the Legends Club and suite-and-seat catering at Yankee Stadium; and Beau Monde, a bustling French-accented bistro in Philadelphia that specializes in savory and sweet crepes.

But even though dozens of restaurateurs attended a February walk-through of the space (above), which is now called the Central Park Visitors Center at Tavern on the Green, many high-profile operators have decided against putting in a bid. They include Drew Nieporent of Corton and Nobu; the Orient-Express Hotels, owner of the “21” Club; Penny Glazier of the Glazier Group, which owns Bridgewaters at the South Street Seaport; the chef Bill Telepan of Telepan; and Donald J. Trump, who was so interested in taking over the tavern that he came to an agreement, in advance, with the powerful Hotel and Motel Trades Council, the union that represented 400 workers there.

“It is just too small a deal now, and nobody is going to go there,” said Mr. Trump, explaining why he declined to bid for the space that once held one of the highest-grossing independently owned restaurants in the United States.

Friday is the deadline for proposals to establish a casual restaurant and bar in the tavern space, just west of the Sheep Meadow, near 67th Street and Central Park West. Tara Kiernan, a spokeswoman for the city parks department, which is overseeing the process, said that even after the deadline, the agency’s concession procedures would “prevent us from saying who applied or how many proposals were submitted.”

The new, stripped-down version of Tavern is undergoing a $10 million renovation that will return the structure to a condition closer to its origins as a sheepfold, absent the former swagger of the Tavern run by the late restaurateur Warner LeRoy. The legendary but boxy Crystal Room, which Mr. LeRoy built in 1976, was torn down by the city in 2010. The city has downsized the former Tavern footprint — 25,000 square feet dedicated to banquets and celebrations — to a 10,320-square-foot indoor space for dining, and a seasonal outdoor terrace that incorporates nearly 12,000 square feet.

In declining to bid, Penny Glazier, a partner of the Glazier Group, which runs Bridgewaters and Twenty Four Fifth, spoke for other restaurateurs when she said that “we were originally excited by the idea, and love the space, but now, from our point of view, it just doesn’t seem to be profitable.” She added, “You can’t do special events and weddings.”

The city has said that the winning bidder would not be permitted to erect an events tent in the terrace, or restore the classic tree lighting. And as a concession to neighbors, the new Tavern can operate only when Central Park is open: from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Amplified music “must end by no later than 10 p.m.,” according to the parks department specifications.

Also bowing out of the bidding was Mr. Nieporent, who was the restaurant director at Tavern from 1978 to 1982, and had “many fond memories there,” he said. “But the city seemed to have an intention to strip away whatever Tavern on the Green once represented, so we decided not to do it.”

Bryan M. McGuire, general manager of the “21” Club, said Orient-Express had declined to bid because “the Crystal Room was taken down, and it was no longer a catering facility,” adding, “we had no interest for our part, after that.”

And Mr. Telepan said simply that “we have decided not to bid.” Also declining to bid was the Lawry’s chain of steak-and-prime-rib restaurants based in Los Angeles, and Michael O’Neal, former owner of O’Neals Restaurant on West 64th Street, which closed nearly two years ago.

Other operators whose representatives had attended the Tavern walk-through, did not return calls, including the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, and Mario Carbone and Jeff Zalaznick, partners in Torrisi Italian Specialties. The planned Museum of Food and Drink had hoped to make Tavern its headquarters, but its principals declined comment.

But those who say they are going to bid expressed optimism. “We have terrifically relevant experience in running two huge tourist destinations in Yankee Stadium and Cowboy Stadium,” said Eric Gelfand, a spokesman for Legends Hospitality Management. “It’s an iconic first-class venue, and we are very excited to participate.”

Jim Caiola, co-owner of Beau Monde, confirmed that his company would bid for Tavern. but declined to say how much the bid was worth, or supply renderings or other details.

But Mr. Trump said the current Tavern footprint “has very few seats and doesn’t work. Nobody is going to feel safe at night going in the dark to a small restaurant.”

Mr. Trump said he would have spent $30 million on Tavern to rebuild the Crystal Room “and make it great, make it a Tavern in a more beautiful form,” he said. “I would have employed between 500 and 700 people, but now you’re talking about 30 or 40 employees,” he said of the smaller configuration. “And it would have made a lot more money for the city.”

Read More:

New York Times - March 29, 2012 - By Glenn Collins

Wall Street Journal - January 18, 2012 - By Matthew Futterman

Sports Networker -May 3, 2010 - By Tyler Johnson

Legends Hospitality Management, LLC Press Release - October 20, 2008

A Walk In the Park - February 24, 2012

A Walk In The Park - December 30, 2011

A Walk In The Park - December 6, 2011

A Walk In The Park - November 4, 2011

A Walk In The Park - January 27, 2011

A Walk In The Park - October 15, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - June 14, 2010

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Police Catch Queens Playground Vandal


Beach 29th St. Playground damage last week. According to police 17-year-old Allan Swafford broke into a construction trailer and took the keys to a front loader and drove it through the nearly completed children’s playground early Tuesday morning on March 2oth. This caused more than $100,000 worth of damage. (Photo: WABC News)


This morning police caught the person responsible for causing more than $ 100,000 in damage last week to a Queens playground, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Police arrested 17-year-old Allan Swafford of Rockaway Queens this morning at 11:30am acting on a tip to Crime Stoppers according to sources.

According to police Swafford stole a John Deere excavator at Beach 29th St. Playground in Far Rockaway, Queens around 4 a.m. and drove it through a chain link fence and into the nearly completed playground early Tuesday morning.

He wrecked climbing equipment, slides, and fencing causing more than a reported $ 100,000 worth of damage.

Swafford was charged with Unauthorized Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief, and Burglary. He has three prior burglary arrests accroing to police.

Tomorrow afternoon at 3pm City Council Member James Sanders, Jr. is having an "EMERGENCY PRESS CONFERENCE" to announce the arrest.

- Geoffrey Croft

Read More:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

36 Juveniles Arrested In Claremont Park After-School Fight


Thirty-six school kids were arrested after a fight broke out in Claremont Park in the Bronx yesterday afternoon, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The incident happened at 3:50 p.m. The wild melee began after school dismissal when two girls started fighting. It soon escalated into a mini-riot.

No one was seriously injured and no weapons were recovered.

The thirty -six were charged as juveniles and released to their patents where they will have to appear in family court, according to a police source.

Referring to the fighting an officer at the 44th Pct said, "it happens all the time."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

McCarren Park Pool Set To Reopen June 28th

Testing The Water. The long anticipated reopening of the McCarren Park Pool is set for June 28. $50 million dollars has been spent to renovate the pool and year-round recreation center, as well as to preserve and restore the historic bathhouse building and entry arch. The new pool will accommodate 1,500 swimmers, a decrease of 700. The pool was closed in 1983 and became one of the Parks Department's most public symbols of neglect. The city began renovating the pool in 2009. The pool was filled with water last week to run various tests. (Photos: © Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates)

By yesterday most of the water had drained.


By Geoffrey Croft

The mighty McCarren Park Pool - shuttered for almost thirty years - is set to reopen on June 28th, city officials confirmed.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 11:00am that day.

The city hopes to have a "soft opening" of at least one section of the recreation center by Memorial Day according to several city sources.

Water's edge. A large ramp on one side will lead swimmers into the pool. To the right will be the beach pool deck which will be converted into an ice rink during the winter.

A beach volleyball court - under construction (right) - is replacing the once-glorious diving pool. The diving pool was filled in with sand, and concert merchandize was sold on top of it. Expensive condos - many featuring floor-to-ceiling windows - have risen along the streets around the pool in the background.

The $50 million facility boasts a 37,9500-square-foot pool, which will accommodate 1,500 swimmers and eight 25-meter lap lanes; a beach; spray showers; and a restored year-round recreation center with a gym, basketball court, weight room, dance studio, cardio room, and multipurpose community space. Wood panels recycled from the Coney Island boardwalk are among the decorative features.

McCarren Park Rink

Gymnasium being restored. The original indoor recreation center often hosted boxing matches. (Photo: DPR)

The pool has been reduced significantly from four Olympic-sized swimming pools to two. Originally it was 54,440 square feet and accommodated 2,200 swimmers. The once-glorious diving pool has been replaced by a beach volleyball court.

When asked last week if the McCarren Park Pool would be excluded from the pools the administration wants to close two weeks early due to budget cuts, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe paused and chose his words carefully, "That's a safe bet."

The historic pool in McCarren Park (formerly Greenpoint Park) is on the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn. It first opened on July 31, 1936, with great fanfare. During the inaugural ceremonies, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia claimed, "No pool anywhere has been as much appreciated as this one."

It was one of 11 giant pools opened in consecutive weeks during the summer of 1936. It was constructed by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses under the Works Progress Administration.

View from Lorimer St. complete with trolly cars. (left)

1937 Shot of McCarren Park Pool

McCarren Park Pool - 1937. During the off-season the original pool floor was used for a host of other activities including volleyball. (Photo: Courtesy of the NYC Parks Department)

Four-year-old Ola gets a peek of the soon-to-be-reopened McCarren Park Pool on Friday.

The pool was closed in 1983 and became one of New York's most public symbols of municipal neglect. The once-grand facility was abandoned and used as a shooting gallery for drug users and for the homeless.

The lack of maintenance, proper security, and political will turned the pool into a battleground that mirrored the city's racial divide. For years activists worked tirelessly to reopen the pool, while some residents worked against them, saying they didn't want "outsiders" (i.e., people of color) flooding the neighborhood.

Over the years, many plans were floated, and funds were even allocated, but in the end the pool remained closed. Recent years brought luxury apartment buildings, and as the area became more gentrified, many said it was only a matter of time before the city would finally restore the pool. In 2005 the abandoned pool hosted a modern-dance performance and then a series of free concerts and other events over the next few years.

"There's been a demand for a pool, but we're not doing this just because people are moving to Williamsburg," said then Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Julius Spiegel in 2008. "This also ends a huge civic embarrassment. It's been derelict for 24 years now."

While the pool's re-opening is good news, New York City ranks dead last in the nation for the per-capita provision of public swimming pools.

On a recent afternoon in McCarren Park, Sarah Griffiths, 34, said she's looking forward to taking her three children to the pool. "Everyone in the neighborhood is talking about it."

Raised in Manhattan, Griffiths has lived in Brooklyn since 1996. "It will be great for the kids to have something to do for the summer."

Jaime Lindahl, 33 said she was excited about the upcoming pool opening

"I can't wait to bring her to the pool to wear her out," she said smiling as she pushed a stroller with her two-year-old daughter along Lorimer St. in front of the pool's iconic entrance.

They occasionally use the indoor pool at the Metropolitan Recreation Center on Bedford Avenue, but she said nothing beats a swim in the sunshine.

Stephane Alex, 45, has lived in the area for 15 years. "There's going to be a lot of people using it," he said while watching his three-year-old daughter, Nico, in the playground. "I hope they take care of it."

The park still lacks maintenance, he noted, and the playground equipment could use an upgrade. The children's spray shower regularly get clogged, turning them into cesspool each summer. He hoped the park's resources weren't all going into the pool while other areas were ignored.

Jamie Toll, 37, who manages a nearby bar, linked the pool's reopening to the changing neighborhood.

"The park has come a long way, but it has a long way to go," he said while watching his 3-year-old daughter Paloma in the playground.

"It's great that they renovated it. It's going to be very busy. It was an amazing concert space, but now that I have a child, I prefer a pool."

The facade of the iconic entry arch along Lorimer St. has been cleaned of graffiti and paint, and its windows have been restored. Entry ramps complying with ADA have been installed on both sides. The building’s vast scale and dramatic arches were designed by Aymar Embury II. In 2007 the Landmarks Preservation Commission granted landmark status to the facility.

Monument to Shame. The massive pool complex and year-round facilities were designed to provide recreation, generate employment, and get people's minds off the economy. For decades the City allowed the historic McCarren Park Pool to deteriorate. The pool became a symbol of radical divide. New York City ranks dead last in the provision of public swimming pools for a high density city. (Photo: Maisel/NY Daily News. Below: Forgotten NY )

Ice Rink

McCarren Park Rink

The City is requiring the Rink be open for a minimum of only four hours per day for general session public skating.

Meanwhile plans for a seasonal ice rink are moving along.

On February 1, the Parks Department released an RFP to operate an ice rink on the McCarren Park beach pool deck for twelve years. The rink would be open this season and run from Oct. 15, 2012, to March 30, 2013.

The city is encouraging operators to make the rink as large as possible — up to 80-by-125 feet.

The concession may also include a pro shop and up to three mobile food carts.

The City is requiring the Rink be open for a minimum of only four hours per day for general session public skating, although they will view favorably proposals that include more hours. The concessionaire would also be required to provide a minimum of six hours per week of free youth initiation clinics and programs.

A selection of rink fees from other facilities were included. Weekend rates for adults ranged from $ 5.00 at Flushing Meadow Corona Park in Queens to $ 16.00 at Wollman Rink in Central Park.

Last month the agency had a walk-though for positional operators. Proposals were due on March 15th but that date has been extened to March 29th.

"We've had quite a few people who have expressed interest, " a park source familiar with the project said.

Ice skating first came to the park in 1910 in a field across from the pool according to the DPR website. This will be the first time however that ice skating will be held inside the park according to the RFP.

green design, eco design, sustainable design, McCarren Pool, Jelly NYC, LEED Silver certification, DPR Landscape Architecture, PlaNYC initiative, BLoomberg, WIlliamsburg, McCarren, Public pools New York
The long anticipated reopening McCarren Park Pool is set for June 28th.

(Image: Courtesy of the NYC Parks Department)

Read More:

gothamist - March 27, 2012 - By Jen Carlson

DNAinfo - March 27, 2012 - By Meredith Hoffman

The Brooklyn Blog - March 27, 2012 - By Rich Calder

Brownstoner - March 28, 2012 - By Gabby

Monday, March 26, 2012

$ 1 Million Contract Awarded For Ward Island's Wind, Solar and Tidal Project

Preliminary locations

Wards Island. A conceptual rendering of the locations of the planned 100 kW wind turbine (top left) solar kiosk, (left above) and tidal turbines (below bottom) that are expected to be installed off the south shore of Wards Island. (Images: Preliminary conceptual designs by Natural Currents Energy Services, LLC. via DNAinfo)

A $990,000.00 construction contract was awarded last week to Natural Energy Services, LLC, to build the first hybrid renewable energy installation that utilizes solar, wind and tidal components. The project has a public education and training element that is an integral component. The entire project was funded by a $990,000 grant from the US Department of Energy and $1.4 million from the city. - Geoffrey Croft

Randall's Island

Randall’s Island’s baseball diamonds could soon be powered by the sun, wind and waves as the city moves forward with a long-awaited hybrid energy plant.

A $1 million contract to build the city's “first hybrid renewable energy installation” that will combine solar, wind and tidal energy in a unique demonstration-scale innovation center was quietly announced last week, according to a DNAinfo article.

“We are very eager to get rolling on it," said Roger Bason, president of Natural Currents Energy Services, the company that is behind the effort to build the center on Randall's Island.

"It’s been in the planning stages for many years.”

Bason said the project will include three components.

100 kW Wind Turbine

Solar, Wind and Tidal Energy Coming to Randall's Island. A conceptual rendering of the 100 kW wind turbine that is expected to be installed on the island.

The first, set to be completed by Sept. 2012, will be a solar kiosk which will operate as a marine research center and information center for visitors to the island..

In addition to powering its own operation, the kiosk's roof-mounted solar panels are intended to produce enough power to charge a handful of electric vehicles for more than 700,000 yearly visitors to see in action, he said.

Next, the team will install a wind turbine underneath the Robert F. Kennedy (formerly Triborough) Bridge. The turbine, which will be within view of both Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side and sections of Astoria, Queens, is slated for completion by April 2013, he said.

Finally, the team will add a tidal turbine to harness the power of the movement of the East River's strong tides. The turbine will be housed in a 30-by-60-foot barge, which will float about 50 meters offshore, he said.

The wind and tidal installations are expected to produce about 200 kW of energy — enough to power about 100 homes. On the island, the energy will likely be used to power lights and facilities like ball fields, Bason said.

In addition to showing off renewable energy to visitors, the project is also intended to produce research about how different green energy sources can work together.

“They work in sequence," he explained. "The tide turns on a certain pattern, the wind is very intermittent, the sun runs on a schedule.... All of this is cutting edge."

The project, which is being partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the city's Parks Department, was originally approved under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but has been delayed for years.

“Now it looks like the stars are all lining up," Bason said of the project, which he hopes can be replicated here and in other cities.

“Hopefully, it’s a model that can be replicated throughout the world for seeing how these systems work together and get the public excited," he said.

The city also recently began moving forward with plans to install a large solar and wind energy facility on 75 acres of land at the former Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island that could generate enough electricity to power as many as 6,000 homes.

Tidal Turbine

Wards Island Tidal Energy Project. A tidal turbine installed installed off the south shore of Wards Island, in the Hell Gate Waterway near the junction of the Harlem River, East River, and Long Island Sound, will harness the power of the tides, helping to generate electricity.

Read More:
DNAinfo - March 26, 2012 - By Jill Colvin

New York Post - October 14, 2009 - By Jeremy Olshan

Disparity - Rockaways’ Infrastructure Repairs Need High Line Priority

  John Cori, the founder of Friends of Rockaway Beach, points out severely eroded section of boardwalk at Beach 90th St.
John Cori, the founder of Friends of Rockaway Beach, points out severely eroded section of boardwalk at Beach 90th St. He has been sounding the alarm of the deplorable infrastructure conditions of beaches, parks and boardwalk in the Rockaways and the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene. He has also pointed out the huge disparity of what certain communities and parks receive as compared to others. (Photo: Christie M. Farriella for the New York Daily News.


The Rockaways suffered major damage during Tropical Storm Irene last August.

Significant erosion took away even more of our continuously diminishing beaches. The Rockaway Beach boardwalk sustained damage to its deck, beach side staircases and ramps, along with destruction of wood skirting along Shore Front Parkway. Aside from some sand cleanup and some safety netting and fencing, everything still looks the same today as it did a day after the storm. City Parks Department personnel in he Rockaways did the very best they could with what they had, according to an Op-Ed written by Friends of Rockawy Beach founder John Cory published in the New York Daily News.

Hurrican Irene battered the beaches and boardwalk in Rockaway Beach this summer. Local leaders said they are still waiting for much-needed repairs.

Hurrican Irene battered the beaches and boardwalk in Rockaway Beach this summer. Local leaders said they are still waiting for much-needed repairs. (Photo: Craig Warga/NY Daily News)

Unfortunately what Parks didn’t have enough of was money, or so it says. In November, our beach activist group, Friends of Rockaway Beach, met with Queens Parks Commissioner Dorthy Lewandowski to discuss the deplorable conditions of the infrastructure at our beaches, parks and boardwalk here in the Rockaways and the damage caused by Irene.

At that meeting we receive a truly heartfelt apology that there was just no money in the $250 million Parks Department budget to address much needed major infrastructure repairs along Shore Front Parkway, no money to repair rapidly decaying boardwalk infrastructure and no money to repair storm damage. We were told that we would have to wait and see if the feds would come through with emergency funding to repair storm damage.

Parks is in the final stages of a $38 million renovation in Far Rockaway. This is a much needed, long overdue project that will serve that community for years to come, but is little relief to the rest of the peninsula.

Imagine Parks telling the people of Harlem, Washington Heights, or Inwood that there is just no money to renovate Fort Tryon Park or Inwood Hill Park, but feel free to use the High Line.

Recently $3 million was allocated by various government agencies to repair the boardwalk, and the work has begun. While we welcome this as good news, we here in the Rockaways were surprised to learn that the city plans to begin a $90 million expansion of the High Line on the West Side of Manhattan.

It boggles the mind how the city can find boat loads of cash for the High Line, yet we are told time and time again there’s just no money for the Rockaways. I’m sure we will be told that Friends of the High Line will raise a “good portion” of the $90 million, but it should be pointed out that Friends of the High Line put up less than 35% of the cost of the High Line’s first phase and the city contributed well over $100 million.

While we wait for funding for much needed revitalization of Rockaway beaches, parks and boardwalk, we’ve just been blindsided with devastating news of the suspension of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rockaway Beach Reformulation study. The $5-million, 10-year study began in 2003 to come up with a permanent solution to the erosion sustained year after year along our beaches.

Since it began, the study has been suspended several times due to lack of funding. The current federal budget did not include the $1.5 million needed for its completion, and without it, the beaches face possible long-term closure and our boardwalk and neighborhoods will face a greater susceptibility to storm surge during nor'easters, tropical storms or hurricanes.

For well over 100 years he Rockaway’s have provided millions of people a year some of the most authentic, traditional beach-going experiences they will ever find, bringing people together from all walks of life and every race and creed from every part of the world.

On a hot summer day we can have more people here than Central Park, Prospect Park and Flushing Meadow-Corona Park combined. Surfers from all over the world come to enjoy the greatest surf in the Northeast on two spectacular dedicated surfing beaches.

Repair of storm damage is very welcome news, but it is only a drop in the bucket considering the scope of the work that needs to be done.

To borrow a phrase from “The Lorax,” “Unless someone like our elected officials cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

John Cori is the founder of Friends of Rockaway Beach

Read More:

New York Daily News - March 26, 2012 - By John Corsi

New York Daily News - February 23 2012 - By Lisa L. Colangelo

New York Daily News - November 23, 2011 - By Lisa L. Colangelo