In January, I visited a memorial bench dedicated to my sister on the Long Beach boardwalk. Instead of a moment of serenity and reflection, I was met with a gut punch. There was severe damage to the bench. Large sections of slats had been cleanly severed. I found several more benches damaged as well. Calls and messages to City Hall initially went unanswered. Eventually, I spoke with a community development assistant. She said the city had received many calls from relatives of people memorialized on benches. She blamed skateboarders for the damage. She said she would get back to me with a plan of action, but did not.
I then contacted a City Council member. He acknowledged the “emotional impact” and said, “Unfortunately, kids do dumb things at night.” Not a good reflection on the Long Beach police. The councilman said he was “awaiting a detailed plan” from the Department of Public Works and expected repairs to be done by the end of April. Seven months later, no further information has been forthcoming.
The breaks seem to occur where screws are inserted to hold slats to the bench frame. Perhaps the city should seek reimbursement from the manufacturer.
Citizens of Long Beach, you have suffered enough. Do not allow this deterioration, not caused by nature, but by the negligence of your elected officials.
Something needs to be done to repair these broken benches on the Long Beach boardwalk.
My wife and I walk the boardwalk regularly and have seen many benches with broken slats. Recently, I stood on one to film the beach replenishment, and my leg came down through where a slat was broken off. I know one should not stand on the benches, but I could have broken my leg.
I understand that materials deteriorate over time, but those slats don’t just break from people sitting or standing on them. It seems that you have to want to break them.
How do you fix it? You could put up surveillance cameras on the length of the boardwalk or, better yet, go out and buy new slats and just fix the benches.
Arrest people who douse officers
Thank you to state lawmakers and other public officials who are supporting the men and women of law enforcement by proposing legislation to stop cowardly people from dousing police officers with water [“Tougher laws eyed over dousing attacks on cops,” News, July 29]. It is clear that people who attack police seek only to embarrass and humiliate hard-working officers.
I just hope that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will stand up to these bullies and support the men and women who try to keep the city and state safe every day. These perpetrators should be arrested on the spot and tried. I believe the officers do not feel supported by their superiors, the mayor and the police commissioner. These officers deserve better!
Editor’s note: The writer is vice president of the Court Officers Benevolent Association of Nassau County.
No mercy for areas with LIPA plants
The news story “LIPA, town return to court over taxes” [News, July 28] is the latest of many articles detailing how “devastating” some say it would be to the taxpayers of the Northport-East Northport school district if the Long Island Power Authority prevails in its lawsuit to stop what the utility says is overtaxation of its power plants.
Well no tears would be shed by me. I’ve lived on Long Island for more than 40 years, paying among the highest rates for electricity in the country, in part because I was subsidizing school districts other than my own. For decades, residents of districts with power plants benefited from lower school taxes. LIPA is offering a nine-year ramp-down to a much lower figure while asking for no refund of past overpayments. This is more than generous. I’d love to get back some of the thousands I paid for other districts’ school taxes while not even being able to claim the federal tax deduction.