Oy Vey, JFK!

Last Flight of the Concorde, Oct. 24, 2003 (c) Vivian R. Carter 2003

As I write, the regional planning honchos are joining together at a conference in Lower Manhattan to debate the future of our local airports–to be specific, JFK…and Jamaica Bay.  A foot of snow may have delayed the breakfast portion of the day, but it will never stop the fleet of limousines whisking Manhattanites on their appointed rounds to decide the fate of the rest of us–the ones stuck in our driveways under the drifts. 

In case you haven’t heard (as in, I was too busy with Christmas shopping, and then trying to keep my New Year’s resolutions, and then shoveling snow for three weeks), a report came out in mid-December about the pressing need for expansion of the airports in the NYC metro area.  Since the only way they can expand LaGuardia is by knocking down houses in Astoria or relocating Riker’s Island, guess which neighborhoods are in the cross-hairs for an even cozier relationship with jet exhaust and aircraft noise?  You guessed it–Newark and the “below the Belt” neighborhoods of Southeast Queens that ring JFK Airport.  Yes, the Sixth Borough is about to be “community-engaged” ad nauseum on yet another big dream to fill the coffers of the lobbyists.  The people who brought you LNG, MGP and windmills, will be at it again.  You can read about it in today’s New York Times and in Crain’s New York Business.

We cheered the last flight of the Concorde in 2003...

Now that tourism has replaced the finance industry as the engine of economic growth in NYC, I guess we’ll just have to get Congress to change that legislation (passed in the 1970’s when Gateway National Recreation Area was created), that prevents any further expansion of JFK’s runways into Jamaica Bay. 

The big-shot blue ribbon panel appointed to make recommendations about Floyd Bennett Field is starting to make more sense to me, now.  The timing of the impressive visit to the peninsula by Mayor Bloomberg and his bevy of commissioners on Monday now adds up, as well.  Bloomberg must have been thinking–wow, if these people don’t like bike lanes, wait until we start routing the planes back over their heads again!

The tone (and trappings) of President Obama’s State of the Union address this week (and the way it was covered by the major networks) convince me that business expansion is all the rage at the moment.  Protecting the environment and maintaining the quality of life (or god forbid, actually creating good jobs) in the neighborhoods where the “little” people live is secondary.   Let’s not forget about the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico so quickly.

It was gratifying to hear Obama bash big oil a bit in his speech, but with the cost of living what it is in NYC, don’t expect to see green jobs here anytime soon.  Seems we can barely keep jobs in the U.S., even in low-wage states like Alabama and Mississippi.  The catch-22 is that good jobs require an educated workforce, but more educated workers tend to insist on better wages and benefits.  Mayor Bloomberg repeated this line more than once to the audience in Rockaway: “there are no easy solutions.”  He got that one right. 

I’m sad to see Paul Volcker depart from Obama’s team, and flabbergasted to see a G.E. executive calling the shots for a president who calls himself a Democrat.  G.E. has a long pedigree that shouldn’t be forgetten.  They wrote the playbook on how to oppose labor unions to the limits of the law, and simultaneously held the laboring oar, over many decades, in the creation of the largest PCB-contaminated Superfund site in the U.S., the lower Hudson River.  Soon to be “cleaned up,” but not dredged, as environmental groups had hoped.   I keep reminding myself of the slogan that G.E. “Brings Good Things to Life.”  

Of all the fashionable political trends, delivering very convincing lip service may be the trendiest.

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About rockviv

You've entered the cyber-locale of Vivian Rattay Carter, a writer, teacher, advertising representative, and licensed sightseeing guide. I've lived and worked in the New York metro area since 1979, in diverse places like Astoria and Rockaway Beach (Queens), Kensington and Windsor Terrace (Brooklyn), Grand Street and Tribeca (Manhattan), and Norwood, Riverdale and Woodlawn (The Bronx). I treasure the amazing parks, civic architecture, and cultural institutions of our city, and love the inspiring stories of the outer borough pioneers. What an interesting apple this is!
This entry was posted in Air, Business and Economics, Creatures of the Planet (Non-Human), New York City Government, New York State Government, Planet Earth, The Built World, The Land We Share, U.S. Government, Water and waterways and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Oy Vey, JFK!

  1. Pingback: JFK Expansion Plan Could Hurt Local Economy, Wildlife | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  2. Bob S. says:

    Ex Rockaway – Planes, Trains and Automobiles
    Eugene, Oregon (Or-a-gun) almost 20yrs. via Lawrence, NY (could smell the Jet Fuel)
    Princeton, NJ (not any smarter) and Clearwater, FL.
    Love yur blog, although mostly clueless about issues
    Here in the west it’s called “Oy Vegas”

    • rockviv says:

      Bob S.,
      Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog and comment on it, and for the tip about the “Oy Vegas” Jewish singles group. I figured that there were probably clever variations using “Oy Vey” in other places, but I’ve never searched for them. I try to limit my time on blogging to a maximum of 8 hours a week. Since you say you lived in this area many years ago, I hope you’ll respond so I can understand which topics on my blog you think can be improved. I’m not really an expert on aviation or ecology, but I am passionate about improving and protecting the quality of life in Rockaway. I learn a lot from readers who take the time to comment. Cheers! Rock Viv

  3. Daniel Olufemi says:

    Hello Vivian,
    The last time we met on the board walk at Baech 19th last summer, I mentioned my upcoming children storybook to you. The book is out and I like to forward you a complimentary copy for possible review. Do I send it to the Rockaway Wave office or bring it over to your church on Sunday. I read that yours is slated for publishing by this June. Congratulations.
    Daniel Olufemi

    • rockviv says:

      Daniel,

      I checked out the cover and summary about your book They Call Me Big Punn, online. I’m contacting our church Pastor, Joseph Medlin, and Sunday School volunteers. Although I haven’t read the book yet, I see no problem with asking for an opportunity to read it to the children during an upcoming class. Tomorrow, I am planning a history slideshow, The Forgotten Pioneers: Women of Rockaway Beach, starting at 1 p.m. Please come for that if you can. Although I don’t know what the Sunday School lesson for tomorrow will be, at the very least you could meet me, bring the book, and we can chat for a bit.

      Vivian

      • Norman Silverman says:

        This is your invitation to the candidate forum for mayor and borough president sponsored by Bayswater Civic Association (all civics are invited to join us) on Monday June 24 at 7:30 PM.
        Bayswater Jewish Center Dickens St. & Healy Ave. (I will get to ask the question about the Rockaway line)

      • rockviv says:

        Great to see the Bayswater Civic step up and sponsor this forum. I’ll be there! Rock Viv

  4. Ive got some pictures that you will LOVE,,the Fighting Fergusons of WW I–Family photos and news clippings==My mother was crowned Little Miss Rockaway of 1929,,pis of that too..contact me at my email address-i’d be more than happy to pass them along………………….Marty Carlo from Long Beach N.Y.
    now living in Maine…

    • rockviv says:

      Hi, Martin, and thanks for your comment posted to Oy Vey Rockaway. Would LOVE to see your photos and news clips. If you have digital images, you can email them to me at vrattaycarter@yahoo.com. Too bad I didn’t get the pix a couple of years ago when I was compiling Images of America: Rockaway Beach. I am guessing that the “Fighting Fergusons” are William, George, and Francis M. Ferguson of Rockaway Beach, whose names appear in the honor roll on page 54. As to news clippings, one of my favorite search sites is Fultonhistory.com. If you haven’t tried it yet, I warn you–it can be addictive reading pages from old papers! Looking forward to hearing from you again…Rock Viv

  5. There was a Charles Ferguson too..4 of ’em..

    • rockviv says:

      Now I am really curious–did all 4 Fergusons serve in WWI? Three siblings serving was still exceptional, but FOUR? I will email you a street address to send copies of the pictures, Martin. Thanks, RockViv

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