Sewage Press Conference at Bay Park Plant

Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, East Rockaway, NY.  Photo Courtesy NCDPW.

Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, East Rockaway, NY. Photo Courtesy NCDPW.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2013 a large turnout stood up at the Bay Park sewage treatment plant in East Rockaway to fight for Sandy funds to fix the ailing plant.

The plant has regularly spilled sewage into the bay and Reynold’s Channel and that has gotten completely out of control In the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Residents stood up and called on New York State and FEMA to free up the $1.3 Billion from the Sandy Recovery bill funds for this project.

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The meeting was attended by many local politicians: County Executive Ed Mangano, State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, County Legislator Denise Ford. There were representatives from numerous civic groups: Operation SPLASH, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Sludge Busters and Point Lookout Civic Association’s Gerry Ottavino was there amongst many others.

State Assemblyman Weisenberg said he would fight in Albany to see the funds released.

County Executive Mangano basically said that the South Shore, especially East Rockaway and Bay Park residents, are being abused by the sewage situation and it is not acceptable. We agree.

Maintenance that should be done every four or five years hasn’t been done in 22 years.

To get involved on this issue, check out Long Beach resident Scott Bochner’s Sludge Stoppers who can be contacted through their Facebook Group, Sludge Stoppers Task Force.

I sure hope Tuesday’s headline about County executive Mangano’s office now being subpoenaed for the Sandy money that they’ve already gotten, doesn’t stop this Sandy Money reaching where we need it here to fix the Bay Park treatment plant…

AG Subpoena’s Mangano’s Office In Sandy Probe

Point Lookout Civic Association Environmental Committee Chair Gerald Ottavino just had a letter to Newsday published about Nassau County DRINKING water problems.

Water War on Nassau’s Border.

When they say that the government will get you coming and going this is exactly what they mean! 😉

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Get Moving! Chuck Schumer Returns to Point Lookout

Johanna Dullahan shakes hands with Senator Chuck Schumer as more Point Lookout Ambassadors observe (l-r)  Erin Brown in turquoise, Sarah Magan in navy, and Stella Curtin in white and blue coat

Johanna Dullahan greets Senator Chuck Schumer as more Point Lookout Ambassadors welcome him, with a few signs of appreciation (l-r) Erin Brown in turquoise, Sarah Magan in navy, and Stella Curtin in white and blue coat

Full funding, $150 million, in place as part of Sandy Aid Bill to pay for Long Beach Barrier Island Storm Damage Reduction Project

“coming back bigger, better, stronger than ever “

Sunday March 24, 2013, Point Lookout Civic Beach- Dozens of politicians and civic leaders descended on Civic Beach to rally around the coming together of the 4 towns in the now fully funded Long Beach Barrier Island Storm Damage Reduction Project, in front of dozens of residents of Point Lookout, Lido Beach, Long Beach and Atlantic Beach.

Senator Schumer and Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray at Point Lookout Civic Beach

Senator Schumer and Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray at Point Lookout Civic Beach

“Today the dream of being safe from storm damage is much closer to reality, and that’s something we can all cheer”, said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. “We are united as a barrier island”.

Kate Murray, flanked by Point Lookout Ambassadors (l-r) Megan Cox, Erin Brown, Sarah Magan (in navy) Lauren Cox (in charcoal Gray) Stella Curtin (rear in white coat) and Johanna Dullahan (in hot pink coat). Thank You Ladies!

Kate Murray, flanked by Point Lookout Ambassadors (l-r) Megan Cox, Erin Brown, Sarah Magan (in navy) Lauren Cox (in charcoal Gray) Stella Curtin (rear in white coat) and Johanna Dullahan (in hot pink coat). Well Done- Thank You Ladies!

Senator Chuck Schumer spoke: “After a decade of planning, multiple storms and destruction, we have finally secured $150 million to give Long Beach the protection it needs”.

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The senator said that there’s three steps to be done now.

"Thats something we can all applaud"- Kate Murray

“Thats something we can all cheer”- Kate Murray

The first is the engineering and design study, which must be coordinated with the building of the Long Beach Boardwalk. This could take 3 to 4 months.

Then that has to go out to bid to hire the contractors. This will take several months as well, and they want to start as soon as the study is done.

Then to start the work, which will take months as well.

Kelly Curtin, bringing back(?) the monorail.(?)

Kelly Curtin, bringing back(?) the monorail.(?)

“We want it shovel ready, in the ground by 2014. That means they’ll start working on it… and get much of it done by next summer season” (summer of -2014).

all around the picture are representatives from Nassau County,  NY State and most of the Long Beach City Council and City Manager.

all around the picture are representatives from Nassau County, NY State and most of the Long Beach City Council and City Manager.

Chuck Schumer also had praise for others, especially our former congressman, Peter King: “it’s easy to call out members of the other party; it’s harder to call out members of your own party when they’re not stepping up to the plate and he did, so and we give him a lot of credit for that.”

Fire Chief Chas Thompson speaks with Mrs Ellen Weisenberg while her husband Harvey Chats with Chuck Schumer

Fire Chief Chas Thompson speaks with Mrs Ellen Weisenberg while her husband Harvey Chats with Chuck Schumer

Now Chuck Schumer has a message for the Army Corps of Engineers and everyone else involved:

“Get moving. You got the money, got the authorization, get the plans … and we don’t want any bureaucrats’ delay”.

Our project is part and parcel of a complete coastal project now to be taken underway all the way from Staten Island, to the Rockaways, Our Long Beach Barrier Island, and then the FIMP-Fire Island to Montauk Point.

“My pledge to you is I will be on them. I will make sure there aren’t delays. We don’t want anything to get in the way. You can feel assured that the kind of protection that is needed in this new world, with all kinds of new storms, will be there.”

Harvey Weisenberg thanked our hero from Washington.

Harvey Weisenberg thanked our hero from Washington.

State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg said “we had devastation and we’re not going to let it happen again. We have a hero in Washington. He’s been there to meet the needs of our people: God bless and thank you, Chuck.”

“We waited 20 years. The (current) City Council had the courage to move ahead, and now we are going to have the progress we deserve” Harvey Weisenberg said of Long Beach voting unanimously to move forward on this plan.

Long Beach Barrier Island, "coming back bigger, better, stronger than ever"

Long Beach Barrier Island, “coming back bigger, better, stronger than ever”-Chuck Schumer

Long Beach City Council President Scott Mandel spoke and said Long Beach is moving aggressively on the plan.  “Not only do we have the wherewithal to get back and running, now we have the finances to do it as well.”

Long Beach City Council President Scott Mandel Thanks Chuck Schumer for his help. Long Beach is On Board for the Long Beach Barrier Island Storm Damage Reduction Project.

Long Beach City Council President Scott Mandel Thanks Chuck Schumer for his help. Long Beach is On Board for the Long Beach Barrier Island Storm Damage Reduction Project.

Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford said “Let’s get this project going.  Next year we’re going to have a different, better beach and we’re going to have better protection.”

Lido Dunes Civic Association President Liz Murdy speaks.

Lido Dunes Civic Association President Liz Murdy speaks.

Liz Murdy from Lido Dunes Civic Association had praise for the Senator. “Without his perseverance we would not have gotten the funding and we really appreciate it”.   She also thanked Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and Department of Conservation and Waterways Commissioner Ron Masters for the work he and his department have done all these years, protecting and strengthening our beaches and our dunes, virtually without any outside help. 

Paul Curtin makes HIS point, and hopefully we'll all have dunes by summer 2014!

Paul Curtin makes HIS point, and hopefully we’ll all have dunes by summer 2014!

Regarding the final product of the project, Senator Schumer said:

“It will be strong; it will be tested; it will be Sandy-proof. If anyone is having doubts whether they should invest in their small business or in a home here on the Long Beach barrier island they should go forward.

We’re coming back bigger, better, stronger than ever.”

Senator Schumer Discusses Sandy Aid and Army Corps Project at Point Lookout

Senator Chuck Schumer and his local supporters (not in order): Tommy, Finn, Cole, Jack, Cameron, and Tommy.

Senator Chuck Schumer and his local supporters (not in order): Tommy, Finn, Cole, Jack, Cameron, and Tommy.

Point Lookout Civic Beach-Sunday January 27, 2013.
Today Local residents braved the cold at Point Lookout Civic Beach to hear Senator Charles Schumer and other local leaders address Point Lookout civic leaders and citizens about revisiting the Army Corps of Engineers plan for shoring up our shoreline.

Ocean ave. as residents head to the meeting

Ocean ave. as residents head to the meeting

Residents and representatives from Point Lookout, Long Beach and surrounding areas gather.

Residents and representatives from Point Lookout, Long Beach and surrounding areas gather.

Point Lookout made a good showing to come out and stand for our town.

Point Lookout made a good showing to come out and stand for our town.

the crowd welsomes US Senator Schumer to Point Lookout Civic Beach

the crowd welcomes US Senator Schumer to Point Lookout Civic Beach

At his side were State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford. Also represented were Long Beach, by City Manager Jack Schnirman and Councilman Len Torres. Also there was  Asharoken Mayor Dr. Gregory Letica and many others.

Harvey Weisenberg sporting his charity Sandy Survivor shirt. Long Beach groups are raising money with shirts like this one.

Harvey Weisenberg sporting his charity Sandy Survivor shirt.
Long Beach groups are raising money with shirts like this one.

charles schumer, Harvey Weisenberg and Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman make their way through the crowd.

Charles Schumer, Harvey Weisenberg and Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman make their way through the crowd.

Also in attendance were members of the Point Lookout Civic Association, Lido Dunes Civic Association and about 100 local residents.

The Senator and His supporters cheer for restoring our shoreline

The Senator and His supporters cheer for restoring our shoreline

At topic was bringing back the Army Corps of Engineers’ comprehensive barrier island plan for the nine mile stretch that we live on – Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, Lido Beach, and Point Lookout. This would be part and parcel of the current Sandy Relief Aid Bill.

Senator Schumer speaks of the Army Corps of Engineers Restoration and Protection plan

Senator Schumer speaks of the Army Corps of Engineers Restoration and Protection plan

Senator Schumer discussed that Monday, January 28, 2013 is the vote in the US Senate for the Sandy Relief Aid package, passed by the house about 2 weeks ago (see our story “Walk a Mile In Our Shoes Goes to Washington”)

Senator Schumer Flanked By Harvey Weisenberg(Left) and Kate Murray and Denise Ford on the right.

Senator Schumer Flanked By Harvey Weisenberg(Left) and Kate Murray and Denise Ford on the right.

He is “optimistic, but worried”.  He says they have all 55 Democrat votes secured, but will still need 5 Republican votes to pass.  He had 12 commitments from Republicans, but  a number have already backed out (Luger, Snowe, Bailey-Hutchinson were named).

He said “most importantly, is this will give full aid to people who have lost their homes here, where the average damage is $100,000.00” .

Senator Schumer speaks about the Sandy Relief Aid Bill

Senator Schumer speaks about the Sandy Relief Aid Bill

The army corps’ plan is for a full rebuild, “not just to restore, but to make it better than it was.  That matters tremendously to homeowners- you want to know you have protection if you’re going to rebuild.”

Kate Murray, Town of Hempstead Supervisor, thanked the Senator in advance for getting the aid into our municipalities and communities.

Kate Murray, Town of Hempstead Supervisor, thanked the Senator in advance for getting the aid into our municipalities and communities.

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray spoke thanking the leaders for getting the money for the municipalites so local taxes don’t have to rise.  “We stand behind the Senator to help get this passed. We thank the Senator and his colleagues in advance to do what is right for our towns and our residents”, and pass this legislation.

Harvey Weisenberg explains getting stopped By TSA for having boardwalk in his luggage!

Harvey Weisenberg explains getting stopped By TSA for having boardwalk in his luggage!

State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg of Long Beach spoke. He had high praise for the senator who he said was responsible for getting the generators and other equipment into Long Beach that got the city’s sewers back online. He thanked Peter King as well for going above and beyond for local residents.

To show his appreciation, he presented the Senator with 2 pieces of the now-defunct Long Beach Boardwalk.

Assemblyman Weisenberg presented Senator Schumer with pieces of the torn down Long Beach Boardwalk.

Assemblyman Weisenberg presented Senator Schumer with pieces of the torn down Long Beach Boardwalk.

NY State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg speaks about the Army Corps of Engineers plan.

NY State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg speaks about the Army Corps of Engineers plan.

He went on to make a short but impassioned speech saying “we need community input –  get involved.” And in account of the ACOE plan “for 20 years we worked on this(Army Corps of Engineers) plan. The 2006 city council in Long Beach were intimidated by people (to kill the plan), many from out of town. They scared people that we were going to have black sand and the like.  98 million dollars was lost.  Now, Six years later it’s “hey can we get that money back”.

Assemblyman Weisenberg Thanked Senator Schumer and Representative Peter King for their help throught the Sandy recovery.

Assemblyman Weisenberg Thanked Senator Schumer and Representative Peter King for their help throught the Sandy recovery.

Luckily, the answer is yes.

A member of the audience asked “what if Long Beach votes it Down again”?

To that, Long Beach City Councilman Len Torres stepped up to the podium and responded :

Len Torres says the majority is for the Army Corps Plan.

Len Torres says the majority is for the Army Corps Plan.

“As the current administration, along with our city manager, we have a complete majority on having the work done by the Army Corps of Engineers. Its not going to be what we saw six years ago.  We assure our Senator and the community of Long Beach that this plan, that began then, will be continued now.”

Asharoken Mayor Dr. Gregory Letica speaks about the vast damage in his town.

Asharoken Mayor Dr. Gregory Letica speaks about the vast damage in his town.

With that, the representatives surveyed the damage and Supervisor Murray showed the Senator what we have been doing here to dredge sand and make emergency dunes for whatever minimal protection we have at the moment here in Point Lookout. 

Chas Thompson shows Senator Schumer damage to our Dunes

Chas Thompson shows Senator Schumer damage to our Dunes

Andy Richter speaks to Senator Schumer about Fire Dept issues

Andy Richter speaks to Senator Schumer about Fire Dept issues.

The Senate vote on the Sandy Relief Aid Bill is set for 5:30PM, Monday January 28.

“Hopefully I can call my friends (here Monday Night)  at 7 and say “it’s done”, said Senator Schumer.