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Sunday, April 26, 2015
It's time to talk about the Bridge
(Page 2 of 3)
John Maher

Maybe that question is irrelevant now. But it’s time to do something. And the village has indeed made steps. Just days after the crime, much of the brush around the bridge had been cleared up and the area was being power washed under the watchful eye of Fire Chief John Thorp, and the mayor has promised to install lighting to make the area even harder to hide in. But why didn’t that happen sooner?

It’s time for Rockville Centre to take preventative measures instead of coming late to clean the scene of a crime. The cleanup is a start — both bridges should indeed remain well lit, cleaned and occasionally patrolled. And when the drinking teens inevitably scurry off to another spot — and the public inevitably learns about said spot days later — the same sort of action should be taken.

But it doesn’t stop there. It stops when the youth of this town have a place to go that isn’t some unknowing parent’s basement or a bridge by a dark park.

This, too, is an age-old problem. When I was in middle school here, we had few options for weekend evening entertainment: the movie theater, the bowling alley, and loitering by Starbucks. Now that my youngest brother is 15, he’s told me about the options he has: the movie theater, the bowling alley, and Starbucks.

Where is our bookshop — you know, the one like Huntington’s Book Revue, with events and food and lots of space? Where’s our independent coffee shop — you know, the one that has enough room to hang out in, not just to walk through? Where is the incentive for places like this to move into Rockville Centre — you know, the places that aren’t just new restaurants and bars?

I don’t know. But I do know that the mayor has been extremely successful in bringing in lots of grant money for sports complexes and parks. Those are great assets for our kids during the day. But maybe a grant to secure a place for teens to gather at night wouldn’t be such a bad thing?

This isn’t a novel idea. The Rockville Centre Youth Council and Rockville Centre Lanes have recently teamed up to create a space within the bowling alley intended to allow teens to hang out and grab a cup of coffee or a snack. It’s a big step forward.

Comments

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mwhiteq

This is a good article John Maher. There are other things for teens to do. There are many activities besides the ones you mention in the article. Teens can get involved in school or community activities. They can go to open gym at the Rec. I believe parents need to be more involved. Teens should not be allowed out unless their parents know where they are and what they are doing. This involves communicating with other parents and checking in with them until they come home. A strong police presence at the bridge wouldn't hurt either.

Thursday, September 5, 2013 | Report this
FedUpRealist

Does anyone remember Detective Don Fidou(sic)???

Friday, September 6, 2013 | Report this
babysladkaya

Great article that highlights an important issue-there is a lack of parental guidance and a lack of safe places where kids can congregate, but they do exist. Oceanside JCC runs a teen night ulimited every other Saturday, one does not have to be a member to attend, it's a small fee, like 10 bucks. There is bowling, billiards, roller skating, ice skating, all open in the evening. I don't mean to be judgemental, but such tragedies usually happen in what we call in my former country "dark places", meaning, obscure from public view, back alleys, forgotten corner in the park, combined with lack of discipline from parents. Personal example-across the street from my school for gifted and talented kids with a focus on math and science, there was a park where some of my schoolmates would go to smoke, drink, maybe have sex, there were no drugs in the Soviet Union back then, in the 80's. I never went. Never even was curious to see what was going on, so great was my fear for personal safety instilled by my parents.

Monday, September 9, 2013 | Report this
barbaraweiss

NOTHING WILL EVER BE DONE BECAUSE DRINKING IS CONDONED IN THIS TOWN. BUT ACTUALLY IN THIS CASE, THEY DID DO SOMETHING. THEY CUT DOWN THE TREES AND GROWTH. THAT SHOULD SURELY BE WHAT IS NEEDED. WHY DIDN'T SOME ROCKET SCIENTIST THINK OF THAT YEARS AGO. THAT WILL TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE PARENTS AND DON'T THINK ANYTHING IS WRONG WITH THIS UNTIL SOMETHING SO TRAGIC HAPPENS. ABOUT 4 YEARS AGO MY HUSBAND AND I ATTENDED AN EVENING WITH KATHLEEN RICE REGARDING UNDERAGE DRINKING, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND GANGS IN THIS NEIGHVBORHOOD. IF THERE WERE 50 PEOPLE THERE THAT WAS A LOT. AT THAT TIME,I SPECIFICALLY ASKED MS. RICE AND TOWN AUTHORITIES WHY THE DRINING IS ALLOWED JUST OVER THE FOODBRIDGE INTO HEMPSTEAD LAKE PARK. I WAS TOLD THAT THIS IS NOT MONITORED OR UNDER THE GUISE OF RVC POLICE DEPARTMENT BUT UNDER THE STATE POLICE. APPARENTLY THE STATE POLICE DOES NOT MONITOR THIS SECTION OF THE PARK AND DO NOT HAVE THE MANPOWERE TO DO ON THE WEEKENDS. SO THE PROBLEM IS STILL THERE WITH KIDS BING DRINKING, BEING TAKEN TO MERCY HOSPITAL, FIGHTS BREAK OUT AND NO ONE DOES ANYTHING ABOUT IT. THE SAME THING GOES ON FOR HALLOWEEN . YES FOR THAT THEY ADD EXTRA SECURITY WHATEVER THAT MEANS. SO IT WILL CONTINUE AND CONTINUE UNTIL SOMETHING TRAGIC WILL HAPPEN AND THEN NOTHING WILL STILL BE DONE. BASICALLY BECAUSE NO ONE CARES . MOST PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE ARE SO ENTITLED THAT THEY REALLY BELIEVE NOTHING LIKE THAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM AND IF IT DOES, THEY WILL GET A GOOD LAWYER AND GET AWAY WITH IT. THIS TOWN NEEDS AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT AND IT STARTS WITH THE PARENTS. I AM SO FED UP I WANT OUT OF THIS PLACE. IT IS REALLY GOING DOWN THE DRAIN. I AM SORRY TO SAY , MR. MAHER, THIS WILL STILL BE GOING ON WHEN YOUR CHILDREN ARE IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL BECAUSE EVERYONE TURNS A BLIND EYE TO ALL OF IT. THEY WOULD RATHER FOCUS ON THE KID SMOKING A MARIJUANA CIGARETTE MINDING HIS OR HER OWN BUSINESS. THAT WILL LMAKE THE NEWS. THIS TOWN WILL ALWAYS BE THE DRINKING TOWN AND IT IS ENCOURAGED. .

Thursday, October 17, 2013 | Report this
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