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Parking Spot Among Racists

Dear Editor: 

After reading last week’s letter by Steven Johnson, I could not help but wonder why he wants a parking spot in Rockaway so badly since he has such a poor opinion of the people who live here. 

Mr. Johnson is a newcomer, so one can forgive him for not knowing that these parking rules –which are not unique to Rockaway – have no foundation in racism and are meant to serve the greater good. Whether facts can change his opinion of the parking rules is unknown. Clearly, he finds them personally inconvenient. More importantly, one hopes it’s possible to change his opinion of his neighbors. 

While the appeal of living by the ocean is great, it’s not why I chose to stay in Rockaway and raise my family here. The character of a community is a reflection of its people, not its natural resources. My friends and neighbors are some of the best people I know. They are public servants, stewards of the beach and the environment, responsible mothers and fathers, entrepreneurs, and volunteers who quietly pour tons of hours into youth activities and/or helping people less fortunate. When there is a problem in the community, some of them will get together and try to solve it rather than throw stones. To me, people like them make America great.  

I hope Mr. Johnson gets to experience Rockaway’s true character. If the people of Rockaway still aren’t Mr. Johnson’s cup of tea, I doubt a spot on the street will make him happy.