Tag Archives: Friends of Rockaway

Pol wants quicker Sandy recovery from state agency


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File Photo

The push for quicker Sandy recovery continues, and now the pressure is on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC).

Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder requested Joe Martens, DEC Commissioner, and the agency expedite all “permits related to recovery projects in the Sandy-damaged communities of southern Queens” to “wherever possible.”

“Our families are working around the clock to recover and rebuild from Sandy and every agency on every level of government must do the same,” Goldfeder said.

Families throughout Howard Beach, as well as Broad Channel and the rest of the Rockaways, continue to wait on approval for permits from various agencies, including the DEC, Goldfeder said.

Additionally, pols and residents want to see repairs to the Rockaway boardwalk as well as the area’s baffle walls.

“We need NYS DEC to expedite all permitting for our boardwalk,” said John Cori, Rockaway resident and co-founder of the Friends of Rockaway, “especially the retaining wall that will serve as a protective barrier and help in mitigation efforts to prepare our community for future storms.”

The boardwalk and walls, although designed and constructed by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the Economic Development Corporation, need DEC approval before rebuilding efforts can move forward.

“If there is a lesson to be taken from Superstorm Sandy, it is that we cannot afford to wait,” Goldfeder said in a letter to Martens.

“Our families have been through enough suffering and there is no excuse for even a moment’s delay,” he said.


RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

Star of Queens: John Cori, founder, Friends of Rockaway


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

JOHN CORI PIC

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: In September 2010, community activist John Cori started the group “Friends of Rockaway.” The volunteer-based organization focuses on protecting the Rockaway community, preserving and replenishing the “wonderful beach-going experience” for everyone. Cori works constantly with partner Eddie Pastore to get funds for preserving the area.

Cori is also a member of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, and is running for president. He wants to revitalize the group, and get it even more involved in the community. Outside of the Rockaways, Cori has been active with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of New York for roughly 26 years. To this day he keeps in touch with his “little brother;” the two are among the longest matches that the group has ever had.

BACKGROUND: Cori grew up in Rockaway Beach, loving the sun and sand as most Rockaway residents do. He enjoyed paddle boarding, surfing, body surfing and other water activities, as well as skateboarding. “I still skateboard,” laughed Cori. “I’m a big kid.” He also enjoys spending time with his two children, Christopher, 21 and Victoria, 18.

FAVORITE MEMORY: “Oh that’s easy, the most recent rally we had,” said Cori. The Friends of Rockaway frequently holds rallies, takes out ads and hits the pavement to talk to residents about what the peninsula needs, especially after Sandy. He believes the Rockaways need more rock jetties to protect the beach and the area behind it, and the most recent rally, “We’re Ready for our Jetties,” spread knowledge about just how that would be accomplished.

INSPIRATION: Cori’s inspiration for his tireless activism lies within “the love of the beach and protection for my neighborhood,” he said. “The beach, to me, is the greatest thing in the world.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Many of the committees, such as the Parks Committee and the local Community Board, don’t meet as often as Cori feels they should. “There’s a lack of support from the Community Board,” he said. “[They’re] the first vehicle by which we should have been able to get this issue any attention.”

He fears that if all committees are not working together, the community becomes a “reactionary body” instead of a “proactive body.” But in the meantime, Cori will continue his own work to get the Rockaways the recognition that he believes it deserves.



RECOMMENDED STORIES

Film focuses on Rockaway recovery


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Dan Brown

In the months following Sandy, the Rockaway peninsula has yet to completely bounce back. A new documentary explains why, and where to go from here.

“We need to make people understand what works in Rockaway,” said John Cori, who is featured in the upcoming film, “John Cori Warned You.”

Cori stars with his partner and friend, Eddie Pastore, in a movie filmed by Rockaway resident Dan Brown.
Since Sandy tore through the peninsula, the three have been traveling around the borough, speaking with different people and also doing their own research as to what could help protect the beachfront town from future storms.

“[The documentary] raises two questions – how much damage could have been avoided, and how vulnerable are we to future storms,” explained Brown, who is co-producing and co-directing the movie with his wife, Patricia.

The film is shown through the viewpoint of Cori and Pastore, who are also both members of the Friends of Rockaway, and speak about the necessity of more rock jetties in the area. They claim there is a clear distinction in the amount of damage between the areas protected by rock jetties and the sections that are not.

“I feel that number one, our safety is jeopardized. Number two, I believe that the Rockaway people have the power to navigate which way Rockaway goes,” said Pastore.

Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder and City Councilmember Eric Ulrich are some of the elected officials that the men have interviewed, as well as several reporters and even a meteorologist who explained the “science of the storm.” Through these interviews, the crew hopes the audience will see how they themselves can work with the media and local officials to achieve a bigger goal — in this case, support from Congress and funds to protect their home.

“Sandy was our biggest advocate,” said Pastore. “There’s something broken here, and I really felt that we had to get up and say something.”

“John Cori Warned You” is set to come out in March. Free viewings will be organized throughout the city.

Dan Brown, pictured here in his home office, is directing and producing an upcoming documentary about the Rockaways post-Sandy. (THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes)

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES