Letter: A Wake-Up Call To The Park District Commissioners

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Stepping Stone Park in Kings Point (Photo by Alex Nunez)

Great Neck parks are beautiful, and Stepping Stone Park is probably the brightest gem. But is it also dangerous, and even deadly?

I made two phone calls when the park first reopened about three weeks ago in an effort to alert the three commissioners—especially Bob Lincoln, the longest-serving commissioner—and the superintendent, Jason Marra. I was able only to speak to JoAnne Rosenfeld, the very efficient and personable secretary to Marra. I’m very friendly with him, and I’m not stabbing anyone in the back. I didn’t want to make this call, but I saw what happened a few days ago.

I described my first visit to Steppingstone Park almost three weeks ago. It was a scene of arrogant, blatant disregard: less than half the people wore masks. Not many more observed the all-important six-foot distance from one another. 

I asked the two park employees at the entrance if they had been briefed or in any way instructed about the dangerous, indeed life-and-death situation in a somewhat confined space during a deadly pandemic. They hadn’t been briefed, they were just checking to see if you had a park membership card when you came in. Ironically, they were both wearing masks.

I suggested to JoAnne a simple sign should be placed at the entrance: “you must wear a mask, if you do not have one we will give you one. Please observe the six-foot space.” That’s all. You could scratch it on a piece of cardboard, I don’t care. But get it up. She agreed with me, but I’m not her boss.

On my second visit, Tuesday, May 26, there was still no sign and still no return calls. 

Here is the life-or-death question: why, after the park had been opened for approximately three weeks, has this dangerous condition not been corrected by anyone in authority? I hold all three commissioners responsible for this deadly lapse, and want their explanation.

—Richard Miroe

This letter was updated to remove a call for the commissioners’ resignation at the request of the author to reflecting his change in viewpoint on the matter.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I agree. My wife and I came to Steppingstone Park Monday evening and observed the same kind of behavior. Large and close gatherings of non-English language speakers enjoying themselves in close proximity without masks. Some sort of celebration with no thought about the risks to themselves or others.

    I would expect the Kings Point Police to closely monitor and patrol the streets where, I am certain, the restrictions on large gatherings and on religious services of any kind in excess of 10 individuals will need to be applied most frequently. (June is coming). Churches and synagogue catering halls are not the only place where covert rule breaking will take place on Saturday nights and Sundays (and even during the weeknights). If discovered, the hosts should be taken into custody and the guests asked to leave.

  2. Ridiculous. Stepping Stone is not a “somewhat confined space.” Typically uncrowded compared to almost any other location, it is usually easy to maintain social distance when visiting. The writer should wear a mask and stay six feet or more away from other park visitors.

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