The thing that emerges as time goes on with regard to the roller hockey controversy is the tremendous ego of the hockey leaders. They think they own the sport and its territorial rights.
They have pulled every stop; from name calling to character assassination. They stooped to posting flyers calling us clowns and witches. They disrupted a CB 5 Parks Committee meeting by making false accusations at the chairperson, etc., etc. Supposedly the"kids" are their main concern. Yet the l04th Roller Hockey league has stated that they will no longer post their scores in the Queens Ledgerbecause the ledger printed a letter from a reader expressing concern at the violence displayed by the players in Mafera Park.s
Councilman Tom Ognibenehas lambasted them for the current impasse and their reluctance to compromise. At the November l2 meeting of CB 5 Chairperson Frank Principe criticized them for their character assassination and disruptions stating that this behavior will not be tolerated at any CB 5 meetings.
The JPCA has always presented a posture of informed reasonable negotiation, trying not to shoot from the hip by wantonly placing this rink just "somewhere" in Juniper Valley Park. We're not running a gambling casino with our neighborhood as the stakes. Our record certainly doesn't suggest such irresponsible behavior.
This is a very important decision yet we have seen the leader of our neighboring civic association unilaterally coming out for the rink. Then he gets a vote of confidence from his people. What's a civic to do? Openly defy their leader? We think not but privately many near Juniper Valley Park have expressed their disappointment with their leaders.
These are leaders who never attend Park Committee meetings and don't seem to understand the serious implications of a very aggressive, noisey sport being placed right near their private homes.
Roller hockey is a very popular sport butit is not without its problems. As the saying goes, "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out."
Despite all their concern for the kids it is interesting to note that Grover Cleveland Park is in the throes of a complete reconstruction and we don't hear any loud voices shouting for a rink in that park. Also CB 5 members who showed up in the final hours of the Park Committee meetings before the CB 5 board vote a few months ago have not been to a meeting since. So much for their flimsy concern for the kids. s
We will be happy when all this is history and we can go on to other issues.