The Fight Continues For Restoration of Alvan Petrus Park

The Hands of Change Civic Association recently met on the fate of Alvan Petrus Park.

The fight continues to restore and convert the parcel known as , located in the , public parkland. Members of the Hands of Change Civic Association are the frontrunners in trying to make this happen.

The civic group held a meeting Tuesday at the , stressing the importantance of opening and revamping the park so that children can play somewhere other than the street. Two years ago a six-foot fence was erected, surrounding the property. The civic association wants the fence taken down.

Port Washington Resident Donald Peshkin who lives near Harbor Homes started a recent petition that he will circulate to residents throughout North Hempstead. The petition states that the park has been around since 1951 and that one and a half acres of land was reserved as open space where children can play. It also states that this land was used as a park for 60 years, but fell into disrepair in the last 10 years.

“No one is listening – neither the nor the Housing Authority,” Peshkin said. “The children are playing in the street, and it’s dangerous. The basketball court, along with the entire park needs to be restored. Approximately 200 children do not have a place to play.”

Wandell Thomas, Hands of Change president, explained that she is not against the building of senior facilities, which was proposed for , but she is against the location of a senior home that would take away parkland.

“The North Hempstead Housing Authority did recant to look for another location to build on, however, we were promised last year by the Town of North Hempstead that there would be a financial, environmental and an engineering assessment done concerning Alvan Petrus Park and nothing was done as of yet,” Thomas said.

She added, “We want to know why and don’t the 200 children that live in Harbor Homes matter? The park is in total disarray and the civic association has cleaned up the park several times in the past, and we are willing to continue to help.”

Longtime Port Washington resident Hank Ratner said he has been fighting for park restoration for more than three years to no avail.

“I recently sent a letter to Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman saying erect some basketball hoops, a couple of benches and a water fountain,” he said.

Ratner read back an email response he said he received from Kaiman, which was shared with Patch, that said, “To make the park public the Housing Authority would have to sell the property to the town at market rate, which would cost substantial dollars.” In addition, “Once you start adding running water, electricity, ADA compliance and bathrooms we are probably talking seven figures.”

But, Ratner said he feels the issue is being quashed.

“There is no way it would cost as much as seven figures, this is impossible," he said. “The residents of Harbor Homes need to speak out more, including the civic association so we make our voices known.”

A request for comment from the Town of North Hempstead was not returned by press time.

Joel and Gail Katz, residents who live on Roger Drive in Port Washington said, “It’s sad to think about all the amenities that Sands Point people have, but right across the way Harbor Homes children go without.”

Thomas added that the fight to bring back Alvan Petrus Park would continue and she hopes there will be a breakthrough with the park.

“There are signs all over Harbor Homes saying no skateboarding, no bicycling, no playing on the grass," she said. "Where should the children play?”

Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 28, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Alvan Petrus Park is a legitimate Town of North Hempstead park facility which deserves the same recognition and resources from the Town of North Hempstead which have been made available to other park locations in the town. Alvan Petrus Park will serve the Town of North Hempstead in general, and the community of Port Washington specifically, very well and be an excellent venue where all residents can come for some rest and relaxation and provide children a safe and secure environment where they can just be chlldren. This issue has brought together various groups of citizens in Port Washington and by doing so, it has shown the strength and resolve of the residents of Port Washington. The citizens of the Town of North Hempstead are entitled to legitimate and honest answers as to why this park is fenced in.This lack of honest response on the part of the TONH is a particular slap in the face for the residents of Harbor Homes, who simply care about having their children play in a safe and secure environment. Again, pool and tennis courts not needed, and I don't think another bond issue is needed either. The strength and beauty of the Port Washington community is its diversity.Let the Town of North Hempstead support this divesity by improving this venue for all the people of Port Washington and as many other residents of the Town of North Hempstead who care to use it. Keep your resolve Hands of Change - stay the course-don't give up. Your are supported by many.Thank you.
Wandell Thomas June 29, 2012 at 03:37 AM
We will continue to push forward!!
Donna Rice June 29, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Supervisor Kaiman just authorized the Roslyn Country Club...but can't seem to reopen a park for the people of Harbor Homes. I guessf we know where the biggest campaign contributions came from.
Nassau Taxpayer June 29, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Bingo. Cha-ching.
Ben June 29, 2012 at 05:32 PM
What has been done to Alvin Petrus Park by the TNH smacks of racism this would not have happened in another section of town. @ Robert J. Pape, Jr. you need to work at brevity your remarks are way TOO LONG keep it brief.
Wandell Thomas June 29, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Ben you are absolutely correct about the TONH!! Maybe it's time to move forward with court proceedings, you think?!
hank ratner June 29, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Mr. Pape's comments are well stated.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 29, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Ben: You and I seem to agree on this issue. This reminds me of Ronald Regan's quote "trust but verify". I prefer to work together on issues which face our wonderful community.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 29, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Thank you for your kind comment Mr. Ratner. I am glad we are working together on this issue.
Ben June 29, 2012 at 08:01 PM
@ Mr. Wandell Thomas - I would not be so quick to think about court proccedings but an inquiry to the State of New York Commission on Human Rights is one idea to ponder. @ hank ratner -try Hank Ratner names begin with capital letters you know that. And I feel Mr. Pape's remarks are too long but if he is determined to use so many words he needs to use bullet points and short paragraphs this is not well written it is "wordy" and tedious for the reader. Are both of you graduates/products of the Paul D. Schreiber High School English Department? First and last names begin with capital letters.
Ben June 29, 2012 at 08:05 PM
@ Robert Pape, Jr. if i may be of any help to you in regard to editing your comments, "Editing for Impact" is a course i had taught a dozen times I would value that opportunity to help.
hank ratner June 29, 2012 at 08:56 PM
This is the same so called "Ben" who a couple of weeks ago, criticized a young man who has some learning disabilities. Ben you are a "dolt"
Adina Genn (Editor) June 29, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Let's not criticize any one for spelling or grammar in the comment section. It can be tough to type, especially on cell phones. I'd say each one of us has more than once had a spelling or grammar error on this site, myself included. I encourage the comments, but let's keep them forward-thinking, and also rise above name-calling. We're better than that.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 29, 2012 at 09:33 PM
"Ben": With all due respect: * Some issues discussed in this forum require more comment. Passion is an excellent quality of expresssive writing and debate. I would love to debate you if I knew who you were. * I am not a product of the Paul D. Schrieber High School, but I am proud to say that my son is, which you probably already know since you seem to know a great deal about me. * "Ben", I am afraid even with the olive branch I extended to you earlier, we are still at the "trust but verify" stage. * When you refer to yourself in a comment, use a capital I. A lower case i is a sign of inferiority. * I thought my comments on Mr. Diffley receiving his Eagle Scout Award from the BSA were short and to the point. * I am glad you have chosen to critize both Mr. Ratner and myself together. I don't know him, but I like his passion for our community and his genuine caring for others. I think I am in good company.His comments are to the point.The word "dolt" is only four letters. * Thank you for your offer to help edit my writing. I'll chance going it alone for a little while longer if you don't mind. * Despite all of this nonsense, let's work together for the creation of Alvan Petrus Park. * I didn't know how to do bullet points so I used stars instead. I hope you don't mind. I am not sure I want to use the word bullet around you anyway. * Thank you.
hank ratner June 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM
This is exactly why Adina the Patch MUST insist on REAL NAMES and not allow posters to use just first names, nicknames, etc. etc.
hank ratner June 30, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Mr. Pape, I am VERY involved with the Petrus Park issue as well as many others. I would love to speak with you about this in greater detail. My email is: hank@optonline.net.
Stacy Brown June 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Please let's keep the interest of this post to trying to have the Alvan Petris park reopened so the children playing in the parking lot with on comings traffic can have a safe park to play in walking distance from their homes in stead of having to use public transportation to go and enjoy open space and fresh air. Stacy Brown Hands of change Civic Association
Ben June 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM
@ Stacy Brown - I agree lets stick to the park issue. Pape and Ratner need to forget their activty on others posts and stay with the mater of the park I suggest a meeting wit the State of New York Commission on Human Rights the reason why this park has been closed needs to be examined.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 30, 2012 at 01:29 PM
"Ben" Since you insist on this course of action, I am taking appropriate action for the threat you made against my wife and childen. So much for your caring about the children who need a park to play in. You coward.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 30, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Mr. Ratner: Looking forward to meeting with you and working with you. Bob
Stacy Brown June 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Please let's focus the children of Harbor Homes are playing in the street. Does that not concern anyone here? Do you know of any kids in Port Washington suing in the street of course not, not until one child gets injured. There is open space a park right outside there doors I grew up playing in that park rode my bike up and down I could hear my patents call for dinner I didn't have to take public transportation to play in a park. Kaimon, TONH, and NHHA should all be ashamed of themselves! Take the fence down and do what you promised....Kaimon where ate the environmental reports and surveys you promised you campaigned that you would work to restore the "Park" lies all lies!
Stacy Brown June 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Yes I am on my cel phone do errors will occur in typing now that I proved Adina's point lets keep to the subject at hand ease.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 30, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Stacy you are absolutlely correct! Let's all work together to get this park opened. I will contact Mr. Ratner directly.
hank ratner June 30, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I would respectfully request that the Patch keep this dialogue open. I truly believe that this Petrus Park situation, is one of the MOST important issues that Port Washington has ever faced! I cannot remember in all the time I've lived here that so many people in responsible positions, elected and otherwise have turned a BLIND EYE to this.
Stacy Brown June 30, 2012 at 08:06 PM
@Ben yes all halo I this matter is and will be greatly appreciated my email is below. Thank you Terri_s_brown@optonline.net
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 30, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I agree with Mr. Ratner. This conversation - about the park and the kids- has to be kept going. It cannot be side-tracked by persons who may appear sincere, but are trying to distract the public from the issues through the use of personal attacks and vailed threats against supporters of the park..
Stacy Brown June 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I guess I will check for an available time and date for all to sit down with the association for a meeting with all interested parties. I will post here a time and a date for all to meet on the subject of re opening and returning the Alvan O Petrus park to the community as well as Port Washington. Thank you all for your interest in this matter!
Robert J. Pape, Jr. June 30, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thank you Stacey. Great idea. Let's work together for the kids! I look forward to meeting you and the rest of the association.
Adina Genn (Editor) June 30, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Would everyone please stick to the subject, the park. It is NOT appropriate to speak of other people's children, or attack character. Going forward anyone who does this is banned from the site. We have something going here that's so good, working together to open a park for the community. Let's keep that going. Please. Otherwise, the discussion thread will be closed.
hank ratner June 30, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Adina, these "attacks" would not take place if people were required to register with their real full names. Please consider this with AOL management. I appreciate very much your willingness to allow this Petrus Park discussion to continue.


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