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Avella slams Padavan on Ft. Totten

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"Residents, community groups and civic leaders have consistently expressed strong opposition to any commercialization for Fort Totten," Avella wrote in a Jan. 17 letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.Padavan said Avella's statement mischaracterized his remarks made in a December letter to Bloomberg asking that police facilities on the decommissioned fort's waterfront be moved to open the area for small boating and recreational use."I don't consider turning part of the waterfront into a marina...commercialization," Padavan said. "I think that's a community use."Padavan said he referred to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut because it is a waterfront site developed for public recreational use."It's all sailing and boating along the waterfront," he said.Avella, who defeated Padavan aide Peter Boudouvas in November's election after a sometimes bitter campaign, said Padavan's "view widely diverges from the position held by the community.""I would oppose any attempt to create a 'Mystic Seaport' environment on Fort Totten," Avella wrote.Padavan said his vision of boating and recreation along the waterfront was shared by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Community Board 11, the Bayside Historical Society and the Northeast Queens Nature and Historical Preserve Commission."I have recieved no comment from anybody that said we should not convert this beautiful and very precious aspect into one that would be available to the community," he said.Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 188.

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