2005-01-28 / Community

Marshall Speech Peppered With Rockaway References

By Brian Magoolaghan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joins Queens Borough President Helen Marshall at the podium during the address. Bloomberg credited Marshall as “the impetus” behind his push to improve public schools.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg joins Queens Borough President Helen Marshall at the podium during the address. Bloomberg credited Marshall as “the impetus” behind his push to improve public schools.

  • If this year’s State of the Borough Address is any indication, Rockaway’s days as the city’s most forgotten community are over. Borough President Helen Marshall’s speech, delivered this week, was chock full of specific references to the Peninsula and its growth.
  • Marshall’s first Rockaway reference came just minutes into her speech.

    “I know first hand that providing Quality public education is one of the most fundamental roles of government,” said Marshall, a former teacher and Queens College graduate. She then highlighted the addition of three new schools and more than 2,000 seats for students. One of them is PS 253 in Far Rockaway.

    Rockaway resident Kristin Bledsoe, second from left, received recognition as a Queens Hero for her participation in a September 2004 beach rescue of two teenage boys. Bledsoe, a former lifeguard, was hailed “Beach Angel” after the incident. Her parents, Eileen, center, and Kenny Bledsoe, second from right, also attended the State of the Borough Address. They are flanked by City Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr., left, and Democratic District Leader Frank Gulluscio.
Rockaway resident Kristin Bledsoe, second from left, received recognition as a Queens Hero for her participation in a September 2004 beach rescue of two teenage boys. Bledsoe, a former lifeguard, was hailed “Beach Angel” after the incident. Her parents, Eileen, center, and Kenny Bledsoe, second from right, also attended the State of the Borough Address. They are flanked by City Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr., left, and Democratic District Leader Frank Gulluscio. Next, came her plan to “transform a former courthouse in Rockaway into a city university facility.” The Wave first reported in October 2004 that Marshall allocated $3 million in capital funds to the project.

    Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joanie Omeste and 100 Pct Community Council Pres Jate Doremus.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joanie Omeste and 100 Pct Community Council Pres Jate Doremus. “It may take time, but we will have

    a CUNY-By-The-Sea,” Marshall exclaimed.

    During different parts of her address, Marshall also specifically referred to Arverne-By-The-Sea, the effort to preserve the marshes in Jamaica Bay, the annual Rockaway Kite Festival and the Addabbo Health Care Center, which is taking shape in Arverne.

    Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr., right, entered each reference to Rockaway in his electric organizer. He sat with Frank Gulluscio, Democratic District Leader, left.
Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr., right, entered each reference to Rockaway in his electric organizer. He sat with Frank Gulluscio, Democratic District Leader, left. Marshall also mentioned both of Rockaway’s representatives in the City Council. Councilman James Sanders Jr.’s name came up when Marshall addressed the $100 million fund for Queens communities most affected by JFK International Airport.

    Sanders was not in attendance.

    Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr. was mentioned as Marshall weighed in on ferry service.

    Councilman Joseph Addabbo and I have requested that the service to JFK include a stop in the Rockaways so that much needed local ferry service can be implemented at the same time,” she told the audience.

    Addabbo was clearly encouraged by the BP’s words.

    “Her focus on Rockaway is just that – focused,” he commented after the address. Addabbo also noted Marshall’s repeated references to the community.

    Marshall delivered her third State of the Borough at the Queens College Colden Center on Tuesday.

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