2010-10-15 / Columnists


The toll protest at the Cross Bay Bridge on Tuesday night was a large success, attended by more than 500 locals who were there to excoriate the MTA and its leader, former Rockaway resident Jay Walder for the end to the toll rebate plan. There were a number of people who were obvious for their absence at the politicallyimportant event, most of them Republicans. We understand that the protest was led by Democratic District Leader Lew Simon, but not one Republican candidate showed up. While Congressman Tony Weiner was present and made perhaps the best quip of the night, his opponent, Breezy Point resident Bob Turner was nowhere in sight. Turner’s campaign told us that it would have been physically impossible for him to be there, but declined specifics. Dr. Harold Paez, a Rockaway resident who is challenging Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer was also absent. Not even our City Councilman, Eric Ulrich, could find the time to support his constituents. Of course, there were many Democrats missing as well. Where was Malcolm Smith and James Sanders Jr.? Where was Assemblywoman Michelle Titus? Where was Congressman Gregory Meeks? This was no west end issue, and every one of our elected representatives should have been there.


A number of police supervisors in the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway are now carrying a more lightweight Taser that is being tested by the NYPD. The new weapons are part of a pilot program to replace the old, more cumbersome Tasers that are on the verge of being discontinued by the manufacturer. The new Tasers can be fired from 35 feet away and can penetrate up to two inches of clothing, according to the manufacturer.

Community Board 14 which services the entire Rockaway peninsula as well as Broad Channel, has a new website. While some of its features are still under construction, CB District Manager Jonathan Gaska says that it will provide useful information for residents. The site can be accessed at www.- queenscb14.org.

The new Super Stop & Shop supermarket at Arverne By The Sea will finally open its doors next week. The new facility, on Rockaway Beach Boulevard at Beach 73 Street had promised an opening “before Thanksgiving,” and it has kept its promise. The store will officially open on Friday, October 22.

In proposing his smoking ban in parks and on beaches, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that he would rely on other residents to enforce the law. He told reporters that he hoped that those offended by people breaking the ban would call 311 to report their fellow New Yorkers. First, the mayor said, people should go over to those smoking and say, “Would you mind putting out that cigarette?” If that doesn’t work, the mayor said, a call to 311 is appropriate. Sounds a little Orwellian. We can even see fistfights breaking out over a smoking cigarette butt.

Mayor Bloomberg has joined the controversy over police ticket quotas. He believes that keeping track of the number of tickets an agent writes is “responsible management.” He added, “For an employee whose function it is to issue parking tickets, a measurement clearly relevant to job performance is the number of summonses issued over the course of a reasonable period of time.” The problem, critics of the quotas say, is when employees get rewarded or punished depending on the number of tickets they issue.

The Daniel M. O’Connell Post 272 of the American Legion is looking for new members. The local organization meets the first and third Fridays of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus hall on Beach 90 Street. Anybody who has honorably served in the military is eligible to join. Those interested can call Mike Honan at 917-685- 4974, or simply show up at a meeting.

Take a look at the nearest street sign and you will see that the name is in all capital letters. That fact has angered the feds, who say that motorists pay more attention to signs that are both upper and lower case letters (Mott Ave as opposed to MOTT AVE). The problem is, it will cost the city $27 million in tax dollars to change all the signs over the next couple of years. Why fix something that is not broken? Ask the feds to answer that question.

The Board of Elections, under fire for problems during the primary election last month and facing a daunting new elections system, has spent $90,000 on an opinion poll to find out how voters feel about the agency. Mayor Mike Bloomberg called the expenditure a waste of money and “another screw-up by a partisan, incompetent crew.”

In last week’s Business Spotlight column, we misprinted the telephone number for Suncycle Studios. The correct number is 718-318-3410, not 718-318-2410 as printed.

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