2011-06-10 / Columnists

Beachcomber

There was news from both of our police precincts in recent weeks. Michael Lipetri, the commanding officer of the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway was promoted to deputy inspector and Captain Scott Olexa, and old hand at the Patrol Borough Queens South command was named as the new commanding officer of the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach to replace the retired Deputy Inspector Tommy Barrett. We wish them both luck.

Former Wave editor Kevin Boyle emailed this week to say that he spoke with Congressman Anthony Weiner at the beach opening ceremonies before his “Weinergate” Twitter problems began. Boyle says that Weiner was texting and asked him if he were tweeting the beach event to his followers. He told Boyle that he was not, that he only liked to tweet things with more irony. Then, the scandal broke.

If you like outdoor summer camping, then Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, may be your destination. The park service has announced a program of weekend family camping at the former naval air station. All the weekend programs are free of charge and all equipment will be provided. All you need bring, the NPS says, is your family, food and an adventurous spirit. The camping experience will run June 18 and 19, July 23 and 24, August 13 and 14 and September

3 and 4. Those interested in further information or in making reservations should call 718-338-4306.

The city has announced a new, subsidized ferry service that will impact Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The program will provide ferry service between East 34 Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens, and Greenpoint, Williamsburg and DUMBO in Brooklyn. During the summer months it will also run to Governor’s Island and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. You will notice that Rockaway is not in the loop. The service will cost $4 for a one-way ticket, $12 for an unlimited day pass and $140 for an unlimited monthly pass. The ferries will operate every 20 minutes during commuter rush hours, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Why not Rockaway? Ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It is not often that a local city sanitation worker is awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in a foreign nation, but that’s just what happened to Ed “Shevy” Shevlin, who will study Gaelic in Ireland this coming summer. Congratulations.

We’re working on a story about a Long Island lawyer who seems to be involved in suing local storeowners whose facilities don’t comply with the federal law for handicap access. Seems that a wheelchair-bound person is sent out to test the waters and when he or she finds a store or office that does not have a handicap ramp, the lawsuit is brought on his or her behalf. If you have been approached by a handicapped person or a lawyer because of an access problem, contact The Wave’s managing editor at 718-634-4000. With Jo Ann Shapiro out of the coming special election to fill Audrey Pheffer’s Assembly seat, the race seems to be wide open. Breezy Point resident Jane Deacy seems to have the Republican line sewed up, but there will be the usual dogfight for the Democratic nod. Democratic District Leader Lew Simon seems certain that, with Shapiro out of the race, that the party nomination is his for the taking. Others, however, tell us that Schumer aide Phil Goldfedder, a man who once worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well, covets the seat and will have the support of the eastern end of the peninsula long represented by Pheffer, particularly in the senior citizen housing and in the insular Orthodox Jewish community, of which Goldfedder is a member. It seems that either of the two could scoop up the Democratic nod, depending on who Pheffer backs for her old seat. Paul Schubert has indicated that he wants to run, but he has no chance for the party nod and will have to get the 1,500 signature necessary to get on the ballot. There is also some conjecture that Democratic District Leader Geraldine Chapey, who lost to both Eric Ulrich and Lew Simon in the last special election for City Council, may want to test the waters one more time, but she has been a nearrecluse since her loss and her refusal to speak about the hundreds of thousands of dollars her non-profit, Trinity Seniors, received from the city.

A good number of those experienced teachers who are eligible for retirement but not ready to retire are going to do so anyway because of the way they’ve been treated by the Department of Education and the daily press. That seems to be a citywide phenomenon, with the city predicting that up to 3,000 teachers are likely to retire this year, more than double the number predicted just six months ago. Mayor Michael Bloomberg sees this as a positive because lots of high-pricedteaches will be leaving, allowing his principals to hire new teachers at half the price. Losing so many experienced teachers, however, will impact both the schools and the school leadership teams in a negative manner.

A reminder that the new smoking rules are in effect this beach season. Parks Enforcement Police have been told to ask smokers to put out their cigarettes. If they keep smoking, PEP officers are instructed to issue a $50 ticket. If they continue to smoke, then the PEP officers are told to write a $250 ticket for failing to comply with the instructions of an officer. Beware!

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