2011-06-17 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Weiner’s mea culpa for his sexless sex scandal leaves a large hole in the 2013 mayoral election. Weiner was the top Democratic contender (and fundraiser) to take Bloomberg’s job after the next election, and now that hope is largely gone. A NY1-Marist poll that was conducted just hours after Weiner appeared at his news conference shows that 56 percent of the city voters who responded to the poll say that Weiner has no chance for the mayoral seat. At the same time, 25 percent of city voters said that he should still run for mayor. By the way, the same poll shows that 51 percent say that Weiner should not resign his seat, 30 percent said that he should step down and the other 19 percent said they were not sure. Forty-three percent said that they would vote against him if he ran for mayor, but 61 percent said that what Weiner did was “unethical, but not illegal.”

We have often joked at The Wave that the coming ground breaking ceremony for the new Y proposed for Beach 73 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard is the “third anniversary of the first groundbreaking.” This time, however, it might be for real. The city should already have provided the title for the land to Arverne By The Sea, the developer that will actually build the facility. After completion, it will be turned over to the Y to operate. Gerard Romski, the CEO of ABTS, promised us recently that the construction would start sometime next week, and that it would take about a year for the build-out. The Y will now include an enclosed gymnasium, a swimming pool and a special swimming facility for kids and seniors. We wonder, however, what ever happened to the community advisory group that was supposed to be formed prior to the construction of the facility.

The wind farm proposed for off the shore of Rockaway is now on hold until at least 2017. Seems that more study is needed to address concerns about the giant windmills that will generate the power.

The list of those who seek the Assembly seat vacated last month by Audrey Pheffer is growing by leaps and bounds – at least on the Democratic side. Local activist and community board member Vince Castellano called recently to say that he is investigating the possibility of running for the seat – testing the waters, so to speak. There is word that Democratic District Leader Geraldine Chapey is not as far out of the loop as thought after she took a beating in the special election for City Council, an election in which she continually refused to say how the public money for her non-profit charity was spent. There is also a possibility that former police lieutenant Glenn DiResto, who was also in the City Council race but got knocked off the ballot, is still interested in public service. The bottom line seems to be that longtime Pheffer aide Jo Ann Shapiro, who recently dropped out of the Assembly race, and her former boss will back Far Rockaway native Phillip Goldfeder, an Orthodox Jew with close ties to that community in Far Rockaway. If they do, he will most likely get the Democratic nod and the others, including Lew Simon and Paul Shubert, will have to go the petition route.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will soon start testing the soil and air around the Waldbaum’s Supermarket on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 112 Street. Right across the street from the former LIPA manufactured gas plant (MGP), there long has been some concern that the toxic mix under the soil in the MGP site had migrated to the Waldbaum’s site. The new investigation should answer that question once and for all.

Queens residents in search of a job should look to the new gambling Racino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park. Resort World, the group that runs the gambling facility said that it needed 1,150 permanent employees and promised that a large percentage would come from southeast Queens. The job center, located on the second floor of the Aqueduct building, will be open Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sylvan Klein, the president of the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association, will be stepping down on July 1 and turning the gavel over to former Department of Education employee Hank Iori, who presently serves as vice president. Klein was a guidance counselor at Midwood High School for many years, and has also served on Community Board 14 and as the president of West End Temple in Neponsit.

At the same time that Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposes cutting 1,600 teaching slots, he has proposed a 300 percent increase – to $2.3 million – for his legal team. And, the technology division would get a jump of $6.4 million, to $20 million. It’s easy to see what the mayor’s priorities really are.

On June 28, Far Rockaway High School will cease to exist, and all the alumni from the school will have no place to call their own. In September, the building will reopen as the Far Rockaway Educational Campus, with five small schools. The Alumni Association has worked with the school to choose one student in this year’s small graduating class as “The Last FRHS Graduate.” That “Last Graduate from Far Rockaway High School” forever is local resident Latia Denson and the alumni association is seeking to give her a scholarship so that she can attend college. Those alumni or friends interested in participating in the fundraising drive should send donations to the FRHS Online Alumni Association, PO Box 914, Concord, CA, 94522.

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I am excited with the

I am excited with the prospect of new leadership after Audrey Pheffers (a wonderful Public Servant) resignation to move on, but, I am surprised that the Wave mentions the possible contenders, Vince Castellano, Geraldine Chapey, Glenn DiResto, and Phillip Goldfeder, an Orthodox Jew. Why out of 4 names, you list one as an Orthodox Jew? This is an election. Separation of Church and State is required here. What was the point of showing that Mr. Goldfeder was an Orthodox Jew and will probably be backed by Ms. Pheffer and her subordinate who decided not to run? I would like to know the Religions of all involved in this election.


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