2011-08-05 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Sometimes, the statistics that come from the census that is held every ten years spin off a fact that you have to look twice at to make sure you read it right the first time. For the first time, the 2010 Census counted same-sex couples. Now, the findings are in (if you know where to look for them) and they show that male gay couples outnumber lesbian couples. The only exception is on the Rockaway peninsula, where same sex couples make up two percent of the population and lesbian couples outnumber male couples. The numbers particularly point to Arverne, Hammels and Rockaway Park as areas with a large number of lesbian couples.

The online news website “Gothamist” picked up a classified advertisement from The Wave last week telling Hipsters to be on the cusp of the “new Williamsburg” and to buy a condo in Rockaway. Gothamist editors added, “The Rockaway Beach boardwalk is really the new Bedford Avenue. Hipsters new and old should get in on this sweet deal, the chance to get in on the ground level of rapid gentrification.” While the ad resonated with Rockaway residents, the comments that the story generated were far more interesting. One reader wrote, “Except it’s not. And it’s really FAR away.” Another said, “A hipster could get shot over there.” A third, “Hipsters don’t venture that far out.” Our favorite, however, was, “You know what? Let them move over there, they’re better off being cut off from the rest of society … take back Brooklyn.”

A recent survey published in the Daily News shows that, while much of Queens is moving towards rooting for the Yankees, there are several places in the borough that remain strong for the Mets. Those areas include Cambria Heights, the Pomonok Houses in Flushing, Arverne, Edgemere and Far Rockaway. We’re glad they straightened that out.

Only five Queens post offices are slated to be closed by the USPS in the next year. Two of them are in Rockaway – Arverne (11692) and Rockaway Beach (11693). If the closings actually do take place, then most of the people in the middle of the peninsula will have to travel either to Far Rockaway or to Rockaway Park for service. As far as we can tell, the Rockaway peninsula is the only single community in New York that has two post offices as targets of the cutback.

A Quinnipiac poll released last week shows that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is the frontrunner for mayor in 2013 now that former Congressman Anthony Weiner is out of the picture (or, is he). Kelly got 23 percent of the vote, with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn second with 18 percent. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was third (12%), followed by City Comptroller John Liu (10%), Bill Thompson, who lost to Bloomberg in the last election (8%), Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (6%) and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (4%). Actually, since Kelly is not a politican, people are really not sure whether he is a Democrat or Republican. We guess that doesn’t matter much, because Bloomberg kept bouncing from one to the other throughout his mayoralty.

The Department of Education recently spent $2 million on a parent survey designed to boost communication with the parents of public school students. Of the more than 1 million parents, only 9,000 parents responded. The DOE says that it considers that response a success, because it only expected 5,000 responses. The data from the survey is expected to help officials determine what parents want to know about their children’s education and how they want to receive the information. Parent Community Education Council elections held in the spring yielded less than 3,000 votes.

The professional minor developmental league hockey team that plays at Aviator Sports in Floyd Bennett Field has changed its name from the New York Aviators to the Brooklyn Aviators in an attempt to draw more people from that borough. The Federal Hockey League, moving into its second season, will now have more teams scattered from Brooklyn to Michigan. The Aviators came in second last year. For many years, there was a regular fireworks display from the Playland area of Rockaway each Wednesday night. The fireworks were sponsored by various beer distributors, including, if our memory serves, Rheingold (remember Miss Rheingold?), Pabst and Miller. The fireworks disappeared many years ago and the only fireworks in Rockaway for many years (with the exception of the private display in Breezy Point on July 4) were those at the National Night Out Against Crime in early August. Now, even that is gone thanks to the Fire Department’s need for a large fee to keep a specialist on the beach while the display was set up and shot off. Last year, the FDNY waived the fee, which is substantial. This year, however, it demanded payment and that put an end to the fireworks.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war against salt (and anything else he considers to be bad for the residents of New York City) has put him in the cross hairs of medical researchers, who have found that salt is not all that bad and that the mayor’s campaign will not save any lives. A number of highly-respected researchers who have worked for years on the question of whether or not too much salt is harmful say now that there is little compelling evidence that reducing salt in diets will reduce heart attacks or strokes. In fact, it is actually harmful for heart attack victims to cut back, the survey concluded.

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