The tenth annual Tribute Park memorial ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center came off without a hitch last Sunday morning, with even the doves behaving themselves. Hundreds crowded into Tribute Park for the ceremony, which dedicated a large piece of twisted steel from the WTC. Rockaway now has the only public park in the city with a piece of WTC steel. Shortly after the 2001 attacks, The Wave called for a memorial park with a piece of the steel, and it has finally come to reality.
By the way, the four-page commemorative issue that wrapped around last week’s issue of The Wave has become a real collector’s item. In fact, in some Rockaway shops, the four pages disappeared prior to anybody purchasing the paper.
The fact that September is halfway done and the Peninsula Hospital Center is still open and running is a good omen for the remainder of the year. It was hard to conceive of an isolated peninsula with 120,000 residents and only one hospital, and that one located at the extreme eastern end of the peninsula.
Shooting incidents are, unfortunately, not very rare on the Rockaway peninsula, but shootings in the west end are rather rare. In June of 2009, Robert Cassato of Rockaway Park shot a
Breezy Point man named Tommy O’Neal in the head at Beach 129 Street, early one morning. After two years of waiting to see how O’Neal would come out of the shooting and a slow legal process, Cassato pled guilty to attempted murder last month in Queens Supreme Court. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail.
If you are a surfer, mark your calendar for the annual Richie Allen Memorial Surf Classic, which is set for Sunday, September 18 at Beach 91 Street. Allen was one of the Rockaway firefighters killed on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. Registration will begina6a.m.,andtherearecontests for all ages and abilities.
Motorists on the west end were surprised last weekend when the rates at the parking meters went up without much local warning. The single meters were disabled and Muni-Meters were installed in their place both in the Beach 116 Street shopping area and on Beach 129 Street. The cost of parking went to one dollar an hour from seventy five cents an hour in both areas. In addition, locals should be aware of the fact that the city says you can’t pay in one area and then move your car to another area, using the same receipt, although when the concept was first announced, it was said that you could. So, if you park on Beach 116 Street and have time left on your Muni-Meter receipt, you cannot then drive to Beach 129 Street and expect it to be honored.
A new poll asked whether or not Mayor Michael Bloomberg has improved the quality of public education in New York City. Only 24 percent of the respondents believe that public education is better under Bloomberg. Forty percent say that it is the same and 27 percent say that it is worse. When only parents are considered, only 23 percent say that it is better now. When asked if they are satisfied by the quality of the public schools, only 29 percent said that they were satisfied. A whopping 58 percent said that they were not satisfied.
Some of the local school nurses are unhappy that they are not getting credit as first responders to the 9-11 attack. They say that the school nurses went to Ground Zero to fit the construction workers with respirators, they manned shelters, tested people for Anthrax and performed many other duties. The fact that they are never mentioned along with other volunteers and first responders has rankled them. “We never get recognition for the service we provide,” one school nurse said. “Just thought that everybody should be aware.”
During Hurricane Irene, seven “adorable and friendly” kittens were rescued by local firefighters and brought to the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways. The doctors examined and treated the kittens and they are now healthy and available for adoption. Anybody interested in adopting one of the
Irene kittens should call the animal hospital.
David Rosen, the former CEO of MediSys, the company that formerly sponsored the Peninsula Hospital Center, has been found guilty at a bench trial in federal court. MediSys paid bribes, including $410,000 to then-Assemblyman Anthony Seminario, $175,000 to Assemblyman William Boyland and more to State Senator Karl Kruger. MediSys officials continue to say that the money paid in bribes had nothing to do with the near-demise of PHC.
The Wave received some complaints from Far Rockaway and Arverne residents who went to their usual polling places only to find that there were no machines and no elections. Some wanted to know why they didn’t get to vote while others in Rockaway did. Others were angered that they were not notified that they did not have an election to vote in, not understanding that the special election was for specific Congressional and Assembly districts.
Benjamin Lawsky, the state’s superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, says that flood insurance does cover the damage done by Hurricane Irene. “Some individuals who have suffered severe loss are being told by their insurers that flood insurance does not apply,” Lawsky said. “In fact, flood insurance covers flooding caused by tropical storm Irene.”