Look at the high school report cards recently issued by the Department of Education and published in last week’s Wave. While once there were two comprehensive high schools on the peninsula, now there are eight smaller high schools. Far Rockaway High School is gone after more than 12 decades, replaced by the Far Rockaway Educational Campus. Beach Channel High School is a year and a half away from extinction, with only 1,053 students. Think about it. Two schools, two principals, six assistant principals. Eight schools, eight principals, 20 assistant principals. All for the same number of kids and teachers. Is that what the DOE calls “cost effective?” The mayor justifies the cost be saying over and over again that the smaller schools do a much better job in educating students. The facts prove otherwise. The first small school to come to Rockaway several years ago was the Frederick Douglass VI Academy. This year, it gotaCgradewitha51.4scoreout of 100. Seems to me that 51 always was a failing grade, but with the DOE spin, it becomes successful. By the way, while nearly all of the graduates of Scholars’ Academy are successful in college, less than a quarter of the graduates from Channel View School for Research or the Frederick Douglass Academy are ready for higher education or the workplace, the report cards show.
The layoffs have begun at Peninsula Hospital Center, and the word is that the 50 workers laid off last week are only the first in what hospital officials are calling a “downsizing,” that might well see entire departments wiped out. The fact is, the hospital is open and running. Its community-based board of directors is still in place and functioning and the hospital is still being run as a non-profit, although the company that bailed it out, Revival Home Health Care, is a for-profit corporation. That seems OK to the state’s Department of Health, because the agency has approved the deal.
The story that ran on the front page of last week’s paper is, unfortunately, a typical Far Rockaway story. Three gangbangers, out to make a score, sent the youngest with a phony gun to hold up a man walking his dog on the boardwalk. Turned out that the victim was an off-duty NYPD detective with a real gun of his own. When the teen dropped the phony gun and ran, the detective gave chase and ran right into the teen’s backup. A scuffle ensued and two of the thugs where shot. Two were arrested on Seagirt Boulevard and the other showed up at the Jamaica Hospital emergency room with a gunshot wound and was arrested as well. The only surprising fact was that they had a phony gun. Perhaps the entire incident was a gang initiation that went bad.
Our new Assemblyman, Phillip Goldfeder, will be sworn in by Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Joseph Crowley on Sunday, November 6, at noon. The ceremony will take place at JHS 210, 93-11 101 Avenue in Ozone Park. If you’re driving, go straight up Cross Bay Boulevard, under the elevated train at Rockaway Boulevard and then left on 101 Avenue.
Congressman Gregory Meeks sparked something of a mild firestorm by asking NY1 News for time to complain about a Wave editorial cartoon that he said was “racist” and reminiscent of the movie “Birth of a Nation.” The fact is, the cartoon was drawn by Elgin Bolling, who is an African-American. The cartoon first ran on February 19, 2010, and there was no complaint from Meeks. When it ran a few weeks ago as art for an article about all the investigations into Meeks’ wrongdoing, he went on television to complain. Since then, other newspapers and Channel 11 have done stories about the controversy, which is really a tempest in a teapot, but it allows Meeks to point away from his own transgressions to focus on The Wave and its editorial cartoon. Meeks says that 25 of his constituents called his office to complain about the editorial cartoon, but not one person has called The Wave to complain.
The city has requested an extension to complete the new firefighter’s civil service test and Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis, after some groaning and grumbling, has granted the city’s request. The test originally scheduled for January, is now scheduled for either late March or early April. City lawyers arguing for more time said that the test must be administered several times a day over a five-week period to some 60,000 applicants and that more questions still need to be created. Garaufis recently said in a decision that the city and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have ‘intentionally and illegally” discriminated against minority candidates in past firefighter tests.
Ruth Madoff was Ruth Alpert when she graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1958 and she was going with a 1956 graduate named Bernie Madoff. Then, they were a low-key couple. She was part of the Belle Harbor crowd and he was from the mainland and on the swimming team. Now, of course, they are world famous. He is in prison for life and she was just on 60 Minutes to talk about their life and their suicide pact on a dingy Christmas Eve while he was awaiting sentencing. Sad.