2011-12-23 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Todd Miller, the new CEO of the Peninsula Hospital Center is upbeat about the future of the vital facility, despite the fact that the state is looking into the question of whether Revival Home Health Care’s stewardship of the non-profit hospital is completely legal. Miller told The Wave in a long interview at his office that he expects the bankruptcy court to approve the Revival plan and that the reorganization can begin. He said that he expects the hospital to be out of bankruptcy by spring. He also said that he expects no further layoffs.

Officials of the Addabbo Family Health Center and Peninsula Hospital Center have worked out a deal so the former’s special education school program can remain in the latter’s facility until June and the end of the school year. Originally, the new owners of PHC had asked the school to vacate by the first of the year, something that was considered impossible by Addabbo staff. Now, with the deal, Addabbo has six months to find a place to put the program. The most likely new site will be in trailers alongside its facility at Beach 62 Street and Beach Channel Drive.

The shooting incident outside of the Arverne Library on Beach 54 Street at 10 a.m. on December 13, in which several shots were sprayed on the street, hitting one man in the foot, was frightening enough. Think about what might have happened five or six hours later, when dozens of young children and teens would have been in the area using the library after school. Police are still looking for the shooter or shooters who fired the shots.

National Grid, the company that has been operating the Long Island Power Authority’s facilities and power grid, including all of the electricity that powers Rockaway, has lost out on a proposal to renew its contract when it expires at the end of 2013. That means that Rockaway will have a new power supplier on January 1, 2014. National Grid has worked in Rockaway and Long Island for 13 years, and will then disappear from the local scene for good. Instead, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) will deliver those services.

Senator Charles Schumer has been in a battle to get the House of Representatives to kill a proposed bill that would have allowed telemarketers and robocallers to call your cell phone as well as your landline. In November, Schumer launched a campaign to block the bill when it became clear that the House committee was moving to bring the plan to a full vote. Finally, this week, the sponsors of the bill pulled the plug and the bill will die before reaching committee.

The Federal Communications Commission voted last week to require broadcast and cable companies to regulate those annoying commercials that are noticeably louder than the shows they accompany. The crackdown takes effect at the end of 2012, giving the providers a year to get their act together. Studies that led to the new ruling showed that while many of the shows, even the loudest shows, topped out at 60 or 65 decibels, many of the commercials on those shows topped out at 80 or 90 decibels. “My wife has wondered for years when we were going to do something about this problem,” the FCC chairman told reporters.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill regulating health care companies that includes a provision that blocks requiring policy holders to get their drugs from mail order pharmacies of the company’s choice. Retail pharmacies must promise that they will charge no more than the mail order pharmacies in order to be part of the program. That new law will impact many Rockaway residents who work for or who are retired from city employment. Presently, for example, those who have GHI as an medical provider must use Express Scripts or another company for all of their ongoing prescription drug needs. This law will allow locals to go to neighborhood pharmacies for the same drugs at the same price.

It seems as if Bob Turner is looking to move up on the food chain even before he gets his feet wet in his present position in the House of Representatives. Turner’s press secretary recently told reporters that Turner is considering a run for the Senate against Democrat Kristen Gillibrand in the 2012 election. Of course, there is a possibility that Turner will need a new job in 2012, because his district (and ours) might be redistricted out of existence.

In what might prove to be a fun afternoon, a group of Rockaway locals are forming a Rockaway Beach Reunion for late June of next year. The plan is for everybody to join on the boardwalk at Beach 17 Street, right next to the new park that is being built along Seagirt Boulevard. “We spent many happy days there when we were young,” one of the organizers wrote. “Why not come back to Rockaway and experience another?” Those interested can contact julemar@aol.com.

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