Local attorney Joe Mure has announced that the Little North Pole, held annually at his Neponsit home, has amassed roughly $165,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Society and related charities. Last’s year’s total was $150,000. Perhaps the good weather around the holiday season helped to make the bump.
Once again, New Year’s Day was graced with lots of outdoor activity – several ocean dips and a beach walk. Because the weather cooperated and the temperature was 52 degrees, there were lots of kids at this year’s ocean excursions. It is hard to understand, however, why the Polar Bears, the Penguins, The Walruses, The Arverne By The Sea group and the Patriots can’t get together for one giant plunge. While the Beach 146 Street plunge had hundreds of participants, most of the others had far fewer and it would be good if we could have a Rockaway New Year’s Plunge to rival Coney Island. Like everything in Rockaway, it’s all about turf.
The good news is that Peninsula Hospital Center has cut a deal with its major creditor, Local 1199 of the SIEU. That deal will allow the bankruptcy plan to move ahead along with the hospital’s reorganization plan. Hospital CEO Todd Miller is hopeful that the good news and the new hires will build credibility in the institution and patients will start to come back for their medical treatment. The downside to the good news is that the governance questions posed by a forprofit corporation running a non-profit hospital have yet to be resolved. The state’s Department of Health says it is still studying the question.
One Wave reporter is really unhappy over the impending closure of PS 215 in Far Rockaway. It seems she went there for elementary school and then went on to JHS 198, which was closed to become the Goldie Maple Academy and then to Far Rockaway High School, which was closed last June.
For the first time in 20 years, crime is once again on the uptick in New York City. The final 2011 numbers show a slight rise in felony crimes, to 105,702 from 527,257 in 1990 but up from 105,633 in 2010. Crime was up in both of the Rockaway precincts. In the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Park, the statistics show that crime was up 50.88 percent from last year, fueled by a 141.88 percent rise in burglaries. In the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, crime was up by 1.8 percent, fueled by a 33.3 percent rise in homicides.
In last week’s edition, The Wave ran a two-page spread detailing our staff’s picks as the top five Rockaway news stories of the year. We have already received some comment on our choices, and if you do not agree with them, email us and let us know which story or stories should have been highlighted as the top stories of the year. Email us at editor@rock awave.com.
The next big community fundraising activity is the Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis, which will be held on February 4 at 1 p.m. Registration will begin an hour earlier at St. Camillus Church at Beach 101 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.
DOT Commissioner Maura Mc- Carthy and her design group will be at the Broad Channel Civic Association meeting on January 26 to talk about the construction plan for the flood plain on West 11, West 12 and West 13 Streets. The meeting will be held at the VFW Hall on Shad Creek Road at 7:30 p.m. Dan Mundy urges the residents of the impacted streets to attend and have their voices heard.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement about building the nation’s largest convention center and hotel at the aging Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park came as a surprise to most people, but not to the management of Genting New York, the Malaysian-based company that owns the Aqueduct Racino. By the time the Governor had made his opening comments, the giant gambling company had pledged $4 billion to build the new facility. It seems strange that the Governor would want to take billions in business away from Manhattan and send it to central Queens instead. It also raised the question of where people will go for amenities after the day’s convention activity is done. Without dissing Ozone Park, that community is no Manhattan when it comes to restaurants, clubs and other evening amenities.
Emblem Health provides health care to the great majority of city workers and retirees. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently said that he wants to change the status of the non-profit to make it for-profit. That would bring millions in tax money to the state, but cost the city and its workers lots of money. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that he would find another health care provider should the governor make good on his proposal, making Emblem Health virtually worthless to the for-profit community. Within two days of Bloomberg’s announcement six private insurers said they would take over the health care of the city’s workers and retirees in a heartbeat. So far, no retort from the governor, who seems to have put his plan on the back burner for now.