2012-01-27 / Columnists


Although Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder made one of his campaign promises to bring back the resident rebate on the Cross Bay Bridge for Rockaway and Board Channel residents, there were few who thought that he could actually do it. He did, and we suspect that he had the help of his mentor, Senator Chuck Schumer, in making it happen. After all, Schumer has become one of the major players on the national stage and he seems to be bringing Goldfeder along, just as he did former Congressman Anthony Weiner. We hope that Schumer has reminded Goldfeder of the dangers of tweeting.

Now that the city has decided to close down the Peninsula Preparatory Academy charter school, the battle begins for the hearts and minds of the officials at Arverne By The Sea, which has an absolute mandate to build an 825-seat elementary school within its community. The mandate came as part of the transfer of land from the city to ABTS, along with the Y and the transit plaza. The plan was always to build a charter school rather than a public school and the deal was always that Senator Malcolm Smith’s PPA would be that charter school. Now, with the PPA losing its charter, the residents of ABTS, who would benefit most from the school, are rearing up and demanding not only a say, but control over what school is brought into the school that ABTS will build. The residents want not only a say in who gets the school, but a majority of the board of directors seats when the school begins operation. It’s going to be a few interesting years until the school is built and a new operator is chosen.

Unlike Anthony Weiner, Congressman Bob Turner is not planning on keeping a satellite office in Rockaway. What he is doing is sending representatives to what he calls “Field Office Events” in both Rockaway and Broad Channel. Turner’s senior caseworker will be at the Peninsula Library at 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 27. Then, his caseworker will be at the Broad Channel Library on Cross Bay Boulevard from 1 to 3 p.m. on January 30. Turner urges anybody with a federal issue to come to his field offices on those dates.

Those who use the Gil Hodges-Marine Parkway Bridge on a regular basis to go from Rockaway to Brooklyn will find that their trip may be interrupted with some regularity over the next two months as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lifts the bridge to allow dredges and other marine equipment to enter and exit the bay. The Corps of Engineers is working on a marsh grass restoration project.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is angry at the City Council over its vote to put an end to the sanitation department’s propensity for slapping gooey stickers on cars that block the street sweepers. The mayor will most likely veto the new law, but the Council has the votes to override the mayor’s veto. The mayor also plans to veto a bill that allows traffic enforcement officers to void a ticket they have given if a motorist shows that he or she was at the Muni-meter getting a parking receipt while the ticket was being issued. That bill will also most likely be passed over the mayor’s veto.

Should the New York Giants win the Super Bowl, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants the victory parade held in Paramus or Newark or some other out-of-the-way spot. We are sure that the players would much rather parade down the canyons of smog in Paramus than down the Canyon of Heroes in Manhattan.

The majority of New York State voters oppose Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to build the largest convention center in the nation in Ozone Park. A recent poll shows that only 38 percent of state voters approved of the plan. New York City voters were a little more supportive, with 44 percent giving a thumbs up to the plan.

New York City residents were asked to tell the New York Times about what was going on in their neighborhoods. One Beach 89 Street resident wrote, “Beach 89 Street in Rockaway Beach is a mass of construction – on the street, below the street and on the elevated tracks that abut the block. But the vibe is positive. Residents are happy to see improvements to our infrastructure and delighted that our newly refurbished A Train station will be adorned with stunning stained-glass artwork. Feeling very positive about our evolving neighborhood.”

The city’s Historic Districts Council has listed the top neighborhoods that should be noted by the Landmarks and Preservation Commission. One of those is the Far Rockaway Beachside Bungalows neighborhood centered around the beachfront and Beach 25 Street.

There are not many New Yorker’s who are pleased with the way Mayor Michael Bloomberg has run the schools into the ground. That was apparent once again last week when he made the rounds of African-American groups to tout a new education initiative. At the annual Martin Luther King Day exercises at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, he was roundly booed and there were some shouts that showed an even stronger anger against the mayor. Later in the day, the mayor’s face reportedly turned red when about half the 600 people at an MLK Day forum in Harlem booed when he was announced by Al Sharpton.

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