2012-03-16 / Columnists

Beachcomber

It turns out that the priciest homes in Queens are on the beach blocks in Neponsit. Not much of a surprise to Rockaway residents, but it surprised the rest of the borough, including some real estate brokers who regularly sell in Rockaway. Actually the Daily News story about the report by Clare Trapasso said that the beach blocks in question, Beach 145 to Beach 147, are in Belle Harbor. The next day, however, the News ran a correction to say that they are actually in Neponsit. According to the Property Shark website report, the houses on those Neponsit blocks average $2.5 million. The next three spots all belong to Forest Hills Garden.

Restaurant owners testifying at a City Council hearing slammed the city’s grading process, with the great majority saying that the process is random, serendipitous and unfair. In fact, even the owners of those restaurants that got an A complained about the system. In a survey sponsored by the Council, 65.9 percent of those owners who responded said that the system is “poor,” while another 19.7 percent said that it is “fair.” Only 1.6 percent said that it was “excellent” and 3.0 percent said that it was “very good.” If you add that up, you get 85 percent of the restaurant owners who do not like the process as against 4.6 percent who like it. The mayor, however, continues to say that the process is perfect. He blames the restaurant owners who failed the process for the low survey results. By the way, 67 percent of those who responded to the survey got A’s in their inspection reports. Bloomberg has announced a new application for iPhones and iPads that will allow diners to check a restaurant’s safety record. He said that more than 72 percent of the city’s restaurants earned an A grade, which is a little like 84 percent of the city’s schools earning an A or B grade a few years ago.

Like many editorials, last week’s Wave editorial about the Peninsula Hospital Center included a certain amount of hyperole. The last sentence particularly bothered many staff members, who continue to work hard to keep the hospital afloat and address patient concerns. We apologize to any of the hospital’s staff that were offended by the use of word “kill” in the context of the hospital’s problems.

The long and contentious Dayton Beach Park strike has ended. The strike leaves lots of scars, however, with many of the residents of the co-op buildings taking sides. The strike lasted more than six months, and emotions over the issues and the co-op’s leadership remain high.

The new National Park Service concessionaires for the two Breezy Point beach clubs have been in touch and say they are excited about coming to Rockaway. One even said that she was looking forward to moving to the Rockaway peninsula as soon as the deal is signed so that she can get ready for the coming summer.

Those who are interested in voting on how to spend $1 million of City Councilman Eric Ulrich’s discretionary funds should get ready, because the voting process will begin the last week of March, with balloting taking place at a number of venues in Ulrich’s district. For information on those sites, see the It’s What’s Happening section of this week’s Wave. Congressman Bob Turner believes that there will be no Constitutional problem with his new law to give tax credits for families who pay parochial or private school tuition. Turner’s spokesperson cited several past state cases that approved money for private school parents, but none of those cases was on point for his tax credit plan. With a conservative court, he might just sneak his bill through the court, but he is going to have a tough time getting it passed. One clue is that, while many bills have dozens of cosponsors, his has only three – Peter King of Long Island, Michael Grimm of Staten Island and a Mississippi Congressman. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

Some Queens Democrats, worried over all of the legal woes facing Congressman Gregory Meeks and the impending House Ethics Committee report about his shady dealings with a Queens businessman, see some light at the end of the tunnel with the redistricting plan put forth by a federal magistrate last week. That plan puts all of Rockaway in one Congressional district, the 5th District of New York. The hope is that some other Democrat, such as Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder, will challenge Meeks in a primary for the new district, giving them a less-vulnerable candidate than Meeks to go up against Bob Turner, who was set to be the Republican candidate after his surprise win against David Weprin, until he announced earlier this week that he is running agains Kirsten Gillibrand for the Senate. Should the lines hold, it will be an interesting election season. With Turner out of the Congressional race, the Rockaway seat, will most likely to to Meeks once again, unless Goldfeder runs. Who will the Republicans run for the seat? Your guess is as good as ours.

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