2012-05-04 / Columnists


The election campaign leading up to November 6 election will be exciting this year, particularly on the Rockaway peninsula where it looks as if there will be two spirited campaigns for the State Senate. With redistricting, Rockaway was split into two equal parts with incumbent Joe Addabbo and incumbent Shirley Huntley holding the new seats. Just last week, however, popular Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich announced his challenge of Addabbo for the west end seat. Ulrich has been the area’s Councilman for a few years now and has built up some good will on the peninsula. Addabbo, on the other hand, was once our City Councilman, but deserted Rockaway twice – first by giving up his seat on the Parks Committee and then by leaving to run for the Senate. On the other end of the peninsula, it looks as if there will be a hardfought Democratic primary between City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who is term-limited and has no place to go, and Huntley, who is under investigation by the state. In addition, it looks as if there will be a Democratic primary for Congress between the incumbent Gregory Meeks and a young challenger, Michael Scala from Rosedale. Meeks is also under investigation by a number of law enforcement agencies as well as the House Ethics Committee.

If you have any interest in either aviation or New York City history, get yourself to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn – just over the Marine Parkway Bridge – this weekend for the grand reopening of the Ryan Visitor Center, the field’s centerpiece that was once the airport’s control tower when it was first a municipal airport and then a Naval Air Station. The event will begin at noon on Saturday, May 5 and will continue on Sunday. There will be all sorts of aviation-related exhibits, games for kids and some old restored aircraft.

The mayor has vetoed the bill boosting wages for building workers and lambasted Council Speaker Christine Quinn, his acolyte in the past for even considering the bill. The mayor accused the council of “trying to return to an era when the government viewed the private sector as a cash cow to be milked, rather than a garden to be cultivated.” Translation: How dare these lowly worker bees demand more money from my business cronies, who actually make the wealth in this city.

In last week’s edition there was a photo of a Beach 122 Street home where a Rockaway EMT was busted by the feds on a kiddy Porn rap. We want to remind everybody that there are six apartments in that building and that the others who live there are guilty of nothing but sharing a building with the arrested man.

The White House has a new “White House Atrocities Board,” which will formulate our government’s response to war crimes, crimes against humanity and mass atrocities. The new head of the board is National Security Advisor Samantha Powers who, in the past, has hosted a Holocaust denier and who once suggested investing millions of tax payer dollars in a “mammoth protection force” to intercede on the side of the Palestinians in the Middle East.

The city has begun an online archive of photographs, maps and other media that spans more than 160 years of city history. It is a fascinating site, which can be accessed through the city’s portal, www.nyc.gov.

Eva Moskowitz was once the City Council’s education chairperson. She left and parlayed her contacts, particularly with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, into a million dollar charter operation with her as the high-paid CEO. On a number of occasions, the mayor interceded for her and she regularly pushed aside public schools for free space for her charters in public schools – sparking the ire of parents in those schools. Now, SUNY trustees are rushing to approve a whopping 50 percent increase in the annual per-pupil management fee the state pays her to run those charter schools. Under the new deal, the management fee would jump from $1,350 per pupil to $2,000 per pupil, and that’s just for managing the schools. Moskowitz is quickly becoming the poster girl for why charter schools are a bad idea. Wouldn’t that $2,000 per student be better spent in the classroom than in providing a management fee to a former politician? Despite the attack on NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, 77 percent of New York voters who responded in a recent poll say that he’s done a good job. In addition, 81 percent say that he is a strong leader and near-majority (46 percent) would like him to run for mayor. The poll tested the “favorability” of a number of prospective candidates, and Kelly came out first (at 63%), followed by Christine Quinn (50%), Bill Thompson (43%), Bill De Blasio (41%) and Scott Stringer (31%). So far, however, Kelly is telling anybody who asks that he likes it where he is and has no thoughts of running for mayor. In fact, he has never even said whether he is a Republican or a Democrat.

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