2012-06-01 / Columnists

Beachcomber

It seems that former patients of the shuttered Peninsula Hospital Center might have problems in accessing their medical records once the bankruptcy process is done, the hospital is sold and the records are shipped off to a private storage and retrieval center. A report filed with the federal bankruptcy court last month says that many of the records are scattered throughout the hospital, while others are non-existent. The report, filed by the ombudsman appointed by the court, sheds doubt on how the hospital handled patient records over the past year. The battle between the Rockaway community and officials at Gateway National Recreation Area has escalated once again because of the draconian fees the national park is demanding from the youth sports leagues that utilize the otherwise-empty fields at Fort Tilden. Those sports programs – CYO soccer and Rockaway Little League baseball are run on a shoestring by volunteers who give their valuable time to Rockaway kids. The Fort Tilden fields are virtually the only venue left for sports on the peninsula and those fields are used and maintained by the volunteers. Without the kids of Rockaway, Fort Tilden would have few visitors, and perhaps that’s the way the NPS wants it. At least, it seems that way. Four years ago, the CYO paid $1,600 to use the fields for the entire year. Two years ago, that cost was raised to $7,600. Now, the organization has been told, next year the fields will cost more than $20,000 to rent for the season. We understand that the park service has to cover its costs, but to charge $20,000 a year for the use of an open, unkempt field borders on the absurd.

Mark your calendar for June 22 and the Sunset in the Park fundraiser at Tribute Park on Beach 116 Street and Beach Channel Drive. The annual affair has become one of the premier events of summer in Rockaway.

Many of those who want the former LIRR White Pot Junction line restored have been saying that even the mainland politicians are starting to approve of the idea. That is not nearly the truth. The majority of those who live in the area of the closed line and the politicians who represent them still oppose the plan. The fact is, there will be no movement on reopening the line until a massive convention center at Aqueduct Racetrack becomes a reality. Should that eventually take place, then the restored line could be utilized to move conventioneers quickly to Manhattan. Until that time, however, the White Pot Junction line is as dead as yesterday’s newspaper, and will remain so. Those who lost track of their radiology records when the Open MRI on Beach Channel Drive at Beach 112 Street abruptly closed down may be able to find their records at Long Island Radiology in Hewlett. One local who called was told, however, that their had been a flood at the old facility and lots of records were lost.

If you speak with Department of Education officials, the testing program just past was a great success. If you speak with teachers, however, you will find a different story – fights in the classroom because of the anxiety caused by the high-stakes test; kids vomiting; getting severe headaches, wetting their pants, difficulty sitting still for the 90-minute exams. To make third-graders go through the anxiety of the test sessions when the tests are not valid in the first place is ridiculous. To tell kids that the tests are the most important thing they will do over the school year is a serious educational mistake because then they believe the year is over in early May when the tests end.

For more than 25 years, the newsstand price for The Wave has remained at thirty-five cents. Now, however, due to rising printing and mailing costs, the cost with this issue has gone to fifty cents. Subscriptions for those who live in Rockaway will remain at $15 a year, the best bargain in town.

The daily papers continue to call those teachers who lost their jobs when their schools were closed down by the mayor and his educational minions ‘failures” and “bad teachers.” They urge that those teachers, most of whom are now on the teacher reserve lists, be fired. Crain’s New York Business recently said, for example, that principals rejected them and they failed to get rehired by anybody else. That is far from the truth. The fact is, the majority of them are excellent, experienced teachers and they cannot get hired because they cost too much. Why hire an experienced teacher for $90,000 when you can have three new teachers with no experience for the same price? Now, the city wants to offer buyouts to those teachers to get them out of the system. Many of them, however, are in the gray area where they are too young to retire and too old to find a new job.

Former mayor Rudi Giuliani has endorsed Breezy Point resident Bob Turner for Senator, saying that Turner is “the definition of a citizen legislator.” Before Turner can take on incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand, however, he has to win a primary against the Conservative Party candidate, Wendy Long and another Republican, George Maragos on June 26.

A study of New York City homicides show that more than half stem from disputes, both family-related and personal. Nearly 90 percent of those who are killed are black or Hispanic, with 80 percent being male.

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