2012-08-17 / Community

Beachcomber

The small group who showed up on the Riis Park boardwalk for a “meeting” with NPS officials about the future of Gateway National Recreation Area was first confused and then angered. First of all, few of the park workers seemed to know where the event was going to take place and a number of locals were sent to Bay Nine near the flagpole by a toll taker at the parking lot, when the event took place at Bay Five, next to the bathhouse. Once they arrived, many expected a real meeting, with a presentation and a chance to ask questions and voice their opinions in a public forum. What they got instead were a few NPS workers with a rudimentary understanding of the plan and its impact on Rockaway and a chance to fill out a comment form. One NPS official told The Wave that he was not sure about the plan to put the little league ball fields in the Riis Park parking lot, adding that there was no decision on whether those fields would be grass or concrete. Lots of locals spent time looking out to sea on Saturday, August 4, for a glimpse of the sharks that had been reported off the shore of Beach 147 Street. Lifeguards cleared the water all the way from the west end to Beach 90 Street and NYPD helicopters took to the skies to search for the predators, but none were reportedly spotted in the water off Rockaway. When the NYPD reported that no sharks were seen nearby the beach, bathers were allowed back in the water. The surfers on Beach 90 Street, however, seemed to take no notice of the emergency and continued surfing throughout.

July, 2012 was the hottest month on record for the contiguous United States since record keeping began in 1895, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that tracks such things.

Last week, a man in cardiac distress was transported to Franklin General Hospital in Franklin Square (Long Island) because the other Rockaway hospital was in diversion as were other hospitals in Queens and Brooklyn. The police reported that a car was going to go with the ambulance to the hospital at 3:30 p.m. At 4:46 p.m., an hour and 16 minutes later, the police car gave a “final” that it was at the hospital and the person was in the ER. The car was not back in Rockaway and on patrol until nearly 5:45 p.m. That’s what not having PHC means to people who need emergency care.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is much like her mentor and benefactor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She is embroiled in a controversy over the sick pay bill that is now in the hopper in her council. She is opposed to the bill as is the mayor, and she will not allow it to go to a vote. That has angered many members of the Council, even those who oppose the bill. “That isn’t very democratic,” said one Council member. “All we want is a simple vote and Quinn will not allow that.” She has also angered some members over her rigid opposition to allowing Chic-fil-A to open a store in the city because she considers its owner “homophobic.” He may be, others say, but that is no reason to keep him from doing business in the city.

There are few south Asian voters in Rockaway or the mainland portions of James Sanders’ Council district. There are many, however, in the Senate district in which he is running against incumbent Shirley Huntley. Therefore, it caused some chuckles when Sanders gave a $5,000 member item grant to a South Asian voter registration group in Central Queens. Sanders denies that his grant had anything to do with his coming primary election against Huntley.

The Daily News recently reported that the most expensive home in Queens is in Neponsit. The doublewidth home on Beach 146 Street recently set the record for the highest-priced single family home in the borough — $5.1 million. The beachfront home has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, swimming pool and killer views of the beach.

Remember the Rockaway Turnpike (Lawrence) billboard sign that featured a scantily clad woman? The sign caused a lot of consternation among Rockaway residents, especially the Orthodox Jews from the eastern end of the peninsula, who had to pass the sign daily. Now, it is gone and Alexander Novak, an attorney for Jacobs Realty says it is gone for good. His group took over and got rid of both the gentlemen’s club and the x-rated video shot that was in the building. Now, the group has the deed and plans to redevelop the site from “dingy commercial district to friendly neighborhood businesses.” The feds have filed suit against the city for illegally reducing the pensions of those police officers who served in the military since 2001. Seems that federal law requires that pension determinations be made with an eye to what the police officer would have earned had he or she not gone to war for the United States. The city, however, did not obey that law, using base salaries earned as the basis for pension determinations, making for much smaller benefits and saving the city some money.

The gambling Racino at Aqueduct Racetrack is making lots of money and getting lots of visitors, but has not kept its promise of jobs to Queens residents. According to a recent report, only 60 percent of the workers are from Queens, far less than was promised.

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