2013-05-03 / Columnists

IDEAS WANTED

Rockaway
By Rick Horan

More good ideas heard this week around town…. ….Todd Miner with the Friends of Rockaway at the Hack the Rock event this past Sunday (see bottom of article for more)…Neighbors, blocks and civic associations should get together to take advantage of volume discounts that could be negotiated when homeowners are in need of common services such as, engineers to measure elevation, mold remediation companies, contractors and even appliance purchases. www.FriendsofRockaway.org

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Avid Ideas Wanted reader Matt Whelan and his wife Susan stopped by the Wave office to unveil “Project X.” After weeks of nail-biting suspense the wraps were finally taken off the first four prototypes of the Rockaway Tide Clock. A photo of this event appears elsewhere in this issue.

These particular tide clocks do not tell time, but rather keep track of high and low tides here in Rockaway. In our post Sandy world of little protection from storms these attractive instruments can help us keep track of potentially dangerous high tides during storms and full moons. Part art, part science, the Whelan’s Rockaway Beach Tide clocks are not only attractive on your wall, but can provide very useful information.

The battery-operated tide clocks are about 5” x 5” by 2” made of painted or varnished wood with aluminum handles on the side which give it a solid, marine feel. In the center is a picture (such as the Marine Parkway Bridge or possibly something more personal) with the words “Rockaway Beach” painted on the bottom.

At this stage Matt and Sue are facing the same decisions most entrepreneurs face such as: What materials to use? Should we offer standard products or personalize them? How much to sell them for? Distribute them through the Internet or through retail? (We suggested Gift is Love and Blue Bungalow)

Since this product has been designed for the people of Rockaway, maybe Ideas Wanted readers can help them out with some feedback. If you have a few minutes, share your ideas with the Whelan’s or maybe you even want to order your own a Rockaway Beach Tide Clock! Write to them at: justanotherengine@gmail.com

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Hack the Rock

Rockaway Help and Mozilla presented a community forum in the Dome this past Sunday (April 28th) to identify design opportunities related to rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. The Hack Day and Community Workshop brought together citizens, software developers and entrepreneurs with the challenge to collaboratively create and exchange new ideas that can benefit Rockaway.

The 30+ people who attended were broken down into several working groups that worked on challenges as storm alerts and communications to efficient aid distribution to volunteer coordination. There were some great ideas exchanged and the energy level and enthusiasm were contagious. A more detailed follow-up meeting is in the planning stages.

Rockaway Help (aka Rockaway Emergency Plan on Facebook) is a communitybased journalism project that focuses on hyper local news, content aggregation and civic engagement. http://www.RockawayHelp.com

Looking forward to hearing YOUR ideas, RickHoran@ideasimprov.com

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