2014-01-10 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Rockaway Museum is awakening from a long dormancy. There is an effort underfoot to launch an oral history project. Plans involve getting stories on tape from locals about their experiences in Sandy. And then later on, the project will expand to collecting stories from old-timers who remember the Rockaway of yesteryear. Keep an eye out in The Wave for more details.

Let’s hope the teen riot at Kings Plaza was a one-time thing. Many people already stay away. With so few shopping options in Rockaway we don’t wish bad on any place. As one reasonable person said: kids have always done stupid things and there are plenty of exits there.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the big beach replenishment is now set to start in February. The original plan was for the project to immediately follow Phase 1 in September. Then it was pushed to late December or early January. And now it’s February. The Corps is at the mercy of the contractor it hired. We know how that goes. Still, makes you wonder what year jetties and real protection will come. Oh, and the late start might mean some beaches will be closed on the west end in the early summer season. The beaches where no one goes gets new sand first. We’re talking about piping plover beaches. Sand has to go there before nesting season starts in the spring.

Tuesday night is the Community Board meeting. The Parks Department is supposed to offer final boardwalk plans. This meeting is at the Bayswater Jewish Center at 2355 Healy Avenue in Bayswater.

The Graybeards are holding their annual dinner dance at Russo’s On The Bay on January 25th. The public is invited to join the group in this always fun event. Tickets can be purchased at the Graybeard office on Beach 129th Street or by calling 718-634-6812.

Here’s another perspective on flood insurance. Gerald Galloway, an engineering professor at the University of Maryland who studies floods, and advises the government on how to deal with them says, there are flood-prone places like Louisiana that suck up a big share of FEMA’s flood money. “But thirty-five percent of our nation’s oil and gas comes from the Gulf Coast, and these people live in some form of risk. It is not a flood insurance program,” Rather, Galloway says. “it is a program to maintain the viability of communities and their economy.”

Rockaway Emergency Plan aka Rockaway Help started a fun debate online. They asked people if they told others they were from Rockaway or The Rockaways. The Wave’s position: you’re from Rockaway. You might use The Rockaways when writing (a Wave excuse) or if someone has no idea of New York geography. Votes were going 10-1 in favor of the sensible Rockaway. (Grammar time: Imagine if we had to use the possessive for The Rockaways? The Rockaways’s beaches are closed. Ugh. It’s Rockaway, no matter what Bruce who got here in 1954 says). Of course, what does The Wave editor know, he’s from the Brooklyns.

Governor Cuomo announced some ambitious resiliency plans for New York State this week. Among the things he listed was a self-sustaining system of natural barriers in Jamaica Bay. There was no mention of the rest of Rockaway.

We’ve asked elected officials to take turns writing columns. Each week we’ll make space for them. We’ve asked them to be Rockaway-specific in topics they cover. Phil Goldfeder starts us off with a good one this week. See Official POV.

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