2014-03-07 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Belle Harbor resident and Graybeard Kevin Ward has been named Chief of Staff by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Congrats to the 30 year vet.

Although police were in obvious view throughout the entire parade day that didn’t stop all the mayhem. A 20 year old Brooklyn male was stabbed on Beach 129th street. The person arrested was a teen from Rockaway Beach.

We got a great review of the Philadelphia Flower show: Articulture. The trip was run by Breezy Tour & Travel and Breezy.

We’ll all be glad when the cold weather doesn’t dominate every conversation so here’s something to warm you up: the Rockaway Classic surf contest will be this Saturday, March 8th at Beach 67th Street. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The There’s a $10 entry fee. Surfing starts at 9. Proceeds will benefit the Surfrider Foundation and Waves for Water.

The next Community Board 14 meeting is Tuesday, March 11th at the Knights of Columbus. The Army Corps is expected to reveal beach replenishment plans and give an update on the reformulation study.

The Parks Department says the boardwalk from Beach 108th to Beach 126th Street will begin 10 feet further out than the original boardwalk. The open space might be filled by ramps, a sidewalk, gardens, and other things they haven’t thought of yet! Although the Community Board gave approval to the boardwalk construction plan, it reserved the right to revisit such issues. Stay tuned.

A sex offender has moved into 187 Beach 115th Street. City records indicate the property is owned by Rockaway Revival Inc. Sounds ironic to us. The CEO is listed as Matthew Safos. Wave readers might recall one of his properties was listed as an Eyesore of the Week. Safos owns more than one eyesore on that block.

Herman Schmitt, an organist at St. Francis de Sales for more than forty years, was let go by the parish. A lot of people expressed disappointment online.

We got a call that there would be a “staff protest” at St. John’s on Tuesday. A Wave reporter was prohibited from entering the lobby where the protest was supposed to take place. A hospital spokesperson said, “The Wave doesn’t need to cover this.” Oh, thanks for the advice.

Flood insurance news. The House passed a bill that will soon move to the Senate. Overall, it’s a positive step and will help Rockaway’s long term real estate market. There are some holes in it, for sure, and the issue must be followed right up until the National Flood Insurance Program is up for reauthorization in 2017 when all matters can be addressed.

Bill de Blasio stepped in it when he said the Rockaway parade wasn’t “inclusive.” His press team said it was a “misstatement” and that he didn’t come because of a scheduling conflict.

If the Parks Department hired seasonal workers (or local handymen!) they could patch the gaps in the boardwalk from Beach 86th to Beach 60th and then we’d have a continuous boardwalk from Beach 86th to Beach 9th, almost 4 miles. It could be ready this summer! Maybe when the City selects a new commissioner that will be announced, too!

Got Sandy stories or even memories of a long-lost Rockaway? An oral history project is just getting started. The Rockaway Museum is teaming with a group from the American Institute of Graphic Artists to build an archive of Rockaway memories. Regular interview sessions are being held in The Wave on the ground floor on Fridays from 12 to 2 p.m. and at YANA (113th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard) from 3-4:30 p.m.  Be part of Rockaway history and contribute. Interviews are about 10 minutes. For more info, drop an email to dearrockaway@gmail.com.

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