2014-04-11 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Police Office Dennis Guerra, who died as a result of the fire in Coney Island allegedly set by a “bored” teen, was a Far Rockaway resident with four children. The line of duty funeral services for the officer will be held at St. Rose of Lima Church on Beach 84th Street, on Monday, April 14 at 11 a.m. All residents should expect traffic congestion, detours, and temporary parking restrictions with a very large turnout expected. Captain Adelman from the 100 Precinct asks people to “please come out and show your support for this hero.”

We think it’s great news that Tom Finkelpearl has been named Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. As executive director, he helped the Queens Museum become a prominent and vibrant cultural and educational center. And maybe, best of all, we know he loves Rockaway. He’s got a place here.

There was a nice turnout at a “thank you, mayor” rally for extending the ferry. It’s a good thing that so many people keep reminding everyone that the ferry is a vital cog in the Rockaway recovery. With Staten Island getting more than $100 million in ferry subsidies it’s only fair that Rockaway gets at least a fraction of what Staten Island gets. The sooner the mayor declares the ferry long-term, the better. The sooner the city wakes up and realizes weekend service will be a big boost to the Rockaway recovery, the better. We shouldn’t have to beg.

Joe Hartigan, who stays on top of ferry issues like nobody else, says Seastreak, the current operator might get lured away unless the city gets moving. The Pulaski Skyway in New Jersey is being partially closed for a couple of years; Glen Cove is asking for service; a shopping outlet in Staten Island might require more boats. As Hartigan says, we don’t want to get stuck with a fishing boat as a ferry. The city should get moving to secure Seastreak or an equivalent operator now. Skanska, the construction manager of the Rockaway Boardwalk rebuild, has opened a storefront office at 92-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Rockaway residents are encouraged to stop into the office to inquire about potential employment opportunities with boardwalk subcontractors.

The Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge pedestrian walkway will be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Monday, April 14 while the mile-long, six-foot-wide walkway is resurfaced.

Secretary of HUD, Shaun Donovan, was on WNYC radio with Brian Lehrer last week talking about Sandy recovery and Build It Back. He was a bit taken aback when the radio host read to him a Wave editorial about the need for Donovan to fix the HUD rules that seem to be giving the city such fits. Later that evening, at the Rebuild By Design meeting in the city, Wave editor Kevin Boyle and Secretary Donovan bumped into each other. Boyle asked him about all the HUD red tape and Donovan essentially said the city is to blame, citing New York State and New Jersey as places where the recovery process is proceeding so much better.

Greg Clancy, an engineer with the NYCEDC, who is very knowledgeable about the boardwalk and bayside projects and always delivered detailed information at various community meetings is leaving the EDC. Word is, he’ll be joining RXR Realty, the same place where Seth Pinsky, former president of EDC landed after leaving the Bloomberg administration.

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