2014-04-25 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Fire Department is still investigating why it took so long for EMS ambulances to respond to the fire in Far Rockaway which left two four-year-olds dead. What a horrific nightmare.

Well, it’s official. The boardwalk rebuild is underway (that is, if you call putting up some fencing a start). The first 10 block stretch is from Beach 86th to Beach 97th Street. Laughably, pathetically, ridiculously, the Parks Department says the ten-block stretch, Phase 1, should be completed by NEXT Memorial Day (that’s 2015).

Meanwhile, the beaches where the boardwalk will eventually appear are getting sandier by the day. Weeks Marine, the company doing the pumping, started last week around Beach 119th Street and has already dumped new sand to Beach 106th.

We keep hearing Arverne East as a likely spot for affordable housing and City Councilman Donovan Richards is touting that idea. We have lots of questions about such a plan. First things first though. Are we really going to add more housing without real infrastructure improvements such as flood mitigation and evacuation routes? Nothing has made Rockaway safer since Sandy so let’s put more housing here? Really?

The Rockspot Historical Bike Tour to Fort Tilden is set for Sunday, April 27, from 1-3 p.m. The departure location is the firehouse at Beach 59th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The tour will start at the firehouse and travel west for a tour of historic Fort Tilden in Gateway National Park and a short hike up to Battery Harris (viewing platform). The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance (RWA) has a select number of bikes that can be borrowed for this tour. Bikes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Advanced registration required. This tour is sponsored by National Parks Service. Check the RWA website for more info.

In an interview with Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne, Mayor de Blasio ascribes some of his early stumbles to a need to go with “a really rigorous nohuddle offense in the first hundred days..” Oh, he was in a hurry? Who knew?!

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be performing emergency sewer repair work in the area of Beach 92nd Street, Holland Avenue, and Shore Front Parkway for a couple of weeks.

One of our favorite online writers goes by the name Rockawayist. He’s always got a pulse on what’s going on (and sometimes needles The Wave for not getting with Instagram or the latest social media thing. That’s ok, we can take it). Just this week he alerted everyone to the coming pizza wars of Rockaway Beach. Roberta’s, a Brooklyn legend, is supposed to be opening on Beach 96th. Whitney Aycock of the Other End Pizza Parlor on the boulevard between 97th and 98th says “bring it on.” Elegante on Beach 92nd will have a say in all this, too. And speaking of Elegante, a new wine bar The Rock will be opening right next door. Oh, and across the street, Uncle Louie G will be opening an Italian Ice shop. And did we mention Rockaway Taco, Uma’s, Connolly’s, Sayra’s and Playland are all in the same vicinity? For that matter, so are Bungalow Bar and Thai Rock. Imagine when they fix the roads!

The New York Rising Spring Conference was held in Albany this week. Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Rockaway East and Rockaway West are the eligible groups in line to receive Sandy money for particular projects they’ve recommended. Some locals worked very diligently on the proposals which could bring more than $60 million to the area.

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