2014-06-20 / Columnists

Beachcomber

After the storm, a row of burnt out, half demolished buildings stood on Rockaway Beach Boulevard near Beach 114th Street. The lot was eventually cleared and fenced in. Recently a new sign has been seen posted on that vacant spot. It said “Coming Soon- Family Dollar.”

One word about “Rockaway!”, the huge arts exhibition coming to Fort Tilden: Wow! The big kickoff opening is Sunday, June 29 from noon on.

Rockaway artist Alice Elisabeth is opening her first solo exhibition, Muse, at the Sohotel Artspace Gallery, 345 Broome Street, on Thursday, June 26, 6-10 p.m. The showcase runs to July 3.

This week 5,000 questionnaires will be hand delivered to residents and 1,000 businesses to get people’s opinions on the long abandoned Rockaway Beach branch rail line. The Queens College Office of Community Studies is distributing the surveys to study the potential community impacts of various proposed redevelopment options for the line. The surveys will be directed at those in Rockaway and Howard Beach whose homes and businesses are nearest the tracks.

An instructor at a recent defensive driving course had a question for the cross section of drivers in his class. How many people, he wanted to know, thought the growing number of stop light cameras and speed spots had more to do with raising revenues for the city than enforcing the law. Nearly every hand went up.

Where are the road crews? That’s what Broad Channel Civic Association President Dan Mundy Jr, and the BC community were asking last week. Almost all of Cross Bay Boulevard had been milled, curbs have been fixed, manhole covers jutted out like oversized anthills. About half of the the road has been blacktopped over on one side, but at the start of the week, not a workman or piece of heavy equipment was in sight. Mundy’s persistence got some answers, and work was ready to restart by Friday.

While we’re at it, if the City is done working over Beach Channel Drive, for God’s sake, pave it!

“Why don’t they go back where they came from,” one man said out loud about a group of people working on a mural on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. How many people in Rockaway have grandparents and even parents who, wherever they’re from, were told the same thing in their day? Or do we need to go all the way back to the “______ Need Not Apply” signs?

Apparently there is a “botanical garden” and a “New York French Riviera” on Beach 9th Street. A gentleman named Carl brought pictures to The Wave showing a growing pile of refuse and a row of long closed stores right by the beach, which he says have been decaying for years. It’s not clear who’s in charge of this property, but residents would like it cleaned up.

The second public workshop on bringing Select Bus Service, via the Q52/63 lines, from Rego Park to Rockaway Park and Arverne, will be on Wednesday, June 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. Stop by P.S. 306 Academy for Discovery, 95-16 89th Avenue in Woodhaven.

It’s not you, the trees really are moving. Over on Beach 105th Street between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Shore Front Parkway, residents note that newly planted trees along the street are being pulled out and replanted further away from the curb. The spaces that were excavated to put them in are now being cemented over again and new spaces have been cut out of the sidewalk.

A new short film, an offshoot of Dan Hendrick’s “Jamaica Bay Lives” documentary project, is premiering on Sunday, June 22. “The Divine Waters of Jamaica Bay” is about the Indo-Caribbean community’s use of the bay for sacred religious rituals, and some of the difficulties and solutions that have arisen from this. The free showing is at Shri Trimurti Bhavan, 101-18 97th Avenue, Ozone Park, and starts at 1:30 p.m.

Crime tip: keep valuables safe at the beach. Decide what you really need to have with you, leave the rest at home. Crowded beaches can be a hot spot for thieves. Covering your stuff with a towel won’t hold them off for long.

Going strong since 2006, the Rockstock and Barrels surf, skate and music festival is coming to Beach 90th Street and the boardwalk on June 28. It’s all free and it’s all good.

Where are the jobs? With all the construction going on with building the boardwalk back, rebuilding Rockaway, etc. and all the economic focus, people are wondering where the local employment boost is. There are plenty of good training programs sprouting up. Rockaway residents want to put those new skills to work. Guaranteed they’ll be putting that earned income back into the area.

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