Friday, July 25, 2014

Flood Mitigation Project Advisory #6/2014


I spoke with Fern Weinreich, the assigned Community Construction Liaison for the pending Flood Mitigation Project (new bulkhead and street raising) for West 12th Road earlier today and she provided me with the following update on the progress of the project. 

1.  The Community Construction Liaison's office will be relocating from Far Rockaway to 59 West 12th Road (last house on the right side at the bay end of the block) in early August.

2.  Bulkhead construction on West 12th Road should start in mid to late August.  Prior notification will be made to all residents in advance of the actual start date.

3.  At this time, the contractor is unsure of his ability to ingress and egress construction equipment safely on West 12th Road so residents should be aware that there is a possibility we may have to relocate to the displaced parking spaces on Cross Bay Boulevard when bulkhead work starts on West 12th Road.

4.  If displaced parking on Cross Bay Boulevard becomes necessary during bulkhead work, the appropriate signs regarding such parking shall be displayed on Cross Bay Blvd. and notification to all parking enforcement authorities shall be made. 

Waiting comfortably for the A Train at Broad Channel...


The Rockaway Times

Now this is waiting for the A Train!

Waiting for the train pic

A woman at the Broad Channel station decided to get comfortable while waiting for the shuttle.  We guess it came eventually.  Photo by Jordan Lage.

[Rockaway Times]: Editorial A one Term Bill de Blasio?



EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL: MAYBE ROCKAWAY NEEDS AN OTB – A ONE TERM 

BILL DE BLASIO

  0
No ferry.  No plan for Game Changer money.  Nothing from his Economic Development Corporation.  Ticket agents everywhere.  Speed cameras without proper signage.  Road construction at the height of the summer season. A Parks Commissioner who comes to Rockaway as often as the Mayor.  That’s the short list of what we’ve gotten from City Hall.
Oh wait, the Mayor gave us a new homeless shelter.  No neighborhood, especially one already crying for adequate services, wants an influx of more disadvantaged.  What makes the de Blasio homeless move so dumb is that Rockaway is in a flood zone (ever hear about Sandy, Mr. Mayor)?
The most vulnerable populations in storms and emergencies are those that require services (evacuation help, medical attention, and basics like food and water). Getting those services to at-risk populations is a challenge that the city always fails to do. So, what’s the thinking?  Rockaway is vulnerable to storms so let’s put more people who need more services there. Brilliant !
City Hall wants congratulations when Build It Back hands out a few reimbursement checks or breaks ground on building a new home. We say, it’s about time.
One Term Bill likes to blame his predecessor, Mike Bloomberg, for Build It Back. Well, One Term Bill de Blasio just got around to naming a new Buildings Commissioner. It took the Mayor seven months to put someone in charge of this vital city agency! We love his quote: “We have to change the culture of the Buildings Department. There has to be a totally different sense of time and efficiency,”
If his “sense of time” for the Buildings Department is like the rest of City Hall, he should have named Rip Van Winkle commissioner.
We guess choosing a Building Commissioner was an exhausting exercise.  Shortly after naming the commissioner, the Mayor holding office for seven months, needed a 10 day vacation in Italy. 
Pubic Advocate Letitia James reportedly asked her legal team to research what powers she might have while OTB vacations. Comptroller Scott Stringer is a willing watchdog and a steady nuisance to the Mayor.  Just seems that maybe those thinking about a primary challenge aren’t on vacation and might be thinking about a One Term Bill.

Lighting: Myths and Facts

If you think Sandy was bad.....


This ball of fire almost gave Earth a bashing back in 2012. You wouldn’t believe how clos

This ball of fire almost gave Earth a bashing back in 2012. You wouldn’t believe how close we came to a catastrophic solar flare. Source: AP

This is a piece of rather sobering news.  

You are probably not aware of the fact that on July 23, 2012, just three short months before Super Storm Sandy turned all our lives upside down, our planet had a near miss with a huge coronal mass ejection (CME)  resulting from the most powerful solar storm on the sun in over 150 years.

According to the experts, if the solar storm storm has occurred just one week earlier, the Earth would have been in the cross hairs of the CME and the lives each and every individual on our planet would be markedly different today!

Had we been struck head on by this solar storm all electrical circuits would have been fried.
Satellites, power grids, sewage systems, all forms of transportation, communications, etc., would have immediately gone belly up!

Remember what it was like immediately after Sandy with no power, communications or fuel for several weeks?  If this storm had struck us and, as one expert put it, "We would still be picking up the pieces today."  We would have been thrown back into the dark ages for a period of many years before everything was was back up and running and even then, it would be a vastly different life than the one we enjoy now. 

Interestingly enough, not unlike Super Storm Sandy, the CME that almost battered us was also a freak occurrence as it was actually two ejections within 10 minutes of each other, plus a previous CME had happened four days earlier to effectively clear the path.

Another thing to keep in mind is just how much worse conditions would have been had this solar storm hit us back on July 23, 2012 only to be followed up by Sandy 3 months later.  We would have made the trip from "dark ages" to "stone age" in the blink of an eye!  We certainly wouldn't have been able to depend on "Build It Back" to get us back on our feet. Oh, wait a minute, we haven't been able to depend on Build It Back to get us on our feet anyway!

But I digress.....I know you are reading this and thinking to yourself, "How come I never heard of this before?" 

The simple answer is our government, and more specifically NASA, didn't feel it was necessary to mention this "near miss" until just recently.

Makes you wonder what else they have decided is not necessary to tell us!

[Rockaway Times]: Between the Bridges in Broad Channel



Between the Bridges in Broad Channel
By: Peter J. Mahon 

I received several inquiries from neighbors who stated that they had had a hard time finding copies of the Rockaway Times (RT) in Broad Channel last week.  I conducted a quick tour of the town and found the only Broad Channel store carrying the RT was  Hamberrys Delicatessen at 801 Cross Bay Boulevard.  Not quite sure what happened but never fear, you can always check out the online edition of the RT each week at rockawaytimes.com and, if you are a "tweetie bird" you can follow the RT on Twitter at @Rockawaytimes. 

Speaking of Hamberry's Delicatessen, anyone who was out and about early last Friday morning, July 18th, could not help but notice a rather robust police presence in front of that store.   According to the 100th Precinct Commander, Captain Craig Adelman, the store was burglarized sometime between late evening July 17th and early morning July 18th  and that the incident is being actively investigated. It is hoped that this incident is simply an aberration and does not reflect an unwelcome shift in our town's otherwise almost non-existent crime rate.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Gill Laffe of W12th Road who was recently injured a vehicle accident. Gil is presently recovering at his better half's (Anna's) residence out of town.  Get Well Soon Gil!

Last weekend's "Pig Roast" at the Broad Channel V.F.W. was well attended and enjoyed by all who stopped by.  Many thanks to Billy Grillman and MattyConkin for getting the pit fired up and going at 4:00 am in the morning, Kevin Bautz for taking care of the grounds keeping, and to Bobo Prokopowicz who carved and served the main course.  And of course, a big thank you to both Gail Waldheim who worked the canteen during the afternoon and Grace Arnemann who kept the party going until the wee hours of Sunday morning.  A real special "shout out" to Bobby Glade who helped make sure everyone got home safe and sound!

While the West side of Broad Channel was busy with the VFW "Pig Roast" last Saturday, the East side of town was rocking with Pete Keane's annual block party over on Church Road. These summertime events are but one of the simple pleasures our community here in Broad Channel enjoys that make life in this town unique!

This Saturday, July 26th, members of Broad Channel’s V.F.W. and American Legion Posts will attend a new flagpole dedication at the home of 94 year old WWII veteran Leonard Miller at 158 Beach 128th Street in Breezy Point at 11 am.  Mr. Miller’s previous flagpole was destroyed during Super Storm Sandy. Everyone is invited to attend this dedication ceremony and meet former Metalsmith 2nd Class Miller to congratulate him on the new flagpole and to thank him for his service to our country.!

The Broad Channel 2014 Mardi Gras is heating up with the inclusion of Ruffle Bar in the mix of fundraising activities for the BCVFD.  On Wednesday, July 30th you can have a delicious corn beef and cabbage dinner delivered to your door for only $10.  Call Ruffle Bar at 718-318-2300 to set up your dinner orders.  On Saturday, August 2nd, Ruffle Bar will host a pool tournament with cash prizes with an accompanying per person entry fee of $20.  On Friday, August 8th at 9 pm a $5 cover will get you in to enjoy the live music of Mr. Big Deal!  By the way, did I mention that Ruffle Bar is now serving frozen libations!  Keep in mind that the proceeds from all these Summer of 2014 Mardi Grasevents, whether they are sponsored by Grassy Point Bar and Grill or Ruffle Bar, go to support the brave men and women of our very own Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department.  

Broad Channel – Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?  See y’all next week.

Contact Info: email me at  rtbetweenthebridges@gmail.com or call 347-226-1293

[The Wave]: Broad Channel Bits



By Dan Guarino
The weather has been good and Broad Channel has been out enjoying it.
Last Saturday, July 19, there was a great big block party over on the east side. There was food, drinks, barbecues going, live music playing and kids having fun. There were two huge inflatable waterslide/ obstacle courses and a dragon ride.
A lot of things may have been put on hold because of Hurricane Sandy, but people were pretty happy to be able to get together and do this again.
The VFW’s Pig Roast and Barbecue was apparently also a big success that day. Skies were a little gray, but I think the rain held off just for Broad Channel.
Just a reminder that temporary parking spaces along the Cross Bay Boulevard median are being marked off between 10th and 15th roads.
These are being set aside for residents on West 11th, 12th and 13th roads, where the street raising project will be going on. Please be considerate and leave those spots open for neighbors who will need them.
I am happy to report that the “After Stop-Left Turn Permitted On Red” sign is back up at 20th Road. I was tempted to drive around it a few times the other day when I noticed it was back.
By the way, Dorothy Fraher reports that “they finally put the outgoing mail box back on the corner of 14th Road.”
Mardi Gras news: Ruffle Bar is serving up corned beef and cabbage dinners to go after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30. Dinners are $10 each and you can arrange for pick up or home delivery in advance by calling 718-318-2300.
On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Ruffle Bar Pool Tournament is coming to town, with a $20 entry fee and prizes. Then on Friday night, August 18, starting at 9 p.m. there will be great live music by the very talented Mr. Big Deal.
Before they’re all sold, make sure you get a ticket for the $10,000 raffle from the “Bubba For Mayor” campaign. There will also be 18 smaller prizes.
But only 400 tickets, at $100 each, will be sold. After that you are indeed out of luck. Don’t wait. Somebody else could be buying the winning ticket right now. Contact Cindi Ciappetta atcindi.ciappetta@baml.com or touch base with anyone from the campaign right away.
All Mardi Gras proceeds this year go to the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. Our Vollies have been there for us day and night for over a century. Have fun, support a good cause and be there for them now.
Learn new things. This Wednesday, July 30, the Broad Channel Library will feature workshops on Job Search Strategies at 1 p.m. and Beginner’s PowerPoint at 2:30 p.m. All sessions are free.
Stop in for a schedule of summer children and teen activities. Take out a few great books, audio books, movies and more while you’re there.
Father Richie lets us know that the St. Camillus-St. Virgilius parish is sponsoring “a blood drive on Sunday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The airconditioned Bloodmobile will be parked at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 100th Street, just outside of St. Camillus Church. You must be 16-75 years old; weigh 110 pounds or more and have had no new tattoos for the past 12 months. Eat well and drink fluids on Saturday. Bring photo ID. Walk-ups are welcome. No appointment necessary. It is easy and quick. Call 718- 634-8229 for information.”
The BC Historical Society received a request for any information or pictures of the Beacon Bar & Restaurant that was located at the end of W. 10th Road in the 1960s. It was also previously known as the Brown Derby and Hugo Alt’s. If you have info, call Barbara Toborg at 718-474-1127.
Do you have possible photos for the 2015 Historical Calendar? Please get them to a member of the Historical Society: Dorothy Fraher, Dan Guarino, Frank Henglein, Kathy Louis, John McCambridge, Dan Mundy Sr., Mary O’Connell, Barbara Toborg, Jane Mary Tubridy, Joe Young or Judy Zackiewicz.
Please identify any people in the picture; provide year (approximate if not known) and who should be credited for donating the picture. Originals will be returned if requested. Thanks!
Build It Back has been an ongoing issue for Broad Channel and all of the Rockaway community.
Dan Mundy Jr. had the following to report after a recent meeting hosted by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and designed to keep the program moving along.
“Here are some of the points we were able to address:
1) An agreement by BIB to withdraw their previous requirement that homes that were rebuilt or elevated would have to remain open on the lowest floor -- this was originally a Department of Buildings (DOB) requirement but under pressure from our Civic Association and others they relented as it was pointed out that this was a V-zone requirement and we successfully won that battle and are an AE zone.
2) Much progress on the big problem of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) making environmental assessments that were inaccurate and that designated some of our rebuilds as needing site specific Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reviews when they did not . They agreed to simplify the process and let the contractor submit the delineation directly to DEC.
3) Specific families in Broad Channel that are waiting to rebuild were discussed and it was identified that HPD, working under BIB, was in many cases holding up the process during the contracts process. HPD agreed to push these along. We have one family cleared for rebuilding and four others very close.
4) Reimbursements were discussed and the BIB and the mayor’s rep were told that it was way too slow to date and they should be reaching out to any with application problems and speeding up the check disbursements.
5) DOB issues with front yard mapping… has been withdrawn and our old process restored – you can use the front yard for a porch and access if is within the mapped street but not the building.”
More to come!
Got BC news? Send it to workingstories@aol.com. Thanks for reading!

[The Wave]: Broad Channel Block Party Returns



By Dan Guarino

Broad Channel neighbors enjoy a great big community block party, one of the first since Hurricane Sandy. Photos by Dan Guarino. Broad Channel neighbors enjoy a great big community block party, one of the first since Hurricane Sandy. Photos by Dan Guarino.Nobody throws a block party quite like Broad Channel, and they proved it again this year.
Barbecues, bouncy rides, games, water slides, live music and more came together for the big community bash on Saturday, July 18.
The neighborhood celebration stretched for several blocks and a little bit more along Church Road, from Noel Road to East 10th Road.
Under shaded tents, BC residents enjoyed burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other summer foods, all prepared and served by neighbors. A live band and carnival games also added to the afternoon, while neighborhood children enjoyed two huge inflatable water slides, a bouncy castle and a dragon ride.
Later on they were treated to popcorn and cotton candy.
Noting that the block party was a regular event before the hurricane, one woman said “It’s good to have this back,” as she chased after a laughing, barefoot child in a bathing suit.



[The Wave]: - Ferry Ferry Dead!



By Mark C. Healey
Just when it appeared as if the rumors of the Rockaway Ferry’s demise had been greatly exaggerated, or at least, somewhat premature, it has quickly become apparent that those reports are indeed true.
Just when it appeared as if the rumors of the Rockaway Ferry’s demise had been greatly exaggerated, or at least, somewhat premature, it has quickly become apparent that those reports are indeed true.
This past Wednesday, supporters of the Rockaway Ferry were sharing the news they read in a report on DNAinfo.com, which quoted an Economic Development Corporation spokesperson as stating, “…the Rockaway ferry service will not operate beyond October." The report also mentioned conformation of that statement by an EDC official.
The report created a deluge of emails, Facebook posts and Twitter exchanges, creating a whirlpool of denials, defiance and depression.
However, The Wave learned on Wednesday, from sources in the mayor’s office, that the EDC statement is “inaccurate” and that at present “we are still awaiting the results of the ridership study.”
When asked specifically about the EDC statements, the source reiterated they were inaccurate.
However, on Thursday, amNY.com quoted Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Barring an extraordinary increase in ridership that brings (costs) down significantly, this is not a service we'll be able to continue past October.” Norvell said.
At Wednesday night’s 100th Precinct Community Council meeting, City Councilman Eric Ulrich addressed questions about the ferry’s apparent demise.
“If you want to change the city’s mind about the ferry, everyone has to get involved,” Ulrich said. “If you’re going to rally for the ferry, do it at City Hall, bring the fight to them, when the mayor and the City Council is there.”
Ulrich says he and other elected officials are doing what they can to keep the conversation alive, despite “whatever reports are out there.”
Clinging to life is certainly better than death, and gives folks determined to save the ferry some time – however dwindling – to change the outcome.
Ferry activists have been been pushing even harder. The Queens Public Transit Committee went so far as to place an ad in the Italian online publication, Vesuvio Live, to follow the mayor on his controversial vacation in Italy.
“We placed the ad in Naples media because we heard the mayor would be vacationing there and we didn't want him to forget about our still unmet need for the ferry back home,” said Mike Scala, a member of the QPTC. “We thought it was a good opportunity to call more attention to the issue …we knew current plans did not include continued ferry service. It doesn't change anything except make us more committed to the cause.”
There’s also talk that there are still meetings to be held – and are being held – at the state and federal level to find ways to fund the ferry.
“Ferry service is not a luxury but a necessity for Rockaway families,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, another strong supporter of ferry service, said. “Transportation continues to be an important part of our Sandy recovery and I will continue to work with community leaders to send a message to city hall that out ferry service must remain in place.”
Until October, it is. But for ferry supporters, time is running out.

[Queens Chronicle]: EDC Rockaway Ferry Costs Too Much To Run


by: Domenick Rafter, Editor July 24, 2014

The Rockaway Ferry service is currently not financially sustainable and the city is looking for ways to continue it past October, according to a letter from the city’s Economic Development Corp. to a member of Community Board 14.
In the letter, sent last week to Danny Ruscillo, co-chairman of CB 14’s Transportation Committee, EDC President Kyle Kimball said that the ferry carries around 400 people per day between Rockaway and Manhattan, with a stop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The fare is $3.50 per passenger, but EDC said the cost to subsidize the service is about $30 per passenger, more than six times the cost to the city per rider of the Staten Island Ferry, which is free for passengers, and more than twice the cost-per-rider of express bus service.
Kimball said the city is still pondering ways to continue the service past October.
“While we continue to evaluate inventive ways for ferry service to continue, the key determinant will be financial responsibility and sustainability of service, given its high expense,” he said. “I hope you take from this message that we are doing what we can do and being as creative as possible as we consider the long-term future of what was originally intended to be a temporary service.”
In an email, Ruscillo noted that while the cost-per-rider of the Staten Island Ferry is lower, ridership is much higher, costing taxpayers more than the Rockaway Ferry.
“Staten Island ridership is estimated at twenty million a year, not including weekends,” he said. “Do the math, twenty million at $4.86 per rider, we the tax payers are footing this bill.”
The Rockaway service began after Sandy destroyed the A train tracks over Jamaica Bay, but was continued even after the line reopened in May 2013. Mayor de Blasio continued the service through this October with $2 million from his executive budget. The extension was to “better evaluate costs and funding solutions for longer-term service,” Kimball said.