Saturday, March 21, 2015

Broad Channel Civic Association Meeting, Thursday, March 26th, 2015


                         CIVIC ASSOCIATION MEETING

***** VFW Hall – Shad Creek Road – 7:00 PM     March 26, 2015*****

President’s Message

This month's Civic meeting will be held on Thursday, March 26th at 7 PM at the VFW Hall.
Spring is here and it will be good to see everyone out and about again after a cold winter where spotting your neighbor outside was not a common occurrence. As we all finally get a chance to spend some time outside, the Civic Association is encouraging all residents to try to help beautify our neighborhood by sweeping up the street in front of their, and maybe their neighbors, homes.  

Speaking of spring, the fishing season will be upon us soon and for the many stripe bass fishermen out there, take note of the NYC DEC notice for the change in regulations pertaining to stripe bass rules -- "Marine andCoastal district (south of the George Washington Bridge): 1 fish,  28 inches or larger, during the Apr. 15 – Dec. 15season".

The Participatory Budget process is almost complete which means it is time to once again vote for the choices you would like to see funded. Councilman Ulrich has once again agreed to use this process to allow his constituents to choose where they would like to see discretionary funding spent. In the past, even though Broad Channel has a lower population then some of our surrounding neighborhood communities, we have had a very good turnout and have seen some great projects funded for our neighborhood. Voting will take place at the library and we will publish the date and time as soon as it is finalized, on both the Broad Channel Facebook page as well as our town website --  In addition we will be taking voting submissions at the March Civic meeting as well. 

The Councilman is also working to arrange for a cleanup of Crossbay Boulevard throughout the "strip" along the North-bound lanes as it has become quite a mess again after the long winter. Personally I would like to see some occasional enforcement regarding littering as it is mainly thoughtless drivers who discard this debris that ends up lining the sidewalk and curb.

Assemblyman Goldfeder has announced a bill he has introduced in Albany to create a NY State Flood Insurance Association.  This would be an attempt to create an alternative to the Federal NFIP program at the State level. Should this be successful it would be a great development for coastal communities in New York State. FEMA has been a disaster in their management of the Federal Flood Insurance Program and that has led to the threat of ever higher premiums for those in the flood zone. 

We will continue to attempt to be involved in the national conversation regarding the NFIP flood program and in particular with the discussions revolving around the 2017 re-authorization bill for the flood program which are beginning now, but it is great to see this type of initiative from our Assemblyman and we hope this concept is a success!!

The Civic Association has been working with Borough President Melinda Katz on the Hurricane Rebuilding and in specific the problems and issues arising in the Build it Back Program, the street raising project and on the issue of changing the zoning issues that are hampering those who are trying to elevate their homes. Many residents are running into problems with the Department of Buildings where they are not allowing a portion of the long existing home to be raised as it does not show on the City maps from 1960, an issue we were promised would not arise in the days after the hurricane. Now the solution seems to be a change to the wording in the zoning that will remove this insane mandate from the process. Borough President Melinda Katz has been an outstanding advocate for this community in addressing all of these issues

Quote of the Month  -A man is not old until...his regrets take the place of his dreams "--John Barrymore

Respectfully submitted, 
Dan Mundy Jr.

News from Assemblyman Goldfeder

March 20, 2015
In This Issue
Fighting for Better Transportation
Fixing Dangerous Intersections
Bipartisan Support for NYFIA
Army Corps Public Forum
Office Locations

Ozone Park  
108-14 Crossbay Blvd
Ozone Park, NY

Rockaway Beach
214 Beach 96th Street
Rockaway Beach, NY 11693

Albany Office
LOB 834
Albany, NY 12248

   Quick Links
Dear Neighbor, 

This week, as we continue to debate the state budget, I once again stood up for increased investment in transit infrastructure and complete restoration of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line to serve Queens and the entire city:

Our coalition is growing! A majority of my Queens colleagues in the Assembly have signed a letter requesting that funding be allocated to the MTA to study the restoration of the abandoned rail line.
Queens residents, elected officials and transit advocates overwhelmingly agree that reactivating the Rockaway Beach Rail Line is the best and most affordable way to create quality jobs, increase transit options and clean our environment by taking thousands of cars off our congested roads.
You can stay up to date with community news and daily updates by following me on Facebook and Twitter.  

Stay Strong,
Safer Crosswalks in Lindenwood
Our fight continues to make our streets safer for both drivers and pedestrians! I've written to the Department of Transportation asking for an investigation and adjustments at dangerous intersections in Lindenwood that are putting our families at risk. The crosswalks at the Belt Pkwy service ramps off Cross Bay Blvd. desperately need repainting, while the confusing Traffic Triangle at 153rd Ave. and 88th St. could use additional markings and signage. Our families need a strong community and safe streets and I will continue to work until we all have the peace of mind we deserve.

Senate Sponsor for Flood Insurance Bill  
This week my plan to create the New York Flood Insurance Association (NYFIA) took a step closer to becoming a reality when it was sponsored in the State Senate by Republican Senator James Seward, the Chair of the influential Senate Insurance Committee. Seward represents many of the upstate communities hardest hit by Hurricane Irene in 2011. This bipartisan support will help our efforts to rid families of the dysfunctional FEMA-NFIP and protect against rising rates and unfair insurance company practices. I look forward to working with Sen. Seward and all my colleagues in the legislature to provide accountability and keep our communities affordable.

Army Corps to Hold Public Forum 
Teamed up with Senator Schumer in urging the Army Corps of Engineers to finally hold a public meeting on the Rockaway Reformulation Study and give families a voice in storm protection efforts. I'm pleased to announce that the Army Corps has listened and will hold a public information meeting in Rockaway on April 22nd. This meeting will give families in the community a chance to learn about the important plans and voice their concerns about how to best protect the Peninsula in the years to come. Stay tuned for details...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Rockaway Times Online Edition Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Boyleing Points — Video The Idleing Brain

I wonder if lawmakers are like columnists. I mean, it ain’t easy writing a weekly column. Nothing happens, nothing’s going on, a single thought hasn’t entered your head. You start to get a little desperate as the deadline approaches. But you do what you can. And sometimes you pull out a miracle of a decent column but a lot of times you type out 500 words of crapola.
It must be the same with some elected officials. They must think, damn, I can’t think of any new laws to propose. I gotta do something.
Of course, a columnist’s words aren’t worth the paper they’re written on and the crapola is soon forgotten. But when our electeds come up with crapola the stink falls on the rest of us.
This week I get to thank City Councilman Donovan Richards. A column idea refused to form in my head and I started getting a little desperate but then our Rockaway rep offered some public crapola that gave me a column and demonstrates just what I mean.
Richards, representing Rockaway on the City Council, has according to his website: “spent the last decade fighting to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.”  He’s now trying to enrich a snitch or two.  He’s proposing that New Yorkers turn in other New Yorkers who sit in their cars with the engines idling.  He proposes that people use their cell phones and send in the video evidence to receive a reward.
The online news site, Gothamist reported on the genius Richards move. “You could probably become a millionaire doing this thing,” Richards joked to reporters.
Yeah, hysterical.
Let’s turn all citizens into video bounty hunters. Someone jaywalks? Film it and win $50. Someone doesn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign? Film it and get $300.
Don’t stop someone from getting beat up? Film it instead and get $300. And if there’s a conviction, get $200 more.
Richards is the chair of the Environmental Committee of the City Council so he’s just trying to keep us healthy. “It’s not just about the money but it’s also about changing human behavior and people may not know they are doing damage to the environment, to their elders, to their children, hypothetically in some cases killing people.”
Idling cars might hypothetically be killing people but guns in the 31st Council District are more than hypothetical but I digress….I mean, I don’t want to suggest that maybe he’s more interested in idling cars than drive by shootings.
Anyway, idling cars are no good. Ok, I’m buying that. So, why isn’t the City using smart lights so drivers don’t sit at red lights for minutes while there is no cross traffic or pedestrians? It’s 9 o’clock at night and you’re driving through Broad Channel or down Rockaway Beach Boulevard in the Beach 40s and you hit every light. Can I video tape my own car idling and send it for some money?
Maybe Richards will go on a roll. Maybe he’ll tell people to videotape other peoples’ garbage cans. They might film a piece of paper that really should be in the cardboard recycling can. They can film the garbage and send it for some dough. Because, you know, not recycling, hypothetically, can kill people.
We must arm all citizens with video phones and reward them when they send in video evidence. It’s genius on so many levels.
Not only can we have people snitching to make money we can make more laws so that opportunities are expanded. Let’s videotape people going into McDonald’s (‘cause if anything is killing people…)
Let’s make it a law for people to cover their mouths when they cough; let’s make it illegal for men to wear speedos. Wait, forget that last one. Videotaping that could be its own danger.
How about we get money for videotaping politicians offering crapola? Now, we’re talking.
And Councilman Richards, you’re on the Environmental Committee? Let’s forget about idling cars. How about we get rewarded for filming the sewage treatment plant on Beach Channel

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino
A belated St. Patrick’s Day to all.
I am not sure if belated is the right word. As I have mentioned before, in Rockaway and Broad Channel, St. Patrick’s isn’t just a day, it’s a season.

After bouncing along with the Rockaway parade from end to end one weekend, having a great St. Pat’s dinner with grand company (thank you, Ann and George Murray) the next, and looking forward to an Irish afternoon music show I’m putting together at RAA for Sunday, March 29, well, the celebration just doesn’t end. And why should it?
So what’s coming up this week?
This Saturday, March 21, at 8 p.m., Walker and the Brotherhood of the Grape, The Poor House, Ethoscope and guests will be playing at the VFW, 705 Shad Creek Road. The Post is hosting a benefit for veteran and musician Trevis “B.M.W.A.” Gilbert. Gilbert sings with Walker’s band. He was shot during a robbery; just before he was due to perform at a benefit for leukemia at Grassy’s back in February. The proceeds from the VFW show will go to help with his recovery, medical bills and loss of work. Everyone is welcome.
On Sunday, March 22, the VFW will be doing their monthly big bingo event. This supports programs like the grand St. Patrick’s dinner they did for disabled vets last week. Doors open for bingo at 12 noon. Door prizes, raffles, 50/50s and coffee and cake will be served.
Next Saturday, March 28, Brian’s Buddies are sponsoring a Penny Social Relay For Life Benefit at Christ Presbyterian By The Sea Church, 104 Noel Road. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Come down and enjoy great DJ music, 50/50s, raffles and more. BYOB.
The following day there will be a Palm Sunday Brunch at the American Legion Hall209 Cross Bay Blvd. That’s March 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eggs, omelets, pancakes, sausage, ham, bacon, drinks, coffee, tea, homemade cakes. Are you tempted yet? There’s always great company, wherever you sit. And as one of the hard working Ladies Auxiliary pointed out last time, brunches in BC are not where they put up sternos and racks and dole out trays of pre-cooked eggs and batches of flat pancakes. Every breakfast is whipped up fresh to order, just for you. I’ve cooked a lot of eggs and breakfasts in my time, hundreds of thousands (Yep, I used to be a cook. I worked for Friendly restaurants for 11 years as everything from waiter to assistant/acting manager), and that makes a big, delicious and happy difference. As with all Broad Channel events, you don’t have to be from BC to come to one or all of them. “Out of towners” are welcome!
Christ Presbyterian by the Sea Church will be hosting a very special guest as they present Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. That’s Sunday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the newly rebuilt church hall just off102 Noel Road on Church Road. There will be eggs, pancakes, hash browns, sausages, bacon, Bloody Marys and Mimosas (presumably for those over 21 or over three feet tall), coffee, tea and juice. And there will be photos with the Easter Bunny, 50/50s and raffles. Admission for adults is $10 and children are $6. The sight of all those delighted children when the Easter Bunny walks in will always be priceless!
A few quick reminders: the Catholic Charities Brooklyn & Queens Disaster Case Managers program, which is helping individuals and families with Sandy recovery issues, is now at the Broad Channel library from 2 to 5 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month.
Mary LaPorta is working to raise funds for her Broad Channel born and raised nephew, Lewis Oldenbuttel. He is facing a kidney transplant. She set up the Lewis & Louie Fund at to help him and his mom, Mary’s sister, and dad with the financial strain. Check the website, learn more, and help this Broad Channel family in need if you can.
Friends of Rockaway is ready to help with basic Sandy rebuilding with volunteer labor and low cost work. Call them at 347-625-7419 to find out the details and criteria.
Alan Andrus from Noel Road is working on building up the Howard Beach Motor Boat Club. Interested? Call him at 610-909-0000. Sounds like fun!
There was a moving piece in The Wave last week about the early days of the BCVFD over a century ago. There are even more great Vollies history stories at their Facebook page. The Vollies are also a living, growing organization and a pillar of this community. Now, especially post-Sandy, they could really use some helping hands. Did you know that volunteers are accepted from age 14 and up? There are training opportunities at all levels, including firefighting, safety and EMS. Whatever you are doing or plan to do in life, this is good experience and helps serve your town. As the poster says, “Dare to better yourself while training to save lives.” If you have a few hours, even just to answer phones, you CAN help. There will be a couple of open house events in late April, but call 718-474-6888 to find out more now.
There’s a special mention of the BCVFD and “appearances by our own Rich Bogart, Matthew Troy, Maciej Wojewoda, Ed Wilmarth III and Engine 208” in the short film Trapped Girl, directed by Beth Spitalny, written and produced by Catherine Fordham. “When the bathroom doorknob falls off, a girl is trapped inside. Beyond the door her life is falling apart, and when she’s set free hours later she finds herself stumbling into a new reality.” You can see it at 84340781.
Come out to the T-7 Gallery at Fort Tilden on Sunday, March 29. Starting at 1 p.m. the Rockaway Artists Alliance is presenting An Irish Afternoon of Songs, Stories, Humor and More…It’s something for the whole family.
Got Broad Channel info? Send it
Thanks for reading

FEMA Fallout Continues

As FEMA Prepares To Reopen Claims, Agency Officials Scatter
By Mark C. Healey

With news that Sandy flood damage claims have been denied based on falsified reports, Assembly Phil Goldfeder says “FEMA has failed Rockaway.” With news that Sandy flood damage claims have been denied based on falsified reports, Assembly Phil Goldfeder says “FEMA has failed Rockaway.”In the two and a half years since Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in Rockaway, many residents believe their insurance claims were mishandled and wrongly denied.
In the wake of new allegations concerning that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may have denied or rejected Superstorm Sandy flood damage claims based on falsified reports, those same residents are now looking for justice, and payment.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now prepared to reopen “every flood insurance claim” filed by Sandy victims.
According to elected officials like Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, this should have been done a long time ago. “FEMA has failed Rockaway,” said Goldfeder. “Our families for years have diligently paid their flood insurance premiums and done everything to be responsible homeowners expecting only to be treated fairly in return. But sadly, after Sandy hit, FEMA and the NFIP came back and dropped policyholders, blocked payouts, and engaged in alleged fraudulent activity.”
Goldfeder is pushing legislation that amends New York State insurance law to create the New York Flood Insurance Association as a choice for consumers when flood insurance is unaffordable or difficult to obtain. The Association includes provisions to help keep costs low for both policyholders and insurers, and would serve to combat many of the issues homeowners have faced after major flooding events. Following Sandy, families found their insurance claims contested by providers, with some even experiencing allegedly fraudulent practices on the part of insurance adjusters.
Amid the growing allegations, David Miller, the federal official who oversaw the National Flood Insurance
Program, has resigned. Earlier this month, Brad Kieserman, FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance, admitted on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that homeowners may have been cheated out of millions in insurance money. Goldfeder, who was named to the New York State Assembly’s Insurance Committee in February, says enough is enough.
“This is a broken system that needs to be changed,” Goldfeder said. “As a lifelong resident of Rockawaywho had my own home devastated by Sandy and my family displaced, I understand the frustration in dealing with insurance companies and the fear of rising flood insurance premium.”
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the federal agency is prepared to reopen and review every flood insurance claim — approximately 144,000 — filed by Sandy victims, and not limit corrective action to just the 2,200 currently in litigation.
FEMA said it will develop a process for all Sandy victims who are non-litigants, but believe their claims were unjustly denied or underpaid, so that their claims can be reopened and reviewed.
In a press release, Fugate said among other changes in policy, including those in personnel, the agency will commence a “Sandy Task Force” during the week of April 13 to begin evaluation of the program and focus on reforms.
“FEMA (has) acknowledged its failure to oversee a flood insurance program that cheated Superstorm Sandy victims out of much-needed funding to rebuild their homes and get their lives back on track,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “FEMA has also made clear that it plans to hold accountable “all those who were involved in the program that may have facilitated or fostered this fraudulent behavior.

Who's Playing.....

Annika, shown here at RAA’s T-7 Gallery, is playing Uma’s this Sunday. Annika, shown here at RAA’s T-7 Gallery, is playing Uma’s this Sunday.Who’s Playing is a quick glance roundup of live music entertainment by local musicians playing both here in Rockaway and elsewhere. All are welcome to contribute.
Saturdays- The Night Owls play The Rock NYC wine bar from 8 to 11 p.m.
Thursday, March 26 8 p.m. Jammin John Kiebonhosts Open Mic at Playland Motel every Thursday night.
Friday, March 20 8:30 p.m. Playing the US and UK, singer/songwriter, guitarist, independent recording artist Steve Archdeacon brings his “Dave Matthews Band meets Clapton/Hendrix” sound to Thai Rock.
Saturday, March 21 7 p.m. Enjoy Stay Tuned as they play Dalton Seaside Grill.
8 p.m. Walker and the Brotherhood of the Grape, The Poor House, Ethoscope and special guests play a benefit for musician and veteran Trevis “B.M.W.A.” Gilbert. VFW Prince-Wynn Post 260,705 Shad Creek Road, Broad Channel.
8 p.m. RatTrap Bumpkin is celebrating their new EP release at Playland Motel with a live “The Return of the Great Bumpkin” event.
9 p.m. Spinbox plays classic and contemporary rock with and arena sized sound at Thai Rock.
10 p.m. Solshyne is back from their winter hiatus and kicking off the spring season at The Three Jolly Pigeons, 6802 3rd Ave. in Bay Ridge.
Sunday, March 22 12 noon-4 p.m.
Annika brings her standout voice, playing and stunning original music to Uma’s Brunch Sessions
5-8 p.m. Rockaway’s Night Owls play Little Italy’s Luna Ristorante, 115 Mulberry St.
6:30 p.m. Alive N Kickin Duo brings hits like Tighter and Tighter and an unrivaled 40 year repertoire to Thai Rock.
Saturday, March 28 1–5 p.m. The O’Malley Irish Dance Academy, Breezy Point Pipes & Drums and headliners Breezy Grass play a benefit for child in need Roisin Tansey at The Wicked Monk Irish Pub, 9510 3rd Ave., Brooklyn
Sunday, March 29 1 p.m. The Rockaway Artists Alliance presents: An Irish Afternoon of Songs, Stories and Humor. Guest performers (so far) Sheila Cassidy, Annmarie Acosta- Williams, Dan Guarino, John Simonelli.
Please check with venues for minimums or cover charges.
Playing on or off the peninsula? Booking for your Rockaway/Broad Chanel venue? Send your performance schedules to Dan Guarino/The Wave at, with subject line “Who’s Playing,” Keep calm and play on!