Monday, December 15, 2014
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Last Sunday was December 7th the day of infamy as FDR called it. He’s the guy who years before the Pearl Harbor attack had said we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Which got me to thinking.
I’m already nostalgic for Ebola. Where’d it go? There were rally groups forming in Rockaway to close the bridges. A Facebook group, Stop Ebola Now, started by some guy who nobody knows, had a feverish enthusiasm, so to speak.
The group was demanding the toll booths be used for checkpoints. As part of the E-Zpass program you could just drive up and hold a thermometer to the windshield and then be let through. If you didn’t have the E-Zpass thermometer, you had to go to the cash lane and a Port Authority cop would have to feel your forehead for any signs of a fever.
Some people said they were glad Peninsula Hospital was closed because people flying in to Kennedy might consider going there if they felt a bit warm. But then Ebola became like interest in the Neponsit Home. It was here, there was interest and uproar, then it was gone.
Ebola was like bell bottoms and facial hair. Things come, they go. No laughing matter for the people who contracted it, of course, but in pure numbers ebola was a blip on the what-can-kill-you scale.
Ebola joined a long list of things we’ve been told to freak out about. This column really should have no readers because you should have all been knocked off by bird flue, Y2K, and mad cow. And if not those, poison Tylenol, swine flu, SARS., West Nile and Legionnaires’ Disease should have done the trick.
Somebody is going to tell me that Ebola is still a risk and I shouldn’t be so cavalier. And I’ll probably be the guy who catches it because I said you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning (you do) or eaten by a shark if you live in Nebraska but it’s worth pointing out that we humans are nuts. If I die in some ironic way I want to say in advance: I knew I would! (Which kinda takes the irony out of it).
Anyway, too many of us underestimate common killers (regular flu and heart disease) and overestimate the media-driven, out-of-the-blue killers. A lot of people fret more about a subway terrorist attack or a plane crash than cancer. We all want to croak in our sleep. And anything more exotic than that makes some people fret.
For all the fretters and the safety obsessed go outside and play, shake hands with strangers, eat food from street vendors, and stop worrying that your umbrella will become a lightning rod in a rainstorm.
For safety sake, get out of the house. You know most accidents happen in the home. You won’t get Ebola but you might slip in the tub. It’s only a matter before the media catches on: Deadly Tubs Attack.
Happy Anniversary to Elegante. The legendary pizzeria on Beach 92nd Street is celebrating its 33rd year in Rockaway Beach. Here’s to 33 more.
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Projects for sale. New York City’s Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) is selling a 50 percent stake in nearly 900 apartments to private developers. One of those developers is L + M, the same group who took over Ocean Village. They’re also part of the triumvirate that was awarded the rights to develop Arverne East. The NYCHA properties in this deal are in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.
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Lifeguards Wanted. NYC Parks is already looking for next summer’s lifeguards. Men and women over the age of 16 are eligible to take the qualifying test. The next test in the area is at Far Rockaway High School on January 6th from 6-9 p.m.
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Silaka Cox wrote a wonderful letter about how great The Rockaway Times is and how we “give impeccable attention to detail.” Well, we were so blown away by her kind words we forgot to be impeccable and didn’t include her name at the end of the letter! Thank you, Silaka!
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Santa will be paying Broad Channel a visit on Christmas Eve. The BCVFD (Volunteer Fire Dept.) will continue its 20 year tradition of helping Santa deliver gifts around Broad Channel. If you’d like to reserve a visit from the Big Guy, call the firehouse weeknights between 8-10 p.m. at 718-474-6888. A $25 donation is requested per family per household.
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Brooklyn is so cool other cities around the world (even Paris) try to copy its hipness. Many places try to lure newcomers by boasting their city or neighborhood is the “new Brooklyn.” Well, Rockaway is so cool Brooklyn comes here, not the other way around. Other parts of Queens aren’t as cool; they want to be known as Quooklyn. No, we didn’t make that up.
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NYPD Helicopters overhead in Neponsit on Sunday night found two reasons to be there. They got a look at Santa’s Little North Pole and were ready to help as Harbor Patrol made a boat rescue on the bay near Beach 141st Street.
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It figures to be a festive Saturday and Sunday. The Taste of Rockaway and the Rockaway Beach Civic tree lighting is on Saturday, December 13. (As for the Taste of Rockaway, The Surf Club won’t be participating this time around, so avoid the trip to Beach 87th). At least two holiday boutiques pop up as well. There’s one Saturday from 1-7 pm at 164 Beach 91st and one Sunday, Mrs. Elaine’s Dance Studio at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive is on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
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At the Beach 116th Street tree lighting event, Sen. Joe Addabbo told the crowd something was spotted in the sky near JFK. We first assumed he meant drones but soon realized he was talking about Santa.
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The Rockaway Citizens Safety Patrol in Far Rockaway helped police nab a burglar who’s been breaking into cars for weeks. Reports say the thief has a criminal record with more than 40 arrests, dating back to 1988. Forty arrests?! How many times wasn’t he caught?
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We are amused by such rollicking headlines: “Schumer, Goldfeder Fight to Bring Post Office Back to Broad Channel.” So began the press release which then went on to say: “U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and New York State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder have written a letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe requesting the U.S. Postal Service immediately approve an application by the Broad Channel Civic Association to open a Contract Postal Unit in Broad Channel.” Written a letter? With fierce handwriting? Fight on, reps, fight on!
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Councilman Donovan Richards introduced legislation that seeks to limit the number of lights kept on at night in commercial buildings. Richards said energy conservation is the goal.
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The Graybeards Annual Dinner Dance is January 24th at El Caribe. Members will making the rounds trying to fill up the dinner journal which goes a long way in helping the organization help others. Email the Graybeards at Office@Graybeards.com or call the office 718-634-6812 for space in the journal.
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Tuesday’s Nor’easter was wet and wild. You weren’t alone if you had leaks in places you never saw water before.
“This is a year of giving, not getting,” a mother explained to her child at the annual Broad Channel Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 4. The Broad Channel Athletic Club used this year’s event to collect toys and pay it forward to those in need.
More than a hundred people came out to the Broad Channel Athletic Club Memorial Field to celebrate the lighting of the BCAC’s Christmas tree. Guests were treated to Christmas carols by the Broad Channel Girl Scouts and the P.S. 47 chorus and dance performances by Thomasina’s Dance Company. Parents also brought baked goods and All American Deli donated hot chocolate for the families to enjoy on the chilly evening.
The residents of Broad Channel were grateful for receiving help and gifts following Sandy, so they took this year’s tree lighting as an opportunity to give back. “One of the girls in the club came up with the idea to pay it forward because we got so much help from others during Sandy,” BCAC member and event organizer Jack Allen said. Resident Debbie O’Connor has a connection with Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Long Island, so the BCAC collected toys at the event to give to the Pediatric Hematology / Oncology department.
“This is the first year we’ve done this. Two years ago, right after the storm, we gave out toys that were donated to us and we were on the receiving end. We had donations from all over, from three different states. This time, we said it’s time for us to pay it forward or return the favor to someone in need and obviously the kids and Cohen’s Medical Center fit that category,” Allen said. T
he BCAC was able to collect more than 80 toys at the tree lighting.
There were a few big winners at the event. Suzanne Arnao and her family won tickets to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Madison Square Garden. Peter Guitteri won the raffle for two round-trip Jet Blue flight tickets. The Jet Blue raffle was held to raise money for the Broad Channel Christmas lights that decorate Cross Bay Boulevard.
With the help of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, Santa arrived by fire truck and paid the Broad Channel kids a visit at the end of the event. Each child received a small teddy bear and candy cane and got to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. “For the Athletic Club, this is a nice tradition. We do this for the kids,” Allen said. “Kids light up like the moon when they see Santa Claus. It was a really nice event.”