Friday, October 21, 2016

Broad Channel Historical Day

Bringing The Past To The Present
By Merle Exit

Barbara Toborg and Stacey Pheffer Amato discuss Hurricane Sandy. Barbara Toborg and Stacey Pheffer Amato discuss Hurricane Sandy.Newspaper clippings and vintage photos filled many binders of those that shared memories of Broad Channel at the VFW Post 260 hall, just off Cross Bay Boulevard as the past came alive by those who attended Broad Channel Historic Day on Sunday, Oct. 16.
“Broad Channel past and present residents would come across these clippings and photos that wound up in a photo album of which were passed down to another generation,” said Barbara Toborg, chairperson of the Broad Channel Historic Society. “This is a way to show collections to the community, along with the binders and banners, framed pictures and plates. It is the larger items that we cannot keep in the Broad Channel Library. We even have architectural drawings of the railroad and train station from 1880.”
One of the tables had a display that featured dinnerware from the former Weiss’s restaurant, which had first opened in the 1930s. Onlookers were reminiscing about how this historic place provided not only a fast-food stop during the ride from the Rockaways to the “mainland,” but a place to socialize as well. Presently, the Broad Channel Library sits in its place.

Michael Clarity and wife, Mary (author) are present for signing of the book entitled Old Salt. Photos By Merle Exit Michael Clarity and wife, Mary (author) are present for signing of the book entitled Old Salt. Photos By Merle ExitSisters Margaret “Boobie” McCarthy (70) and Mickey Conner(78) delved into binders both remarking on how much Broad Channel has changed over the years. Both have lived here all of their life.
A few Broad Channel authors were on hand to talk about, sell and autograph their books, one of which was Mary Dady Clarityand her husband, Captain Michael B. Clarity, retired from the US Navy. Old Salt, the title of the book, is about “Tales from childhood, a Kings Point Cadet, a fascinating naval career.”

Barbara Toborg with a plate from Weiss's, a former BC restaurant. Barbara Toborg with a plate from Weiss's, a former BC restaurant.“My uncle was the captain of a tug boat,” said Captain Mike. “He was the person that influenced me. I recall a hurricane in the early 1940s when I had to use a boat to get around Broad Channel.”
In attendance was Stacey Pheffer Amato, who is running for State Assembly. She spent much time listening to and looking at BC’s history, particularly prior to when she was born.
Amato and Toborg were particularly interested in a display called “Stars of Hope” that focused on Hurricane Sandy and the efforts of the Red Cross.
Broad Channel’s Historic Committee produced a 2017 photo calendar, which was up for sale. February had Scout Leaders at Their Dinner Dance, 1953. St. Patrick’s Day Show at St. Virgilius Hall, 1948, was perfect for March. July pictured the Grand Opening of the Broad Channel Public Library, 1990. August featured Swimming in the 13th Road Channel. September was reserved for Mardi Gras, 1960s while October had Halloween, 1957. November had a snapshot of the Broad Channel Athletic Club Cheerleaders, 1980s. All other months had personal photos provided by residents of the area.

Ed Wilmarth from the BCVFD shows off his 1957 Mercury. Ed Wilmarth from the BCVFD shows off his 1957 Mercury.

NWS - Coastal Flood Statement


[Today's 6 foot high tide at 1:30 pm in Broad Channel may have a tidal departure of 1 foot resulting in a 7 foot storm tide....]

Coastal Flood Statement

515 AM EDT FRI OCT 21 2016


515 AM EDT FRI OCT 21 2016





Thursday, October 20, 2016

Between the Bridges in Broad Channel

Between the Bridges in Broad Channel
Peter J. Mahon
October 20th, 2016

A VFW Rave + Yale to Jail?

As the weather is turning cooler you might like to know that each Sunday afternoon, starting at 2 pm, the Broad Channel VFW Post will be preparing a single, home made, hot dish which will be available in the building's rear canteen (bar) area.  Now, just so there is no confusion, this weekly Sunday offering is not a formal brunch event replete with menu. Rather, it is more like a single item, weekly culinary indulgence, a true "bonne bouche" one might say.  For example, this past Sunday I thoroughly enjoyed a delicious shrimp, rice and salsa dish accompanied by conch fritters and chips! Admittedly, the repast was served with plastic bowls and cutlery but I can guarantee that you would be hard pressed to find a dish like this anywhere else in our area.  The in-house chefs at the VFW have taken pub grub to an entirely new level and it is certainly worth your time to stop by on any Sunday afternoon to check it out. A $5 donation is suggested to partake of this weekly culinary delight with all proceeds going to support the organization's myriad activities on behalf of our disabled veterans.   I would also personally recommend that you enhance your afternoon experience by purchasing a Bloody Mary from the canteen bar which is always prepared to taste - from "virgin and mild" to "get ready to talk to your sneakers screaming hot!"

After indulging myself with the afternoon's hot dish in the canteen, I strolled back into the VFW hall where the Broad  Channel Historical Society was holding its annual "Historical Day" exhibition.  The Historical Society was founded in 1994 and since then its members have worked tirelessly to both document and preserve the history of our small community in the middle of Jamaica Bay. It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with the likes of Barbara Toborg, the society's chairperson and our town's resident Broad Channel centric author, Dan Guarino.  In addition to the hour or so spent enjoying the myriad of historical documents and other items on display I also had the pleasure of  meeting Mary Dady Clarity, author of Old Salt,  a memoir of her husband, Mike Clarity's, life growing up in Broad Channel through his years of service with the United States Navy.  I picked up a signed copy of Old Salt  while there and am looking forward to reading it this week.

While at the VFW I ran into Barbra Yale who pulled me aside and explained that she has been having problems with the delivery of the Rockaway Times to her residence over on Beach 87th Street in Rockaway.  She explained that she lives in an old bungalow area where the property addresses are all the same accompanied by a letter designation (i.e.: "A", "B", "C", etc.)  It turns out Barbra does not have a computer but she states she is such an avid fan of the Rockway Times that she has taken to purloining her neighbors copy from his yard when the opportunity presents itself.  She asked me to pass this along to our editor, Kevin Boyle if he could look into this stating, "After all, I am risking arrest and jail time simply to get my weekly fix of the Rockaway Times!" 

Later that afternoon as I was sitting at the canteen's bar someone remarked, "Wasn't this a great day?  You come in the front door and you visit our town's past with the historical society and then you walk to the rear canteen and you're back in the present!"  Someone further down the bar replied, "Yeah, and when you leave, make a right on Cross Bay, walk down to East 14th Road and you can visit your future at Hillebrand's Funeral Home!" 

Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Queens residents pack meeting to protest Playland Motel becoming homeless shelter

ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens — More than 100 people packed a Knights of Columbus hall to protest a move by the owner of the Playland Motel to house homeless families starting last Friday.
Cayuga Capital, owners of the space which includes a popular bar, restaurant and hotel, signed a deal with the Department of Homeless Services to rent its rooms to homeless families. Community members say no one was aware of the deal until after it happened.
"I don't know if it was middle of the night," City Councilmember Eric Ulrich, "people want to know how many homeless are here, what services are being provided, how many more are coming."
All the city's Department of Homeless Services would say is there is no plan to convert the location into a permanent shelter.
Spokeswoman Lauren Gray: "We are currently renting rooms in this location to help meet our legal and moral obligation to shelter homeless families with children.”
But the head of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association has so many more questions.
"Do it, do it right," Noreen Ellis, President of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association told PIX11. "You don't provide anything but a roof over their head. That's my question. What are the support services?"
At the meeting, organizers gave out the phone numbers of the motel owner, Cayuga Capital and urged everyone to attend a protest rally at City Hall Friday morning.

Tidal Flooding on West 12th Road Continues

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 @ 10:00 am

This morning marked the 5th consecutive day of tidal flooding on West 12th Road with the morning high tides.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Councilman Ulrich to Denounce Mayor de Blasio's Hopeless Homeless Policies


October 17, 2016
Contact: Kevin Tschirhart
(718) 738-1083 (Office)
(631) 793-3741 (Cell) 

Queens, NY - Councilman Eric Ulrich is organizing a public demonstration on the steps of City Hall to protest Mayor de Blasio's failed homeless policies.  The protest will take place Friday, October 21, at 10:00 am.  Community leaders and other elected officials are invited to attend. 

"Since Mayor de Blasio took office, the homeless population in our city has skyrocketed to record levels," Councilman Eric Ulrich said.  "Now more than ever, New Yorkers want real solutions that actually help people who have fallen on hard times.  We demand a better plan."

What: Ulrich to Denounce de Blasio's Hopeless Homeless Policies

Where: City Hall Steps

When: Friday, October 21, at 10:00 am

Ozone Park District Office
93-06 101st Avenue
Ozone Park, NY 11416
Rockaway District Office
114-12 Beach Channel Drive
Suite 1
Rockaway Park, NY 11694

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Broad Channel VFW - "Have a hot plate and help a Vet!"

From The Broad Channel Free Press:
Have A Hot Plate, Help A Vet....Text and photo by Dan Guarino

The VFW is serving up hot food every Sunday to help our vets.
From 2 p.m. on a different homemade hot dish will be available at The Canteen each week at the back of the VFW Post #260 hall. 
Grab a plate while supplies last! 
The VFW is asking for a donation, large or small for each plate. All donations will go towards their veterans’ programs, including the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner for disabled vets.
VFW Prince-Wynn Post 260 is located at 705 Shad Creek Road, just off Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel.
This week, on Sunday, October 16, drop in for the Broad Channel Historical Day from 1 to 4. While you’re there, step around to the back bar after 2 p.m. and see what’s cooking!
On a recent Sunday the air was filled with the steam and smell of hot beef barley soup. Plenty of beef, plenty of vegetables, plenty of barley and just the thing for a rainy day!
“I don’t just write this stuff. I live here.” -=Dan Guarino

Rockaway's Playland Motel Now Renting Rooms to Homeless Families

By Katie Honan | October 14, 2016 3:23pm | Updated on October 14, 2016 6:22pm

Playland will close Nov. 1, officials said.

ROCKAWAY BEACH — The hipster-darling Playland Motel will close on Nov. 1, and the second-floor rooms will be rented to theDepartment of Homeless Services to house residents, ​officials said.
The owners of the space, which includes a bar, restaurant and hotel rooms, signed a deal with DHS to rent its rooms to homeless families since at least Monday, an official said. 
"We are currently renting rooms in this location to help meet our legal and moral obligation to shelter homeless families with children," DHS spokeswoman Lauren Gray said.
An employee of the motel said the city booked a block of rooms for 10 days this past Monday, but it's not clear how many families are staying at the motel, which only has around a dozen rooms. 
Earlier this week, Commissioner Steve Banks, who oversees the city's outreach to the homeless, said there were currently 6,000 residents living in rooms rented by the city, which is used as a "stopgap" before providing more permanent shelter. 
Banks made the comments after the city announced it would rent rooms at a Maspeth Holiday Inn Express, a change in the original plan to convert it into a full shelter. 
Playland Bar's manager, Dan Cipriani, notified members of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association about its closure this week. 
"All future operations and decisions will be handled by Cayuga Capital," he said. Cayuga Capital's owner Jamie Wiseman bought the site before Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Cipriani told DNAinfo New York that he backed out of managing the restaurant and bar after summertime enforcement from multiple city agencies forced the closure of the space's backyard.
The bar's neighboring restaurant, Whit's End, also took a hit during the Aug. 19 raid from multiple city agencies including the NYPD, Department of Buildings and the FDNY.
Owner Whitney Aycock was arrested on a slew of charges that included resisting arrest and marijuana possession. That restaurant closed, with Aycock focusing on Riis Park and Arverne restaurants.
"I feel now is time to make a graceful exit from the property with my bank account and good name intact," Cipriani said. The bar's last day will be Oct. 31. 
"Please drop on by and say hello, my love for the Rockaways, surfing, and fishing will keep me around the neighborhood, so no need to say goodbye."
Cayuga Capital, which owns the building, said the site will not be turned into a permanent homeless shelter and that it is looking for new retail tenants. 
"We are reviewing and discussing several recent offers to take over the former tavern and Whit's," it said in a statement. 
Playland Motel opened in 2013 after a major renovation of the original space, the Tap and Grill, following Hurricane Sandy. It was seen as a sign of a changing peninsula, offering rooms designed by a different artist with a spacious backyard that drew large summer crowds. 
In 2014, the building was listed for sale at $3.8 million, which the developers said was a way to recoup their investments into the building. 
It has remained under the ownership of Cayuga Capital, although under different limited liability companies, records show. 
Cipriani took over the bar and restaurant in 2015, vowing to change its rowdy party reputation which had been an issue for neighbors.

Stacey Pheffer Amato Blasts Mayor de Blasio on Playland Motel Decision

October 15, 2016
Contact: Eugene Shvartsman


Stacey Pheffer Amato Blasts Mayor de Blasio on Playland Motel Decision

Rockaway Beach, Queens - This decision by Bill de Blasio and the Department of Homeless Services to use this hotel as a shelter without public input is wrong on every level. I stand firmly with Rockaway families in forcefully rejecting this decision, and we demand that the Mayor rescind it immediately.  As Assembly member, I will introduce legislation to prohibit these types of shelters from ever being approved without community input and consent. 

Rockaway Beach Boulevard is a rebounding commercial thoroughfare and key component in our ongoing recovery from superstorm Sandy. What we need on this block are honest partners and local family-owned businesses, not more of the same policies that Mayor de Blasio has been forcing on our community with total disregard for our needs and concerns.

Stacey Pheffer Amato


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Addabbo wants de Blasio gone!

With a little more than a year left before Election Day 2017, state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) told the Queens Chronicle last Thursday there’s one person he’s not going to support: Mayor de Blasio.
During a wide-ranging interview with the Chronicle, Addabbo had a simple response when asked if he’d back de Blasio for a second term next year.

“No,” he said. “I really hope someone credible runs against him.”
The senator — who served with de Blasio in the City Council from 2001 to 2008 — said there were a few reasons he will not endorse hizzoner.
One of them was de Blasio’s unresponsiveness to elected officials’ concerns on issues ranging from their constituents’ quality of life to the proposed placement of homeless people at a Holiday Inn in Maspeth. The same couldn’t be said when Mayor Bloomberg was in office.
“With Bloomberg, he would at least tell you why you were wrong,” Addabbo joked. “But at least he responded to you ... he didn’t make you feel embarrassed.”
He also ripped City Hall for shooting, producing and releasing a video condemning those protesting outside a homeless shelter in Bellerose last month.
“I was appalled by that,” he said. “I’ve never seen any administration do anything like that.”
So far, no Democrats have stepped up to challenge de Blasio in a primary, though names such as Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) have been discussed in political circles and published reports as potential challengers.
Addabbo indicated Jeffries might be the most likely out of the three, since he would not have to give up his seat next year to run for mayor. Jeffries, however, has denied he has any interest in running for City Hall.
“People deny things all the time,” Addabbo said. “What usually ends up happening is you get drafted to do it.”
The senator went as far as to say that he’d cross party lines and endorse Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), who is considering a run for mayor, if he faces de Blasio.
“At least with Eric, I know where I stand,” he said.
A Marist/Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 poll released last Wednesday found that 50 percent of New York City residents believe de Blasio deserves another term.