Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

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Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

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Wow. The theater on Beach 116th Street, for years, a towering impediment to the block’s potential, is in contract to be sold. We don’t know what the buyers have in mind but we’re betting it’s going to be a dream come true for merchants on that block who’ve been in the shadow of the hulking eyesore. The times, they are a changin’. 

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We hope this means more attention will be paid to the rather sad state of Beach 115th Street. We hope Matthew and Jack Safos, who own real estate under the name Rockaway Revival Inc., will find a buyer(s) for their various properties. Jack tells us he’s looking for $5 million-plus for three of the properties.

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And while we’re at it, we think Queens Borough President Melinda Katz should rescind her Ok to allow the firehouse on Beach 116th Street to move to the HSBC site on Beach Channel Drive. In the summer, even in rush hour during other times of the year, cars get backed up on Beach Channel Drive and Newport Avenue. In an emergency, we believe these cars will block fire units from responding as quickly as they might. A firehouse is also not the ideal facility to have at the foot of a major commercial strip. The Community Board suggested the old LIPA site on Beach 110th (or so). We think Katz should go along with the community. According to records, the property is still privately held. 

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The NYC Comptroller’s Office released a report that claims the Rockaways had the second-fastest population growth among the City’s 55 Census-defined neighborhoods from 2000 to 2012, but experienced a 16 percent loss in the two years following Sandy.  And, no big shock, Rockaway residents had the longest commute of the 55 neighborhoods in the City (52 minutes).  With all the new development underway – including Far Rockaway – any loss after Sandy will be more than made up. With more population comes plenty of good and bad. One thing that should make a difference – we’ll have more votes.

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A new park and kayak launch is coming to Beach 88th Street. According to the sign on the fence, it’ll be ready by April 1. But Rick Horan says the kayak program likely won’t get on the water until closer to Memorial Day. The boats are on the way and volunteers are needed to help run the boathouse. Anyone interested in getting involved can attend a planning meeting on Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. at Jameson’s on Beach 129th.

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The Rockaway Business Alliance is the most vibrant merchants group to come along in memory.  They smartly implemented a broad approach by recruiting business owners from Edgemere to Riis Park. They’ve brought tech innovation, run events, promoted members, and seem in it for the long run. If you’re a business owner, why not send them an email to find out more?  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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There are just a couple more weeks for you to send your best photos to the Rockaway Times to be part of the contest.  Come on, how great would it be for one of your shots to be featured on the boardwalk? Send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Happy Anniversary to Tracy Obolsky. She opened the fabulous Rockaway Beach Bakery one year ago!

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Our thoughts are with local photographer and ferry activist, Laura Deckelman. Her husband, Paul, died suddenly on Tuesday. Locals are raising money for her and her family. Search “Laura Deckelman” on www.GoFundMe.com to donate.

 

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