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Happy Hanukkah. And Happy Chanukah, too!

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On Sunday, December 6, City Councilman Donovan Richards became Queens Borough President Donovan Richards as he was sworn into by office by New York State Attorney General Letitia James. It’s always good to see someone who served Rockaway (and knows where it is!) to move on to bigger jobs.

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We’re not sure how many of the declared Mayoral candidates have been to Rockaway (yes, Mr. Stringer, we know you have) but we’ll start seeing them soon, though some of the meetings might be virtual.

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Shaun Donovan who served under Michael Bloomberg as Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and later served under President Barack Obama as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), held a virtual meeting a few weeks ago with some Rockaway folks before he made his mayoral candidacy official on Monday.

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Rep. Gregory Meeks, the congressman repping Rockaway, was selected to chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the first African American to hold such a position. Foreign affairs range from health, terrorism, education, human rights, energy, and trade.

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Not a politician, but another well-known face will be making visits to Rockaway soon—Santa Claus! On Saturday, December 12 at 5 p.m., he’ll be stopping by the Little North Pole (144-03 Neponsit Avenue) and giving out goodies at their drive-by event. Then on Sunday, he’ll be back for Rockaway WISH’s car parade. Starting at 4 p.m., Santa will leave the Belle Harbor Yacht Club on Beach 126th and will head down Beach 129th to 149th, then down Rockaway Beach Blvd. to 108th and along Shore Front to Beach 72nd Street. If you see him, give him a big ho ho hello!

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NYC Test & Trace corps will be offering self-Covid testing at Councilman Eric Ulrich’s Rockaway office (114-12 Beach Channel Drive) from December 9 through Dec 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  No appointments necessary. For further info, call 718-318-6411.

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Restaurants with indoor dining are understandably anxious as they can be ordered closed (the indoor dining part) with little notice because of Covid spikes. If dining indoors, consider tipping your servers well if able, as they may be out of work soon. Also, please buy gift certificates to help restaurants now and enjoy yourself later. The Roaring Twenties followed the Spanish Flu. We know those gift certificates will come in handy!

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Last year, the voters chose ranked-choice voting [RCV] which allows voters to pick up to five candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the total, the last place finisher is eliminated. The voters that picked the eliminated candidate will have their second choice counted. That process is repeated until there's a winner. It’s done in other places and will make races with several candidates very interesting. Underdog or dark horse candidates could emerge.

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Speaking of voting, Kevin Boyle’s ballot remains at the Post Office (not in Rockaway Park). A week ago, a Postal Rep said they’re “looking into this.” The ballot was sent on September 30 and the good news is it can be tracked online. The bad news is, well, it’s still at the Post Office. Somewhere.

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Kingsborough Community College is offering the My Turn program, which is free for New York residents 60 and over. The program offers some 400 online classes to choose from. You’ve got to register by December 21 and the winter term classes start January 4. Call 718-368-5079 for more information.

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