Hight Tide

High Tide
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The nation reached a grim milestone on Tuesday. The Coronavirus death toll surpassed 400,000.

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We heard a lot of people saying they would be hesitant to take the vaccine or not take it at all. Well, there’s been no shortage of people who want it. Available time slots sold out like hot concert tickets. If you weren’t quick on the sign-up you were left waiting. We hope vaccine supplies and other logistics get straightened out soon (immediately). The concern right now is that already scheduled appointments will be canceled because vaccine supply will run out.

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It looks like there will be a race after all for Queens Borough President. Donovan Richards won the November election to take over for Melinda Katz who became the Queens District Attorney. But the term is up in 2021 and that means a primary will happen in a few months. On Tuesday, former City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced he’ll be entering the race to become Queens BP. And we won’t be surprised if Elizabeth Crowley tries again.

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According to a letter from Joann Ariola, many Queens Republican Party members have received notifications urging them to change their enrollment from Republican to Democrat before the February 14, 2021 deadline, ahead of the mayoral primary race in June. These notifications are being received via robo calls, text messages and emails. She said the calls are a “trick” to fool unsuspecting Republicans and urges party members to remain Republicans and others to join.

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So far, we count 16 people running for Mayor. Ranked choice voting in the primary will be a huge factor in determining who gets the Democratic slot on the November ballot. If a candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes, they win the election. With so many people running, getting 50% on the first go-around will be virtually impossible. If no candidate earns more than 50% of first-choice votes, then counting will continue in rounds. To be clear, voters only go to the polls once. 

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Ok, here’s an idea. A GoFundMe campaign for Donovan’s Pub in Woodside raised more than $30,000 in just 72 hours from some 300 supporters. Why not have several GoFundMe campaigns with each one supporting five Rockaway bar/restaurants. Split the fund evenly. Fans of Rockaway from around the country could contribute. It might be just the kind of thing that could save places until things open up. The Rockaway Times would be happy to promote such campaigns.

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And speaking of businesses that could use a boost, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has reopened. It was a maddening exercise the first time around but if you managed to get documents together then the process should, should, be easier this time. Google PPP Round 2 and you will get a number of lending choices.  This loan, like the first, can be forgivable, if you meet certain criteria.

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In case you were wondering, Connolly’s is still for sale. The iconic bar with three total properties can be had for $6 million. So far, no takers. 

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