Hight Tide

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Happy Passover to those who celebrate starting this weekend.

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116th Street continues its steady climb up.  Rogoff’s (and the Thank You Café) are closed but get ready for Bagel Barista Station. Rob Pisani who ran Channel Market and Bagel Barista in Broad Channel is opening a supersized bagel place that will seat 25 people and have an open kitchen and baking area. They’ll offer catering as well. Barista Station will be the latest makeover joining Rogers, Rocco’s Pizza (on the Boulevard), and Sweet 116 making improvements to this vital commercial hub.

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Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato has introduced legislation to make commuting expenses tax deductible. Which reminds us of another commuter tax story. In 1999, one of her predecessors, who happens to be her mother, Audrey Pheffer, voted with others to repeal the commuter tax which was levied at the rate of 45/100 of one percent of the salary of people who did not live in the City. All those people coming into the City each day from Upstate and Long Island had to chip in for the city services they used. The repeal has cost the City billions, many billions, since. Maybe they should have made that tax deductible instead of repealing it.

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The news broke after we went to press last week so we’re a little late in congratulating Selvena Brooks-Powers for her victory in the District 31Special Election to fill the City Council seat vacated by Donovan Richards. Hats off to all runners-up and especially to Pesach Osina and Manny Silva who finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. This election used ranked-choice voting (there were nine candidates) which required hand-counting and made for a long and tedious process.

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On Monday, Governor Cuomo announced that all New Yorkers age 50+ are now eligible for the vaccine. Go to https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/  to find out where and when you might get an appointment.

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Gateway has established a new process for the sale and issuance of the Jamaica Bay Unit, Breezy Point Tip, Off-Road Vehicle permits. Due to Covid-19 related safety concerns, in-person permit sales will not occur within the Ryan Visitor Center. Starting this season, Off-Road Vehicle permits will be issued through a two-step process. Starting April 1 at 10 a.m., the Off-Road Vehicle permits will go on-sale ONLINE ONLY through www.recreation.gov. More detailed information is available on Gateway’s website at www.nps.gov/index.htm.  For more information, call (718) 338-3799.

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Keith Bugsy Goldberg, the program director, of the CYO for the Brooklyn (including Queens) Diocese is trying his best to get the irreplaceable CYO back on its feet after so many pandemic challenges. CYO competition is returning April 10 and Bugsy is trying raise funds for the new start. You can help by joining a raffle. You might win $5000 and you’ll definitely be helping the cause. Go to cyodob.org/raffle/ to join. The winners will be selected April 15.

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We’ve received plenty of awesome photos for The Rockaway Times Photo Contest.  The deadline is Friday, April 16 so you still have time to get out there and snap photos that best capture Rockaway (yes, it could be a great sunset but it could be a fun shot with people, a unique shot from the ferry, a beach scene, a sporting event, a parade. Etcetera!) Entries, four max, should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. And while we’re at it, we have to thank the contest’s sponsors: NYC Parks, NYC Ferry, and the Jamaica Bay – Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC).

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