Well, we might as well mark...

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Well, we might as well mark some milestones in this week’s Rockaway Times. It’s our Third Anniversary (we’re not sure if time flies!). Anyway, The Rock Times gets around. We print roughly 10,000 copies each week (and 20,000 Summer Guides). We email the full paper to almost 3,000 people! (Sign up on our website).  We’re zeroing in on 12,000 Likes on Facebook and we have more than 4,000 followers on Instagram.  Not bad for a start-up.

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In our first edition in 2014 we said: Not too long ago Rockaway beaches were described by a local observer this way: “If you see little kids in underpants, it’s a Puerto Rican beach. If you see grown men in their underpants, it’s the Russian beach.” With people coming from all over the city, and the world, now it’s harder to pigeonhole particular beaches.  2017 update: beaches are diverse and underpants can happen anywhere!

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Here’s something that locals and visitors can agree on: the beaches are shrinking and need immediate attention.  There will be a rally – Walk for The Shore II– this Sunday, June 25 at 9 a.m. starting at the Beach 87th Street jetty.  There will be a second walk starting at 10:30 in Belle Harbor at Beach 140th.  The event will draw attention to the critical matter of beach protection. 

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Rockaway is connected! The Rockaway Business Alliance just won a huge tech grant to upgrade Rockaway's connectivity. And The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance launched RockSpot, a free Wi-Fi network within a 10-block radius of the RISE Center (58-03 RBB).

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We still get emails and phone calls asking about making submissions to our Photo Contest.  The deadline for entries was April 14.  We put it on our front page and posted it on Facebook.  We can’t feel too bad about those who missed out (hint for next year: read the paper!).

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Earlier this week, some men, holding what looked like blue prints, entering the abandoned Neponsit Home, sparked some curiosity. We reached out to NYC Health and Hospitals, which maintains the property. They claim that representatives from the Parks Department, and an electrical contractor, were on site to inspect the power running from the building to the adjacent lifeguard trailer, and that it has nothing to do with future development of the site. “While there is no news, NYC Health + Hospitals remains committed to finding the best use for this land that addresses community need,” a spokesperson said.

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Two steps forward, one step back? The LaQuinta Inn at 43-17 Rockaway Beach Boulevard might become a City shelter for homeless. We know it does a fairly good business and the online reviews are generally decent.  But the City pays top, top dollar for rooms and the temptation is often too much for some to turn down. It has been known to house homeless already, but we believe the place could make it without City money.

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Katie Couric does a video series on Yahoo called Cities Rising: Rebuilding America. 

On Wednesday, Chris Romulo of CROM on Beach 92nd Street gave producers a tour and touted all that is good here. Chris is on a roll.  Vogue.com is doing a story on wellness in Rockaway and they interviewed him for the piece.  CROM, by the way, advertised with us in our first-ever edition (gotta love them!).

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Matt Preis aka Max Power is launching the first annual Rock! Away! Music Fest.  It’ll be at Riis Park Beach Bazaar from July 14-16. It’ll be a three-day bash of food, art and local music. And it’s free. We’ll have more as we get closer to the event.

 

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