The City abruptly...

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The City abruptly put the brakes on a bike share program and our local pols got some media mileage out of their protestations. But before we join in the outrage, we’d first chime in by saying Citi Bike (the City and Citibank sponsored bike sharing program) might deserve a few shots for being a monopoly and not serving some parts of the city, but we think asking a competitor to get permits isn’t so dastardly. And Spin, the new bike sharing program, would’ve benefitted mostly visitors (since so many people in Rockaway already have bikes). And some local businesses rent bikes now. A bike sharing company wouldn’t be so great for them. 

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The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy and Bloomberg Philanthropies is offering a free screening of a documentary, From The Ashes, on Saturday, August 26 at sTudio 7, Fort Tilden, starting at 5:30 p.m.  From the Ashes captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be in the current political climate. Reserve seats through EventBrtite.com

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So we saw a big ferry docking at Beach 108th Street last week and inquiring minds wanted to know, what gives?  A spokesperson for Hornblower tells us the boat, with a passenger capacity of 800, is NOT going to be used for Rockaway trips.  In fact, the boat won’t be used for NYC Ferry at all. The official said: “It’s not a vessel that was designed to service NYC Ferry, and at the moment we don’t believe it can be effectively used on NYC Ferry routes. But as you know, we are continuing to use a number of other large capacity vessels to service NYC Ferry routes during times of high demand.”

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See what does 30 percent sunlight do?  It never got dark during Monday’s eclipse. We thought it might get 70 percent darker than usual! Oh, and we built a Do-It-Yourself eclipse viewer and, well, next time we’ll save the shoe box for another use! We would have gotten a D+ on a science project (A for effort).  The next eclipse will occur in 2024. Save those eclipse glasses.  We hear one dollar cheapos went for as much as $22 on eBay.

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The NYC Economic Development Corporation took exception to our story about the saga of the Rockaway Courthouse and submitted a letter stating so. But here’s the basic story: in 2013, a developer was awarded the courthouse for $50,000 with a promise that a $10 million state-of-the-art medical center would be built. As of August 2017 there is no medical center, there is no main tenant. There are missed deadlines and no signs of progress.  The building looks more like a tear down than ever. 

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We hope the plans to rezone and revitalize Far Rockaway amount to more than a news release.  The dollar figure attached – $288 million – is a huge number and the potential for a renaissance is real but we remain in the seeing-is-believing category. We won’t get overly excited until there’s actual ground breaking. The Courthouse. Arverne East. We get tired of applauding “plans.”  What’s Arverne East? Oh, that’s from 2006, when developers were awarded the rights to Arverne East (81 acres of oceanfront property). Eleven years later the area remains fallow (although there are occasional press releases about new plans). 

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Last minute reminders: Friday is the 3 on 3 By The Sea Basketball tournament at the St. Francis schoolyard on Beach 129th, starting at 10 a.m.  And Friday evening at the RAA Studio in Fort Tilden, Jill Eisenstadt will read from her new Rockaway-based book, Swell. This starts at 7 p.m.

 

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