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 Last Friday, June 17 saw high early-season  temperatures, that drew crowds to the beach and into unguarded waters. But that Friday beach day turned tragic. By the end of the day, a teenage girl and a young man lost their lives in drowning incidents.

The familiar sounds of sirens and helicopters filled the air on Friday evening, as FDNY, NYPD and other emergency responders bounced around the peninsula, responding to numerous water rescue calls. At 5:58 p.m., the first call was received, and

 Feels like twenty. You know how U.S. Presidents age after four years in office. You should see what eight years does to a newspaper publisher. I blew in like Baby Face Nelson and now I see Keith Richards in the mirror.

I gotta repeat my own Yogism from back then: I know when to quit; I just don’t know when to give up.

Now, I’m not one for celebrating anniversaries, but The Rockaway Times is eight years old this week and I have a space to fill in the paper. So, I gotta write something. Just


Eight years ago, on June 26, 2014, The Rockaway Times published its inaugural issue. We are so grateful for the community for backing us all along. We love living here and we’ve run our paper trying to reflect our affection for this one-of-a-kind place. The support we’ve received is appreciated beyond words.


Casey Skudin, just few days before turning 46, of Rockaway’s Ladder 137/ Engine 268, was killed when a tree fell on the SUV he and his family were in while visiting the

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and the Council for Airport Opportunity (CAO) today announced the June iteration of Borough President Richards’ series of monthly job recruitment fairs at Queens Borough Hall will focus on the aviation industry, connecting residents with hundreds of job opportunities at Queens’ two airports.

 “As the redevelopment of both airports continue and thousands more jobs are created, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we are hiring locally


Nolan Harrison Hopkins was born.

Janet O’Hare was born.

Nicholas Andrew Rowe was born.

Janice Sorgente was born.


1992 - Mobster John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison.



1997 - The U.S. Air Force released The Roswell Report, closing the case on the 1947 Roswell, N.M. incident concerning UFOs and alien bodies.



Phil McManus was born.

Ellen Blum Gray was born.

Louise Racy was born.

Karolina Wrzesniewski was born.

Chris Kalisak was born.


1876 -

 A family Father’s Day and birthday trip turned tragic on Friday, June 17, when FDNY Firefighter Casey Skudin of Rockaway’s Ladder 137 was killed in a freak accident.

The Skudin family was on their latest adventure in North Carolina last week, a trip Casey Skudin had planned as a Father’s Day and birthday getaway. The firefighter would have turned 46 on Sunday, June 19, Father’s Day. But tragedy struck two days before as the family, including Casey, his wife, Angela, and their two kids, Ben


Eight years ago, on June 26, 2014, The Rockaway Times published its inaugural issue. We are so grateful for the community for backing us all along. We love living here and we’ve run our paper trying to reflect our affection for this one-of-a-kind place. The support we’ve received is appreciated beyond words.


Casey Skudin, just few days before turning 46, of Rockaway’s Ladder 137/ Engine 268, was killed when a tree fell on the SUV he and his family were in while visiting the


Happy Father’s Day! Dads didn’t always have their day. It wasn’t until 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers. He probably had golf in mind when he set the day as the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.


Our Dad photos we’re printing this week were sent to us after we put a call out on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks!


Holy smokes. The Rockaway Times will be celebrating


Nothing better than a Sweet 16. It’s hard to believe the annual RockStock and Barrels festival celebrates their sixteenth year this Saturday, June 11. They’ve got a full lineup of bands, skate and surf contests, local vendors selling goods and more from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Beach 91st Street, with an after party to follow at the Rockaway Hotel.


Just as Connolly's is staying Connolly's, Elegante is staying Elegante. After nearly 40 years owning the beloved Rockaway Beach pizzeria


 The photos are up! The amazing photos, finalists in The Rockaway Times Photo Contest, are up on the boardwalk railing, around Beach 95th Street. Five bird photos are posted at the bird nesting area in the Beach 50s. Five Honorable Mention beauties are at the ferry dock.


If you’re not sure where to enroll your child for the 2022-23 school year, the Waterside School for Leadership, 190 Beach 110th Street, is still accepting students. Some parents and teachers are actively


The annual Summer & Community Guide is out this week. We had an outstanding response from advertisers who believe in us and the Rockaway community. Somehow, we were able to put together a 120-page magazine. Just like the weekly newspaper, The Rockaway Times Summer Guide is free and will be available throughout the peninsula.


Longtime NYC Parks official, Liam Kavanagh, has retired. Kavanagh held top jobs, including Parks Commissioner (twice in an “acting commissioner capacity)


Count on Parks. Well, one thing is pretty consistent every beach season, the NYC Parks Department throws a stink bomb on the beach blanket. The announcement of beach closures comes late, the reasoning of such closures comes half-baked, and the delivery comes from who-knows-who? The Press office (who are just taking orders from ???? ) makes the announcement, there’s an uproar, and then some tweaks are made. And even then, you have to be a puzzle-solver to figure out which beaches are

 Dear Editor:

Thank you, Dolores Orr and Jonathan Gaska of CB14 and the Land Use Committee for taking an official stand against future development without the accountability of our electeds to ensure that community infrastructure, resiliency plans and overall concern for the impact to the Rockaway communities is addressed. Back in December, SHAFT raised these concerns in regard to the potential development by Alma on the Surfside property. We are now hopeful this position will benefit us as

 Dear Editor:

Unfortunately, many tragic events happened on Friday, June 17 involving the need for many emergency vehicles from FDNY, EMT and NYPD. Because it was not the weekend and the weather not being ideal, the emergency vehicles were free to get access to the boardwalk and beach without any interference with cars parked on the south side of SFP. I have attached pictures that the freedom of access the emergency vehicles had.

Just another reason and probably the most important reason to

 Dear Editor:

Friday evening, I was taking our dog out for her nightly walk and there was still a good crowd of people on the beach, enjoying themselves, as they should.

However, aside from the garbage strewn across the beach, which has sadly become more commonplace, I noticed a group of ten to fifteen YOUTHS drinking and falling over themselves in the dunes (120s). These kids must’ve been between eleven and thirteen years old and they didn’t have odd cans or bottles taken from their parent's

 Dear Editor:

(In response to Ask the Doc on Aspirin) Recent studies show that aspirin raises homocysteine levels and is dangerous and that all of the supposed benefits are now being found in Curcumin, a miracle herb.

Unfortunately no money will go to big pharma with that study so it will be ignored by the AMA.

Joseph Mugivan

 Dear Editor:

I keep on hearing about a lifeguard shortage in Rockaway.  I have gone to the beach a few times on Beach 117th and noticed that one of the lifeguards who has been there my whole life hasn't been there yet this season. I asked a few of the lifeguards if he was working this season and someone mentioned that he wasn't working yet even though he was there for forty-two seasons. What type of B.S. is that? A lifeguard shortage and they don’t bring back a seasoned lifeguard that is in

 Dear Editor:

I would like to comment on the unfortunate drowning of the two 13-year-olds. First, there are no sandbars in that area of the Bay. The underwater topography of that area, known as the North Channel, is very similar to that of Reynold's Channel, which abuts Far Rockaway from about Beach 30th Street eastward. As you may recall, drownings are common in the Reynold's Channel area. Both areas have strong tidal currents that flow through narrow passages, creating a steep drop-off of

Over the years my family, friends and I have all worked in the restaurant industry. I used to say everyone should have to do a semester of hospitality work to become empathetic with the workers and understand walking a mile in their shoes. Unfortunately, not everyone has taken that semester of working in the restaurant industry, so restaurant etiquette is needed. I know so many people in the industry, even my two daughters, so I sent out a few texts to servers from local restaurants and this is

While doing some research for the column, I learned that Mother’s Day inspired Father’s Day. Of course it did. At first, the idea was not well accepted because merchants, of course, wanted to make this holiday a money maker and one florist said, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”

Over the years, different states and groups have celebrated fathers in different ways but it was not until a woman from Spokane, Washington, Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman with five siblings

With the ferry dropping people off by the thousands, our fabulous concession stands and our new beautiful Rockaway Hotel, this summer is sure to be very crowded. So, we established some beach rules, now let’s get to the beautiful boardwalk.

I saw an interesting comment last week regarding the boardwalk and I could not agree more with the person writing it. Why is the bike lane directly against the railing? It should be in the middle of the boardwalk. But like most things in New York City, no

Part 2

Thank you so much for all of your emails this past week. Special shout out to Eamon and Maureen Charles for sending me an old Belle Harbor Property Owners sign that states, “Please wear robe to and from beach.” Everyone seems to be on the same page with people needing beach etiquette. I just want to note these rules are for everyone, not just our visitors. I just am so happy we had beautiful weather this weekend!

Rule 4: PDAs. Our beach is a public beach, not a private beach on a

 I should have had this column in last week, but I did not know it was going to be such a spectacular weekend.  And I am sure with beach closures and ferry visitors, space will be a hot commodity.

Here is my annual beach etiquette column and it is for all of our new residents and our visitors that were pouring off of the ferry this past week. One loyal reader last year said Kevin should place my column as one of the boardwalk photos, but he has not done that yet. And it is not just for the

I have lived in Rockaway Park for most of my life. I lived in Broad Channel for about ten years and I did a one-year stint in Indiana. When I was a child, I lived on Beach 117th Street and we did not have a driveway. On Friday afternoon, after alternate side, my parents would park the car on the beach block until Monday morning. I tell you this both because I know what it is like to want to come to the beach on the weekends and not have a spot and I know what it is like to not have a car on the