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Author: Kami-Leigh Agard

Beach 116th Street Merchants See Positive Road Ahead

From the dawn of the early 1900s, Beach 116th Street, then known as Fifth Avenue, has been the main commercial shopping and transportation hub on Rockaway’s west end. Starting as a quiet, tree-lined block with a few stores and a train platform, today it looks starkly different. However, amidst the changes and challenges including aggressive panhandling, homelessness, keeping the area clean and surviving the lean winter months, merchants are optimistic about Beach 116th’s resurgence as Rockaway’s Fifth Avenue. The Rockaway Times reached out to business owners to find out what is needed to keep...

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ROCKAWAY  GOOD  TIMES

Indian summer days are still sizzling, so plan your Rockaway crawl with the ultimate local event guide—The RT’s Good Times’ page!   LIVE MUSIC Thursday, September 22 6 p.m. You can’t go more American than an evening of burgers and Grateful Dead at The Rockaway Hotel’s Rooftop Dinner & A Band series, tonight featuring Happy Jack’s Burger Bar and The Rainbow Spirals. $20 admission includes one drink, plus one plate. For tickets, visit: www.therockawayhotel.com/happenings/dinner-and-a-band 108-10 Rockaway Beach Drive   Thursday, September 23 At Whit’s, it’s not just Thursday, but...

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Karate — A Gentle Art With a Powerful Impact On Special Needs

On any given day or evening on Beach 116th Street, one can find children of all ages and abilities, outfitted in their “Gi” (karate uniform), headed up to World Champions Karate Center. Though since the pandemic, the long-time karate dojo has changed locations, for owner, Sensei Bruce Hodes, and Sensei Michael Salemi, the mission has remained the same—making world class champions of all kids, including those with autism and other special needs. When a friend shared a video of his autistic son, Michael Wolf (pictured) in the dojo practicing with Salemi, I was intrigued. According to Hodes, (who...

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CB 14 Returns for the First Time Back in Person

With the pandemic’s shelter-in-place orders now a memory of the not-so-distant past, on Tuesday, September 13, board members and scores of community activists packed the Knights of Columbus for Community Board 14’s first session since the summer recess. For newer board members, this was their first face-to-face meeting together after two years of convening virtually, which CB 14 Chairwoman Dolores Orr acknowledged, asking the entire board to stand and formally introduce themselves. As for the night’s agenda—from good news about Rockaway’s business boom, Mayor Eric Adams’ Cash For Guns Initiative,...

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Service Dog Becomes the Pawfect Companion For Local Boy

You may have spotted an adorable little boy tethered to a handsome Yellow Labrador, walking around the neighborhood, at the beach getting surf lessons from Locals Surf School or even being formally introduced by Father Jim at a Mass at St. Francis de Sales church. Meet eight-year-old Jonathan Ortega Narvaez and his BluePath autism service dog, Milo. According to Ortega Narvaez’s mom, Jennifer Gallagher, since three-year-old Milo officially became part of their family on April 4 of this year, he has forever changed the trajectory of their lives. They went from being reluctant to take Jonathan...

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ROCKAWAY  GOOD  TIMES

Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day?! Summer heat and good times are still sizzling—so wear your white and plan your crawl with Rockaway’s ultimate to-go-to guide—The RT’s Good Times’ page!   LIVE MUSIC Thursday, September 8 6 p.m. With Whitney Aycock of Whit’s End as guest chef of tonight’s Rockaway Hotel’s Rooftop Dinner & A Band series—taste why Whit’s cooking is like love—enjoy it with total abandon or not at all! Music by Brooklyn-based Post-Rock/Space-Funk Fusion band, Escaper. $20 admission includes one drink, plus one plate. For tickets, visit: www.therockawayhotel.com/happenings/dinner-and-a-band 108-10...

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Severe Autism

“When you meet one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism.” – Dr. Stephen Shore, autistic professor of special education at Adelphi University. In response to my last column, in which I discussed if public events should be censored according to the varying levels of autism, a Rockaway Times reader emailed the following question—What is severe autism? Admittedly, I oftentimes bristle at this question. When I meet “high-functioning” individuals on the spectrum, I become star struck at their abilities. For example, if they are attending college, is an amazing artist or can...

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