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High Tide

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Happy and safe Halloween. There are some fabulous Halloween decorations on houses throughout Rockaway. Here’s to a spooktakular Halloween weekend. Oh, if you want to get wet, Locals Surf School is holding a Totally Ghoul Surf Competition on Sunday. All levels welcome for the contest or just come cheer from the shore, starts at 11 a.m. on Beach 67th. See more Halloween events on Page 51.

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As you can see, we have devoted much of this week’s paper to Hurricane Sandy which devastated Rockaway (and beyond) ten years ago this Saturday, October 29. While recovery has been impressive and we can point to many, many things that are a significant upgrade of pre-Sandy Rockaway, we first must acknowledge that people died, and plenty others were damaged financially and emotionally. Rockaway proved resilient and strong but the event and so much that followed remains a tragedy.

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Although significant upgrades might be evident, there are things that make us shake our head.  It’s been Ten Years. Ten years and the beach protection (jetties and sand) people pleaded for is still not complete. Beach 108th Street is under construction from a plan set in motion about nine years ago. Fort Tilden’s Shore Road was never repaired or replaced and now it’s just sand. Some home sites remain vacant, overgrown with weeds. The Sand Bar and the adjacent buildings remain boarded up. Ten years!

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The Fall Freedom Festival was a big success for Beach 129th Street and will hopefully become a tradition. Candidate for Governor, Lee Zeldin, made an appearance to a friendly crowd. Mayoral candidates often make their way to Rockaway on campaigns. Gubernatorial candidates not so much though Rob Astorino was here in 2014. Zeldin is in a toss-up race with current Governor Kathy Hochul.

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Robin Shapiro Realty (with an assist from The Rockaway Times) is sponsoring a coat drive. Hats, scarves, and mittens happily accepted. A box or bin will be set up in the lobby of The Rockaway Times office at 114-04 Beach Channel Drive. Any questions, please email Robinshapirorealty@gmail.com

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An early Happy Sweet 16 Anniversary to Rockaway’s WISH (Women Inspired to Support & Help). The non-profit was started in 2006 after childhood friends got together and decided to do what they could to help the community. The group has been a huge help to many and did amazing work after Sandy. They’ll be celebrating November 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. Feel free to stop by and learn more.

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So, if the Riis Park Bathhouse gets a $50 mil makeover, will NPS get around to fixing the Riis boardwalk? Will all that investment in the bathhouse get NPS to replace all the crumbling railing? Restore the basketball and handball courts? And lastly, will NPS allow for beach protection?!  The Park Service opted out of the jetty and sand replenishment project now underway in Rockaway and it shows. The beach in front of the bathhouse is just a sliver of sand.

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Councilwoman Selvena Bro­oks-Powers announced she is forming a task force to evaluate healthcare access in Rockaway. The group is expected to review health care infrastructure and the feasibility of a trauma center.

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Beach replenishment is underway – please steer clear of pipes and other equipment. Dolores Orr of Community Board 14 reminds us that sheet pile wall construction will be running between Beach 67-Beach 84 Streets through the fall.

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