Next Stop, Lower Manhattan
by Anthony Stasi
Jan 15, 2014 | 1591 views | 0 0 comments | 150 150 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder says he feels pretty confident that there will be an extension of the Rockaway ferry service that helps peninsula residents get to Manhattan easier.

The Rockaway ferry has been a bandied-about issue for more than a decade, and although it only became a regular item after Hurricane Sandy, the challenge is to see how to keep the service up and running.

Goldfeder and Councilman Eric Ulrich have been arguing for an extension of the service, which was a temporary contract in the wake of the storm.

Should an extension be granted, the next step would be making this service a permanent fixture. Goldfeder says that most of the calls to his office from Rockaway residents in recent weeks are about the ferry.

That is surprising, given the other needs that Rockaway has right now, but as he explained “once you lose it (an active ferry service), it’s hard to get it back.”

If he can work with the city and keep this service as a permanent fixture, it would be a giant victory for Rockaway. As long as the ferry is a response policy due to the storm, there is a timetable to how long it will exist.

Robert Hess

Robert Hess, Homeless Services Commissioner from 2006 to 2010, passed away on December 24. Hess took on the challenge of New York’s homeless problem after doing similar work in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

We live in a time when public management is more focused on statistics and less focused on the clinical end of social services. Having served under Hess for almost two years, I saw that he had an appreciation for both sides of public policy.

He once told me that he got into public policymaking when 25 percent of Baltimore’s population was said to have a drug problem, primarily with heroin. He jumped into that problem, much like he jumped into our homeless problem in New York. He will be missed in the small and unique community of homeless advocacy and housing policy.

On Rodriguez

It’s not often that people are anxious for football games to end so they can watch 60 Minutes, which usually follows any Sunday game on CBS. This week was different.

The story of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez being banned from the game for 162 games (a full season, plus playoffs) has put baseball back on the back pages of the tabloids.

Few in baseball were surprised the league issued a ban, even if his ban was reduced to 162 games. What baseball fans need to remember through all of this is that Commissioner Bud Selig created an environment in the game that made a lot of this possible.

Rodriguez is responsible for whatever he either did or may have done, but the league itself handled this in a way that made it look as though it was late to the crisis.

This is not a case for Rodriguez’s guilt or innocence, but when is the league going to take a more comprehensive testing position? The contract with the player’s union allows for only limited testing. This needs to be fixed. It can get fixed with a new commissioner.

As for Rodriguez’s predicament, the real winners are the New York Yankees, who want nothing more than to get away from that big contract they gave him.
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