1999-06-26 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes

by Howard Schwach


Broad Channel is fighting to retain the right to use its own athletic field without charge. The City wants to turn the land over to the Parks Department and then Parks will lease it back to the athletic club for a charge. That will extend to the food service as well, and that is a shame. The BCAC wants to buy the land, but there is still some lingering interest by the Knights of Columbus. In addition, the BCAC wants the land on the cheap (and, they should get it) while the city is talking about market rate. There are so many variables that most of the people involved do not understand the ramifications. Councilman Stabile says that he is for the community getting the land, but there are some indications that he is saying something else behind closed doors. What the community needs from Stabile is a definitive statement and some telephone calls to Claire Shulman, the Mayor and the Parks Commissioner.

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What happened to all of the litter baskets on the boardwalk between Beach 116 street and Beach 126 street? Last week, there was a basket every two blocks or so. This week, there are none. Where am I supposed to throw my Dunkin Donuts cup when I am finished with it? Put em back the way they were. If the DOS hacks can hassle dog walkers who have their dogs on a leash then how can they let people throw their litter on the boardwalk because there are no litter baskets?

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Speaking of dogs, the parks enforcement people have been cracking down on people walking their dogs on the beach. Some dog owners have an idea that might just work. Why not designate one beach block for dogs. Close it to swimmers and bathers and let the dogs run. If the owners do not police the beach or allow their pets to roam off the designated beach, then fine them. If Manhattan dwellers can have dog runs in some of their parks, why can’t the hundreds of dog owners who live on the west end have a place for their dogs to run free?

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As I was writing this, I heard three loud explosions followed by lots of sirens. Seems that some young men living at 122-20 Ocean Promenade threw some M-80’s (the equivalent of a quarter of a stick of dynamite) out of the window onto Beach 123 street. Those who live in the building say that the owner, George Mamos, has been renting to "undesirables" who are ruining a once great building.

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I spent Father’s Day at Yankee Stadium with a young man who hails from Boston. He spends lots of time in Fenway Park and he was amazed at the prices charged at the New York city ballpark. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich, three franks, two fries and two sodas and an iced tea and the bill was $37.00. A program went for $5.00. At our seats, a small bag of peanuts was $3.50 and a soda was $5.00. This, on top of $21.00 tickets and a $14.00 parking fee. It probably would have been more fun to go to Staten Island and see the Class A game where tickets are $8.00 and franks go for $1.25.

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Speaking of the minor league game, I agree that the Brooklyn BP should have his head examined. He is fighting the mayor’s plan to build a minor league field in Coney Island. BP Golden is holding out for a major league team. At the least, he wants a triple-A team. He does not realize just how much fun lower minor league baseball can be. When we lived in Connecticut, we frequented both the New Haven Yankees (double-A) and the Bristol Red Sox (double-A). The games were always interesting and you got to see lots of up and coming players. On one of my infrequent trips to Albany a few years ago, I caught the Albany-Colonie Yankees with Derek Jeter, Andy Fox and Lyle Moutan. I sat behind home plate for $6.00 and had a great night. We could do that in Brooklyn if the BP would only get off his high horse.

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I understand that Chris Jorge runs a great after school program at JHS 180, and that both students and parents acclaim it. I want to congratulate her, but that does not change the fact that she and a few of her cohorts buried the Beacon money that would have brought dozens of great after school programs to hundreds of kids at JHS 180.

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The first of the RMAC Sunset Picnic Concerts will be held this Sunday, June 27. America’s premier Gilbert and Sullivan ensemble will perform at Fort Tilden in the Gateway National Park. Bring a beach chair and bring a picnic basket. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. and they are free of charge. Other concerts planned for this summer include: The Manhattan Brass Quartet (July 11), The Legends of Rock and Roll (July 25), the Long Island Pops (August 8) and Pat Cannon;s Foot and Fiddle dance and music show (August 22).

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There were those who were unhappy when I reported the net worth of some of our city council representatives last week because they thought that was nobody else’s business. I wonder if the same people will complain when I disclose how our representatives voted on some important issues. I happen to believe that every thing that our elected leaders do is our business (well, almost everything). By a vote of 249 to 181, the House of Representatives adopted an amendment providing harsher treatment of juveniles convicted of Federal crimes involving guns, drugs or explosives. Tony Weiner voted "yes," but Greg Meeks voted "no." Meeks consistently votes against harsher penalties for criminals because he believes that they disproportionately effect the minority community. In my opinion, he is weak on crime. By the way, both Weiner and Meeks voted against the bill allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted in public schools.

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Can Hillary beat Rudy? The first polls in a long time show that Hillary is ahead by 47 to 39 percent with 11 percent undecided. More than 70 percent of those questioned did not see any problem with Hillary running in New York.

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Guess who’s back? Remember Andrew Jenkins? He was our State Senator when I started working for The Wave, and he provided lots of ink when he was caught taking money out of the country to launder it in Zaire. When he was caught, he had $150,000 in his briefcase. He was convicted of Federal money laundering charges and served one year in prison. Now, he wants to come back and run for the seat recently vacated by Al Waldon. Just what we need--–a jailbird for a Senator.

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Juanita Watkins is a city council member from Far Rockaway. She voted to repeal the commuter tax and earned the enmity of all of her constituents. Now, we can see how childish she really is. She will soon have to leave office because of the term limits law pushed by cosmetics king Ronald Lauder. How does she get even? She refuses to buy any Estee Lauder products. "That’s my way of retaliating," she says. Watkins plans to go back into teaching. The district’s gain will be the school system’s loss. By the way, last year the council passed 59 laws. Twenty-two of those changed the name of a street. Henry Stern, who was once a member of the council, likens it to "one hand clapping." For this, the members want a raise.

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Websites of the Week: Sydocent has sent me a list of his favorite websites, and it goes on for several pages. He has lots of interesting items and I tried some of the more interesting. The Gaze at the Future site at www.word.com has some interesting ideas. For Techo-rich-fun, log into www.cnet.com. News junkies should try www.pointcast.com. For good ideas on just about any topic, log into www.learn2.com. More next week. Comments and complaints to hschwach@hotmail.com. Have a good week and safe home.

 

 

 

 

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