1999-08-07 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes

by Howard Schwach


Broad Channel no longer wants to be considered part of Rockaway. The community wants its own zip code. Representative Tony Weiner (who obviously has nothing better to do) wants to help them get rid of the 11693 code they share with Rockaway Beach and to get a new one all their own. "…this issue has become more than just a nuisance to Broad Channel residents," Weiner wrote. "On a broader scale, the Far Rockaway designation influences the insurance rates and property values in Broad Channel." C’mon, Tony. I don’t care if Broad Channel (or West Lawrence, for that matter) gets its own zip code. Are you telling us that the Far Rockaway designation influences property values in Neponsit or Belle Harbor, both of which are also considered to be Far Rockaway by insurance agencies and credit card companies? In fact, I have a modest proposal. I think that each small section of the peninsula should have its own designation. Far Rockaway could be 11691. West Lawrence could be 11691(a), while Bayswater could be 11691(b) and Wavecrest could be 11691(c). Frank avenue could be 11691(d). We could do the same throughout the peninsula. Broad Channel could be 11693(f). Upper Belle Harbor could be 11694(j), while lower Neponsit could be 11694(k). Get the picture? Why not some new communities, such as Rockaway Harbour and Neponsit Mews? Now, there’s an idea for you!

* * * * *

So many people have contacted me asking how the votes at the last school board election were cast, that I thought I’d tell them. Those of you who read my School Scope column last week (I am going to write that column every other week during the summer months) already know that the local school board split on several ballots down the middle at 4-4 (Shalom Becker was absent and excused). Voting for Steve Greenberg for president were Greenberg, Ernest Brown (the present president), Jim Sanders, jr., and Jim Adams. Voting for mainland candidate, Donna Marie Caltabiano, were Art Beroff, Caltabiano, Dolores Bevilacqua and Ronnie Schwab. Through several ballots, the vote remained the same. It is obvious to me why Caltabiano, Beroff, and Bevilacqua voted for Caltabiano. They all represent the mainland. The question arises, however, as to why Ronnie Schwab, a Rockaway resident, voted for a mainland candidate over a Rockaway candidate. Perhaps she will write The Wave and give her reasons. She’ll probably say that Caltabiano is a better candidate. That is blatantly not true in any sense of the word, at least in my opinion. Ronnie has not really been on the board long enough to tell, and I don’t even think she attended a meeting until she decided to run for office, and not much after that. Caltabiano is parochial for mainland causes and is often obdurate. Greenberg, on the other hand, is arguably the smartest person on the board and has Rockaway issues as well as mainland issues at heart. Ronnie has been on the board for three weeks, while I have been covering it for 10 years. Believe me, it is not even close. Write, Ronnie, and let us know why you turned traitor on Rockaway voters.

* * * * *

I got a very strange letter from Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. She chides me for writing that she did not attend the 100 Precinct Community Council boat ride. She claimed that I wrote that Lew Simon was the only politician who had attended the fund raiser. "Had you been there, you would have known that Lew was not the only elected official on board. I not only enjoyed the event, but I also won a raffle prize…," she wrote. The only problem with the letter is that I never wrote that Lew was the only elected official on board. In fact, I do not consider Lew, a party hack of the first definition, an elected official. Nor, did I mention Audrey. The only thing I wrote about Lew is that he sang a song and even that did not dampen the evening. Perhaps we should give Audrey the eighth grade reading test and see how she does on it.

* * * * *

For the first time in several years, there will be neither a Street Fair nor a Bathing Beauty Contest on Beach 116 street this summer. Barbara Morris, of West End Realty, will, however, hold her annual "Sand Castle Contest" for the fourth successive year. It will be held on August 14 on the beachfront at Beach 116 street. Look for details in upcoming columns or visit Barbara at her establishment. It’s good to see that there are still those who are pushing for Rockaway to keep its growing reputation as a must-visit summer destination.

* * * * *

The Senate race is shaping up to be a doozie. Giuliani hates city workers so badly that it would be hard to vote for him. I probably would vote for him to go to the Senate if he had any hope of staying on as mayor, but term limits took care of that. I do not like Hillary all that much, but I would vote for her over Rudy. There is really one thing that would keep me from voting for anybody, and that would be the case if Hillary embraced the Reverend Al as a supporter. The "Rotund Rev," as the Post likes to call him, blew another one with his claim that the cops had killed Donaldo Maloney, when it was clear from the beginning that he died of a drug overdose. Did you hear Al say he was sorry to the cops? No? Neither did I. Did you hear him apologize to those involved in the Tawana Brawley case? No? Neither did I. Did you hear him apologize to Reggie Rivera, the local cop he charged with sexual misconduct in the "Rockaway Five" case? No? Neither did I. If Hillary embraces Al, then she has lost my vote, and I hope she has lost yours as well.

* * * * *

Quote without comment from Black Conservative Michael Meyers: "The NAACP is still great at crying ‘racism!’ But what has it done to close the black/white gap in literacy (and in life expectancy)? And why is it encouraging young black children and families to tune into silly sitcoms rather than reading serious books anyway?"

* * * * *

Mike Flood served America in many ways. As a U.S Marine, as a Marshall with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and as a postal worker here in Rockaway. He died too young, leaving a wife and two young sons. He will be missed by his large family and by the Rockaway community.

* * * * *

Guy Molinari has the right idea, while Howard Golden has the wrong idea. Molinari, Staten Island’s Borough President, is eager for a minor league team in his borough. He wants to tie the new ballpark in with other entertainment attr-actions, a mall and new restaurants. "This could be a tremendous financial investment," he says. Golden, on the other hand, rejects a minor league team in Coney Island. He wants a major league team or nothing. He’ll get nothing, and baseball fans in his borough will suffer. I wish they would look at Arverne for the other new franchise. A ballpark right on the ocean would truly be a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, the Technodome proposal, which will probably never materialize, has locked out all other ideas.

* * * * *

Those of you who played organized baseball in Rockaway in the 1950’s and 60’s will remember fondly our coach, Mal Bodenlos. Mal passed away in June of last year, and now his friends and ex-players are trying to build a memorial to his name. The memorial will be placed in O’Donohue Park at Beach 17 street and Seagirt boulevard. Donations can be sent to McKenna & Schneir, Attorney’s at Law, 115 South Corona avenue, Valley Stream, New York 11580. Checks should be made out to the Escrow Account for Mal Bodenlos. He did so much for us, it is time that we did something for his memory.

* * * * *

Karen Hunter, a columnist for the Daily News, has always been slightly anti-cop. She recently went through training at the NYPD’s "Fun House," their tactical training facility. Here’s what she wrote. "I was teamed with a partner (my boss here at the Daily News) and we were told that there was a burglary in progress in an apartment. It sounded like fun – until the lights went out and we had to act. The apartment was at the end of a long, dimly lighted hall. The door was slightly open. Inside, one of the perps, dressed in black, was heading out the door with a television in his hands. I told him to drop the TV and get up against the wall. Out of nowhere, another man appeared with a gun. I panicked and I fired – and hit my partner in the hand. Then I was shot in the chest. In my confusion, the guy with the television got behind us and shot my partner in the back, point blank. Then he shot me again. If this were real, two officers would have been dead…For the first time, I got a glimpse of what the men and women who patrol our streets must feel when they go into a potentially dangerous situation. After being one of them for a day, I realize a couple of things: I could never do it for a career and those who do deserve a tremendous amount of respect."

* * * * *

Websites of the Week: Want some fun, something you can pass on to your friends (and, enemies)? Log into: http://sites.netscape.net/zum-altsp/camera2.html. Enjoy! Another fun site to browse, if not to buy can be found at www.lootusa.com. One more fun site can be found at www.allnews800.com. If you are trying to write anything from a column to a book and have hit the dreaded writer’s block, log into www.writershome.com. That’s it for this week. Send your comments and complaints to either hschwach-@hotmail.com or to newsie42@-aol.com. Have a good week, and safe home.

 

Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History