2000-02-05 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes


by Howard Schwach

In 1993. Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to the FAA complaining about the "excessive noise of the new flight routes approved by the FAA for arrivals and departures from John F. Kennedy International Airport." He added that, "this issue is of great concern to me." Just seven years later he lobbied the same FAA to add flight spots in and out of JFK for a new, hip airline called jetBlue. He did it, he claims, because the airline will fly to many upstate destinations that other airlines do not service. It does not matter to Rockaway where they are going, however. They are noisy and they should not be cluttering up the air. Schumer knows better. At least, he did at one time. Now, I am not so sure.

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The muni-meters are coming, the muni-meters are coming. You all know what they are. The individual meters do not have heads, so a motorist cannot tell whether there is time left on the meter or not. No more searching for that perfect meter with a half hour left on its face. Now, motorists who park on Beach 116 street between Rockaway Beach boulevard and the boards will have to find a muni machine to eat the coins. There will reportedly be eight such machines (placed on existing light poles) that will control the 102 parking spaces. The meters can be utilized for a total of two hours.

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I want to join other Rockaway residents in wishing City Councilman Al Stabile a rapid recovery. Get well soon, Al!

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I like the idea of a task force that represents all of Rockaway and that discuss issues that effect us all. I liked it when it was called the All-Rockaway Planning Council (ARPC) and I even liked it in some of its subsequent lives. I wish it well, but wonder if some of those who attended are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Some of the things on the table for discussion have been discussed to death and were killed by the disinterest of some of the people who are still at the table. Of course, they probably feel the same way about me, but it is clear that we need some "new blood" if change is really to come.

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Barbara Morris of West End Realty wants to remind one and all that she is again running her popular "Name the Teddy Bear" Contest. Walk by her Beach 116 place of business and give a name to the Teddy’s in the window. You might just take one home. Thanks again to Barbara for keeping up the interest on Beach 116 street businesses.

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The final five candidates vying for the position of District 27 superintendent will be presented to the community by the local school board at MS 202 this coming Monday (February 7) at 7 p.m. The school is located on Lafayette Street, right off Pitkin Avenue where the Belt and Cross Bay boulevard cross. Four of the candidates are from outside the district. The only "local" candidate is Acting Superintendent Matt Bromme. The school board is to be congratulated for holding this open meeting prior to making a final decision.

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The McGuire family has always been the first family of Rockaway basketball (at least, until the Tubridy family came along). The latest honoree in the family is Meegan McGuire, who was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame at Southampton College. Meegan got her start playing for St. Camilius and in the CYO League. She played for Christ The King and helped her team to a national championship (much like other Rockaway girls do today). Her uncles, Al and Dick both played for the Knicks. The family owned McGuire’s, which is now Snug Harbor. Congratulations to the latest star in the McGuire family.

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The New York Civil Liberties Union and its director, Norman Siegel, are again angry with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The problem is that the CCRB backs only five percent of the cases against cops. Siegel thinks that the agency is a "paper tiger," but I have to tell him that the five percent is probably high, because the majority of the complaints against cops are brought by those who they have just arrested. What do you expect them to do? It is time for Siegel and his ilk to leave the cops alone to do their very difficult jobs. It is easy to sit in a big office behind a big desk. Earning a big salary to second guess those who are out on the streets making gun runs for a living. Give it up, Norman. Your song is getting old.

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver recently met with convicted spy Jonathan Pollard with an eye to getting him out of prison. "There are some serious injustices taking place in the Pollard case," Silver told the press. "He was promised that the government would not ask for a life sentence," Silver said. "They reneged on the deal." There are those who believe that President Clinton will grant amnesty to Pollard in an attempt to win over Jewish voters in this city for his wife, Hillary, in her run for the senate against Rudy Giuliani. That remains to be seen, but I would not bet against it.

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Father White and his St. Virgilius parish in Broad Channel should be congratulated for raising money for a local soup kitchen in what has been called a national "souper bowl." What is strange is that he should have chosen a soup kitchen in Jamaica for his parish’s largess rather than the homegrown Claddagh I.N.N. right here in Rockaway. I know that they did it for the Claddagh last year, so why change horses now?

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The mayor is taking on the unions and that is his right. As a city taxpayer, I certainly do not want to see him "give away the store," to the unions. As a city worker, however, I do want to see him treat the city workers fairly. He seems to think that it is the stockbrokers who make the city great, but it is the city workers who do that and more. I really believe that he is cutting his own throat. Al D’Amato learned the hard way that the city unions still have tremendous power to turn out votes or to withhold them from those who draw their ire. If the mayor really wants to beat Hillary Clinton, he will have to come to the unions, hat in hand, asking for their support. He will never get that support as long as he treats his workers as if they were the cause of all of the city’s problems.

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That’s it for this week. Remember to send comments and complaints to

Newsie42@aol.com. Have a good week, and safe home.

 

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