2000-02-12 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes


by Howard Schwach

There is a move afoot to rename Middle School 180 in Rockaway Beach after Jerry Dever, the school’s guidance counselor and community activist who died too young of cancer. I think that it would be a fitting memorial to Jerry and that we should all get behind the idea. Those who agree should pen a letter to Community School Board 27 President Steve Greenberg. Letters can be sent to the district office at 82-01 Rockaway Boulevard, Ozone Park, New York 11416. Do it now.

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Eighteen Days until pitchers and catchers for the Yankees and 15 days until pitchers and catchers for the Mets. I can’t wait. This shapes up to be one of the more exciting baseball seasons for both New York teams in many a year. I hope that come October I will be predicting the outcome of Game 1 of the Met – Yankees World Series.

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Service at the Rockaway Park post office is getting worse despite the fact that the holiday season has passed us by. I was on line last Saturday at about 10 a.m. and there were, by actual count, 23 people on line. Two windows were open, but one of the workers closed down for about 20 minutes and one worker tried to handle the line. I spent more than 40 minutes waiting on line and there were still 21 people on line when I left. I don’t think that it is the fault of the people who work there. They were dancing as fast as they could. The fault lies with management, which obviously decided that two clerks were all that were needed on a weekend morning when most of the people do their errands. If you agree that two are not enough, call and let them know what you think.

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The soap opera at Dayton-Seaside might soon be over. As you read this, the courts will be deciding whether to put a receiver in place of the current owners. Those owners have already declared bankruptcy and that allowed them to get a loan to make the major repairs, which is what the tenants wanted all along. While this sounds like a happy ending for all, it probably will mean that the receivers will pump up the rent in order to pay off the loans.

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Planning in the Queens capital budget includes a new state of the art medical facility for the Addabbo Health Center in Arverne. This is a badly needed facility and I hope that it gets out of the planning stage and quickly becomes a reality.

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According to an audit by Comptroller Alan Hevesi that remained unpublished until recently, lifeguards at city beaches "endangered summertime swimmers by sleeping and play frisbee while on the job." The audit, which was completed in August, was reportedly given only to the mayor and to the Parks Department. It was not made public until the Daily News got a bootlegged copy. The report charged that lifeguard misconduct threatened to "result in serious danger to the beachgoing public." The Parks Department denied the allegations and I have to say that I spend lots of time walking the boardwalk during the summer and did not see what the report alleged.

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The one-seat ride to Manhattan that Rockaway residents have been calling for the last three years of so may be coming to fruition – but not from Rockaway. The State Economic Development Agency has called for a one seat ride all right, but it would take riders from JFK to Manhattan and would not include the line from the airport to Rockaway as locals have planned. The line would, however, use the White Pot Junction line that Rockaway groups favor as a line from Rockaway to Manhattan via the airport.

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Mayor Giuliani favors competition in the schools. He wants teachers to compete against each other for salary raises and he wants schools to compete against each other for students. Why then, is the mayor opposed to competition on the city’s private bus lines? This is a valid question, in light of the fact that the bus companies (including Green Bus and Jamaica Bus lines) received failing grades on almost all of the indictors one could use when rating buses. The Green Bus Line failed to meet cleanliness standards 85 percent of the time, missed on-time performance 77 percent of the time and failed climate control standards and customer service standards as well. Why does the mayor, who loves competition, keep anointing the bus companies without a bidding process? Perhaps the hundreds of thousands of dollars that go to Republicans as campaign donations have something to do with it.

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Those of you who enjoy folk music should go out to Post College and hear Arlo Guthrie, jr. sing "City of New Orleans," and "This Land is Your Land." He might not be his dad, but he is as close as you’re going to get in this lifetime. Guthrie will appear at the Tilles Center at the University with the Long Island Philharmonic tonight (February 12) at 7:30. Tickets were still available at press time and that is a mystery in itself. Plan to be there.

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What is Chutzpah? This story defines the word. The cops as part of a sting had planted a purse containing two bucks in a Staten Island mall. A woman picked up the purse and walked off with it. The cops picked her up and took her to the station house, where they handcuffed her to a pipe. The DA refused to prosecute and now she is suing the city for arresting her in the first place. She said that she had a disorder that kept her from turning in the pocket book until she had finished her shopping. "I don’t fee comfortable until I finish my tasks. I am a very orderly person," she says. She is suing for more than one million dollars.

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Congratulations to Rockaway resident Janelle McManus who plays for Bishop Kearney. Although the team lost to Loughlin, McManus, a senior guard, moved above the 2,000 point mark. At one point in the season, she had a streak of 40 straight games in which she scored 20 or more points. She scored 40 in one game earlier in the season and scored 7 points in the final 8.5 seconds to win a game just last month. Those stats make an outstanding career, one that she will surely continue into whatever college she chooses to play for.

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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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