2000-03-25 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes


by Howard Schwach

There is growing opposition to the placement of Long Island Jewish Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Service in the new medical center being built on Beach 102 street. This seems to be not another case of NIMBY, but a legitimate concern in placing those coming off substance abuse problems and PINS (people in need of support) designees in close proximity to a number of schools and other community facilities. A similar facility was previously run by St. John’s Hospital for a time in close proximity to both IS 53 and to St. Mary’s Star of the Sea school in Far Rockaway without incident. That, however, was a more commercial area and I have to agree with the community that it would better be placed in a commercial setting on the west end rather than a residential one. The planned site is across the street from MS 180 and around the corner from St. Camillus School. In addition, it is in clear proximity to the Dayton buildings. Granted that the facility is needed and it will serve many Rockaway residents, but it is just the wrong place at the wrong time.

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There are petitions circulating locally asking the school board to change the name of Middle School 180 to the Gerald Dever school. Dever was a local activist and a guidance counselor at the school. He died an untimely death at an early age and I can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to name the school in his memory. Petitions are available at The Wave for anybody who wants to join the petition drive.

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The city should stop futtzing around and should sell the land in Broad Channel that now includes the athletic field and the parking lot to the community for the continued use of the kids in the community. I know that the local church holds the lease and that the city owns the land and I am sure that all of the parties can come to an amicable agreement that would serve the kids is somebody could get them to all sit down together. Perhaps there is a political problem, or a religious one that keeps the land from the community, but I cannot think of one and neither can anybody else. Let’s get it done before the city uses the land for something else and the kids get the shaft.

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Lew Simon says in his column that he explained to one of the contractors for the Doppler radar why the community was opposed to the project and the contractor agreed to drop his portion of the contract. I wish that he would explain to me why the community is opposed – if, in fact, the community is still opposed to the project. I know that he is opposed and I know that Congressman Weiner is opposed, but I think that the majority of people have had their fears allayed and now realize just how important it is that the radar facility be built.

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I must have missed the news stories about Al Sharpton and his ilk coming to Rockaway to protest the death of a woman who died serving her community. What, you say, Sharpton and his minions have been quiet on the death of Maria Medina in Far Rockaway? How can that be? Perhaps it is because two black men got into a dispute and let the bullets fly, killing Medina. It is clear that the issue of black people killing black people is not Sharpton’s thing. He would do more for his people, however, protesting the Redfern incident and putting an end to all of the young black men with guns than in protesting the cops who carry guns to protect the community. Perhaps Sharpton did not see the picture of eight Housing Police officers carrying Medina’s coffin. If he did not see it, somebody should show it to him. It probably would not matter, because truth has never been the Reverend’s strong suit yet the press continues to give him ink whenever a "racial" incident occurs.

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Congratulations to Coach Mike Gliner and the young ladies of the Far Rockaway High School track team who recently won many honors at a national track meet at Disneyworld in Florida. Well done!

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There is a move afoot, mostly on the Internet, to drive down gasoline prices by boycotting dealers and gas stations from April 7 through April 9. Those who are pushing for the boycott urge people to fill their needs prior to April 7 and to keep the Gas Out going for the two designated days. Will it help? It can’t hurt. I still think that President Clinton should release some of the nation’s reserve to bring the price down, but that would anger the Arab nations and no Democrat wants to do that.

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Those who watch the "TV Guide Channel" on cable already know about this, because the local cable stations have been announcing it for months. The fact is that those with Quics Cable may not be able to receive Channel 7 (ABC) on their sets beginning April 1. This is no April Fool’s Joke. Disney, who owns WABC/7, and Time Warner Cable have been negotiating the fees that the cable will have to pay to carry the network and the negotiations have turned sour. Sources familiar with the controversy say that there is no better than a "50/50 chance" that the network will pull its signal on that date. Time Warner says that Disney wants an "exorbitant fee. The fee reportedly amounts to $350 million. That money would have to come from those who subscribe to the cable service, according to experts in the field. That, people, means you and I.

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When I write about girl’s basketball, it is usually about Christ the King, but there is a team closer to home that, at press time, is moving towards the Class D championship. That team is Stella Maris and almost all of the girls in the team are Rockaway residents and come from the training ground of Rockaway CYO basketball. Leading the team are junior Jeanine Kanel, along with seniors Maggie Allen and Terri McElroy, had 11 points apiece to lead the Lady Flippers to the finals against St. Ursula. Senior Katie Raphael was the defensive star of the game, holding the other team’s big scorer way below her average. Congratulations to all of the girls and to their coach, Maureen Gigliello. Those congratulations based on getting to the finals stick although the team lost in the finals to a tough St. Ursula team. Maggie Allen led the Flippers with 11 points. Stella Maris ended the year at 17-10, a respectable season by any definition.

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Christ the King won the Catholic School Class A State championship with a 65-56 win over St. Peter’s. As usual, it was the Rockaway girls who made the difference. Claire Droesch scored 26 points, including 9-10 from the free throw line.

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The debate over gun control seems to come down to a 24-hour waiting period to purchase a gun at a gun show versus a 72-hour waiting period. The NRA squared off against the President’s press secretary Sunday morning and both were adamant that their side was the right side. The NRA spokesperson (who said that the blood of children is on the President’s hands because he won’t approve of the bill with a 24-hour waiting period) demands the shorter waiting period and says his organization will kill any bill that includes a longer period. I don’t see what the difference is. It seems to me to be a trivial difference, but it matters greatly to the NRA and their paid congressmen.

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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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