2000-04-08 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes


by Howard Schwach

Some people, particularly the elderly, have told me that they will no longer use the shops on Beach 116 street because they can't figure out the new meter system and because it is too much for them to walk back and forth between the car, the meter and the stores. On the other hand, when I stopped on the street this morning, the DOT people handed me a free present – a little holder that sticks to the dashboard and hods the receipt. One of the DOT workers pointed out something that I didn’t think of. Since it is not numbered, the receipt is good for any parking space on the street. You can park nearby Brown’s Hardware and put 50-cents in the machine for an hour. Then, you can leave Brown’s in 15 minutes, drive up the street to the Beach Club for lunch and you can park for 40 minutes more on the same slip in your window. No matter what machine you put your money in, your slip is good from Beach Channel drive to the boards. That, at least, is a plus.

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I have a cool idea. The local shops should put up a box under each of the muni machines. Motorists who are leaving parking spots early can put their receipts in the box. People pulling in could then look through the box to find a receipt that still has time on it. They can then put it in their own car window. It is legal, I think. After all, if I put 50-cents in the machine for an hour and leave after 45 minutes, I still own that other 15 minutes and can give to anybody whom I want. Think about it.

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I don’t know anything about Rick Lazio, but I am ready to vote for him right now. Anybody is better than either Giuliani or Clinton. Please, guys and gals, give us a candidate that we can vote for.

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Every week we are treated in this paper to pictures of local district leaders and other would-be pols posing with the rich and powerful. Has Rockaway ever benefited from those associations? Not in my lifetime or in yours! I have often wondered why The Wave continues to run those self-serving photos. The paper would be much better served running pictures of kids in our schools or of sports events featuring local athletes.

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Coach Greg Carter, the head of the Rockaway Sports Association, is a true local hero. He founded the organization on a shoestring only nine years ago and today his organization services hundreds of kids in many different sports, including lacrosse. He was recently highlighted in the Newsday Queens Profile and he deserves the thanks of all Rockaway residents.

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I was cleaning out the trunk of my car the other day (I had a flat and I had to find the spare tire under my "filing system") and found an old notebook. In it were notes from a community board meeting on December 12, 1995. It was the first meeting that Rosemary Murray was in the chair and it is interesting to see what they discussed and what has happened in Rockaway since the meeting. My notes reflect that an announcement was made that the city’s HPD was set to make "an "exciting announcement" about the Arverne Urban Renewal Area. A developer for the entire site was to be chosen "by spring." We are still waiting for it. There was an announcement that the board had assisted Quadrozzi in getting two strips of land in Bayswater. The cement company planned to build "an exciting new housing development" on the land. Today, Quadrozzi is gone from Rockaway, and all that remains in Bayswater is the foundations for the new housing. They were never built. There was a long discussion on whether the board should challenge Councilmember Al Stabile’s contention that the "community boards are a waste of time and the one in Rockaway is the worst." After lots of discussion, the board decided to send him a letter. I thought that Stabile was wrong at the time, but having read these notes five years later, I have to believe that he might have been right. The board then patted itself on the back for the cleanup along the Rockaway freeway. They should see it now. Name five things that the community board has done for our community in the last five years? You probably cannot name one, even though the board meets monthly and has long and boring meetings. Perhaps it is time for a change.

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If you like to wear t-shirts, hats and sweatshirts that represents New York City agencies such as the NYPD, NYFD and Sanitation, then log into New York 911 at www.ny911.com. The merchandise is great and it will be at your door two days after you order it.

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Speaking of websites, if you are interested in baseball, log onto ESPN and then into its fantasy baseball page. You can set up a team, choose the players, make trades and put players in the bench. All for a couple of bucks. It is lots of fun.

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There is a restaurant hidden in Rockaway and it is your job to find it. The Friendly’s Ice Cream Company has announced that it will close 150 of its outlets – including the one in the Rockaways in Queens. Now, perhaps you have eaten there, but I have looked for it and have not been able to find it. Perhaps it was never here after all or, like Brigadoon, it comes only once a century. I guess that it will be missed now that the company is closing it down.

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There is a new computer virus kicking around. It is called the Wobbler and it will wipe out your hard drive quicker than you can say "California." In fact, it will arrive in your computer as e-mail with "California" in the subject line. Do not open it. In addition, do not open e-mail with the subject line: "Win a Holiday." This to is a virus that will wipe out all that is near and dear.

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I can’t believe that a school principal would allow Al Sharpton to speak at a school assembly to rile up the kids about a cop who ran through the school yard with a drawn gun. Sharpton says that he spoke to calm the youths, but when has Sharpton ever quieted racial fears? He is a racial arsonist and a proven liar. He should not be allowed anywhere near children and especially not in our public schools.

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There are so many politicians planning to run for Queens borough president that the ballot will look like "War and Peace." This is one case where it does not matter who wins, because the BP has little power to do anything for anybody but get her picture taken with local pols and promise the moon and the stars. Perhaps both the offices of BP and community boards should be done away with, along with Mark Greene’s office of public advocate. They are all political gravy with little power under the new charter.

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I sent in my census questionnaire, but I was not happy about some of the questions. The genesis for the census is the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 3 says, in part: "The actual enumeration (of numbers of people in the several states) shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such a manner as they shall by law direct." The census was meant to count the number of people, not whether they live together or whether they are Hispanic or White or whether they are related or not. The census should ask how many people live in each household and let it go at that.

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According to the New York Times, Rockaway is going through a minor housing boom. Not only are new homes being built from Bayswater to Rockaway Beach, but also those that are already in place are going up in value. It is interesting that, while home prices are up in the prestigious west end, prices are rising more quickly in the east end. That is a good sign for Rockaway and we have to hope that the trend will continue for many years.

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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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