2000-04-15 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes


by Howard Schwach

The problems with the muni-meters on Beach 116 street became even clearer last weekend with the coming of the spring snowstorm. First of all, I had to get out of my car in the raging, stinging snow, walk to a meter machine, walk back to my car and place the receipt in the window. After all of that walking, the snow piled high on the hood of my car blocked the little envelope that the DOT had given me to display the receipt. Had a cop come along, he or she would not have been able to see the little slip of paper. Of course there were no cops silly enough to get out of their RMP’s to walk along the strip looking at receipts on such a lousy day.

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I have seen some ridiculous letters in this paper over the 12 years that I have been writing in this space (most of them call me names), but the letter this week from "Chief" Goldstein has to be one to beat the band. First of all, Goldstein is a chief without any Indians. You see him riding around in his black "fire chief’s car" with the bubblegum machine and the organization name on the side. The fact is, he has no organization and is the chief of nothing. He has tried for years to form one organization or another, but his leadership skills and demeanor are such that most people stay away from him and his ideas. For him to complain that the Broad Channel Volunteers "get everything they wish," while his "organization" gets nothing is patently ridiculous. The volies have responded to community emergencies for almost 100 years. Goldstein and his organization have responded to nothing that I know of and probably never will. In fact, the volies have to scrape for everything they have and they deserve more support from the city and the community. Goldstein deserves nothing except the pity of those watching him ride around in his fancy car, pretending that he is something that he will never be.

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It is good to see Kevin Boyle and his Boyle-ing Points in last week’s paper. He brings a fresh voice and a sharp wit to the paper and I hope to see more of his columns in The Wave in the future.

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I am still waiting for the Assembly to drop the gun control portion of their omnibus crime bill and allow the teacher protection portion of the bill to get passed. The Assembly has guaranteed that the teacher protection portion of the bill (changing an attack on a teacher to a D-Felony) will be defeated because the Senate will never pass the gun control portion of the bill. You might say that the gun control bill is important as well, and I would agree with you. Let’s separate them and let them each rise or fall on their own merits. I really believe that the Assembly (read, Pheffer and Cummings) does not want the teacher protection bill to pass and are using the gun control portion to kill the whole thing and blame it on the Republicans. I have written that before and I am still waiting for either Cummings or Pheffer to refute that belief. To date, neither has done so.

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One of the reasons that our politicians, including the mayor, do not care about the schools is that their kids do not attend public schools. The list of those who send their kids to public schools includes one politician and he is Chuck Schumer. The list of those public persons who do not send their kids to public schools include Giuliani, Al Sharpton, Mark Green, Harold Levy (the school chancellor), Eliot Spitzer (the state’s attorney general), Peter Vallone and Carl McCall.

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The Sunday New York Times last week did a study of how a typical illegal handgun gets to New York City and is used in a series of crimes. The gun in question was manufactured in Costa Mesa, California in 1995. It was sent to a distribution center in Carson City, Nevada and from there to a wholesaler in Ohio. In 1998, Classic Pawn Company in Georgia purchased the gun. Classic Pawn, a broken-down pawnshop was a licensed gun dealer in the state. In August of 1998, an associate of Charles Chapman purchased the gun along with eight other weapons, a convicted felon charged with gun trafficking. The guns were bought at a gun show and that sale bypassed many of the new federal regulations. The gun was brought to Brooklyn in late 1998 and sold to a parolee who was a member of the Bloods gang. It was reportedly used in the attempted murder of another gang member and in the shooting of a 16-year-old member of the Crips. A young bystander was wounded in the shooting. It was also used in a robbery and in another robbery and murder of a pawnbroker outside of his shop. Later that day two police investigating the shooting came upon the parolee. One of the cops was shot in the hand by the gun before it and its owner was taken into custody. The police lab later matched the ballistics from the gun with each of the other shootings.

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Memo to the G-Man: You say that we white people should "let go" of the Tawana Brawley case and cut Sharpton some slack because Sharpton has been "judged by the court and paid a substantial settlement." The fact is, Sharpton never paid that settlement and never admitted that the case was a phony. All he did was destroy the life of the man he accused in the case. Then, there’s the Rockaway Five case, where Sharpton and his minions claimed that a Hispanic cop in the 100 Precinct raped five livery cab drivers. He organized protests in Rockaway for weeks on end until it was proven that the drivers had made the allegations because the cop had given tickets to too many van drivers. He still has not admitted that he was wrong on that one either. All he did was destroy the career of the cop who he alleged did the rapes. Then, there’s the case up in Harlem where Sharpton called the owner of a store a "white interloper." Two days later his store and three others were burned down. People died. How about the boycott of a Brooklyn store owned by an Asian because the owner had tried to stop some people from shoplifting in his store? Sonny Carson may have been running the boycott, but Sharpton planned and orchestrated it. I can go on and on, but there is no doubt that Sharpton is both a liar and a racial arsonist. If the G-Man wants such a person representing his race, that is his right. That is like me saying that, as a Jew, I want to be represented by the Koch organization of Mayer Kehane. I don’t, and I never would. None of Sharpton’s comments were "taken out of context," nor were they "inaccurately reported" by the media. I covered three marches with Sharpton, from Long Beach to Breezy Point, and his comments were always the same. My advice to you: Don’t be an apologist for Sharpton if you want to retain your credibility. By the way, the "Jews" you were talking about in your column, the ones who control the record business, have never forced black entertainers to use the "N" word. Black entertainers do it because it sells their records and that is all they want to do. You will never hear a record made by a Jew that uses the "K" word because we seem to have a greater reverence for our culture than many of the African-American entertainers have for theirs. In fact, you will never find a Jewish entertainer using the "N" word. We leave that to those who are making all the dough on the back of their African-American audiences.

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It took e-mail from ROJOPO to set the record straight. The Friendly’s that closed was in East Rockaway. The paper made a mistake by saying that it was the restaurant in "the Rockaways, Queens." Too bad, because I wanted to eat at the Rockaway Friendly’s at least once before it closed. By the way, I love the store’s New England Clam Chowder and often travel to Lawrence for a taste.

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My favorite organization, the ACLU has pulled another boner. It has come out on the side of unlimited Internet access in schools. It sees any attempt to control what sites students can access as "blind censorship." The board maintains that it has a responsibility to insure that students use the access for "legitimate educational purposes," rather than use it to access porn or obscenity. I think that the school board is right on this one and the ACLU, as usual, is dead wrong.

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Latest polls show that Hillary Clinton has moved ten points ahead of Mayor Giuliani in the race for the Senate seat. The media figures that his drop in popularity is a response to the mayor’s handling of the recent police shooting cases, but I think that it has as much to do with the way he had handled the controversy over summer school in particular and the schools in general. People do not want a politician who wants to blow up the school system, no matter what they personally think of it.

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The word is that Tricia Tubridy, the Rockaway resident who is a Christ the King basketball standout, has a big choice to make – Columbia or Harvard. Four of her siblings attended Columbia (or still do) and her brother, James, was a standout on the men’s basketball team at that school. Tubridy averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds a game and some Big East schools are heavily recruiting her as well. We wish her luck in whatever she chooses to do.

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Those Mets fans that are urging that the stadium greet John Rocker by throwing batteries at him are dead wrong. Those who throw the deadly missiles at the dim-witted relief pitcher are only proving his point. Better to leave him in silence and hope that the Mets beat his brains out on the field by batting around against him.

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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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