2000-06-03 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes


by Howard Schwach

First, the good news. The feds have come up with a plan to end the mosquito problem in Rockaway. It includes deepening parts of Jamaica Bay and ridding the bayfront of the tidal pools that breed the insects. That is welcome news, particularly to those who live along the bayfront in Bayswater and Arverne. The bad news, however, is that the planning stage has just begun and it will probably be two years (or, closer to three) before the plan is implemented and the residents get some relief.

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I attended both of the Memorial Day parades in our community – the parade in Broad Channel on Sunday and the parade in Rockaway on Monday. Both were very well done albeit short. There seemed to be more people marching this year and there certainly seemed to be more people along the parade route watching the parades and cheering the marchers. Perhaps it is time to join the two parades. It could be held in Broad Channel one year and in Rockaway the next. An addition to the holiday, and a moving one at that, was the memorial service held on Monday morning at the Broad Channel Volunteer’s firehouse on Noel Road. Before a small group of residents, members of the department tolled the bell for all of its departed members. It made clear again what Memorial Day is all about.

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By the way, I wanted to congratulate Mike Honan, the grand marshal of the Rockaway parade. People who serve their nation in the military, as Mike has for nearly 30 years, are often derided by this society, but they deserve the gratitude of the nation instead. Mike has served both his nation and his adopted community well and deserves a "well done!"

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I want to add my condolences to Tony Weiner and his family. His brother, Seth Weiner, was struck by a hit and run driver and killed while crossing a street nearby his Fairfax (VA) home.

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I know it is early, but mark Thursday, July 6 on your calendars. That is the date of the next annual cruise traditionally held to raise funds so that Rockaway can enjoy fireworks on the National Night Out Against Crime. This year’s cruise will be a special one. Weather permitting, it will travel into the harbor to get a close-up look at the Tall Ships present for OpSail 2000. Should be an exciting evening. Watch The Wave and this space for further information as the time for the cruise draws closer.

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I have been having a good time, doing my banking online for the first time. Greenpoint Bank has a new service that allows you to utilize the Internet to make transfers between accounts, check balances, go over your account activity and even pay bills. I guess that it is the wave of the future and I am usually behind the curve, but this is a good way to go.

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I hope that the work that is being done on Beach Channel drive from Beach 116 street east to Beach 112 street will be done before the summer really sets in. I have visions of the traffic stalled on Beach Channel drive backed up from Beach 108 street on the east to the Gil Hodges Bridge on the west. Remember what happened last year when a construction project on the drive pushed everybody to Rockaway Beach boulevard and that street backed up from Beach 102 to Beach 134. This is not the time to do major work on the two roads that transverse Rockaway from east to west.

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Rumors have it that the Post Office on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 114 will soon close down. It seems that the Post Office Department rents the space at that location while it owns other space in Rockaway. The Rockaway Park Post Office would be relocated to that space and people from the west end would have to travel to Rockaway Beach or to Arverne to get window service.

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When is Krispy Kreme not Krispy Kreme? When it comes to Rockaway. It seems that the new shop on the corner of Rockaway Beach boulevard and Beach 116 street will be a Church’s Chicken and fried donuts. I am not so sure that I like that idea as much as I liked it when I thought that the shop would be a Krispy Kreme donut outlet.

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If you are a diabetic, or if you simply want sugar free bakery goods, the place to go is Harbor Bakery on Beach 116 street. They have a great variety of sugar free fruity things and cookies. Try it, you’ll like it.

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Are you interested in the future of the old courthouse in Beach 92 street? Come to the RBCA meeting on June 6 at the American Legion Hall and you’ll get a chance to meet the developer, Ira Schwartz. The word is that Schwartz has planned an office building that would serve as a town hall for the site. I like the idea, but I’m going to reserve judgment until I hear the plan from Mr. Schwartz himself. Rockaways is tired of hearing grandiose schemes that never seem to pan out and I hope that this is just not one more of those kind of plans.

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Rockaway got some good summer press last week from both the Daily News and Newsday. The latter said, "The Rockaways are quietly surprising. The boardwalk is the longest in the city, the waves are surfed more often than they are avoided and the beachfront handball, ripe with hustlers and one-wall champions, is among the best you’ll ever see." The article points out that there are two championships fought out in the Rockaways: the citywide handball championships (June 17 and 18 at Beach 106 street) and the citywide beach volleyball championships (July 8 and 9 at Beach 118 street).

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A political cartoon in the Daily News summed up my feelings about the upcoming Senate election now that Rudy is gone. It shows an empty suit with a Simon-sized button that says, "NOT Hillary." A voter is welcoming him with open arms, saying, "My Man, Whoever you are!" Lazio might just win with enough "anybody but Hillary" votes.

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On May 27, all of the cartoonists with Daily strips honored Charles (Sparky) Schultz, the creator of "Peanuts." As you know, Schultz died recently. Every one of the comic strips that day had Snoopy or Charlie Brown built into the story line. It was a tribute that will not soon be forgotten.

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The Port Authority has approved a plan that calls for five ferry slips in Battery Park. Those slips will not be used to bring commuters from any of the five boroughs, however. The plan calls for ferry service between Wall Street and New Jersey. Once again Rockaway has been left out in the cold. Why? Because Jersey gets all of the attention from the PA nowadays. JFK and LaGuardia get nothing while Newark gets the bulk of the funds. The subways and LIRR get little while the Jersey City PATH line reaps the benefits. I guess that the PA believes that Jersey residents are somehow more deserving of their largess than we are.

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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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