2000-09-30 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes

by Howard Schwach

The old saying goes something like this: "The beginning of wisdom is the understanding that there are problems without solutions." Americans do not like to think that this is true, but those of us who have been around for a while tend to believe it. The flip side of that is the fact that there are also questions without answers. Here are some of my favorite questions that probably do not have answers:

  • Why do we keep voting for politicians who continue to do nothing for our community?
  • Why does Rockaway seem to be the only place in the world that does not know what to do with its beachfront property?
  • Why do the parking rules continue to be enforced so unevenly? A huge truck cab parks on the street on the wrong side of Beach 122 Street for the entire weekend and does not get a ticket while a car parked further up in a "No Standing" zone does get a ticket? Why do cars with NYPD placards get passed over while others who work for the city, such as teachers and EMS workers who have identification in their windshields, do get tickets when they park illegally for short periods of time?
  • Why don’t the powers that be begin now to plan for a memorial in Rockaway to Al McGuire, the genuine Rockaway article, who has a terminal illness?
  • Why is it that political candidates that I can vote for seem to be in short supply? There is nobody that I like for the House of Representatives and there is nobody that I like for President. Am I more selective or are the candidates getting more mundane and dumber as the years go by?
  • Can Bill Bratton be a bad candidate for mayor if Giuliani hates him so?
  • Why is it that we have to suffer in silence when we get behind a Green Bus and are gassed by the bus emissions? Is it that our political leaders are being paid off by the owners as charged by Marcia Kramer in a report a few weeks ago? And, while we are asking, why is the city council preparing a bill that would stop buses from polluting the neighborhoods in Manhattan while ignoring the neighborhoods in the rest of the city (including Rockaway)?
  • Why is it that kids who have parents who care do well in school while those who do not often do poorly? Why are there so many parents who do not care and what can we do about them?
  • How can Floyd Flake say in all conscience that he would pay teachers more than the city if his organization were granted charters to run 45 public schools, when he paid the teachers in his parochial school far less than city teachers for many years? Is the difference that he would now be paying with taxpayer’s money rather than that of his parishioners?
  • Why doesn’t Carl Icahn, the billionaire graduate of Far Rockaway High School, adopt a school in Rockaway rather than one in the Bronx, as he has proposed? Shouldn’t he be looking to help the hometown before he reaches out to others?
  • Why not take a look at Leon Locke’s proposal to cut a channel through the peninsula from the ocean to the bay at Beach 35 street? That would open the bay to boaters from Nassau County and from further reaches. Such a move might just revitalize the Jamaica Bay and give developers the impetus to build water-related sites on the bay.
  • Why did the University of Wisconsin feel it necessary to doctor a picture on a brochure cover to insert a minority student when in fact less than 10 percent of the school’s enrollment is minority? Is diversity so important that a school must look like something that it isn’t? If so, why? Nations with no diversity at all, such as Japan, are often held up as models of educational virtue. Why then does our educational community value diversity when all it does is make the educational process much more difficult?
  • Speaking of diversity and political correctness, why did a city agency recently change its name from "Office of Minority Health," to "Office of Emerging Majorities?" This has got to be the stupidest thing I have heard of since I heard of the plan to make males sit down to urinate because, by standing up, they were just showing their superiority over females (a PC no-no).
  • Why did Councilman Al Stabile wait until the Concorde was grounded permanently before he drafted a Council resolution banning the aircraft? Is that not locking the barn door after the cows have fled?
  • Which has to come first, a better "A" line and Rockaway Park Shuttle that will attract more riders or more riders that will convince the MTA to fix up the "A" line and to run more trains on the shuttle? Or, should we just do away with the subway and put everybody on a subsidized ferry run?
  • Why does the New York City Parks Department need a "Parks Foundation" to collect its bribes? Can’t it at least do it on its own and leave the foundation alone? Those who read The Wave regularly will remember a controversy two summers ago when a resident was shaken down by a Parks supervisor to "donate" a large sum of money to the Parks Foundation so that he could get a permit to do some work nearby his home. Now the Parks Department has gotten itself in deep do-do by demanding a $20,000 donation by the new National Museum of Catholic Art to the Foundation before the museum could hold a fundraiser on parks property. Sure, we need parks and the parks need money to run, but is extortion of individuals and groups the way to get it?
  • Why does the liberal and female intelligentsia continue to push the old saw that it is better for the kids that an unhappy couple divorce rather than stick together and keep fighting when all of the evidence points to the fact that the kids are better off if the parents stay together despite the fighting? Is it just possible that fact that the last generation of kids seems to be less interested in society and in education has something to do with the myths of single parent child raising and the myths of it "taking a whole village to raise a child" perpetuated by those groups? Perhaps, when all is said, it takes a family to raise a child.
  • Why is it that minority athletes such as Keyshon can continue to say whatever they want while white athletes and executives who stray from the PC road quickly find themselves suspended or out of work completely?
  • Why doesn’t the Parks Department relent and put some wastebaskets on the boardwalk or at least nearby? It was not too bad during the summer, when there were regular garbage pickups on the beach, but it is now becoming a critical question asked by all those who regularly walk the boardwalk.

That’s it for this week. Remember to send comments, complaints and story tips to newsie42@aol.com. Have a good week and safe home.

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