2001-04-14 / Columnists

Short Takes 0414

Short Takes 0414

The Chamber of Commerce has agreed to keep a community calendar that will record the date, time and location of local civic events. There have been lots of complaints in the past that a number of organizations had planned events for any given night and people had to choose between them. With the Chamber acting as a clearinghouse, organizations will be able to check in advance before planning an event to see if anything else is planned for that date.

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Lew Simon seems to be playing games with Rockaway. He has not yet announced his candidacy for the City Council seat being vacated by Al Stabile, even though everybody in Rockaway seems to "know" that he is in the running. If you ask him about it, he gets coy. He gets coy in Rockaway, but on the mainland, he is running full steam ahead. All of the mainland giveaways have talked to him and he has indicated that he is running. In the most recent issue of one of those mainland papers, Lew points out the fact that The Wave called him the "petition king," and he assured the readers that he "is going to be on the ballot." That sounds like an announcement to me. Why won’t Lew say that he is running in Rockaway? Because then there would be a question of whether the fairness doctrine would allow him to continue to write his paean to himself every week in this paper, and he does not want to lose all that free publicity this early in the race.

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There are times that I write about a topic of community interest and I am wrong. So it is with the blurb that I wrote about the landlord of the car wash on Beach 114 Street and Beach Channel Drive. I called him a "greedy landlord," but now that I have met with him, I know that I was wrong. The fact of the matter is that the people who rented the carwash from Nat Hirshman refused to make any improvements to their aging facility and Hirshman, who also owns the refurbished "Tiger Mart" that sells Subway sandwiches and Bess Eaton Donuts along with car products, decided it was time to take over and put in a brand new, state of the art facility. The fact is that Hirshman never offered the old owners a new lease and that they would not commit to refurbishing the car wash. "Our community will soon enjoy an ecologically efficient car wash with the most technically advanced equipment," Hirshman told me as he showed me the old and rusting pipes ripped from the old facility. I hope that he will accept my apology, because it seems that he is doing a lot for that shopping strip.

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The issue of whether a shop that is perceived as "not healthy" for the community can keep its doors open is about to move from Rockaway to Broad Channel. In Rockaway it is a shop that offers sexually explicit material. In Broad Channel it is a tattoo parlor. A number of residents have let me know that they are opposed to the opening of the shop, though it is completely legal. They fear that it will draw "the wrong element" to the community. In addition, they fear that the poker machines and other games that have been installed will make the shop and unhealthy hangout for the youth of the community. It is another case of property rights v. community rights and I am not sure what the answer to their anger will be.

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Police units and EMS responded quickly Sunday morning to the call of a boat stranded in the ocean off Beach 129 Street. A police copter rushed to the scene and spoke to the boat’s skipper as a sector car and an EMS ambulance monitored the scene from the boardwalk. The boat was in no danger, but its engine was out and the copter agreed to hang around until the engines started or the boat got a tow back to land.

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Get ready for a lane change if you use the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge. MTA Bridges and Tunnels tells us that sometime early this summer they will open the lane they have been working on (it seems as if it has been years in coming) and close the one we have been using. This marks, I suppose, the halfway mark in the bridge’s reconstruction process. One excellent extra: the walkway along the bridge will open with the new section.

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Speaking of the MTA, those Rockaway residents whose EZ Pass accounts were never debited for the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge will have the toll credit added to their accounts on their next statement. "Due to a technical problem," trips over the bridge between February 24 and March 6 did not receive the resident toll credit. Check your EZ Pass statement closely (something I rarely do) to make sure that the credit has been added.

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I want to thank all of those who sent me good wishes upon my promotion to Managing Editor of The Wave. Your good wishes and your prayers are greatly appreciated.

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I have noticed a problem developing in both Rockaway and Broad Channel. As parking spots on the street become scarce during the Spring and Summer, a number of residents attempt to "save" the parking spaces in front of their homes by placing garbage cans in the space or by utilizing the ubiquitous orange traffic cones to do the job. There are a number of streets running from Rockaway Beach Boulevard to the beach that have examples of the practice and Noel Road in Broad Channel has several spots "saved" by the residents. The spaces on public streets belong to the public on a first come, first served basis. They do not belong to the people who live on the street. There was a bad incident last summer in Rockaway when a person moved the garbage cans and attempted to park. The owner of the house came out and told the driver that the space was saved and that he would "make sure the car never drove again" if the driver left it in the saved space. The two almost came to blows. It is illegal to save a space on a public street and it is wrong to attempt to do so and to expect people to respect what you are doing.

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This is the last Claire Droesch story of the year. Next season, she and Janelle McManus will be together at Boston College next season. Last Saturday night Droesch’s team won the WBCA All American game 111-80 at Hartford, Connecticut. She did not have her typical game, shooting 3 for 14 and scoring only seven points. She did add 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals for the night. I’m going to have to subscribe to the Boston Globe to keep track of the two Rockaway residents next year.

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Quote without comment from a recent Quinnipiac University Poll: "Fifty-seven percent of those questioned said that they would like to see the crime policies of Mayor Giuliani continued, while just 27 percent said they would like to see his educational policies continued. Fifty-one percent said they approved of the job Giuliani was doing, only 42 percent said his style would be a good model for the next mayor.

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Bushism of the Week: (Contributed by sydocent@aol.com) At the Radio and Television Correspondent’s Dinner, Bush joked about ex-vice presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman. He said that he was considering converting to Judaism, "so I don’t have nothing to do from sundown Saturday to sundown Friday. I guess Bush thinks that the Sabbath lasts for a full week. He still has to work on his syntax as well.

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That’s it for this week. Remember to send comments, complaints and story tips to either newsie42@aol.com or to editor@rockawave.com. Rest easily, Leon. Have a good week and safe home.


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