2001-04-21 / Columnists




The Transit Authority advises all riders that there will be a disruption of service on both the A Line and he Rockaway Park Shuttle during the next four weekends. Those disruptions will last from Midnight on Friday night to 5 a.m. Monday morning during the weekends from April 21 until May 14. Shuttle buses will be used to ferry riders between Rockaway Boulevard and the Rockaways.

Those residents whose ancestors came to New York City through Ellis Island from 1892 until 1924 will be able to track those distant relatives on a new website that can be accessed at

www.ellisislandrecords.org. Computers to access the records are also available at Ellis Island.

There is a mystery to rival that of the ancient Sphinx right here in Jamaica Bay. It seems as if the marshland in the bay has been shrinking at an ever-increasing rate over the past 70 years, and the loss is accelerating each year. In 1974, about 10 acres of marshland was lost. By 1999, the loss had increased to 44 acres. A new study will try and find out why.

The local school board has called an emergency meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26 at the district office (82-01 Rockaway Boulevard, Ozone Park) to address a new bill in Albany that would do away with local school boards and replace them with a commissioner responsible to the mayor.

Sam Song, a Rockaway resident, has been jailed in South Korea for helping to publish a book that is critical of the nation’s leadership and for visiting his brother in North Korea. His family, which still lives on the peninsula, has asked Colin Powell and Congressman Chuck Schumer to help him gain his freedom and return home.

Baskin-Robbins will be holding its annual "Free Scoop Night" on Wednesday, May 2. The free ice cream will be dispensed from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. The company expects that more than 200 scoops per second will be doled out nationally.

The next meeting of the Gateway Republican Club will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 22 at the First Congregational Church meeting hall on Beach 92 Street. Guest speakers will include Malcolm Smith and Steve Cooper.

Sheldon Leffler, another of the politicians who is losing his job to term limits, has indicated that he is jumping into the race for Queens Borough President. The Democratic race is now so crowded that it is hard to tell one candidate from another and it promises to become even more crowded before the primary is held.

It is expected that at least ten and perhaps as many as 14 principals will be leaving their positions in District 27 schools at the end of this school year or next September. This will put a great burden on the district leadership to replace them with experienced and qualified candidates.

There is talk of building a Queens Convention Center that would be smaller than the Javitz Center to service those groups that do not need such a massive facility. Why not in Rockaway, where the beachfront would become another incentive for business and fraternal groups to visit each summer?

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