2001-04-21 / Columnists

Short Takes 0421

Short Takes 0421

My item in last week’s column about people who "save" parking spots in front of their homes by placing garbage pails or traffic cones along the curb sparked more than a dozen E-mails from people who have faced the problem recently, especially in Broad Channel. I have begun to research the problem and my preliminary findings show that the police are responsible for that particular parking condition and that tickets can be issued to homeowners who block access to legitimate parking spots on public streets. I will hopefully have more, including chapter and verse, in next week’s column. Some comments from the public: "You must have been referring to *** Noel Road. I called the DOT once, but they told me that it wasn’t their responsibility…Hopefully, you column will get this problem the attention it deserves from the city agency responsible." "Bravo to your recent comments on people putting cones and garbage cans in the middle of the street trying to reserve a parking space for themselves… I have called the Department of Sanitation numerous times to complain about the street, particularly *** Noel Road… If they (NYPD) do not step in, it will only be a matter of time before someone gets hurt fighting over a parking spot." "I recently moved some cones to park on Noel Road and when I came back to my car, there were eggs splattered all over it. I decided that it was not worth a fight over it and I pulled away, but that kind of behavior should not be allowed in a civilized society." I heartily agree, and it is time for the 100 Precinct to clamp down on people who think that the street belongs only to them.

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I have a habit of giving lots of ink to local athletes who do well off the peninsula. The least I can do as an educator is to give equal time to Rockaway and Broad Channel residents who do well in the academic sphere as well. Michael Blair, a Rockaway resident who attends Christ The King High School is one of those students. Last week, Michael won a $40 thousand scholarship to Polytechnic University at a science fair. He is only a junior, and his school as well as his community is looking to great things from him in the future.

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Kevin Boyle, one of the best editors that The Wave ever had (and one of its funniest writers), tells me that he ran into Lew Simon at the Little League fundraiser at the Knights of Columbus Hall a week or so ago and Lew told him right out that he was, indeed, running for City Council.

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Remember to attend the Education Forum that will take place at Beach Channel High School at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 30. Have your questions ready for Matt Bromme (the District 27 Superintendent) and Terri Thomson (the Queens representative to the central school board).

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Speaking of schools, here is a quote from Deputy Mayor Anthony Coles, responding to a study put out by the Chancellor that says that there will be a major exodus of teachers next year: "My sense is that it’s an anecdotal survey in part designed to accommodate the negotiating points of the teacher’s union." Get your head out of the sand, Tony. They are going and so are administrators and they are going in record numbers.

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Henry Stern, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Parks, responded to questions by Rockaway pols about why there was no lifeguard training center at the Far Rockaway High School pool this year. Stern says that the department will do much better recruiting lifeguards from the immigrant communities in Northern Queens and that is why he opened the center in Astoria rather than in Rockaway. I guess it makes sense to a bureaucrat such as Stern, but it is a slap in the face to the community where the majority of lifeguards will work this summer and it forces Rockaway residents who want to become lifeguards to travel long distances to get to a training site.

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A number of people sent e-mails to decry the fact that the ferry subsidy necessary for the new service to become viable has become a political football. One such correspondent pointed out that a Rockaway resident can drive to the ferry service in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for less than it would cost to take the ferry in his own neighborhood. "Talk about something doomed to failure," one person wrote. He is certainly right about that. Now, if Noach Dear (who lost Rockaway in the last few elections against Tony Weiner) wants to get votes for his press secretary, Joanne Ariola (who is running for City Council), he could get the deal done in his transportation committee, and she could get the credit. That should count for more than a few votes in the West End of Rockaway.

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Speaking of Joanne, there are actually three people running for the Republican nomination for the City Council seat being vacated by Al Stabile (who is now the only Republican candidate for Borough President – akin to being the lone cat at the AKA dog show). Joanne has the party nod. She is the former admin assistant to Stabile and the present spokesperson for Dear. Alex Lutz is the present admin assistant to Stabile. Jonh Macron is a Rockaway lawyer who has just entered the race. I do not know much about him with the exception of the fact that he believes that he can win it all. It should be interesting. By the way, despite what Republican party officials have to say, I do not believe that a Republican can win this race. Stabile won against a candidate who had done the job well for years, but was weakened physically and politically by age. He won the following election because incumbents are generally impossible to beat (that is why we need term limits). I believe that the Democratic Party candidate in the general election will win and win going away.

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When Chuck Schumer was our Representative he was omnipresent on the peninsula. I sometimes thought that he had a clone because he was at so many places in any given day. Since he became a Senator, however, we have not seen much of him. He has promised the Chamber of Commerce, however, that he will be at an as-yet-disclosed place on the peninsula on May 29 for a Town Hall meeting. Keep tuned for the time and the venue.

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The annual "Rockaway Means Business" awards will be given out once again by the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) on May 16. And, once again, the award dinner will be held off the peninsula (at Russo’s On the Bay) despite the fact that there are three or four venues in Rockaway that are large enough to handle the dinner crowd. One would think that a Rockaway Means Business dinner should be presented in a place where Rockaway does business.

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I am a disciple of the Satchel Paige School of exercise. If you do not know who Satchel Paige is, then you are too young to worry about it. Paige said, "don’t run when you can walk, don’t walk when you can sit down, don’t sit down when you can lie down and never look back, because you can be sure that somebody is gaining on you." If I were not his disciple, I would be getting ready for the Rockaway Rotary Ocean Run, to be held on the boardwalk on May 20.

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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. Have a good week, and safe home.


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