2001-04-28 / Columnists

Short_Takes0428

Short_Takes0428

The last two columns have addressed the problem of people saving parking spaces on public streets. For some reason, this issue has drawn more mail and more heat than many of the "hot-button items" I have addressed in the past. I told you last week that I would give you the law’s "chapter and verse" this week, so here goes. NYC Traffic Regulations, Section 4-08, Section N, Subsection 7 says: "It shall be unlawful for any person to reserve or attempt to reserve a parking space, or prevent any vehicle from parking on a public street through his/her presence in the roadway, the use of hand signals, or by placing any box, crate, hand-cart, dolly, or any other device (emphasis is mine), including unauthorized pavement, curb or street markings, or signs in the roadway…" In response to my complaints, I got a couple of e-mails explaining why people would save parking spots. One person in Broad Channel wrote, "The house by Noel Road has every reason to save spots. There is a handicapped woman who often comes back from the grocery store or the coffee shop in the morning only to find that some Rockaway resident has parked in her spot and hopped on the A train." First of all, it is not "her" spot, but the public’s and people from Rockaway have the absolute right to park in Broad Channel to "jump on the A Train," just as people from Broad Channel have the right to park in Rockaway to "jump in the ocean." Another wrote, "The thing that pisses me off is that my neighbor sets up garbage cans in front of my house. My family comes and has no place to park." I live on a beach block and have to pay $75 a month to rent a driveway about 150 yards from my door. What gets me angry is when people who have driveways park on the street and take up spots that could be used by people who have no driveways. That, however, is life its ownself

* * * * *

A few weeks ago, I pointed out that there were some residents of Broad Channel who were angry about the insertion of a tattoo parlor in their neighborhood, convinced that it would become a hangout for "bikers" and "young people looking for trouble." I recently spoke with the owner and checked the place out, and those fears could not be further from the reality. There are no "video poker games" to draw young people and youngsters are generally not welcome. "The only kids who hang around are the ones who hang around the pizza place across the street," the owner told me. The new facility will be an asset to the community, not a liability and it should be allowed to find its own market in the community.

* * * * *

I have long been convinced that professional ballplayers should play their games and keep their mouths shut about issues that do not have anything to do with sport. I feel the same way about movie and television stars, but this column is about professional athletes. I will never understand why we have to listen to opinions about economics or history from somebody whose only accomplishment in life is hitting a ball or making a basket. That belief was reinforced this week by two Knick basketball stars – Charlie Ward and Alan Houston – who moved from the court into the realm of cretins with their view that Christians are "persecuted by Jews every day," and that "Jews are stubborn," Ward said. "…Why did they persecute Jesus unless he knew something that they did not want to accept…they have blood on their hands." Now tell me why some people have been suspended or fired from their position in sports for making stereotypical statements about minorities, but Black men such as Ward can still make comments like that without sanction? Don’t get me wrong. I believe that Ward and Houston had the right to say anything they wanted to say. They are not public officials who should have to be politically correct. On the other hand, I believe the same of the people who previously got punished for their statements.

* * * * *

One reader had a comment on the situation with the ferry that bears reprinting. "Weiner is right about one thing," the person wrote. "Nobody will ever want to go back to the subway after riding the ferry. Unfortunately, at $26 a day, nobody who rides the ferry will be able to afford to eat. What a joke." He is right.

* * * * *

One of the groups I dislike the most are politicians who pander to pressure groups to garner votes. Alan Hevesi has become the worst of the breed. I liked Hevesi prior to the beginning of the campaign. Now, I would not vote for him for dung collector. His recent ads on police profiling and on education are pandering to the nth degree. I would hope that his poll numbers would fall so precipitously that he would have to leave the race, sooner than later.

* * * * *

I sometimes wonder how cops every take a gun off the street, what with judges such as Gustin Reichbach on the bench. Here we have two anti-crime cops who see a man walking quickly down the street in the early morning hours. He sees the cops and puts his hand to his waistband. Cops see a bulge where he has his hand. They stop him and find a fully-loaded automatic pistol. According to the cops, the man pulled his shirt up and showed the cops the gun when they approached him. Nevertheless, the judge threw out the case because he ruled that the cops had no right to stop him at all. I’m surprised that the judge didn’t give him back the gun. "This decision is going to get people killed," one of the cops said after the decision. He is right. Reichbach, just for the record, was a radical in college and was one of the leaders of the SDS at Columbia. If you are old enough to remember the SDS and what they stood for, you can join me in wondering how he ever became a judge in the first place.

* * * * *

The front page story in last week’s Wave about John Macron and Gerry O’Brien buying up the domain names that could have identified Joanne Ariola on the web was another indication of where our politics are going. Both men admitted that they had taken the sites before Ariola could get to them. They sounded like they were the slick political operatives hoodwinking the local hick, but in reality, they could be poster boys for the politics of Richard Nixon, and you all remember what happened to him and to his "dirty tricks" squad they called "the plumbers." Both Macron and Ariola are vying for the Republican nomination for City Council.

* * * * *

The Queens Leader Observer says that Lew Simon is running for the City Council. So do a number of other "mainland" weeklies. Why then, does Lew keep telling The Wave that he had not yet decided whether to run or not.

* * * * *

There are rumors that the O’Connor Funeral Home on Beach 92 Street has been sold to a national chain. Locals are not talking.

* * * * *

Rumors also abound that Randi Weingarten has come to a contract agreement with the city, but is keeping it secret from her members until she can find a way to "sell it" to them.

* * * * *

I’ll bet you cannot name all five Democratic candidates running for the Public Advocate slot being abandoned by Mark Green because of term limits. Can’t name all five? How about two? No? Don’t feel bad; there is probably nobody in the city outside of the candidates who could name all five. They are: Assemblyman Scott Stringer; Councilman Stephen Dibrienza; former executive director of the ACLU, Norman Siegel; president of the NY Historical Society, Betsy Gotbaum and councilwoman Kathryn Freed. Now, how many of them have you every heard of? I thought so.

* * * * *

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


Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History

 

 

Check Out News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Riding the Wave with Mark Healey on BlogTalkRadio