2001-05-12 / Columnists



In perhaps the first recorded case of taking a beautiful spot and destroying it in the name of beautification, the Parks Department recently ripped out all of the flowers and plants in the Rotary Circle and Beach 116 Street environs in order to put in bushes that will probably soon die.

The Beach Channel High School crew team recently took two medals at the prestigious Long Island Scholastic Invitational Regatta at the Hempstead Lake State Park.

A Rockaway man remains in prison in South Korea. His crimes: visiting his brother in North Korea and assisting in the publication of a book that was critical of South Korea’s government. Sam Soong, whose family remains in Rockaway, was arrested on February 26 and remains in prison despite the intercession of many local politicians.

Katie Scotko, a member of the girl’s softball team at Stella Maris, is quickly becoming one of the league’s premier pitchers. She recently struck out 12 St. Agnes batters and knocked in the winning run in a 5-4 win over that team.

The Broad Channel Athletic Club’s kickoff parade and ceremony were a big success last weekend, despite the fact that it got off more than an hour late. Hundreds of kids and parents took part in the event and it is a good start for what promises to be a big year for its little league programs.

The deadline is May 25 for local teachers to seek grants that will fund activities that encourage family involvement in education. Educators in the tri-state area are eligible for the money through the McDonald’s restaurant chain. Those interested should go to the chain’s website at

www.mcdonaldsnymetro.com for further information.

It was Fox meets Wolfe recently, when Neponsit judge Jean Fox was presented with the Yale Medal by that institution. One of the others at the ceremony in New Haven, Connecticut, was famous author Tom Wolfe, who shared some Yale stories with Judge Fox.

Many Rockawayites who have been traveling to Brooklyn, Hewlett and Lido Beach for a good kosher Corned Beef sandwich or frankfurter look hungrily forward to the opening of the new kosher deli on Beach 116 Street next weekend.

Despite the fact that the demographics of the Brighton Beach and Coney Island communities are not so different from that of Rockaway, the luxury condos recently built there are going like hotcakes. Perhaps the naysayers in Rockaway who say, "If you build it they will not come," will have to rethink their position on market-rate housing in Arverne.

All of the e-mail and letter traffic on parking problems lately points to the fact that parking is a major issue in both Rockaway and Broad Channel, particularly in the summer months. Perhaps some bright political wannabe should make that an issue in the coming campaign.

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