2001-05-12 / Columnists

Short Takes

Short Takes

It is once again time for the silly season of musical cars. Once again, hundreds of residents of the West End will have to begin the long search for parking spots and the longer walk from those spots to their homes. They do it so that those who have instant parking spaces in their own driveways will not have to put up with the DFD’s, who they believe will "despoil their beaches." Somehow, it does not seem fair. A simple policy of using EZ pass readers to insure that only Rockaway residents park on the streets nearby their homes would solve the problem for both groups.

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Line up now for the Belle Harbor Kosher Deli that will open tomorrow (Sunday) on Beach 116 Street. Some foolish person on the street loudly wanted to know why we need a kosher deli. "Who will use it," he wanted to know. I have the answer for him; everybody will use it. Good kosher franks and corned beef sandwiches are universal.

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Speaking of openings, if plans come to fruition, the Ram’s Horn Diner will soon become the Surf’s Up Diner under the direction of the Goode family (of Beach Club fame). That is a happy turn of events for the area, because the Goode’s always run a top-notch operation while doing great things for the community. The brothers will soon open their new party and meeting room in the space that was recently Tiberio’s. That restaurant will move to larger quarters slightly to the north of where they were previously.

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I finally took the plunge and signed up for D-TV, the plan from Quics Cable that provides 200 channels and cable Internet access. It’s a great plan and it is a pleasure to have high-speed Internet access that is on all the time and does not tie up the phone line. Try it, you’ll like it! By the way, the two technicians that came to install first the cable boxes and then the computer modem and software were two of the most knowledgeable and courteous workers I have seen in years. My new E-mail address on that service is hschwach@nyc.rr.com.

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Al Stabile is telling everybody who will listen that he is not ill, that he is simply having eye problems and that those problems will not keep him from running hard for the borough president slot. Stabile recently told a mainland paper (he does not really talk to The Wave any longer. He continues to run his column in mainland papers but does not submit it to this paper) that "I’m overweight, but that will not stop me. Can I run a marathon? No. Can I go door to door and talk to constituents all day? You bet I can." Republican leaders, however, are reportedly quietly looking for another candidate. The strangest rumor bouncing around the political circuit is that the Queens Democratic party will back Helen Marshall for the party nod because they want to buy her loyalty in the mayoral election. That would leave Audrey Pheffer out in the cold (although she remains our Assemblyperson) and that she would then be offered the Republican nod for that slot. I would not bet the farm on that, but stranger things have happened in politics in this borough.

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There is talk of a new program coming to PS 114 next year. The program, to be called "The DaVinci" program, targets the "profoundly gifted" students in Kindergarten and the Fourth Grade. What is a "profoundly gifted" student? How do they know when a student is "profoundly gifted? When you find the answers to those questions, please let me know. As one astute observer of the education scene told me when he heard about the new program. "It sounds like Nero is fiddling while the district burns." Another questioned whether the program had more to do with property values on the West End than it does with education.

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Those huge fires that blacked out the sky over New Jersey a week or so ago could be seen by residents on the West End of the peninsula. It looked to some like the fire was at Floyd Bennett Field, but it indeed was in the Weed State instead.

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Perhaps the Parks Department should turn to the residents of Rockaway to ascertain which beaches should be closed this summer due to the lack of lifeguards. Or, perhaps a rotation plan should be worked out so that the same beaches are not closed for the entire summer. I know that the department has tried its best to recruit the necessary lifeguards, but I still think that their best was not good enough. I got a call at The Wave from a woman whose son and a friend (both, reportedly good competition swimmers) went to Astoria for the test. Because of the long distance to travel, they were ten minutes late for the test session. They appeared on the apron of the pool, dressed and ready to go within ten minutes of the announced start time. They were told by the Parks Department official on the scene that, because they were late, they could not take the test. They are not going back. Two prime lifeguards lost just like that. I wonder how many others were turned back by bureaucratic blundering such as that.

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Even from the vantage point of being up on the stage, it was clear that the majority of the parents at the educational forum hosted by The Wave and the Chamber of Commerce two weeks ago were from the PS 114 community. It is disheartening to see so few parents from other Rockaway communities or from Broad Channel.

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Sunday, May 20 is the big day for Rockaway boardwalk runs. The 23rd Annual Sweet ‘N Low Rockaway Rotary Ocean Run will be held on the boardwalk, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The five mile run has become a staple of the beginning of Rockaway’s summer season. Those interested in participating can pick up an entry blank in this paper or at Beach 116 Street on the day of the race.

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Dan Tubridy is back at Pier 92. The kickoff for the refurbished restaurant will be on Mother’s Day, but the word is that the renowned Rockaway eatery will be open at least for the remainder of the summer.

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The major issues in all of the upcoming elections will be education, transportation and housing. Rockaway has problems with them all, and the candidates that want Rockaway votes will have to deal with low test scores in the schools, poor transportation alternatives and an overabundance of low-income housing on the peninsula. That should be enough to make them run from the race, screaming for another community to run in.

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


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