2001-07-07 / Columnists

Rockaway Short Takes

Rockaway Short Takes

by Howard Schwach

Both John McLoughlin and Patricia Adams, the editor and publisher of The Forum, respectively, took issue with my column last week where I postulated that Al Stabile’s problems might have been publicized because he scorned Joanne Ariola as his suc cessor. While the stories of Stabile’s transgressions are most likely true, there is some evidence of a connection between McLoughlin and Ariola and the fact that the story broke in The Forum (which is edited by McLaughlin) leads me to only that conclusion. In fact, Ariola called me one day at The Wave and asked that I speak with her about an education platform for the campaign. I was not sure whether it was her campaign or Noach Dear’s, whom Airola has worked for since leaving Stabile. McLaughlin had just left The Wave for the Forum yet he showed up at The Wave office prior to Ariola. He told me that she would be along shortly and went on to tell me the kinds of things she was looking for. He did not say that he was working for Ariola in so many words, but he did say that he was "helping her campaign," or words to that affect. He sat through our meeting and took notes, and he left with her. I definitely had the impression that he was working for her election. This would not be the first time that John has worked for the election of a candidate while he was an editor of a weekly paper. When John worked for The Wave, he openly worked for the election of Noach Dear in his campaign against Tony Weiner. He wrote glowing stories about Dear and disparaging stories and editorials about Tony Weiner. The paper endorsed Dear. It got to the point that the then publisher of The Wave, Leon Locke, was going to give him the choice of giving up Dear of giving up the paper. Dear lost the election big time and the question died with his loss. Now, both John and his publisher have attacked me for daring to question John’s ethics in being, at one time, an editor and a candidate’s functionary. I agree that it is unethical to do both, and I have not heard John say in public that he is not working to get Ariola elected. By the way, I like Joanne and wish her well in her quest for the city council seat. I do not like, however, a newspaper person who should be neutral, actively working for the election of any candidate and that is just what McLaughlin is doing. I know that some are going to argue that I am opposed to Lew Simon’s candidacy and that is true because he is a pathological liar and cannot be trusted to represent our community. You will not find me, however, actively working for another candidate’s election. That is the difference and it is a very important one.

* * * * *

After years of promises and dashed dreams, it looks as if there will finally be a swimming pool at Riis Park. In an unusual joint press release, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton and Tony Weiner have announced that the new Interior Department (which funds the National Park Service) budget will include in excess of $4 million for the pool. Those of you who have been around for a while will remember that the pool was first promised to Rockaway by Floyd Flake when he was our Representative. He was followed by Chuck Schumer as Representative and he promised the pool as well. After Schumer moved on to the Senate, Tony Weiner ran against Noach Dear and made the promise yet again. When I spoke to Schumer about whether the appropriations bill would be passed, he told me that it was 95 percent certain, but I won’t be certain until I see Rockaway kids splashing around in the cool water. Of course, there is another kicker in the game. The money is allocated to the National Park Service and it seems as if they would rather use the money for general maintenance than in building the much-needed pool. We need to keep the pressure on the NPS to make sure the money is spent the way the community wants it spent and for the amenity that was intended rather than have it disappear into repairs and supplies.

* * * * *

Mayor Giuliani has done it again. He and his administration bypassed public hearings and City Council oversight to award two bus franchises in Staten Island. The mayor gave the franchises to Atlantic Express, a company that has made campaign contributions to Giuliani, Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari and other Republicans. This does not bode well for Rockaway, who has been limited to Green Bus and Jamaica Bus even though their service has been woeful at best, because the mayor and the council have been to war over the franchise question.

* * * * *

There is a critical blood shortage in New York City and a number of blood banks will be held in the next few weeks to try and remedy the problem. Among those blood banks will be one at the Park Nursing Home at 128 Beach 115 Street in Rockaway Park from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 19.

* * * * *

Quote without comment from an editorial in the New York Daily News last Monday: "As the September 11 primary approaches, the contenders should be talking about things like how they’ll improve government services and drive down costs. Instead, they are twisting themselves into knots to please New York’s myriad special-interest groups. Favor must be curried – with ethnic and racial minorities, labor leaders, leftist ideologues, et. al. The problem: A mayor cannot serve 8 million customers and streamline government if he is in the thrall of parochial interests."

* * * * *

Word on the West End is that there will soon be even more changes on Beach 116 Street. The diner will reopen in August as the Surf’s Up Diner. The Beach Club will remain a restaurant, at least for the foreseeable future. My guess is that it will become a catering hall sometime down the line, perhaps in a year or two. Harbor Bakery has been sold and the transfer to the new owners will take places shortly. I recently learned that the new owner has been in place, "training" for the takeover for a year or so. That means that the transition will be a complete and successful one and that the bakery will remain much as it has been. I have to welcome the new owners to the community and wish the old owners a happy retirement.

* * * * *

That’s it for this week. Remember to send complaints, comments 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