2001-08-11 / Columnists


Chancellor Harold Levy says that the school system will be short about 2,500 teachers moving into the new school year. The teacher’s union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) says that the shortage will be upwards of 5,000 teachers. Whomever is right, the system has a large recruiting and retention problem that the mayor chooses to ignore.

Local residents are again being bombarded by telephone calls from an organization calling itself the "New York State Federation of Police Societies," or the "New York City Federation of Police Societies." In either case, the caller is looking for a donation for a "journal" or for "widows and orphans." Be advised that the organizations are phony and that the money you donate will go directly into the pockets of the swindlers. Should you get such a call, get as much information as you can and then call the local police precinct.

Ciro’s Bakery, on Beach 129 Street, has the best blueberry cheesecake we have ever tasted, and that includes the world-famous "Junior’s" cheesecake. The bakery is now serving Glace as well as cakes, pies and cookies.

West end residents are happy that the Sunday parking rules have been changed so that they can park for free during the winter months, but many are questioning why the "summer months" include May, June, September and October. They point out that it would have been more reasonable to start the new parking rules in mid-September rather than in November.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is again asking residents to refrain from opening fire hydrants during hot spells in August. "Hydrants are for fighting fires, not for having fun," says Joel Miele, the DEP’s chief. "Opening hydrants reduces the water pressure in a given community and can have an adverse impact in case of a fire."

The car wash on Beach 114 Street and Beach Channel Drive has completed its major renovation and is again open for business. According to the facility’s owner and operator, the car wash is a state-of-the-art facility that will service the community far better than the previous carwash.

There is still a blood shortage in New York City despite recent collections. The Peninsula Hospital Center, on Beach 50 Street, will be holding a blood drive on Thursday, August 23, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. All Rockaway residents who are eligible are urged to donate.

Fernando Ferrer will be the guest at a political forum sponsored by The Wave and The Rockaway Chamber of Commerce to be held at Pier 92 on Monday, August 13 at noon. The cost is $15 dollars and tickets can be purchased at the door or from the Chamber of Commerce offices.

The final concert in the series of Sunset Picnics hosted by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC) at Fort Tilden Sunday, August 19 at 6 p.m. The concert will feature the Sounds of Brazil. The concert, featuring Debora Watts, has been called "wild and wonderful," by some who have seen it in other venues.

The annual sandcastle contest sponsored by Barbara Morris of West End Realty continues to grow each year. More than 50 imaginative builders took part in this year’s contest and some of the winners turned in world-class efforts. Congratulations are due to all of the participants.

With all of the water-related problems Rockaway has had in the past few weeks, you would think that we would have seen a lot of Coast Guard activity, but that was not the case. It seems as if the Coast Guard has left Rockaway and its waters to the NYPD aviation and harbor units. The nearest coast guard assets are now in Sandy Hook, and that is just too far away for comfort.

"Guys and Dolls," the new musical being run by the Rockaway Theater group at Fort Tilden is a runaway success. Those who have seen it say that it is "almost Broadway."

"We get letters, we get letters, we get lots and lots of letters," was the theme son for a popular singer about 20 years ago, but it continues to be The Wave’s theme song as well. Often, we cannot run all the letters we get in a week’s time in that week’s edition, and often they are held over for a week or two. Keep on writing and don’t despair. Your letter will show up sooner or later.

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