2001-09-15 / Columnists


We were incorrect last week when we said in this space that Jameson’s Pub 2001 Open Girl’s Basketball Championship team included a woman who was a pro and had played in the Olympics. Sue Bird, who did play with the team, is just a Junior at UCONN, but we had a senior moment and believed that she had graduated and was playing in the pros with the Liberty. She did, however, play on an All- American team last year, but not in the Olympics. Nor, did we mean to say that there was something wrong with all the Christ The King alumni playing together one last time. We just wondered how they ever lost a game with all of those All-Americans on the team. They did lose, however, at least twice. Sorry, girls. It was meant as a light-hearted look at summer basketball and it wound up as a controversy.

Newsday honored Debbie Horan of Rockaway Beach last week. The paper chose Horan as its Queens Profile for her work with the American Littoral Society in cleaning up our beaches. The beach cleanup will take place on September 15. "I hope that we not only clean up the beaches, but to educate people," Horan says. "We have to find solutions and get people to change their habits."

People are not using pay phones as often as the once did, so Verizon plans to hike the cost of a phone call to fifty cents next year. The problem: Too many people are using their cell phones rather than pay phones.

There were many acts of kindness and humanity on Tuesday night in the wake of the devastating attack on the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Dan Tubridy, the proprietor of Pier 92, opened his restaurant to all comers and did not charge them for dinner. Democratic candidate Peter Vallone stood at the end of the Brooklyn and gave water to those walking over the bridge. Mayoral candidate Mike Bloomberg provided diner and facilities in his Manhattan building for emergency service workers. Storekeepers all over the city assisted those who were trying to get home. One store owner provided free bottles of water. That is what this city is all about.

Despite all the controversy over the SST’s return to JFK Airport, there is little anybody at this end of the Atlantic Ocean can do to keep it from dropping in over our heads. There is an international convention signed by all of those nations who fly, and that includes almost every nation on Earth that has the space to put in an airport. That convention says that it is up to the local authority to decide whether a plane is airworthy and safe. Once the local agency makes that determination, the plane has to be allowed to land at any airport in any nation that is a member of the convention. We ban the SST and England bans 747’s. France bans all Boeing aircraft. See what it can lead to?

Pier 92 is now running "Early Bird Specials" from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. For $5.95, a diner gets a choice of a meat, a fish or a chicken dish, salad, a potato, vegetables and desert. On Tuesday night, of course, there is the all-you-can-eat buffet at $6.95. Dan Tubridy, the restaurant’s long-time owner, has a new chef and the food is great.

Arverne By The Sea is a proposal that sounds too good to be true, but with all of the revitalization and building that has been going on in Rockaway lately, we are feeling optimistic. The plan calls for some market rate housing, but it also calls for a golf course, hotels, a discount mall and several other amenities that have not been seen in Rockaway in many a moon. Let’s hope that this one is for real. If it is, Jonathon Gaska and Community Board 14 can take a big chunk of the credit and it will be well deserved.

Both the Far Rockaway Seahorses and the Beach Channel Dolphins won their first football games of the season last week. It has been a long time since both teams won big at the same time. See the Sports Section for information on the games and on the new facilities already in place at Far Rockaway and under construction at Beach Channel.

Schools have opened with just a minimum of problems. Most of our schools are brimming over with new teachers, but it is a tribute to the district staff and to the school administrations that school did not begin with massive teacher shortages as they have in other districts.

If you commute to Manhattan each day, you should give some thought to trying the new commuter ferry that runs from Riis Landing in Fort Tilden to Sheepshead Bay. Not being commuters, we are not sure how much time it will save somebody who uses the service, but it certainly sounds like a more pleasant ride than the A-Train from Rockaway Park.

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