2001-10-06 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Rotary Club has decided to keep its flags at half-staff in honor of those who fell at the World Trade Center rather than heed the president’s call to put the flags back to full staff. "We will continue to fly our flags on Beach 116 Street and at the Rotary Circle on Beach Channel Drive as long as the fire departments does likewise," says chairperson Barbara Morris.

The primary election that was held a week ago drew one of the largest turnouts for such an election in recent memory. It is clear that many citizens decided that they were going to prove that democracy works by going out and voting for the candidate of their choice.

Lew Simon won Rockaway precincts by approximately 350 votes over Joe Addabbo, according to highly unofficial totals, but Addabbo beat Simon by more than three to one in most mainland precincts. Addabbo had about 1,100 Rockaway votes while Simon had about 1,463 Rockaway votes. That relatively small lead in Rockaway was not enough to carry the day for Simon. John Seminario got a little more than 500 Rockaway votes and Chris Jorge polled about 730 Rockaway votes. Jorge, however, got few from the mainland, where she was less well-known. The bottom line is that Addabbo won by a two to one margin, something that few observers believed would happen.

There was no doubt who won the city council race in the East End of Rockaway. Jim Sanders had nearly 30 percent of the vote against seven challengers. Sanders, who got 3,793 votes to his next nearest challenger, James Blake’s 2,060 (16 percent). Charlotte Jefferson, the party’s choice, was a distant third with 1,743 votes or thirteen percent. It surprised many local observers that so many votes were cast and that Sanders won so easily. He now faces Republican Everly Brown in the general election.

There are those on the peninsula who have been sending The Wave anonymous notes stating that some of the storeowners in Rockaway who are immigrants from Asia and the middle east were "celebrating their victory over America" after the World Trade Center attacks. We have to say that we have seen none of that even though we are up and down the peninsula covering events on a daily basis. Those innuendos against men and women who have become Americans and who feel just as any other American does about this tragedy are un-American at best. Those who send us these notes need to focus their anger elsewhere.

Last week, we wrote in Beachcomber that a one could get a frightening message should they put the alleged tail number of the first plane that hit the World Trade Center into a Word document and then change the font. We have since heard from experts that the number given cannot be the tail number of the plane. The tail numbers of all American commercial aircraft begin with a "N." Therefore, the tail number of that plane could not have been "Q33NY." It is just another of those farces that we often see on the Internet.

We have to apologize to those who have sent us letters over the past few weeks and have not seen their letters printed in The Wave. We have been inundated with letters and cannot possibly print all those we receive in any given week. In addition, for the past two weeks, we have been printing only those letters related to the WTC disaster. We will begin next week to print those not related to the attack. Be assured, however, that all reasonable letters will be printed. The Wave, as always, will withhold letters that the editors deem to be lewd, racist or that are designed to generate racial hatred.

If you see some work going on in the old LILCO site on Beach Channel Drive, do not worry that LIPA is once again putting in a new substation on the site without community input. The company tells The Wave that they simply are removing some of the equipment that was left at the site before work was suspended. "We do not want those transformers to get rusty, sitting out unprotected in the weather," a LIPA spokesperson told us.

The fishing ban on both of our local bridges has generated a lot of controversy. Locals cannot fathom how fishing off the Cross Bay Bridge can harm the security of JFK Airport.

Environmentalists tell us that the Monarch Butterflies are once again on the move towards South America and that they are being harmed because of the lack of grasses in Rockaway. They urge that the Department of Sanitation leave some of the grasses on the center of the lots they are cleaning so that the butterflies will have a habitat on which to land during their long trek southward.


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