Don’t go near the water! The water of Jamaica Bay, that is. That’s the word from the Department of Environmental Protection. They closed down the wastewater treatment plant at Starrett City for three days last week (October 10 to October 12) for emergency repairs and dumped 60 million gallons of raw sewage into the bay on each of those days. They are advising everybody to stay away from the bay for at least another week or two, and we would think that fishing in the bay and eating the fish would be a no-no for at least a month or more.
Two local residents have been recognized as the Daily Queens Profile in Newsday recently. First came Arlene Cornell, the noted Rockaway painter, whose work includes lots of Rockaway and Broad Channel scenes. Then came Ellen Shulman, the project director of Rockaway Mental Health Services, an affiliate of Catholic Charities in Far Rockaway. It is nice to see Rockaway people get the attention that they so richly deserve.
One of the most important political cartoonists in the last 50 years passed away this week and we didn’t want it to go without local notice. Herbert Block, better known as "Herblock" to his millions of fans, succumbed at age 91. His career began shortly before the 1929 stock market crash and he carried us with his cartoons through every American crisis from that time until the scandals of the Clinton era in the early 1990’s. He chronicled every president from Herbert Hoover to George Bush. We certainly could have used him today, and he will be missed.
Remember that it is time once again to donate blood. While the New York Blood Center people were overwhelmed with donations directly after September 11, a large amount of that blood turned out to be unusable for one reason or another. In addition, blood has a shelf life of about six weeks and much of the blood that was donated at that point and not used will be spoiled in short order. There will be two blood drives in Rockaway this week, and we urge you to make the time to get to one of them. The first will be on October 14 at St. Rose of Lima Church on Beach 84 Street, from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. The second will be held at Peninsula Hospital Center on Beach 51 Street. That blood drive will be held on October 20, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The Wave will be publishing the positions of each of those running for the office of city council member over the next few weeks. We will be interviewing each of the candidates on the issues facing Rockaway and Broad Channel. We hope that you will use these interviews as a guide when you vote on November 6. By the way, unlike other Rockaway organizations that are addressing the candidates, we plan to invite each of the candidates, including the "minor party" candidates to the dance.
With the "war" against terrorism beginning in earnest, we are asking for pictures and short biographies of those Rockaway men and women called to arms by Uncle Sam. We plan to publish a special page honoring those who are surely fighting for the freedom of every person in America.
Many people have written and called asking why a police officer from the 100 Precinct sits in the middle of nowhere on Cross Bay Boulevard each day. They wonder why the police would "waste" an officer sitting in such an isolated spot. While we cannot tell you exactly why, we can say that the location is important to the operation of JFK Airport and that police protection is critical in that area.
The Wave invites each of the schools in Rockaway and Broad Channel, including the parochial schools, to submit articles and pictures for publication in the paper. We plan, once again, to do a School Page each week.
Those who enjoy fresh produce might want to take a look at the Farmer’s Market that runs each Saturday at PS 42. The school is located on Beach 66 Street, right off Beach Channel Drive and farmers come from as far away as Pennsylvania to bring produce to Rockaway each week.
For the first time in many years, both or our high school football teams are undefeated four weeks into the season. Both the Far Rockaway seahorses and the Beach Channel Dolphins deserve your support. Beach Channel is playing most of its home games at Far Rockaway High School while its new field is being readied. Come to a game and have a good time rooting for the home team, whether you are an alum or not.