2001-10-27 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

Let me just say, I think it would be easier to broker the peace process in Northern Ireland or in the Middle East than to bring all sides to the Debate table in Rockaway! Some people just don't return phone calls! However, after bumpy negotiations about the format, as well as the task of grappling with the candidates and panelist’s schedules, I'm delighted that The Wave will host, along with The League of Women Voters, the Great Debate, which will be held on Monday, October 29th at 8:00PM in the Beach Channel High School Auditorium. 

I'm pleased that all four candidates have confirmed their participation. It
should be a most informative evening and with Robert Curran and John Baxter included in the mix, they will certainly enhance the dialogue and contribute their varied perspectives on the myriad issues. Please join us for what will surely be an interesting evening.

At this time, we have to dig in our heels and look terrorism square in the face. I don't think anybody articulated this conviction better than local Fireman Michael Moran when he stepped up to the microphone on stage at Madison square Garden last Saturday night and looked straight into the camera and declared his personal war on Osama Bin Laden when he said, "My name is Michael Moran and I'm from Rockaway - and Osama Bin Laden, you can kiss my royal Irish a-s!" Michael lost his beloved brother; Battalion Chief John Moran in the attack. I think all of Rockaway proudly jumped to a rousing applause. If ever there was an appropriate moment, that was it.

As for the tragic issue of dumping 180 million gallons of sludge in our Bay, I think that the people of Rockaway should adopt this same expression of conviction in their disgust and file a lawsuit against the City and the federal government. 

Perhaps you'll recall that I reported this in my column several months ago when John Baxter brought it to my attention that there was drilling going on up at Riis Park. I contacted Gateway's operations manager, David Avrin, who told me that there were plans underway to bring the sludge from Brooklyn to Rockaway. He stated that it was thought to be more cost-effective to close an antiquated treatment facility at Floyd Bennett Field, and drill through rock in order to run a pipeline under the Bay. He stated that this was part of a much larger multi-million dollar project. 

John Baxter states, "this is an example of a community out of control and that our fate is so mired in graft, greed, and corrupt politics" and asks, "Why is there no protest about this?" After all, if a homeowner in Broad Channel extends his deck a little too far out in the Bay, he is fined and ordered to remove it for reasons that it intrudes on the frail eco-system of the Bay.

Don't forget! The local Tavern and Restaurant Owners Association will host a tremendous fundraiser at St. Camillus this Sunday, 10/28, to benefit the WTC victims.

I love so many different colors; but these days my favorite color is Red, White, and Blue! 

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