Did you get your collector’s edition of the Rockaway Voice? For those of you who tossed it out with other suspicious mail or mixed it in with coupon flyers, it was a news ink love letter to City Council candidate Joann Ariola. I got a bit misty-eyed, I tell ya. Brought back memories of Straight Jacket----the Ann Barbera weekly manifesto about how we all should think.
The inaugural, and presumably last, issue "covered" the Ariola-Joe Addabbo debate which had been hosted a couple of weeks ago by the Rockaway Beach Civic Association. I think the editors found that it’s not all that easy being so one-sided. Highlighted in a box on the front page was a quote by Bobbie Hart about Ariola: "Everything was perfect, especially her diction." Now, that was front-page material. I couldn’t wait to read about Ariola’s good posture on page 2. (PS: You might be shocked to learn the Rockaway Voice pulled a sneaky one with that quotable quote. Turns out Bobbie Hart was just being polite. She’s supporting Joe Addabbo).
I may have scared off a lot of potential voters for Chris Jorge by endorsing her in the City Council primary but I gotta believe a good number of those went for the other appealing candidate in the race, Joe Addabbo. Happily, enough voters couldn’t hold their nose and pull the lever for Lew Simon. If you recall, I said I couldn’t vote for Lew because he gives me the creeps. I always say, forget the issues----don’t vote for somebody if they give you the creeps.
Anyway, with the election for City Council just days away it’s time for another creep alert. Don’t, do not, please, pretty please do not cast your vote for Joann Ariola. It’s not that she gives me the creeps. But some of the company she keeps? Sheesh. First she built her resume working for do-nothing, scandal-magnet Al Stabile. And after leaving Big Mistake Al what does she do? She aligns herself with that infamous weasel, Noach Dear.
A little perspective here. Ariola (known as Guarino or Ariola-Guarino at the time) was Stabile’s right hand man. For a good long while, she was out front pushing the promises and the BS more than the councilman himself. Now, here’s the way this humble voter sees it. She was either part of the BS campaign or too dense to realize she was part of the BS. Either way, it smells.
Not that simple? Ok, say she had a revelation and was a little late in realizing Big Al was a Big Fraud and she jumped ship as soon as she could. (Forget that cynics might say she was simply miffed that Al didn’t support her enough on campaigns of her own). So, where did she land when she jumped from the Stabile flotilla? Well, when her two feet hit the glue pad she was standing next to Noach (sometimes rhymes with roach) Dear, a notoriously oily fund-raiser who chaired the city council’s department of transportation. Besides breaking numerous election laws over the years he’s the guy who pocketed some 20 G’s from the Green Bus Line---that spiffy, reliable company that serves Rockaway so well. Just writing about Dear makes my fingers slip on the keyboard. (I’ll get back to this column after I take a shower).
Where was I?...Okay, so republican Ariola buddies up to democrat Dear in his run against Congressman Anthony Weiner. (Cynics might say she simply jumped from that nickel-and-dimer Al Stabile, accused of pilfering Little League funds, to learn the ropes from a real pro). What troubles this humble voter most, however, is that Ariola backed the guy essentially responsible for transportation in Rockaway. We might not agree on much in this neck of the sand but we all agree the transportation stinks. So why’s Ariola supporting the transportation Chair of the Council because, because, because…. why? I give up. As the G-Man would say, Hey people! Open up those nostrils and have a whiff.
Robert Curran and John Baxter would be far better choices. (Though if elected, I would insist that Baxter continue to air his cable access program---for those who don’t have cable, his show is like Tales from the Crypt meets Cheers).
Joe Addabbo is the best choice. Vote for him. Oh, and even though the Rockaway Voice neglected to say---I can tell you, Joe’s got perfect diction, too!
More Boyle-ing Points:
I hear there will be new physical requirements for those vying for executive positions at Gateway. Candidates for positions must demonstrate an ability to sit on their own hands and do nothing for years at a time.
Gateway has done such a good job letting their buildings fall apart that the Red Cross, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, wasn’t able to use the dorms at the old Job Corps site. Over the past few years many development proposals have been submitted to Gateway bosses---but they opted to sit on their hands instead (except for issuing a number of announcements about how they would soon start accepting proposals). These smokescreens---sent up to suggest they were doing something or getting ready to do something---have been part of the standard operation procedure for years. (In the interests of full disclosure I was part of a group that submitted a number of proposals--- after being encouraged to do so by park staff. The first proposal was submitted in 1997---we still await an answer on that one. You’d think Gateway could’ve at least said, "no" by now. But I should be more understanding---it’s so hard to do anything when your hands are under your butt and your thumbs are up it.
***What New York City could use right now is the commuter tax. When the NY Assembly voted to kill that tax, NYC lost $360 million per year. Audrey Pheffer, showing a complete disregard for her constituents on that one, voted to kill the tax. Thanks, Audrey. But since I like Audrey I’ll give her a great idea. She should lead the fight to re-institute the tax because it can be used to pay bonuses to NY firefighters. The $360 mill would give every member of the FDNY nearly $ 25,000. State and federal governments regularly offer sign-up incentives or bonuses for teachers and military recruits. Why not reward people who’ve gone above and beyond? Let’s give ‘em money instead of medals for a change.
And while the World Series and Michael Jordan’s return helped distract us for a second, let’s not forget that whenever there’s a life or death emergency we don’t call Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, or Michael Jordan to help.
***Rockaway’s about to be heard from on the college hardwood like never before. The amazing Claire Droesch has moved on to Boston College where she’ll team with the fantabulous Janelle McManus. This terrific twosome will visit St. John’s on February 23 for a game against the Red Storm. Get your tickets now.
But you don’t have to wait ‘til then to see top lady hoops. Stop by Stella Maris and catch the action there or go see the Kearney Tigers in Brooklyn---I can’t count past 4 but I think this squad’s got 5 peninsula reps: Let’s see there’s two Lawlers, there’s a Boyle, there’s a Powell, and I think there’s an O’Callaghan. And there’s coach Kathy Crocket, a Breezy Pointer.
***Loved the fact that longtime Rockaway lad and Fishhead George Johnson was one of the firemen in that Iwo Jima-like picture of the firemen hoisting the flag. Loved it even more that the body conscious George---see my massive arms, see my ripped abs---- was sporting a pot belly that even the flag couldn’t get around. (I assume it was trick photography).
***Rumors about a Graybeard winter volleyball league persist. It’s supposed to be a co-ed effort, 35 years of age and up. From what I’m hearing, if you show an ounce of athletic ability you’ll be discouraged from joining. If you want to find out if it’s actually going to happen---send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Somebody will keep you informed.