2001-12-15 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The holiday craft sale is still going on at The Wave building, 88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Chamber of Commerce Memorial Fund. For sale are such items as pottery, stained glass, jewelry and woven goods.

We would have to agree with a recent editorial in Newsday that says, "Few Queens neighborhoods have been ignored and neglected longer than some of those in the Rockaways. The recent plane crash in Belle Harbor and the World Trade Center terrorist attack that killed about 100 peninsula residents only added to community dismay." The editorial goes on to say that the new Arverne By The Sea development plan might be "what’s needed most in these times of fiscal uncertainty." We agree. Of course, we have heard of great development plans for Arverne in the past. The two latest developers to tantalize us were Oceanview Associates and Technodome. Both developers showed us beautiful artist’s renderings and promised the world to Rockaway. Where are they now? You know that they are deader than the algae in the bay. Let’s hope that partnership does better for Rockaway.

Conner Geraghty of Rockville Center lost her dad, Edward, in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. He was the Battalion Chief for Battalion 9, FDNY. Conner sent an E-mail to friends and family asking that September 11 be declared a national holiday to be called, "Firefighter’s Day." She hoped that 250 people would see her plea and react to it. The Internet being what it is, probably more like 250 thousand people have seen her plea and reacted favorably to it. So far, no reaction from the people who count – our political leaders, but you can bet that some federal legislator will pick up Conner’s plea and turn it into a bill.

Jerilyn Perine, the Commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), has announced that residents can now find code violation information on the buildings that they live in. "Tenants, building owners and any interested members of the public will be able to see violations on privately-owned residential apartment buildings city wide," Perine says. The information can be accessed at wwe.nyc.gov/hpd.

It’s amazing how history tends to repeat itself. Looking through a 20-year old copy of The Wave this week (for the Looking Backward column) I came upon news stories about the tolls on the Jamaica Bay bridges (one-way tolls were extended), the Arverne Urban Renewal Area (the city promised that it was not for sale), a museum for Rockaway and the Concorde (more flights for the holidays). The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Oysters once thrived in Jamaica Bay. By the late 1920’s, however, industrialization around the bay and over-harvesting had destroyed the population. Now, however, a joint project by Kingsborough Community College and Gateway National Recreation Area is reintroducing cages full of oysters and oyster seedlings to the bay. The oysters, it seems, filter out impurities from the water that surrounds them. Experts say that makes them a perfect barometer for what is happening to the bay. In the coming months, students at the college will monitor the oysters to see what they have been drinking in. The National Park Service hopes that the study will give them a "broad picture of the bay’s health."

Boston College has announced that Janelle McManus, the high-scoring sophomore basketball player from Belle Harbor has left the school. "She has chosen to leave the team as she makes her final decision on her transfer from Boston College," says women’s basketball coach Cathy Inglese. "Janelle has made a decision to leave, based on personal reasons. She is leaving to pursue other opportunities." McManus averaged 9.7 points per game last season after a stellar career at Bishop Loughlin High School. McManus started only five games last year, and the conjecture is that a lack of playing time combined with the World Trade Center attack and the crash of Flight 587, combined to help her make her decision to leave BC. She played in only one game this season prior to leaving the team. Freshman Clare Droesch, the Christ The King standout who originally said that she was going to BC so that she could play with her friend and Belle Harbor neighbor, McManus, remains with the team and is quickly becoming the team’s "sixth woman."

Speaking of Boston College, the school’s men’s team is off to a 7-0 streak under the leadership of coach Al Skinner, who happens to be the first cousin of Wave editor Gary Toms. Seems that there are all sorts of Rockaway connections with BC athletics this year.

The shakeup in the New York City Police Department that moved many of the high brass around prior to Ray Kelley taking over the department affected Rockaway as well. Deputy Inspector Gary Scirica, the commanding officer of the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, was bumped up to become the commanding officer of the Queens Narcotic’s Division. There was no word at press time as to who was going to be assigned as the new commanding officer.

The Menorah lighting at Beach 116 Street on Sunday night drew at least 150 residents, who braved the cold to see the Tampa Bay Menorah lit by local members of the Rotary Club and the clergy. Taking the edge off the cold a bit was the hot chocolate and cookies provided by Steve and Ken Good of Beach Club and Sunset Diner fame.

If you attend any of the pre-holiday events in Rockaway this month, you might just run into a crew from Japanese television. They are doing a story for the "27 Minutes" program that is very popular in Japan. The Wave has been working closely with them, helping them to set up the story, which focuses on how Rockaway is handling the Christmas season in light of all of its losses in the World Trade Center and in the crash of Flight 587.


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