2002-01-19 / Columnists


We have been asked by a few of our loyal readers why we have changed the television section so that it is no longer a pullout unit. The answer is a technical one. When The Wave began doing color on the front page two months ago, it gave us the capability of doing color on three other pages as well – the back page and the two pages in the centerfold. The centerfold was then used for the television section. In order to maximize our use of color for both editorial and advertising, we had to move the television section away from the centerfold. Therefore, it can no longer be a pull-out unit. We apologize to anybody who is burdened by this change, but it is necessary to move the paper to the use of color.

Residents throughout the peninsula who are concerned about aircraft flying over their homes should make a note to be at PS 114 on Beach 135 Street this Sunday at 3 p.m. At that time, Congressman Anthony Weiner will sponsor a meeting featuring officials from the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), who will talk about flight plans and listen to community complaints. It seems as if more planes have been flying over the community since the tragic crash of Flight 587 into Belle Harbor in November.

Jonathon Gaska, the district manager for Community Board 14 is asking for the help of those who lost a loved one in the attack on the World Trade Center. The community board is sponsoring a number of committees made up of community members who are addressing the site for the memorial and the design of that memorial. "We want to entice family members to get involved in the process," Gaska says. "It is really imperative that we get their input before we move forward." Those who are interested can contact Gaska at 471-7300. "If they don't want to join the committee, they can call me privately with their thoughts," Gaska adds. "I want to know what they are thinking about this memorial."

Motty Sharony is a realtor in Flushing, but he seems to have his eye on Rockaway. He has sent letters to many west end residents telling them that he has a buyer for their home, advising them to sell. This is a pitch that we have seen used in Rockaway before and it smacks of "block busting." That is not what Rockaway needs just when other sections of the peninsular are being revitalized with new middle class housing. People who get those letters should resist selling their homes out of panic or distrust.

An Alaska shipbuilder has received a $7 million contract to build five ferries for NY Waterway, a firm that runs ferries between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The private firm has ordered three 149-passenger ferries and two 97-passenger ferries. Business is booming for NY Waterways. Rockaway, however, is still without ferry service. Helen Marshall, our new Borough President, speaking at a recent Chamber of Commerce dinner, asked why Staten Island residents should have a city-subsidized service while Rockaway remains ferry-less. That is a good question, one that Mike Bloomberg and ournew City Council members should be working on.

The Wave ran a story about a new apprenticeship jobs program sponsored by the District Council # 9. We have received lots of calls about who to reach to enter the program. The telephone number is 718-937-7440.

We want to congratulate David Hooks on his selection to Community School Board 27, replacing James Sanders, Jr., who was recently elected to the city council. We have known Hooks for many years and he will be an able and hard-working addition to the board. While a new election is scheduled for May, there is talk of holding off on the election in order to see whether the legislature will vote to do away with the local boards entirely. This is a very unsettled time for the school board and for education in general.

Wave Managing Editor Howard Schwach spoke to the Law Club at Beach Channel High School last week about "Media and the Law." He was excited about how knowledgeable the students were about the subject and how well received he was by students, faculty and administration.

The Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner-dance last week was a great success. The event, held at the Washington Hotel in Rockaway Park (it was nice to see an event held in Rockaway for a change) honored a number of people who lives impacted on the Rockaway community during the past year. The dinner-dance is the Chamber's major fundraiser.

We want to wish a speedy recovery to School District 27 Superintendent Matt Bromme, who had an accident that put him in the hospital last week.

Our readers should be reminded again for the New Year that the columns that appear regularly in The Wave are the opinion of those who write them, and not of The Wave nor of its publisher. Our columnists are often controversial and sometimes they touch a nerve the wrong way. We welcome letters to the editor on any subject and if you have a problem with what one of the columnists has written that is the proper venue to let us know about how you feel. Letters come in to us through fax, E-mail and by regular mail. In any case, letters must contain a name, address and telephone number. We will withhold a writer's name upon request, but we must have that contact information for our records. We will not print any letter, no matter how it comes to our offices, without those elements.

Remember that service will be halted on the Rockaway Park Shuttle on the Weekend of January 26 to January 28. Shuttle buses will be available to take riders from Beach 67 Street to Beach 116 Street.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Rockaway has had a name change. The parade organization voted recently to change the name to the "James Conway Sullivan Queens St. Patrick's Day Parade" Sullivan was the founder of the parade and it's driving force for many years before his untimely death last year.

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