2002-02-09 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

Hold your horses, Texas Ranger! Before you go and couch your intentions to expand the War on Terrorism and expand it into the dismantling of
countries, which you referred in your State of the Union Address to as an "Axis of evil", think about the consequences of your collapsing European Coalition. Of course, and for now, we can certainly count upon England; however, I can almost feel the French cringe at the thought of being so deeply aligned with us as they are so dependent on Iran for their oil. I would hope that President Bush would consider the ramifications of tipping such a delicate balance. The alienation of our allied countries could quite easily, and dangerously, result in the U.S. standing alone; and therefore, we would be the sole focus and target of an all out Holy War with all Arab countries. It's a delicate balance we must keep. Indeed the War on Terrorism is an elusive one; yet a war that must be continued.

The President has proposed committing the American economy to a prolonged deficit. We are now spending a billion dollars a day on the war and on finding Bin Laden. The President has proposed a massive escalation in the Defense Budget at the expense of compromising many social programs, infrastructure, construction, etc...I hope that, if his budget passes, in part or in its entirety, that it will be money well-spent and not simply squandered on some right-wing partisan agenda. I hope that he is not simply couching his real intention and wrapping it up in the American Flag to sell and push it through. I might have a better idea: Instead of dropping expensive bombs...why not drop ninety-two dancing virgins in the mountains of Afghanistan. He'll come out of his cave! Anyway, if you really believe that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and well and in Afghanistan, I have a company called Enron to sell you!

***With 25 million square feet of office space lost in the World Trade
Center Attack, and 300,000 more square feet that has since become available at The Empire State Building due to mounting fears of a potential attack occurring there, our elected officials in Rockaway have a unique opportunity to try to attract and intice these companies to relocate here to the peninsula.

***Mayor Bloomberg is scheduled to meet this week with some of our elected officials and community activists to discuss the various uses for the 108 acres that will not be included in the Benjamin-Beechwood Arverne By The Sea plan.

***I would give anything to be a student again at Columbia right now. I can only imagine how exciting it would be to attend classes at the School of International Affairs. Students who are entering the halls of Academia right now have such an unprecedented opportunity. Practically every field of study, whether it be Law, Medicine, Journalism, etc..., all have a direct correlation and impact on the war we are engaged in. It's a fascinating time to be a student.

***Speaking of bright students with so much potential, it was such a nice
surprise to see Tommy Keane, of Rheinbeck, N.Y., who was down visiting with his dad. Tommy is the kind of young man who has all the right stuff! He will succeed at any endeavor he chooses to pursue. Wherever he goes, he will be the President of his class or the leader of a victorious Crew Team. It's perhaps easy for him since he has already successfully demonstrated these qualities of leadership. He is articulate, thoughtful, very handsome, capable, and very personable. Of course his father will tell you that he takes after him! Best wishes, Tommy. You come from great stock!

***Plans are underway to petition for the renaming of a portion of Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 102 and Beach 108 Street and rename it James Conway Sullivan Way. Since this area is a significant portion of our parade route, it would be most appropriate to rename this section of the boulevard and memorialize Jimmy in this way. Since we lost so many of our neighbors in the WTC who were Firemen, it would also be appropriate to memorialize each of them by renaming an area of Newport Avenue that runs in front of The Harbor Light and rename it Firefighters Way. We must never forget these many great young men who died much too young.

***If you would like to become involved in the creative process for the Memorial that will be built, please contact Geoff Rawling.

***Welcome home to Eugene Pasternak. Glad to see that you have resumed all your normal activities and that you are doing so well!

***There's still time to reserve your seat on the bus that has been chartered by the parade committee for the Antun's Gala. Please see MaryAlice Lane at the Palm Garden for details.

***Happy Birthday wishes to Mrs. Rosemary Sullivan, Bridie McCotter, Anthony George, and Patrick Keane!     

See ya – on the beach.   

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