2002-03-23 / Columnists


Despite rumors to the contrary, the developers of Arverne By The Sea have not dropped out of the project. The principals in the development plan met with the Community Board just last week and the project is a definite "go," so those who fear another Technodome or Oceanview debacle need fear no longer.

The Wave story on local players taking part in the NCAA championships inadvertently omitted Sharif Fordham, a 6-4 junior guard for St. John’s University. Sharif played for Far Rockaway High School and then for Gulf Coast (Florida) Community College prior to moving on to the Red Storm. Unfortunately, all three locals – Fordham (SJU), Clare Droesch (BC) and Kevin Fitzgerald (BU) –got knocked out in the first round.

There may very well be restrictions on flights passing over the West End of Rockaway during evening hours, but you can’t prove it by the residents who live there. One night last weekend, we counted five planes passing over the peninsula between 11:38 p.m. and 11:50 p.m. That is not supposed to be happening. The Wave is waiting for FAA statistics that should show just how successful the new flight path plan might really be.

It has been ten years this week that Police Officer Joseph Alcamo was killed in an automobile accident on Beach Channel Drive while responding to a gun run in Hammels. Alcamo was the last on-duty police officer in a Rockaway precinct to die in the line of duty.

Residents in Bay Ridge are happy that its free ferry service to Manhattan continues despite budget cuts. "People love it," says DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall (Chuck Schumer’s wife). "There are people who come out from all over the area, not just Bay Ridge." The heavily-subsidized Staten Island Ferry continues to run as well. The fact that other areas can have subsidized ferry service while Rockaway is told that it is not possible, that the city does not do that kind of thing, has to make us wonder one more time what our local politicians are doing for us. Why is it possible in Brooklyn, but not possible in Rockaway?

The city has been constrained by the courts from putting up any further traffic light cameras. Those are the cameras that take a picture of your license plate if you go through a red light. The plan to increase the number of "red light cameras" has run into the Civil Liberties Union, which considers any surveillance cameras a violation of privacy rights. What will the city do? It plans to install 200 fake cameras. That way, it makes people think that they have to be careful at an intersection without the civil liberty problem. Isn’t that slick?

Congratulations to Barbara Cohen of Bayswater, who was recently named as Newsday’s "Everyday Hero." Barbara leads the annual beach cleanups sponsored by the Littoral Society. She and her husband, Mickey, also have charge of Bayswater State Park, nearby their home. Barbara is a former elementary school teacher who has been involved, along with her husband, in environmental education for 45 years. Congratulations, Barbara.

Rockaway resident George Johnson, one of the three firefighters who raised the famous flag over Ground Zero, has been honored once more—this time with a postage stamp. A new First Class, 45-cent stamp has been issued to honor the three, who are depicted on the stamp. Eleven cents from the sale of each stamp will go toward 9/11 charities.

The Broad Channel Theater Group will present "Crazy For You," at the American Legion Hall in Broad Channel. There will be three shows: Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 at 3 p.m. Portions of the proceeds will go to benefit the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. The volies lost their ambulance in the ruins of the World Trade Center and are in the process of building a new firehouse on Cross Bay Boulevard.

We were sitting at the Sunset Diner with out-of-town visitors and we mentioned that the triangle of land across the street was going to be used for a memorial park to honor the memories of those who died in the World Trade Center attack. They looked and asked what was going to happen to the trailers and rusting trucks bordering the site. We didn’t have an answer, but it is certainly appropriate to get rid of the junk prior to building the memorial on the site.

A group called "Surfrider New York City" will be sponsoring a beach cleanup at Beach 90 Street on Saturday, April 13. The organization hopes to draw surfers from all over the city to help in the cleanup. The group will meet on the beach at 90 Street at 11:30 a.m.

Candidates in the special election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Pauline Rhodd-Cummings should submit bios, platforms and a head shot to The Wave prior to April 2 in order to be included in the paper prior to the April 16 election.

Don’t forget to get your reservations for the Chamber of Commerce’s "Bravest and Finest" luncheon to be held at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach on April 11. Tickets can be obtained by calling the Chamber at 634-1300.

Rockaway Search and Rescue will be holding training sessions on Saturday, March 23 and March 30, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Those interested in joining the group and in taking the mandatory training, should call 718-471-3582.

Community Board 14 would like to remind those who are planning on holding street activities this summer, including block parties and July 4 parties, that it is mandatory to get city permits for the activities. All applications for permits must be to the community board 60 days prior to the date of the activity. There can be no exceptions to the rule. Applications and information are available from Community Board 14 at 1931 Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, Room 311.

For those of you who have been worrying about where they can get the YES Network and this season’s Yankee games, the deal has been made, at least for those of you who have cable. In Rockaway, the network will run on channel 80, at least part time. For digital subscribers, the network will be at channel 143. Those who have DirectTV should look for channel 622 and those with the DISH network are out of luck for now.

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