2002-04-13 / Columnists

Beachcomber

There have been a number of comments on The Wave's cover story last week about a priest who will be tried in Massachusetts for child molestation and rape, and who once served the St. Rose of Lima parish. A number of Catholic readers praised The Wave for running the story. "You are doing all Catholics a service by addressing this terrible problem," one such person said. Others, however, were unhappy with our coverage, calling us "Catholic bashers," and worse. Some dropped in to say that the story was OK, but that we had no right to run the picture of the church that accompanied it. It seems that that group feels that we have maligned today's parish priest by running the picture. In any case, we have received contacts from people whose children or relatives were abused by Ferraro in the past. We stand by the story, our right to print it and to use the picture of the church with the story. We do, however, apologize to those who were somehow angry about our use of the church picture.

Last week, we printed a picture of some of the daffodils that brighten the community. Those flowers were planted as a memorial to those who died at the World Trade Center and at the crash site of Flight 587. Sometime over the weekend, however, those flowers that were planted at Beach 84 Street and Shore Front Parkway were cut away and removed. We see that as a desecration of a memorial and we condemn those who did it.

Ten years ago this week, Rockaway was going through the battle of the Beach Channel Drive barriers. Those of you who have been around for that long will remember the story well. Too many people were dying on Beach Channel Drive in the 140's due to head on traffic accidents. After a survey, the Department of Transportation set out a plan that would put barriers in the center of the drive and would block off the entrance from the drive to Cronston Avenue. Hundreds of residents came out to predict dire results should the plan be implemented. One firefighter even got up to say that the plan would create a fire hazard because engines would take more time to get to a fire. Some said that school buses could not make the new turn mandated by the plan. The plan went into effect in any case and ten years later it has proven to be wildly successful. There are no more deaths on that stretch of road and neither fire trucks nor school buses have found it a problem. Perhaps there is a lesson there for us all.

A former Bronx resident who has fond memories of Rockaway (particularly of Playland) wants to do a documentary about Rockaway in the old days. Steven Schindler is a TV writer and moviemaker. He is looking for historical film or home movies of Rockaway Beach, particularly of Playland. Those who would like to contact Schindler can do so by E-mail at mail@elevated.com.

Ronnie Weinfeld called to let us know that the Met's new broadcaster, Ted Robinson, was born in Belle Harbor. We did know that, and have contacted the team for an interview with Robinson. So far, however, no luck. We hope you will see his interview in a not-too-distant Wave, however.

The Wave would like to congratulate Yvonne Fulmore and Jamie Kuzmicki, who are students at Beach Channel High School. Both took part in York College's "Women's History Month" essay contest, where Yvonne took first place and Jamie took third place honors. Considering the number of submissions, which came from all over the city, this was a major accomplishment by the Rockaway residents. Great job!

After consulting with legal experts, the editorial board of The Wave has decided that only felony arrests or major offenses will appear in the Police Blotter. We believe that this will be in the best interest not only of members of the community but this newspaper as well.

There is a new and unique restaurant that has opened in the area. Clemente's Crab House in Sheepshead Bay promises the best Blue Claw Crabs in town – and it delivers. The Crab House is just a short hop over the Marine Parkway Bridge. We recommend it highly to our Rockaway readers.

"Materials for the Arts" will offer two free "shopping days" on May 14 and May 16 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for those artists participating in ArtFrenzy. Those interested in registering for the free shopping days should call the Queens Council On The Arts at 647-3377.

Jewish Music Month will be celebrated at the West End Temple at the Sabbath service on Friday evening, April 19 at 8:15 p.m. The performance will feature L'Shir, the Hartt School of Music's one and only Jewish Acapella group.

The Wave has received word that the City Council, spurred by Jim Sanders and Joe Addabbo working in tandem, has given Rockaway back the $300 thousand ferry subsidy needed to get our commuter service in operation. The money now has to be approved by the mayor, but Bloomberg has long said that he favors ferry service, so how can he turn Rockaway down?

Don't forget to get your tickets for the Harry G Doo-Wop concert scheduled for Beach Channel High School on Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m. The show is billed as "A Salute to the Brooklyn Paramount and Brooklyn Fox." It features a number of groups that you will remember, including the Del Vikings ("Come Go With Me") Johnnie & Joe ("Over the Mountain") and Herb Cox and the Cleftones ("Heart & Soul").

The Wave has once again showed its commitment to the community it serves. At a recent New York Press Association convention in Saratoga Springs, The paper won an award in the "spot news photography" category for the three-page spread we did on the crash of flight 587. The award did not go only to The Wave staff who took some of the pictures, but to other residents as well, Steve Yaeger, Denis Macrae, Steve Mcgee and Ben Paolino, all of whom contributed photos to the pages as well.


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