2002-04-20 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle

Ugly Duckling Shows Promise

Well, Arverne-by-the-Sea sounds like it has a chance. Bev Baxter, in her column last week, provided a nice overview and made it seem plausible. No one can deny that a lot is happening in Rockaway for the first time in decades so I’m optimistic---and that ain’t usually the case. (If Bev weren’t so sensitive I’d suggest she was probably on the payroll---but I won’t, ‘cause she’s so sensitive).

Historians will note that one week after Claire Shulman (underrated as an insidious force) and those hucksters from Canada, announced plans to bring Technodome to Rockaway, The Wave’s editorial said it was pie-in-the-sky and would never happen. (Those were the days of a Catholic school- friendly editorial staff. Only joshing, only joshing). Others went along with the charade for years. Raise your hands Lew, Audrey, and the departed duo of Big Juanita and Big Al. Years. It proved very convenient for them to say nothing else could get done in Arverne because Technodome was getting first crack. First crack? First crock.

Not surprisingly, positive change in Rockaway is being spurred by private investment not, repeat not, politicians. That’s why Arverne-by-the-Sea sound promising.

While we’re better off betting on business people to rescue Rockaway, we shouldn’t just forget our politicians. They could still do a couple of things. Take Audrey, for instance. The city sure could use $360 million dollars this year. This year, next year, and every year. Could’ve used it last year, too. Audrey Pheffer, your state rep, was one of those who helped repeal the commuter tax. She did a big favor to people in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Orange County. The Wave blasted her then and should be blasting her now. She said at the time, we (the city) could always get it back---Well, Audrey, if not now, when?! Commuters use city services---streets, subways, and emergency services. They should fork over some dough.

Calling Joe Addabbo, calling Joe Addabbo (lord knows, his office called me enough when he was running for office). I sent him an email and a regular letter more than a month ago and I still haven’t gotten so much as a request for a campaign contribution.

All I did was ask for some information. I don’t know, how long should it take to get a reply from a local elected official? I’ll keep you posted. If he’s too busy to write because he’s helping beautify Rockaway I’ll cut him some slack. Maybe he’ll find time to get after the Parks Department or DOT to do something about this fence that runs along the water on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 110 street (or so).

Rockaway is looking better in a lot of places. The grounds at Beach Channel High School really look great. The baseball field looks like something from a Kevin Costner movie, and the track and football field no longer look like downtown Kabul. Too bad those new houses across from the street ---you know, the ones you can buy at Costco---are such an eyesore.

While Joe Addabbo gets somebody to put up attractive fencing on the channel, and Beach Channel blossoms, and with (mostly) handsome homes springing up---it’s time to shout about tearing down the A Line el!

What does the MTA pay to maintain that above-ground piece of garbage? It looks like the old West Side highway, a rusting, dangerous relic. Some have suggested we close down the freeway and use the road for a parking area. That’ll be a big mistake. That’s what they do in Sunny side and Sunset Park. Ever been down Third Avenue in Brooklyn? We have a hard enough time learning from our own mistakes let’s not make the same one others have. Such parking lots are magnets for thieves and convenient spots for dirtbags (i.e. and e.g. and prostitution and illegal dumping and 24 hour toilet---no, I’m not repeating myself). And, of course, that will just force more traffic on other streets.

So, tear down the elevated tracks! Pave and widen the road. Install a couple of rotaries (those round traffic circles) to keep it from turning into a speedway and dress them up with flowers. I know this sounds strange coming from someone who is more Marty Feldman than Martha Stewart but I think I’m on to something here.

We’ve got a chance to turn Rockaway from New York’s armpit to New York’s uhm, elbow.

Boyle-ing Over: Saw someone watering his lawn at 10 pm last Tuesday----tsk, tsk, tsk. My kids don’t flush toilets as a conservation step ---I don’t want to see any lawn watering. And message to this fellow, I think the black rain coat and Zorro mask were a bit over the top as a disguise--- I mean, I know it was your house.

Hey, Joe Addabbo, why is there a fence around our waterfront?

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