2002-04-27 / Columnists


The 24th Annual Rockaway Rotary Ocean Run will be held this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The race starts at the Boardwalk and Beach 116 Street and is comprised of a five-mile course, out and back to the start. There will be some children's races prior to the main event as well. The race is sponsored by Sweet 'N' Low.

If you want free compost or a compost bin for the low price of $20, you can get both at Riis Park this Saturday, April 27, courtesy of the Department of Sanitation. Both the compost and the bins (while the supply lasts) will be available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. The only other Queens date for distribution is Sunday, May 19 at Shea Stadium in Flushing.

There are some local business people who go beyond the call of duty to be nice to their customers. Gerrard Casey of Kennedy's Restaurant in Breezy Point is one of those people. A woman who had lost her house and all of her belongings in the crash of flight 587 recently went to Kennedy's for lunch. She mentioned that she had a gift certificate "good for two dinners" that was lost in the crash. She really didn't ask for anything, just mentioned it in passing. Casey asked for her name and checked the computer. He then came back and told her that he would honor the certificate even though it was destroyed. When the woman and her two companions finished lunch, he took the check and told them that it was all taken care of and wished her well. That is a businessman.

A Rockaway resident, shopping at Costco in Lawrence came back to where her Jeep was parked and found it missing. She called the cops and they told her that it was probably towed from the lot. The Jeep has a LoJack device installed and the police activated it with no results. The cops told her that the newer chop shops (that dismantle cars for their parts) have lead-lined rooms so that the signal from the device cannot be read outside the building.

Police presence in the two Rockaway precincts was beefed up recently with the addition of new officers coming out of the Police Academy. The 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach got 12 of the rookies, while the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway got 21. The allotment is based on population, the number of officers expected to retire and the crime rate in the precinct.

In order to boost the number of volunteers in the state's volunteer fire and ambulance departments, the Republicans in the State Senate have proposed a plan that would provide college scholarships for those volies who attend either public or private degree-granting colleges within the state. The plan would provide for up to $3,400 a year that could be used at any institution within the state.

The Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team (affiliated with the Mets) opened for business last weekend and their ticket office at KeySpan Park in Coney Island sold twice as many tickets as it did last year, its first year in operation. More that 2,500 fans lined up for the tickets. If you're interested in seeing some games this year, better get your tickets soon. The team will definitely sell out all of its home games. By the way, The Wave will cover the team in its sports pages this year. It is as close to a home team as we will ever get here in Rockaway.

This Saturday (April 27) is the big day for the Broad Channel Little League. It will kick off the season with its annual parade from the park to the ballfield. This year's parade will honor the hometown heroes who were involved in the rescue operation at the World Trade Center. The parade will kick off at 10 a.m.

The Golden Venture became world-renowned when it dumped its Chinese refugees off the coast of Rockaway in 1993 (was it almost ten years ago already). Ten immigrants died in the attempt to get to the Breezy Point shore. The ship has had a rather ignoble end for such a famous (or, infamous) vessel. It was sunk off the coast of Boca Raton, Florida and is now a reef for divers.

The letter from John McLoughlin, the president of the 100 Precinct Community Council to The Wave in support of Lew Simon has hit a sour chord with a number of the organization's members. At least three of them called The Wave to complain that John, even though he is the president, had no right to speak for them, to speak for the organization. One woman told us that she was beginning a recall movement to force McLoughlin out of the presidency.

Both of the Rockaway men who are in the burn unit at the Nassau Medical Center remain in critical condition. Matthew O'Brien, who was burned in the fire on Beach 87 Street a few weeks ago is the last of the family to remain in the hospital. All of the others have been released. O'Brien remains in "critical but stable" condition. James Luter, the man who was airlifted from the BCHS athletic field by a NYPD copter more recently remains in "extremely critical" condition, according to the hospital.

The word on the political front is that the two State Senate districts that impact on Rockaway have been redrawn to allow Malcom Smith to continue to represent the entire Rockaway peninsula and to allow Ada Smith to continue to represent Broad Channel. The lines still have to be approved by Governor Pataki, but he has already made some comments on changes that he would like to see and it looks as if the two lawmakers are safe for another ten years. All they have to do now is to continue to win elections, but that is the easy part when you are in the Senate, where incumbents never lose.

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