2002-05-04 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The severe weather on Sunday limited the number of runners at the annual Rotary-Sweet and Low Ocean Run, but the fifty runners who did show up still made it a good show. The first over the finish line was once again Rockaway runner Tim McVeigh, who won the first Ocean Run 24 years ago, when he was only ten years old.

More than 20 pilots who regularly fly the Airbus 300-600 for American Airlines have reportedly put in their bids to fly other aircraft for the airlines. Many of those pilots will take a pay cut or have to move their base from New York City in order to make the change. Seven of the pilots have recently asked American to ground all of their Airbus A300’s until a closer inspection of the tail sections can be made, but both their union and the FAA are saying that there is no evidence that the plane is dangerous. The pilots, however, disagree. "The more we found out, the less comfortable we felt about flying the plane," said one long-time captain.

This year’s Buckley to Kennedy Run, which will be held on May 19, will be dedicated to the heroes of September 11. The six-mile run, which goes from Buckley’s in Brooklyn, across the Marine Parkway Bridge and then to Kennedy’s in Breezy Point, will be run particularly in memory of Captain Timothy Stackpole and Firefighter Michael Ragusa, both of the FDNY. The run terminates with a party at Gateway National Park, and it is always one of the premier Rockaway parties of the year.

We are about to celebrate the first year anniversary of the Belle Harbor Glatt Kosher Restaurant on Beach 116 Street, and the celebration is well founded. The new owners continue to turn out the best of kosher food and the wait staff is one of the best we have seen in Rockaway in many years. If it is true that you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, then you also don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy a good corned beef sandwich.

The Nassau County Police Department held a swearing-in ceremony for its new cops last week. Among the 110 new cops were 54 who were New York City cops until the salary differential made them think of a change. New Nassau cops earn nearly $50 thousand a year, more than cops with 20 years earn in the city. At the same time, 67 New York City cops moved to the Suffolk County job and 72 NYPD officers shifted over to the Port Authority force. That makes nearly 200 experienced cops who left the job this year for other venues. That is not a good sign for our city.

Keyspan Energy has announced that it will begin to dismantle the old LIPA substation on Beach 108 Street sometime in the fall. The company wants to assure Rockaway residents that the demolition of the site will not in any way exacerbate the toxic soil problem, nor they disturb any subsoil disturbance. The old substation is no longer in service, having been replaced by the new facility on the other end of the site.

A few weeks ago, The Wave ran a list of unknown organization initials in the Historical Views column. We have received a few E-mails from readers that shed some light on the mostly-forgotten organizations. Those that were uncovered are GAR (Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for former Union Army vets), the K of P (Knights of Pythias, which still exists in Rockaway), FOE (Fraternal Organization of Eagles), COF of A (Circle of Friends of America) and AOUM (while nobody is sue what the initials stand for, they are sure that it was an organization that was formed to subvert immigration in America).

One has to wonder how the Administration for Child Services (ACS) could come into a feces-filled home and say that it is fit for habitation by children, as was the case recently in Rockaway (see last week’s Wave). It is hard to understand how an organization dedicated to the well being of kids can allow kids to live under the circumstances outlined in the Wave article.

Last weekend, York College hosted a town hall meeting to address budget cuts to education, school construction and governance. The meeting featured representatives from six different community school boards. On hand to represent District 27 were Steve Greenberg, CSB 27 President, David Hooks, Jr., Board Member CSB 27, State Senator Malcolm Smith, and Joann Shapiro, Chief of Staff for the office of Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. Kudos to all who attended to support Rockaway’s school system.

We were taking pictures of the Broad Channel Athletic Club’s opening day parade last Sunday and we couldn’t help but notice that planes coming out of JFK were continually flying low over the community. We followed a flight path or two and watched them come off Runway 31L, turn left and make a circle out over the Joe Addabbo Bridge, come straight over Broad Channel and then over Rockaway before heading out to sea. The parade, by the way, was great fun and those involved in its planning and implementation should get a "Well Done."

There has been a lot of controversy over the ban on personal watercraft in Jamaica Bay. There are those who spent upwards of $4,000 on a jet ski who now cannot use it nearby his or her home. We can understand the anger. The conventional wisdom is that the Interior Department will revise the ban after hearings later this summer. Those who want to get their voice heard should contact Gateway National Park at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

We have received a number of calls from people driving past the new housing on the old Little League field on Beach 102 Street. The calls are concerned because what appear to be cesspool caissons are piled on site. They are not for cesspools, but for rainwater runoff purposes.


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