2002-06-29 / Columnists


A local resident stopped by our office last week to complain about signs being posted on poles along the peninsula. The signs advertise apartments, homes, jobs and free rent, and a series of 540 phone numbers are written on them as the contact numbers. What you don't see, unless you look at the fine print, is that there is a $20.20 charge that is billed to your phone bill if you call the numbers. This is obviously a scam, and we suggest that people steer clear of these ads.

The Reverend Floyd Flake, at one time our representative in the House, and the senior pastor of the 15,000-member Allen AME Church, has been named as the president of Wilberforce University in Ohio, the oldest Black college in America. Flake graduated from the college in 1967. He will reportedly give up his presidency of a company that runs charger schools, but will keep his pulpit, commuting to Jamaica on weekends.

Two carpenters working on Roosevelt Island jumped into the East River last week to rescue a man who had leaped from the Queensborough Bridge. One of those heroes was Rockaway resident Hank Vought of Belle Harbor. Vought and his partner, Joe Tynan, spent several minutes in the murky, cold water dragging the would-be suicide victim to shore.

Flyers have been distributed throughout Dayton Towers asking residents to call their representatives to complain about the number of flights taking off over the buildings. The person who wrote and distributed the flyers seems to blame the increase of flights over their homes on Belle Harbor. "What they are doing is moving the traffic from an area that is more vocal (Belle Harbor) to our area, where they feel they will get less resistance and is less vocal (Rockaway Beach)," the flyer says. It never ceases to surprise us how one area of our little peninsula can pit itself against another.

Charlie Daniels and his band have performed all over the world, but PBS recently dropped the CDB from its televised July 4 concert because of Daniel's new song, "The Last Fallen Hero," which is a paean to those who died on September 11. The network says that the song, which calls the terrorists "cowards," is "not upbeat enough to be compatible with the other music selected to be on the show." It seems as if the network is trying to keep its program politically correct.

St. Camillus will hold its annual Carnival By The Sea from June 26 to June 30. The grounds, adjacent to the school, will be open from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. each night.

A reminder that The Wave will be hosting a meeting for all of those who saw the demise of American Airlines Flight 587 at the Beach Club on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. It promises to be an interesting night. Representatives of the NTSB and others connected to the flight have been invited to attend.

The first of the RMAC's Sunset Picnic Concerts series will be held on Sunday, June 30 at 6 p.m. at Fort Tilden. The featured performer for the first of seven concerts this summer will be folk music icon Oscar Brand. He promises a "God Bless America" concert for all who attend.

For the first time in many years, there will be a fireworks display at Beach 116 Street. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, and funded by a number of businesses and individuals, all of whom belong to the Rockaway Rotary Club, the display will begin at 9:30 p.m. The cost for the 18-minute show will be $10 thousand, according to Barbara Morris, who brokered the money for the event.

We were remiss in not crediting Bernard Blum, The Wave's environmental reporter and the president of the Friends of Rockaway, for supplying the two pictures of East Rockaway Inlet on page two of last week's paper. We have received a few calls asking why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just can't put it back the way it was in the 1920's.

When the Department Of Traffic put up the stop signs on Beach 131 and Rockaway Beach Boulevard last November, in the wake of the crash of flight 587, many locals were disturbed that there was no warning given and that police began giving tickets the minute the sign was put up. People complained that they were not used to the sign and needed some time to realize that it was there. This week, the DOT took the signs down and Beach 131 Street was reopened between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Newport Avenue. We stood on the corner and watched as local residents continued to stop even though no sign was present. We guess that it will take a while for them to get used to the fact that there is no sign at that location.

Beg, borrow or steal a ticket to the Brooklyn Cyclones at KeySpan Park. It is the hottest ticket in town. Everything is sold out for the entire season.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new elementary school in Far Rockaway took place last week. That school will take some of the pressure for school seats off the other local elementary schools, but it won't solve two other problems. It won't provide seats for the thousands of students who will be flooding the area because of all the new housing, and it won't solve the seat problem in a number of central and west end schools. That will take a rezoning of all of the Rockaway schools, and it is hoped that the local community school board will complete that rezoning before they leave office in June of 2003.

A New York Post reporter recently put together a New York City Police Department patrol car from components that are available to the general public for about $2 thousand. When the Post reporter asked a used car salesman if he would sell a terrorist a used police car, the salesman answered, "We would hope that we wouldn't do that, but we don't discriminate." What a world we live in.

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