2002-07-06 / Columnists


The families of Flight 587 victims, most of whom live in Washington Heights, met in the Bronx last week to decry the treatment they are getting from the city. "They only think about the World Trade Center," said one woman who lost both her mother and father in the crash. "We need our community leaders and politicians to get in touch with our needs as well." The relative's loss of housing and employment were cited as the two main problems from the 50 families that attended the rally. A number of the family members have contacted The Wave to say that they will be attending the witness meeting that this newspaper is sponsoring on July 10 at the Beach Club.

Remember the new recycling rules that took affect this week. Do not recycle plastic items such as bottles and jugs; all glass items, including bottles and jars and all beverage cartons such as milk and juice cartons. Do continue to recycle all metal products, paper, cardboard and newspapers.

The city is doing its best to get the 2012 Olympic games for New York City. One of the venues for those Olympics would be Breezy Point, which would get a new marina for the sailing events. Many of the event venues would be in northern Queens. It is an exciting prospect, but we wonder if the Breezy Point residents favor it.

If you smoke cigarettes in New York City, you had better get a second job or inherit lots of money. Starting this week, a pack of cigarettes will raise to $7 a pack. Mayor Bloomberg, who pushed for the tax that will increase the cost, says that it will not only raise revenue, but will save lives because many people who now smoke will quit rather than pay the new cost. Those who do not agree believe that the new tax will simply mean more people buying cigarettes on the Internet and more smuggling from other states. There are those who believe that the new tax will impact many small business people that rely on cigarette sales for this living.

The first sunset picnic concert of the season sponsored by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council and Gateway National Recreation Area, was held last Sunday at Fort Tilden. The free concert headlined folk icon Oscar Brand, and he put on a two-hour show that wowed the hundreds of people in the audience. The next concert, featuring "Cherish The Ladies," will be staged on July 7 at 6 p.m. The show is billed as "Rockaway's Answer to Riverdance -- A Celtic Celebration."

A five-foot high wooden sculpture honoring six probationary firefighters who died at the World Trade Center was hung at the Fire Academy at Randall's Island at a ceremony last week. One of those firefighters who was honored was Rockaway resident Richie Allen.

A triangle of green on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 144 Street was dedicated to Neponsit activist Leroy Gwirtzman last weekend. Many local and city luminaries came to honor the man who worked for the interests of his community for many years.

There were many jet skis in the bay this weekend, probably in response to the story in The Wave that detailed the fact that there is a corridor along Rockaway's shores that is not controlled by the National Park Service, and is therefore not off limits to the personal watercraft. It appeared, however, that many of them were in the park area, and therefore eligible for a ticket from the park police. It will take a while to shake down exactly which areas are off limits and which are not.

A reminder that The Wave will be hosting a meeting for those who witnessed the crash of Flight 587 in November of 2001. The meeting will be held at The Beach Club (at the ocean on Beach 116 Street at 7:30 p.m. on July 10. Come early. Indications are that hundreds of people from all over the area plan to attend.

Now that the school year is over, The Wave will have to cut down on its much-heralded school pages. We would like to keep the tradition going, however, with pictures and stories from the dozens of summer camps that run on the Rockaway peninsula each year. Send your submissions by E-mail to editor@rockawave.com or by mail to The Wave offices.

Family Night at Keyspan Park is set this year for July 31 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the Cyclones games are so hard to get that this may be your only chance to see the team in person. The proceeds from the event will benefit Peninsula Hospital Center, and tickets can be purchased at the hospital or by calling 734-2506.

There are a number of restaurants in Rockaway where you can sit and view the most beautiful scenery in the world -- the bay or the ocean at sundown. Starting from the extreme west end of the peninsula, we have Kennedy's At the Bay, La Pergola, The Wharf, The Beach Club, The Sunset Diner, The Bay Breeze Marina (in Broad Channel), Pier 92 and Almost Paradise. To find any of these fine spots, look in The Wave. They are all advertisers. If we have forgotten any local waterfront eateries, let us know.

While the major provider of bus service in Rockaway, the Green Bus Lines, is not on strike, the four-week strike of three other private bus companies continues to impact on those commuters who come to Rockaway from off the peninsula. It seems clear now that the strikers will not get what they want and that the city council, which has taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds from the bus companies, will finally do the right thing and turn the routes over to the MTA.

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