2002-07-20 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Rockaway Music And Arts Council (RMAC) concert featuring Kenny Vance and the Planotones was a huge success, with more than a thousand aficionados of Doo Woop enjoying a two-hour concert under perfect weather conditions. This week’s concert, to be held at 6 p.m. at Fort Tilden on Sunday, July 21, will feature Enrique Lopez: An Invitation To Dance.

Ten years ago next week, one of the most brutal murders in Rockaway history took two local activists – Marion Polichak of the Bayswater Civic Association and the 101 Precinct Community Council and Jim Dwyer of the American Legion. The two were found tied up and murdered in the basement of Polichak’s Bayswater home. A neighbor was soon arrested for the murder, leading to one of the most bizarre political claims in this city’s electoral history.

The bus strike against three private companies in Queens continues into its fifth week. It is clear from the union’s turndown of a tentative agreement last weekend that the real issue in the strike is not health benefits, but job security. The workers want guarantees that, whoever eventually gets the routes, they will still have jobs. Nobody in the city hierarchy is willing to guarantee that kind of job security. Think about it for a moment, however. Many of the drivers and mechanics have been working for their companies for twenty years of more and they deserve protection for their jobs and for their pensions as long as the routes are active, no matter who owns and operates those routes.

The Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association will hold its next meeting on July 25 at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club (Beach 126 and BCD) at 7:30 p.m. The guest speaker will be Captain Talamo of the 100 Precinct.

It is not often that a story occurs right outside The Wave office, but that happened on Thursday of last week. Just returned from the groundbreaking ceremonies for Arverne By The Sea, Wave editors were surprised to see an ambulance as well as Borough President Helen Marshall’s car outside the Beach 88 Street office. Turns out that Marshall suffered a slight injury at the groundbreaking and her aides saw the ambulance, flagged it down, and had the injury looked at and treated. Then, everybody went on his or her respective way.

The New York Police Department is losing 160 experienced cops to the Port Authority. In what is being called the single largest defection in the history of the NYPD, the 160 cops will resign this week to begin training with the PAPD. Those experienced officers make up virtually the entire PAPD class of 192 "rookies." After five years, a PAPD officer earns $70,344, while a similar NYPD officer earns $51,987.

If you see people working on the old LILCO site on Beach 108 Street and Beach Channel Drive, do not panic. Keyspan Energy is conducting a "remedial investigation" on the site of the former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) that has been declared a toxic dump by the federal government. The investigation will "define the extent of the environmental implications for the site’s former use and to support the development of an effective remediation plan." The work will begin on July 15 and continue for approximately six weeks.

The New York Times did a small piece on the lack of movie theaters in Rockaway, interviewing a number of people from the Rockaway Artists Alliance for the story. There was one glaring error in the piece, however. It says that the Surfside theatre closed in 1996, which is correct, but then it goes on to say that it was "several years after the Strand, on Beach 20 Street, near Mott Avenue." The fact is, the Strand closed several decades before the Surfside, not several years before, as did the Columbia and the Gem (Pix).

Get ready Rockaway! On Saturday, August 24, a Multi-Cultural Festival will be held at Bayswater State Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be a celebration of family and unity, and there will be plenty of food, fun, music and entertainment. Many throughout the peninsula are invited to attend. This is not an east end thing, or a west end thing. It is a community thing, so come on out and show your love and support for the entire Rockaway community.

The Wave was saddened to hear of the death of Flornell Myers. Myers was the subject of a front-page story we ran about the Queens Narcotics Division. Her story, and her input, helped to create a dialogue between New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and local and national chapters of the NAACP. As a result, the two entities have pledged to work more closely together in effort to establish a better relationship between police and the black community. Our condolences go out to the Myers family in their time of sorrow.

Family night at Keyspan Park, sponsored by the Peninsula Hospital Center, is sold out, according to the event coordinators. Once again, Rockaway people have responded to the need of a community mainstay and will have a fun night in addition.

It seems strange to us that not one daily paper in the city has run a story on the Flight 587 Witness Meeting held last week despite the fact that both the Daily News and Newsday had reporters and photographers at the meeting.

It seems as though a nude beach has sprung up at Beach 109 Street. Some people who use the beach on a regular basis asked the lifeguard to ask the "naturalists" to cover up, but he seemed unsure of what to do and said that he would ask his supervisor.

People have been asking us when Dunkin Donuts was going to reopen on Beach 116 Street. I saw one of the workers at the shop who now works in Howard Beach. He told me that the new shop would open "soon," but would say no more than that.


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