2002-08-03 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Wave extends its condolences to the family of Janet Talcott and those who worked alongside her at St. John's Episcopal Hospital South Shore. Talcott, who served as the hospital's Marketing and Public Relations representative passed away on July 24 after battling an undisclosed illness. Talcott worked closely with Associate Editor Gary G. Toms when he wrote several investigative pieces on St. John's. She was extremely cooperative and helpful in responding to our investigations. She fought hard for the reputation of the hospital, and she fought even harder for the community. She will be sorely missed.

The fact that the Department of Transportation has taken down all of the parking notification signs on Beach 116 Street at the height of the season and has failed to replace them has led to lots of confusion on the part of west end drivers. What are the hours the meters are in operation? Is it necessary to put money in on Sunday? How long can you park at a meter? Nobody seems to know, and it is hard to understand how errant motorists can be ticketed at meters when there is no sign to answer those questions.

At one time, Rockaway had its own airport in Edgemere. Sixty years ago this week, in the throes of World War II, however, the U.S. Army ordered that all private airfields nearby the Atlantic coast had to be closed for security reasons. The Rockaway Airport was closed and relocated to Livingston Manor, New York, never to return.

The 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach has been chosen as the Borough of Queens Host Site for National Night Out Against Crime on August 6. This is a tremendous honor for both the precinct and the community. Traditionally, the mayor visits each of the five borough host sites during the festivities. The event is set for Beach 116 Street and will include games, entertainment and a fireworks display.

The Parks Department has notified The Wave that all of the beaches that were previously closed between Beach 73 Street and Beach 147 Street will be open seven days a week. The newly opened beaches are due to an increase in lifeguards to work on those beaches.

The Rockaway Farm shop on Beach 116 Street has reopened after an extensive renovation. The store now features some super wraps that can be taken to the office or to the beach, and it still sells many of the items that made it a neighborhood favorite in the past.

The West End of the Peninsula was buzzing on Saturday night around 9 p.m., when police aviation, harbor and local police units began a canvass of the beach at Beach 123 Street. The action began when a man walking on the beach found a female running shoe with a "bone stuffed in a sock," according to police sources. According to police, there was no flesh attached to the bone and it was uncertain as to whether or not it was a human bone. No other body parts were found in the area during an hour-long search. The medical examiner is working on the case.

Ten years ago this week, Belle Harbor resident Robert Nesbitt, a 52-year-old retired police lieutenant, was killed in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, attempting to foil an armored car robbery.

During the reopening of the tot playground at Riis Park, Congressman Anthony Weiner mentioned that it cost $100 thousand to completely redo the park. A Wave photographer noted that it probably would have cost two or three times as much had the city done it. A couple of days later, the new playground at Beach 73 Street was opened. That playground cost more than $700 thousand. While the Riis Park facility was a makeover and the Beach 73 Street facility was completely new park, the difference in cost has to be startling to New York City taxpayers.

The RMAC's fifth free concert of the summer, featuring the L.I. Pops, was a big hit. The next concert will be held on Sunday, August 11 at 6 p.m. at Fort Tilden. That concert will feature Rudy Bishop's Steel Drum Symphony Orchestra.

The Steering Committee for the Multi-Cultural Family Day Festival, taking place on August 24, informed us that the many other community groups and organizations have recently signed on for the project. Isaac Parse (Community Board 14), Fern Zagor (PRYSE manager), and Zandra Myers (the Joseph P. Addabbo Health Center) are part of the team helping to organize the event. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend, and local merchants and restaurants are urged to contact the PRYSE office at (718) 327-8306 if they would like to get involved. The committee has announced that since the entire park will be the site for many events on that day, residents are being asked not to bring or set up grills or cooking facilities, as they may pose dangers to young children and adults throughout the park. Food will be available, and the music will be provided DJ Spud, who has performed at many community functions throughout Rockaway over the last several years.

A Wave online poll recently asked those who visit our website what they thought about the NTSB's investigation of the Belle Harbor crash of American Airlines Flight 587 last November. We asked respondents how likely it was that the NTSB was involved in a cover up of the crash. As of Monday, July 29, the results were as follows:

The Results are:

Poll Answer

Votes

Extremely Likely

193

Somewhat Likely

51

Not Likely At All

37

Not Sure

5

One aviation specialist who lives in Florida e-mailed us to say that he is amazed at the mistrust of the NTSB in the Rockaway community, but added that it is "well-founded."

Those of you who were on the beach early Thursday afternoon might have noticed hundreds of boats passing by. They were all part of the Around Long Island Regatta, which started at Rockaway Point and wound up in the Long Island Sound. By all accounts, the Rockaway to Montauk Point ocean leg of the race was the hardest in memory because of the wind direction.


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