2002-08-10 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Local residents who were customers of the Belle Harbor Kosher Deli were shocked last week to hear that the two owners, Ian Marpet of Whitestone and David Berl of Howard Beach, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and charged with drug trafficking. An FBI spokesperson told The Wave late last week that the two were allegedly bringing in quantities of Diazepam and Marijuana from Mexico for sale in the United States. The restaurant has been shuttered with a sign proclaiming that it is "under renovation."

If you think that the news in Rockaway is popping this summer, take a look at The Wave ten years ago this week. Police had just arrested the murderer of Marion Polichak and Jim Dwyer, a youth who lived right behind their Bayswater house; there was a push-in murder of an 87 year old woman in Wavecrest Gardens; local retired police lieutenant Bob Nesbit was murdered during an armored car holdup in Brooklyn, six Jamaica residents had a shoot-out with officers of the 101 Precinct that ended in Nassau County with one criminal dead and two others wounded, and a 14-year-old boy drowned in Reynold’s Channel (the East Rockaway Inlet). All in all, it was a tough week for Rockaway journalists.

A rare 1907 postcard depicting The Wave is up for bids on E-bay. The first bid for the card, which has a view of the paper’s headquarters at 404 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and a picture of publisher D.W. Murray, was selling on Saturday for almost $30. The bidding ended on August 7. A few weeks ago, a Hundredth Anniversary Edition of the paper sold for $27. Goes to show that you can sell anything on the Internet.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed that it is its responsibility to clean the Joe Addabbo Bridge, which links Rockaway and Broad Channel with the rest of Queens. Previously, several agencies fought over the right not to clean it and it was a mess. The cleaning process has already begun.

The developers of Arverne By the Sea have told local officials that they should begin laying foundations for the new homes sometime in the next week. That is exciting news for Rockaway, especially for those who said that nobody would ever build on the site because nobody would ever buy homes in Rockaway.

We were sitting on the boardwalk at about 10:30 p.m. at Beach 123 Street on Sunday night, trying to beat the heat a bit and, just by looking around, we could see at least several people breaking the law. Actually, we were probably breaking the law because we were in the "park" after hours, but there were people who were even doing more dastardly things. A man directly in front of us was surfcasting with a big fishing rod. Three young kids were wading with an older woman and a teenager. There were two teens actually surfing. Some elderly people were walking on the beach. Several people rode by us on the boardwalk, actually riding bicycles on the boards. Two people walked by with a large dog. All of those people, out to beat the heat on a hot August evening were breaking the law and each could have earned a C Summons and a trip to court for his or her transgression.

The odds are good that the new Rockaway Recreation Center that will be built along Rockaway Beach Boulevard by the developers of Arverne By The Sea will be run by the YMCA organization. That should dispel some of the rumors that the center will be only for those who live in the new community. The fact is, the community center will be built for all Rockaway residents.

Speaking of the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) for the remaining portion of the site, from Beach 35 Street to Beach 62 Street, should come before Community Board 14 sometime in early winter. We are still pushing for some sort of water-related museum or educational facility (or a combination of both) on the site.

Rudy Bishop’s Steel Drum Symphony Orchestra, billed as "sweet sounds of the Caribbean coupled with the classics," will perform at the next RMAC Sunset Picnic Concert at Fort Tilden on Sunday evening, August 11 at 6 p.m.

We like Congressman Anthony Weiner, but there are times that he seems to be like other politicians, taking credit for things that are not his doing. For example, Weiner issued a press release two weeks ago about the green relay boxes that dot the peninsula. "Under an agreement with the postal service, Congressman Weiner announced that, by the end of August, they will all be removed." That makes it sound as if Weiner had them removed in the public good. In fact, I was with Weiner and postal officials on Beach 134 Street two weeks ago when the officials told Weiner that all of the green relay boxes would be removed because they were no longer needed. The postmaster told Weiner and the rest of us who were there that they would be removed by late August. Weiner’s staff then sent out the press release, which made quite a few papers. We guess that it is all part of the game.

Legislation was passed this week that would put hundreds of miles of waterfront property into play for development of recreation, housing and commercial use. The first step, which will begin shortly, will map and describe all of the waterfront property in the city. That includes the entire Jamaica Bay shoreline as well as the Atlantic Ocean shore. That database is to be completed by late November, when it will be turned over to the City Council. The list is to include more than 530 miles of coastline.

Almost Paradise, a restaurant and dive school at the ocean end of Beach 9 Street, is aptly named. We spent a great early evening last weekend watching the boats move in and out of Reynold’s Channel and eating some of the best food I have ever enjoyed on the peninsula. We particularly enjoyed the cheese and spinach fried in dough and the baked clams.

The Little Globe Theater will open its second season with an ensemble of theatrical scenes spanning the Greek Era and the Modern Era. Performances will be held at the First Congregational Church on Beach 94 Street at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 10 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 11. Wave publisher Susan Locke will be one of the featured performers.

Pottery By Susan, situated in The Wave Building at 88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, will host an opening exhibit on Friday, August 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The studio, which has fine handcrafted pottery, stained glass, silver jewelry and more, will feature the pottery of Jamaican artist Angella Brown.


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