2002-08-31 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

The power of the web and its reach is truly amazing! Just last week I received a phone call from The Wave editor Howie Schwach with wonderful news about a friend of mine who lives in Munich Germany had found me on the web. She explained to Howie in her email that she had been trying for such a long time to find me. We had gone to Columbia together; and after many years, we just lost touch. She searched various search engines until she finally found my column on the web! Well, it isn't actually surprising if you knew my friend Brigitta!

I just can't tell you how excited I am and equally fascinated by this age in which we live! It is, however, a rather odd feeling to know that anything I write can be read by anyone anywhere around the world! She will be coming to New York on business and after many years, we will see each other again!
***Congratulations to David Bright who recently graduated from Harvard with a major in Government Affairs and Political Science. David is the extraordinarily handsome son of Mary Bright and the brother of Robert. David was born in County Meath, Ireland. He attended Beach Channel High School where he graduated at the top of his class and gave the Valedictory address. After four years at Cambridge, David will take a year off to travel abroad. He is currently the editor of the publication, Let's Go! The 600-page travelogue is very popular with students in Ireland. His work abroad will take him to Johannesburg, South Africa where he will be conducting research work for the United Nations. Congratulations to the Bright family on this milestone!
***I sympathize so much with the recent plight of Rockaway surfers. They
certainly make a sensible argument for their cause. To say that surfers can't surf in their own seaside community is to say that snowboarders in
Aspen can't snowboard! I've never heard of anything so ludicrous in my life! I know that for me, what so much attracted me to Rockaway was the ocean. I spent every day of every summer of my youth by the beach and it seems unfathomable that the surfers would have restricted access. The ocean is our greatest asset. We should be attracting surfers from all over the tri-state area to come and ride our waves. As for the issue of safety, with such a shortage of skilled lifeguards manning the beaches, I would feel a lot safer if the surfers were out there.

Perhaps they can reach a compromise with the city as they did recently in Northern California where there was a tremendous controversy between surfers and Kayakers over who had more recreational rights to the water. They settled their dispute and legislation was enacted so that each sport could have its own area in the water. These surfers are in such exceptional shape and their swimming prowess could only aid rather than hinder when it comes to safety.

Perhaps the surfers should ban together and don their wetsuits and surfboards and stage a protest at city hall! It would certainly make headlines and bring attention to their cause!
***Mary (Dever) Kelly is truly an inspiration and an example to so many. As chair of the Education Committee for the Rockaway Action Committee, Mary, along with her husband Jim Kelly who Mary says is her civic activist intern, has been actively seeking the cooperation of merchants in the local business community to please comply with removing graffiti from their storefronts. Excessive advertising on outside storefront windows degrades the area. I would also like to see some of these merchants remove their wares from the sidewalks. It just looks so unsightly.
***Congratulations to Liz Sulik, John Lepore and the Chamber of Commerce on the Kite festival last weekend. It was absolutely spectacular!
***Congratulations to Jacob and Ella Mulokandov on their recent nuptials.
The couple was married on June 19. Jacob is the co-proprietor of A&J Jewelers on Beach 116 Street. His partner Arlene has boasting rights too. Her lovely six year old daughter, Lorianna, loves jewelry so much that she has already her diamond picked out for her big day...someday!

***See you.... On the Beach!

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