2002-10-05 / Columnists


There will be an emergency Town Hall Meeting on Monday, October 7 to address the demise of the local school boards. The meeting, hosted by Community School Board 27, will be held at MS 137 (109-15 98 Street in Ozone Park). That is the new school directly behind the bowling alley on Rockaway Boulevard, just off Cross Bay Boulevard. The sponsors of the meeting urge all parents to attend because "your state legislative representatives are considering depriving the parents and voters elected community representation in school governance." Under the new governance act, the local school boards will be phased out in June.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has joined the probe of the tragic AirTrain crash last week. We're not sure that the agency's entrance into the investigation will insure that the truth will be found. Look at what a mess the agency has made of the flight 587 investigation and its refusal to even hear what the eyewitnesses have to say. By the way, in this space last week, we said that the AirTrain would be operating by the end of the year. Change that. The accident has pushed back the start date "indefinitely," according to a spokesperson for the project. There are those who have believed from the beginning that the AirTrain would never run regularly scheduled trips. Their predictions are starting to look a little bit better as a result of the latest accident.

State Senator Frank Padvan has found $335 thousand for three of the school districts that he represents, Districts 25, 26 and 29. The money will be used for enrichment activities as well as programs in the "expressive arts." It makes us wonder why Senator Malcolm Smith has not done something similar for Rockaway's District 27.

Cindy Adams writes a breezy gossip column for The New York Post. On September 20, she moved away from gossip and into Rockaway affairs. She wrote: "It's coming up on the anniversary of show bomber Richard Reid...Conspiritorialists, asking why he did not detonate his bomb in a lavatory without risking interference, posit that he'd been ordered to activate his explosives while in Window Seat A19. That's on the wing where the fuel is stored. A hole would have ripped the plane apart - precisely what, a month earlier, in Queens, brought down an Airbus bound for Santo Domingo. All 225 aboard plus five on the ground were lost. There exists a belief that Reid was, in fact, shoe bomber No. 2. That the Santo Domingo flight, chalked up to 'turbulence' and 'pilot error,' was actually the work of his predecessor. Now, DEBKA, an electronic news operation is suggesting the same, giving physical, clinical and aeronautical explanations as to why experts are convinced that the Santo Domingo-bound plane 40 days earlier was the mission of unknown terror bomber No. 1. The answer to that riddle becomes even more important in light of the events last weekend, when a man was found with box cutters and a knife secreted in his luggage.

Coney Island has done it again. The parachute Jump, a rusting remnant of the "good old days" in that area, may soon be back in operation, thanks to a $5 million restoration funded by the New York Economic Development Corporation. One wonders what Rockaway has to do to get a couple of bucks to restore some of our grandeur or even to subsidize a ferry service so that middle class people would have to way to get to Manhattan without using the A Train. Once again, Coney Island gets the gold mine and Rockaway gets the shaft.

Borough President Helen Marshall accepted a commemorative tile this week from a Dutch memorial to victims of a 1992 plane crash in Holland. The tile was a gift to express solidarity with the people of Rockaway following the crash of flight 587. We wonder if Rockaway will ever see the tile. Perhaps it should be exhibited at the Rockaway museum until a memorial to those lost in flight 587 can be constructed.

Three Rockaway women, Keelah Helwig, Sarah Arikian and Lizette Vicens, will take part in a 60-mile walk to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. The Avon Breast Cancer Three-Day Walk will take place upstate next weekend, with more than 8,000 people will take part in the walk.

A west end resident called to find out how she could get graffiti removed from the mailboxes on Newport Avenue. When we told her that The Wave had run a story about residents "adopting" a mailbox, she told us that she was afraid that she would get in trouble for painting the mailbox nearby her home. Perhaps somebody at the USPS can contact The Wave with the information that people need to get involved with the "Adopt A Mailbox" program.

The weather cooperated nicely this past weekend and thousands came to Riis Park for the annual Fall Festival hosted by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC). As usual, one vendor seemed to capture the imagination of those who attended. This year, it was the Safe-T-Bow vendor, who sold hundreds of his safe bow and arrow combinations for $10 each.

Tickets are still on sale for the concert being sponsored by the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for its Tribute Park project. The concert will be held at Beach Channel High School on October 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at The Wave offices, West End Realty, the Chamber offices and at the Sunset Diner.

The Jack Moran Run will be held on October 12. The 5 K Run For Safety is sponsored by Verizon and the Communications Workers of America. The race will begin at Beach 99 Street and the boardwalk. Registration will be held at St. Camillus Church.

Those who park on Beach 116 Street are reminded that they must still feed the meters on Sunday. Beginning on November 1, however, the parking is free on Sundays until the end of May.

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