2002-10-19 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Stanley Cogan, the president of the Queens Historical Society has reported that the 12-year task of the Cornell Cemetery Corporation in restoring the historic Far Rockaway cemetery is finally coming to an end. Cogan says that later this year or early next year, the cemetery, which is a New York City landmark, will be presented to the public.

Ten years ago this week a bullet was fired through the window of an assistant principal's office at the then Junior High School 198, missing the AP by inches and hitting his desk. The shot came from the Arverne project across the street and police quickly found the culprit.

Mayor Bloomberg has targeted twenty-four locations in the city as "high-noise zones." The police have begun to saturate those areas with tickets and warnings. The NYPD, which is running the program, says that those areas were chosen for the program because those are "the areas where people's lives are affected most by noise." You'll notice that if you see the list, not one Rockaway area is included.

Rockaway resident Norman Scott, who recently retired from the school system, wrote a newsletter about education in this city entitled "Education Notes." Norm is usually right on target and his work is read extensively by the education community. Now that Norm has retired, he has turned Education Notes into a regular newspaper. This free paper can be found throughout Rockaway and is well worth reading. You can reach Norm at norscott@aol.com.

A number of local residents contacted The Wave on Monday morning to tell us that they had seen a Concorde in difficulty on Friday morning. Apparently, an inbound Concorde aborted its landing right over Rockaway, turned back over the ocean, went into a dive and recovered. After some minutes, the plane returned and landed without incident. The FAA has been asked to comment, but has not yet done so.

Beach Channel High School, which runs a very large Thanksgiving Day dinner for nursing home residents and other senior citizens is once again looking for donations to assist in feeding the increasingly large turnout. Those who wish to contribute either food or money to the school to facilitate the event should contact Sheila Murphy at the school.

It is obvious that there is going to be some contention between the building trades union and the developers of the Arverne-By-The-Sea developers. The unions want the entire job to be done by union workers, but those in the know tell us that the homes in Arverne would be priced out of sight if union workers were used on the entire project. The betting from those experts is that the one-family homes would be built by union labor while the two-family homes and condos would be built by non-union labor, thereby making them more affordable. The union argues that the homes would be safer and better built if the union workers were involved.

The families of the victims of American Airlines flight 587 who live in other parts of the city are planning a memorial service on November 12, the first anniversary of the crash. A number of Rockaway venues, including St. Francis de Sales Church, are planning memorial services as well. Rockaway residents have welcomed the mourners and their community to Rockaway for prior memorial services and we trust that there will be a welcoming this time as well. We can't believe that anybody would fault those who lost their loved ones from holding a service at the site.

A fire at Channel Oil on Cross Bay Boulevard closed that boulevard and the Cross Bay Bridge for a short time last Wednesday. The fire was not a big one and the Broad Channel Volies quickly knocked it down, but it did keep lots of Rockaway residents who use Cross Bay as an access to the peninsula from getting home on time.

Homes at Ocean Pointe at Bayswater are really not in Bayswater, but in Edgemere, but who cares? The private community on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 35 Street will feature one and two-family homes. Prices for the three models start at less than $200 thousand. According to the developers, most buyers will be able to purchase a home with about $14 thousand down, including closing costs.

After all the talk about a "one-seat ride" and the problems that the new AirTrain is having, there is a new plan to extend the line from Jamaica via the Flatbush Avenue LIRR station into Manhattan. That means that a rider could go from JFK straight through to the downtown area without changing trains. The plan is part of a larger plan to make lower Manhattan into an "International Center" that would draw companies anxious to get people to and from the airport. The cost would be somewhere between $4 and $8 billion, depending on who you listen to.

Amy Bach did a piece for last Sunday's New York Times about the "perfect city sunsets." The article mentioned Red Hook and Pier One in Manhattan, The Empire State Building and Staten Island. Not one mention of Rockaway, however, even though there are a dozen places on the peninsula that have the best sunset views in the world.

If you're interested in how our local federal legislators voted on the Iraq war powers bill, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton voted "yes" in the Senate. Congressman Tony Weiner also voted "yes." The only dissenting vote came from Congressman Greg Meeks, who voted "no."


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