2002-10-26 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Congressman Anthony Weiner will visit the next meeting of the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents to speak about flights from JFK Airport. The meeting will be held at The Beach Club on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m. Weiner hosted a meeting with the FAA last January. At that time, he announced that a plan to reduce flights over Rockaway would begin in February. It has never materialized. According to FAA sources, some of the older heavy jets could not use the new technology. The agency says that the new system will be on line by next January. Where have we heard that song before?

Celestine Miller, the former superintendent of School District 29, admitted guilt last week in a plot to defraud the kids of millions of dollars through phony computer contracts. What most people forget is that Miller was the favorite candidate of many of the school board trustees in this district prior to the job going to Beverly Hall. In fact, Miller was one vote short of winning the job before a tie vote (there were only eight board members at that time) pushed the board to eventually go to Hall when a ninth member was added by the chancellor.

The Mayor's plan to ax eight FDNY engine companies could easily impact on Rockaway. Last time around, the then-mayor targeted single unit houses for extinction. The firehouse at Beach 92 Street is just such a facility. All of the others have one truck and one engine. The Far Rockaway house is one of the largest in the city because it houses two engines and a truck. Closing any of the houses in Rockaway would be a tough sell to the community, especially with all of the new homes being built up and down the peninsula.

Rockaway resident, and former Wave editor, Kevin Boyle has written an outstanding book about Rockaway in the aftermath of both the attack on the World Trade Center and the crash of flight 587. Kevin's book will launch at the Harbor Light (a restaurant that plays a central role in the book) in early November. Look for it at bookstores, at your favorite Internet site and perhaps in a few local Rockaway venues as well. Producers from the FOX 5 morning show "Good Day NY" will be at the Wave office on Monday, October 28, to film an interview with Kevin about the book. They wil also  speak with the current editors about covering the tragedies. The book, entitled "Braving The Waves," is being published by Rising Star Press. Look for a review of the book elsewhere in this paper.

A feud between the State Senate and the Assembly might very well mean that school boards will not disappear in June, as they are now scheduled to do. A joint Senate-Assembly task force is supposed to hold public hearings and then come up with a plan to replace the 32 nine-member boards. Neither of the two legislative bodies has named members to the task force as yet, even though its first report is due in less than two months. The Senate wants the task force to be apolitical and wants to appoint educational experts to the panel. The Assembly, on the other hand, wants legislators on the panel. Leaders in the Assembly charge that the Senate is trying to kill the deal. Leaders in the Senate say that politicians are not needed to come up with a plan for parents to access the educational system. Experts tell The Wave that, should the state not come up with a timely plan, the feds will not allow the school boards to be dismantled until such a plan is approved.

The King Solomon Market on Beach 116 Street is quickly filling the void left by the demise of the Belle Harbor Kosher Deli. King Solomon now has fresh kosher meat and chicken and will soon have deli items as well. We have tried some of the stores Israeli fare and it is both unusual and delicious.

It is traditional for homeowners on the east side of Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel to park on the boulevard when there is a storm brewing and a high tide is expected. The streets flood to waist level on some of those streets under those conditions. The 100 Precinct traditionally respected that fact of life and left the cars alone, giving them a reasonable time once the water went down to move their cars back to their homes. Last week, however, with a high tide running and a northeaster forecast, those who parked on the boulevard found themselves with parking tickets on their windshields.

A new study has found that student test scores fall as the noise of aircraft over their head rises. The Cornell University study, published on the Journal of Psychological Science, tracked two groups of German students whose schools were nearby Munich International Airport, both before and after it was moved to a new location. The studies found that the students did much better after the airport moved away than before and the scores at a school nearby the new site of the airport fell after the airport moved in. Many of the schools in District 27, including a number in Rockaway, are right under the flight path of JFK Airport.

Parents whose children are in low performing schools will soon be able to find out whether or not their child's teacher holds state certification, what degrees the teacher holds and where he or she went to college. This is all part of the "No Child Left Behind" law recently passed by the feds.


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