2002-12-14 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

By Liz Guarino

How did you like all of that snow last Thursday? (A lot of snow and a lot of very cold weather have been predicted for this winter.) It was coming down so heavy and fast in the afternoon, I wondered if it was the beginnings of our first blizzard. Fortunately, the snowplow soon rumbled through, clearing the streets a bit in the afternoon. By Friday, the piles at the sides of the streets were dirty and inconvenient, but no worse than that!

DON'T FORGET! The Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Friday, December 13th at 7 p.m. at the 17th Road Park. Santa will be available, having arrived on the fire truck! Hot cocoa and cookies will be served. Non-alcoholic champagne will be available for the adults.

The 100th Precinct is accepting gently used, clean warm coats of all sizes
until the 31st of December as part of the 14th Annual New York Cares Coat Drive. Coats must be still serviceable, with the zippers working, no buttons missing and no rips to provide appropriate outerwear for the less fortunate.

ASLEEP AT THE KEYBOARD? A phone call from a reader alerted me that I probably had confused the UCO vote with the civic vote. The civic voting takes place at the VFW, not the Legion! Sorry. As everyone knows, civic voting was not held on the fifth of December; it was postponed till the 12th because of all
the snow. (I send the column to the Wave before the 12th, so the election is still in the future as I write this! So, of course, results will be printed
in a future column.) 

Kiddie Bingo will be held on December 15th at 2 p.m. in the Christ
Presbyterian Church Hall for children age 5 and older. There will be games, raffles and prizes. Refreshments will be served. Admission is $6. Call Jo 474-8207 or Mary 634-5804 to buy tickets.

The final Picture Book Class will take place on Thursday, December 19 at 10 a.m. in the library. Preschoolers age 3 and up have been enjoying 20 to 30 minutes of stories, songs and crafts since October.

BCVFD is sponsoring Toys for Tots. New unwrapped toys and/or new clothing items can be left at Coogan's or Grassy's until the 17th of December. On Christmas Eve look for the Vollies. They will be traveling around with Santa!

Is the outside of your house decorated and awaiting the judges? The
Beautification Committee and All-American Deli will co-sponsor this year's House Decorating Contest. The 8 judges will decide the winners on December 23rd. There are no specific categories this year.

The Grand Prize Winner receives a $150 gift certificate to Boulder Creek
Restaurant in the new Gateway Circle shopping area. The 1st place winner gets a $100 gift certificate; 2nd place winner will get a $50 gift certificate and the 3rd place winner will receive a $25 gift certificate-all three gift certificates will be to All American Deli. All winners will also receive
surprise Holiday Gifts.

When there are budget problems and the ax is lowered to trim expenses, there is usually controversy over the way it's wielded. This news probably will not affect everyone, but some people will not be happy: Beginning Monday, January 6, our Library's hours of operation will be reduced. Saturday hours will be
eliminated in a move that undoubtedly will prove difficult for many. The
Library will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays to make up for the elimination of Saturday hours.

Even if they opened the Library every day at 10 a.m., losing Saturday hours will be a burden to some folks. It seems that the school kids will be most affected. Saturday is the best day for them to do research for and get books for their book reports. Wednesday morning will be of no value to the kids; they're in school at that time. They will have to go to the Library after a full day of school and hurry so they get home before it gets dark and the temperatures drop even lower! And if Mom and Dad can't take the kids there after school, when will the kids be able to use the Library?

People who work 9 to 5 Monday to Friday will be forced to use the Library Monday night if they get home from Manhattan, Brooklyn or Long Island jobs quickly enough! If they don't, then what? The hard-working men and women who helped build the Library and sustain it with their continuous flow of tax dollars won't be able to use the very services they fund!

Ironically, our librarian loves working Saturdays! One of the reasons B.C. got the Library in the first place is the toll bridge, which separates it from other library branches! Now some residents will be forced to travel over the toll bridge to get library service on Saturday. And everyone does not have an EZ Pass, so a toll will be charged. Of all the branches to close on Saturday, including our Library was a really poor choice.

On another economic issue: a lot of people are not very happy over the
increase in property taxes. No one will get an 18.5 percent raise at work to cover the tax increase! Thank goodness the City Council passed tax relief for fixed income seniors. Our electric bills will probably go up too. Con Ed owns lots of property, is not exempt from the tax increase and will pass their hike on to consumers. One woman said she thought the Mayor would have been more creative in finding ways to close the budget gap. "I'm not happy about [the increase] it," she said, "but what can I do?" It seems that everybody is being squeezed from both directions: Cut services here, raise taxes there. It
looks like we'll pay more and get less no matter what we do or say. Sigh.

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