2002-12-21 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Wave will publish a special 110-year anniversary issue of the paper in July of 2003. It promises to be an exciting collector's item for anybody who lives in Rockaway or who has lived here in the past. The theme of the special issue will be "110 Years of Rockaway History Through The Eyes of The Wave." The biggest news stories in each of those 110 years will be addressed in the special issue. We are working on ways of getting all of our local residents involved in the project, perhaps through reminiscences of Rockaway or of relatives who lived here. Keep it in mind and watch The Wave for more information.

The Nor'easter that struck Rockaway ten years ago last week caused more than $40 million in infrastructure costs and in the destruction of homes on the peninsula. There is no dollar total that can be put on the human suffering that the storm left behind.

Despite the fact that Mayor Bloomberg has announced that New Yorkers are better off now than at anytime in the past, a poll taken last week shows that most New Yorkers are pessimistic about the future of the city and the state. The numbers are the worst the poll has seen since 1994 and they are going down. Nearly 71 percent of those questioned said that we are in trouble and that the trouble would last for at least another year or two.

The American Airpower Museum at the Republic Airport in Farmingdale is offering the ultimate holiday gift for a military or World War II buff. For $250 (tax deductible as a gift to the museum) a person can suit up in the equipment carried by the paratrooper's who participated in the D-Day Invasion and take to the air in a C-47 that actually took part in that invasion. The flight will be held on June 6, 2003.

Rumor has it that police from the 100 Precinct picked up a suspect in the rash of house break-ins in the West End, but could not hold him because none of those who were victimized could identify him. We assume that the police are keeping a close watch on the Rockaway resident who is suspected of the crimes.

An old dwelling at Beach 119 Street and Ocean Promenade is being demolished. Nobody seems to know what will takes the place of the former one-family home, but locals suspect that the property will quickly house a multiple dwelling.

Warren Woodbury, a young reporter for the Daily News who has spent lots of time covering Rockaway in the past year or so, did a nice piece on Belle Harbor for the "Your Neighborhood" section in last Sunday's paper. There were a couple of glaring errors in the piece, however. First of all, I do not think that either the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association nor the Neponsit Homeowners are very happy with his notation that Belle Harbor begins at Beach 125 and ends on Beach 142. The Belle Harbor association says that the community begins on Beach 130 Street (The Wave says it begins on Beach 126) and ends on Beach 140 Street. Woodbury says that there were "many police and firefighters" among "as many as 100 locals who lost their lives on September 11." There were many firefighters, but no local police officers among the 71 locals who were lost. Oh, by the way, Teddy "Sunday," whose picture graced the pages of the article, is really Ted Prakope.

St. Rose of Lima will host "An Irish Christmas" at the church's auditorium on Sunday, December 22 at 2 p.m. Proceeds to the hit show will benefit the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the church.

It will be interesting to see how our local bars, pubs and restaurants will react to the new regulations concerning smoking. We can expect at least one or two locals to change the way they do business to build a "smoking room" in their establishments. As the rule now stands, employees cannot enter the smoking room and it will be interesting to see how those who chose to eat in that room will be served.

Kevin Boyle's book, "Braving The Waves" has become a hot commodity in Rockaway. It has sold out at The Wave, at Sammy's and at The Gift is Love, the three local outlets that sell the book. It is still available, we are told, on amazon.com, but that there is a 10-day wait for those who order from that venue.

Another hot commodity around the community are the Tribute Park bricks. Reports are that the bricks are going quickly and that those who want to purchase a brick should do so as quickly as possible. Those interested in further information should contact the Chamber of Commerce. As all residents are aware, the Tribute Park will honor those Rockaway residents who were lost in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Those who have attended the hearings being held by the Task Force on Community School Governance Reform (isn't that a mouthful) tell me that it is obvious to them that the February 15 report by the task force will say that the role of individual School Leadership Teams should be increased and that they should become the vehicle through which parents can input the system. Those teams, however, have no accountability to the community at large. They are made up of the UFT reps, the administration and a couple of parents (who are chosen by the parent association membership). Those groups do not truly represent the community, and we would be hard-pressed to find a way to make them accountable short of electing them.


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