2003-01-04 / Columnists

Beachcomber

City Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr. contacted The Wave this week to give us an update on the ferry situation. Addabbo stated that he pitched the idea of a "ferry shuttle" to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and they were interested in the idea. The ferry would run from Riis Park to Sheepshead Bay at no cost to riders. Once at Sheepshead Bay, riders would then board a ferry bound for Manhattan, which would charge a fee. The councilman noted that the DOT was not thrilled about a full service ferry running from Rockaway to Manhattan because a large scale vessel would be needed to facilitate riders, and the ridership may not be there to keep it operational. "The DOT is very interested in the idea of the shuttle, as opposed to a full service ferry. However, I would like to have the community respond to the idea before I move forward with the proposal," said Addabbo. If you want to offer comments on the proposal, contact Councilman Addabbo's Rockaway office at (718) 318-6411. You can also send comments to The Wave at editor@rockawave.com, and they will be forwarded to the councilman's office.

The Wave has received a number of communications from parishioners at St. Rose of Lima Church who are unhappy with the fact that we used a picture of the church as "art" along with a story we did on the denial on the part of the Brooklyn Diocese that it had any obligation to warn parishioners about pedophile priests. We did not mean to defame that specific church, nor its current pastor, Father Peter Gillan in any way. We apologize to any parishioners who were angered by our use of the picture.

The James Conway Sullivan St. Patrick's Day Parade and Cultural Committee will host its annual Hearts and Shamrocks Dance on Sunday, January 19 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the St. Camillus Hall on Beach 100 Street. Tickets can be obtained at several local locations, including the Beach Club, RBI's, The Kerry Hill Pub and from the organization.

Senator Chuck Schumer wants to tap the nation's strategic oil reserves to keep the cost of gasoline and heating oil down this winter. Schumer says that oil prices are up by 30 percent over last winter and that heating oil prices are due to rise by 41 percent. He says that the average New Yorker could save hundreds of dollars if the president decides to tap the reserves, something that he was not willing to do in the past.

Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton has a good idea. He wants the city to create a "Resident Metrocard" that would force out-of-towners to pay for when traveling on city buses and subways. He believes that the coming fare increase should be for non-residents only, that locals should keep paying the old fees. That could easily be done, he says, through the use of Metrocards, just as some residents get a break on various bridges by using EZPass.

The holiday card sent by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council was very nicely done, but it would have been better in black and white than in the green color that it was printed. In any case, local artist Steve Yeager, who designed the card, should be congratulated for his effort.

Things just get sillier and sillier on the political correctness front. A California principal has banned her students from playing tag in the schoolyard during recess. She says, "the game causes both physical and emotional injuries, particularly a loss of self-esteem, since not all children can win."

The plan by Community School Board 27 to rezone the Rockaway schools before they are booted out of office at the end of June has once again fanned the flames of the PS 114 zone controversy. There is no doubt that PS 114 has the best standardized test scores on the peninsula just as there is do doubt that homes in the PS 114 zone are worth about $75 thousand more than homes across the street in the PS 225 zone. Both of those facts fuel the controversy. The school board, which has to rezone much of the eastern end of the peninsula because of a new school, and wants to rezone the PS 225, PS 105, PS 42 zones to create "neighborhood schools," will probably not mess with the PS 114 zone this time around. Who knows, however, what will happen when the next "community empowerment" move brings a different school governance group to power?

The third annual Take The Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis" will take place on February 8 this year. The event includes a couple of drinks at the Boulevard Tap and Grill prior to a one minute plunge into the cold, cold Atlantic Ocean and a party at the restaurant. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the plunge itself takes place from 2:30 to 2:31 p.m.

The Wave once again wants to take this time and space to wish all of our loyal readers a Happy and peaceful New Year. Last year was one of remembrance and renewal. Who knows that this year will bring for Rockaway?

Last year at this time, Congressman Anthony Weiner issued a press release about all of the good things that the feds did for Rockaway that year, including adding sand to the beach and the revitalization of Riis Park. Weiner also pointed to the millions coming to MS 180 and PS 225 as part of the federal magnet grant that had just been announced. He trumpeted the money that Congressman Greg Meeks was setting aside for the project at 6200 Beach Channel Drive, which was to include the new Addabbo Health Center, a school to train residents for aviation careers and a health careers training center. What happened to all of those projects? The sand on the beach is already gone, Riis Park has had some cosmetic fixes, but not much more, the magnet programs have been so quiet that they may exist only on paper and the school component of the vaunted 6200 BCD project seems to be as dead as the proverbial doornail.

A number of local school board members, parents and activists testified at the Queens hearing on school governance. School Board President, Steve Greenberg, had to miss the Queens hearing, but had testified earlier, at the Manhattan hearing. School board members Delores Bevilacqua, David Hooks, Ernest Brown and Ronni Schwab testified, as did Democratic District Leader Lew Simon and several parents. None of those who testified, however, was optimistic that their voices were heard. The consensus is that the task force holding the hearings has already decided to replace the school boards with some modified form of the school leadership teams that now exist in each school.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg convinced the City Council that the new anti-smoking rules would save lives by forcing people to quit. That has not happened. In fact, spending on cigarettes over the internet and through telephone sales has increased proportionately to the losses of those who sell cigarettes in this city. Those who do quit, however, can save lots of money. Those who smoke two packs a day and quit can save upwards of $5,500 a year, according to Mayor Mike Bloomberg convinced the City Council that the new anti-smoking rules would save lives by forcing people to quit. That has not happened. In fact, spending on cigarettes over the internet and through telephone sales has increased proportionately to the losses of those who sell cigarettes in this city. Most will not quit, however, just shift their spending away from city outlets.


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