2003-02-01 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

I don't think I can recall the weather ever being this frigid for this long! It makes me want to just slip into a steaming hot bubbly Jacuzzi or be out on a boat somewhere in the aqua-marine waters off the coast of Key West where they celebrate the sun! I love the Caribbean Islands of St. Maarten (the French side), St. Bart, and St. Croix; but the island of St. Thomas is my absolute favorite place to be in the sun!  It's been quite awhile, but I do hope to return there again soon!

*****In his "beating about the Bush" State Of The Union Address, the President made his argument and prepared us for War. Although I am a registered Republican, I am not a George Bush fan. I just don't take him seriously as a statesman and leader of the free world. Being somewhat of a writer, I tend to take notice of the speech and how well its crafted, as well as its delivery. Although he forcefully hit his "mark" and made a sound argument for why we should enter into a War with Iraq, his attempt at being authentic and "compassionate" in his proposed consolations of our Domestic woes, was somewhat disfiguring! I just regard him and can't get past the frat-boy image! To think that he is the one leading us down such a slippery-slope is rather alarming. I don't know, maybe it's the Texas thing! His finger-pointing in-your-face style. It's no wonder the Germans and the sophisticated Parisians dislike him. It's the brash cowboy thing. He's embarrassing! Whatever happened to the one he vowed he wanted "dead or alive"?! Thankfully he is surrounded by the weight and intellectual might of many of his father's people; yet one has to wonder if that's what a War with Iraq is really all about. Is it payment to the very people, the puppeteers with pockets of oil money, who propped him up and ensured his Presidency? I just can't escape the visions I have of George Bush, the elder, advising his son on the doctrine of preemption as the necessary action toward Iraq; and George W whining, "No, I can't dad, no, don't make me, it's too hard!" As the French would say, "Mon Dieu"!

*****AROUND OUR TOWN...The Chamber of Commerce is in contract for Phase I of the Waterfront Reconstruction Phase for Tribute Park. The reconstruction will add an additional twenty feet to stabilize erosion of the area. The chamber will host an Open House on February 4 at The Beach Club from 4:30 'til 8:30 p.m. According to Executive Director Liz Sulik, the occasion will be the last chance for the public to come and voice their input for the park's design. Thus far, there are thirteen finalists who have been selected, out of fifty entries, to render their designs for the park. These thirteen Artists/Designers will attend the Open House where they will make their presentations. There will be forms available for the public to write its input. The final selection will be made by February 15. The selection Committee will include an Architect as well as an Engineer to ensure that the chosen design is physically feasible. The final design process will conclude with discussions between the chamber and the Parks Department. The design of the park, its landscaping, walkways, etc..., will enhance the actual Art work. There will be much collaboration between the Parks Department and the Art work design. Fundraising efforts are already underway. One can purchase a brick and/or a bench memorializing a loved one. The bricks will make up the pathways throughout the park. You may also participate in the Book and Teddy Bear Sale. Author Kevin Boyle will donate fifty percent of the proceeds from this sale to Tribute Park. His book, Braving The Waves, is available at the chamber office. The entire concept for the park, as well as its funding, has been collaborative between the City, State, and Federal levels. As a result of a U.S. Forest Service Grant, Tribute Park will be included and listed in its National Registry of Living Memorials. Thus far, fifty-thousand dollars has been raised. The goal is seventy-five thousand. The final dedication for the park will be held on September 11, 2003. With much of the controversy surrounding the proposed memorial for the victims of Flight 587, perhaps the chamber will consider the inclusion of a special memorial design at Tribute Park.

***Since many of you have asked, the Arverne By The Sea Sales and Information Office is open from Friday thru Tuesdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

*****Parade News...Our final benefit of the parade season will be held at Antun's on Saturday night February 15 from 8pm 'til 1am. Tickets to the Black Tie Gala are $75 per person and may be obtained from any parade committee member or honoree.

*****Democratic District Leader Dr. Geraldine Chapey will host a Luncheon to benefit the Trinity Seniors on April 30. The event will be held at Russo's-on-the-Bay. Tickets are $40.

*****Although to some, the notion of a Rockaway City may seem unrealistic; it is, however, a bargaining chip and a way of getting the city to give more serious attention to Rockaway.
*****It's always nice to dine with my friends the Sullivans on Friday nights at Tiberio's. Owner and Chef Extraordinaire Raymone will now boast mid-week specials on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. They offer Veal or Chicken Parmigiana or Linguine with Red or White Clam Sauce which includes your choice of Pasta or Broccoli....all for $10 and $11.95. If you are a shrimp lover, then you must try their fabulous Shrimp Parmigiana. It's the best!

See you....On the Beach!               


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