2003-02-22 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter

If all this snow has been of any consolation or has had any redeeming value, it had at least given our minds some sort of whimsical reprieve from thinking about duct tape, plastic poly sheeting, and safe rooms. For the next few days, it’s snow shovels, snow boards, and the sounds of children’s laughter at the new ice-skating rink on Shore Front Parkway, which has been funded by Councilman Joe Addabbo! And, if ever there was a winter to enjoy outdoor winter sports, this is it!

Speaking of Councilman Joe, I don’t think there has been enough written about the fine job he has been doing for us in the City Council. Although I am a Republican who has worked on several Republican campaigns, Councilman Joe so much impressed me during his contest against Joann Ariola. Toward the end of that campaign and during the final debate where all candidates were given a chance to address the issues, Mr. Addabbo showed genuine grace and professionalism. Being a Republican with a brother-in-law who ran in that race as an Independent must have certainly put me in an adversarial position; however, Joe won me over at the last minute; and I have ever since found him to be consistently gracious and approachable. It’s so refreshing when an elected official returns your phone calls—within 15 minutes!

On his behalf, I am delighted to report to you the names of those who will be memorialized with a street name. In the wake of the attack on the WTC, there have been many names submitted to the Community Planning Board’s Memorial Committee. The process itself is a lengthy one; however the Councilman has assured me that all names will be introduced and passed into Law in the City Council. So far, three names and sites have been approved. They are: Bell’s Beach on B. 92nd Street for FF Steve Bells who died in the attack; Fitzgerald Park along Shore Front Pkwy.; and a portion of Neponsit Avenue for Rabbi Joe Weiss. An unveiling for Bell’s Beach will take place on March 8 on the boards at B. 92nd. Street. It would have been personally so nice to see a portion of the parade route on Rockaway Beach Blvd. named James Conway Sullivan Way in time for this year’s parade; however, Councilman Joe promised that I will see it in time for next year! Joe also told me that he is available and would be most honored to officiate the unveilings and dedications of the streets once they have been passed through the City Council.

PARADE NEWS....The James Conway Sullivan Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee hosted its final benefit of the parade season on February 15. The Gala at Antun’s to fete our 2003 honorees was attended by over 600 guests. Included in a distinguished roster were John DunLeavy, Chairman of the Fifth Avenue parade committee; Tom Patchell, General Secretary of The International Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters; Athletes from the world of Gaelic Sports; members of The United Irish County Associations; The Co. Tyrone Pipe Band; elected officials, and former Grand Marshals. Congratulations to all the honorees, Parade President Mike Benn, Dance Co-Chairwomen Christine Benn and Peggy Neville, Dr. Kathryn Kash, and the entire committee on a splendid evening.

*****If you have a group that would like to become part of our line of march and join with us on March 1st, then you must contact Peggy Neville A.S.A.P!

*****You can watch last year’s parade this week on the cable TV show, An Suil Na Gael, on channel 35. The parade will be broadcast on Wednesday at 9:30 pm and on Thursday at 3:30 pm.

*****Since politics and parades go together like the fife and drum, Mayor Bloomberg and former Mayor Giuliani have been invited and are expected to attend!

*****With all the snow and cold weather we’ve been having lately, it is very likely that the road contractors will not be able to complete their work on Newport Avenue in time for parade day. An alternative plan will be to step off at Saint Frances de Sales Church on B. 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Blvd. I will let you know next week! *****If ever you’re in the mood to dine out off the peninsula, then you must try Fiorentino’s on Avenue U in Brooklyn. They boast both Southern and Northern Italian cuisine that is both delicious and reasonable. It’s a perfect place if you’re hosting a large number of people. The cucina is owned by the Fiorentino family. Both brothers, Alfred and Anthony, reside in Belle Harbor with their families.

*****Happy Sweet 60! to sisters Mary Tully Kelly and Peggy Kelly who wear it soooo well!

*****Happy 7th Birthday to Jonathan Byrne with love from his mom Kathleen!

*****And a happy February 18th birthday to Michael Rivera with love from his mom Joann.

*****I hope yours was a very romantic St. Valentine’s Day! I know it was for Patrick and Lorinichole Keane who chose the day of l’amour as their day to exchange their vows. Congratulations and best wishes for many years of wedded bliss!

*****See you...On the Beach!

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