The James Conway Sullivan Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade was one of the grandest in memory. The parade got off almost on time and it took nearly an hour and a half for the parade to pass any one point on along the parade route. This year’s route, which took the parade from Beach 129 and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, rather than beginning on Newport, actually seemed to move the parade along a little better. In any case, kudos to the parade committee and to the volunteers who served as marshals. While Mayor Mike Bloomberg showed up early and signed autographs for local youngsters, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who promised to show up, was nowhere in sight.
Ten years ago this week, Wave columnist Howie Schwach, in his School Scope Column, wrote, "Instead (of creating more districts), they should do away with the central board and the community school boards. Instead, each school should have a management team made up of school staff and parents. Those teams should choose the members of a borough board. Schwach also wrote that special schools for disruptive students should be set up in each district. It took a while, but most of what he wrote ten years ago is coming to fruition in the new school reorganization.
Rockaway Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Sulik was one of several women honored at the Women in Business award dinner held at the Terrace On the Park in Flushing Meadows on March 27. The award dinner, sponsored by a number of business institutions in Queens, also honored Rockaway resident Deputy Inspector Susan Morely of the NYPD.
Many Rockaway residents were saddened and surprised on Flatbush Avenue a week ago when motorists were faced with successive speed traps set by Highway 2. Many people were given tickets for driving over the posted 30 MPH speed limit nearby the Marine Parkway Bridge. It turns out that the NYPD was holding a training class on how to use the speed guns and all of those cops were out for a little on the job training.
Those who want to buy a brick in the walkway for the new Tribute Park being built on Beach 116 Street have only until the end of the month to do so. Those who are interested should contact the Chamber of Commerce at 718-634-1300.
Speaking of the Tribute Park, its neighbor, the new Duane Reade Drug Store is under rapid construction just north of Beach Channel at Beach 116 Street. The steel skeleton is already in place and we are told that it will not be long before the project is completed. Also near completion are the new combination Baskin Robbins and Dunkin Donuts store just south of Newport Avenue and the new Carvel Ice Cream store where Baskin Robbins once stood.
What were the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) thinking when they likened slaughterhouses for animals such as pigs to the Holocaust, which killed six million people? The ad juxtaposes pictures of kids waiting to be exterminated with gas with pigs and cow waiting for slaughter. One Jewish source said that the ads are "outrageous, offensive, and takes chutzpah to a new level." That is too mild a reaction to the new ads.
Here is your City Council at work. I hope this knowledge makes you feel a little more secure. Jim Sanders is in Trinidad-Tobago, studying how New York City can take advice from that nation on bringing more tourists to our city. At least, he is warm. The council is in the middle of an argument over whether or not to pass a resolution against a war in Iraq. We know that the president and his cabinet are waiting with baited breath to see what the city council has to say, but the bill’s sponsors are having trouble getting enough votes. Perhaps the statement of one councilman that the bill won’t pass because the city’s Jews, "who see New York as a home away from home," won’t allow it to pass has something to do with its demise. We urge all of the council members to take a trip to the large hole that was once the World Trade Center before they vote. That, however, is not all. The council is working on a resolution supporting Michigan University in its fight over affirmative action. Gifford Miller, the council’s speaker, filed a "Friend of the Court" brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of the city, saying that affirmative action is "vital to the city’s survival."
A reminder that the counter-terrorism bureau of the New York City Police Department maintains a 24-hour citywide hot line for anyone to call and report suspected terrorist activity. The number is 888-NYC-Safe (888-692-7233).
The problems at Beach Channel High School continue despite a change in administration. Last week, there was so much trouble on a bus leaving the school and heading for Edgemere that the bus driver made all of the students get off the bus. That led to a melee at Beach 67 Street in which four students were arrested. According to one source, the fights continued the next day in the school building with some students being assaulted.
One of the hot spots after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade last Saturday was the Rugby Headquarters on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The Wave got numerous calls from the relatives of young people (a number who were too young to drink) who had been arrested at that site, asking that their names not be put in the police blotter. We understand that beer has been as important as bagpipes to those who watch the parade as well as to many of those who march in the parade, but the Irish community must begin to educate its youth to the fact that when they get arrested for drinking underage or when violen fights break out after the parade ends, the entire community is given a black eye.