2003-08-15 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle

Fantastic Politics
Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle Fantastic Politics

Inside joke to Graybeard playing basketball players everywhere: I am writing this while wearing a long sleeved t-shirt. What’s that say down the arm, Champions? Yep. Nice. And even better, Peter Brady is not wearing one.

Just recently got back from the woods — which, while there, prompted me to utter the standard rhetorical line: I gotta leave Rockaway in the summer for this? Mountains? Yeah, they’re okay but they all look the same. The quaint country roads? Most of them look the same, too. All these abandoned houses or structures on properties with perfectly nice houses a few hundred yards over. Know what I’m talking about? Farms and properties of any size all seem to have ramshackle buildings, which nobody bothered to tear down 40 years ago. Every now and then you come across nothing but a chimney. There’s a certain Arverne aspect to it. So, why drive to and through the countryside when you can just stroll around the 300 vacant acres in the middle of the peninsula.

Besides wondering why I left the beach and why nobody actually gets rid of those falling down buildings in the country, I was also made to wonder why so many highway signs tell you the bridge up ahead might freeze before the road does. Yeah, what are you supposed to do about that?

Such profound thoughts soon vanished with the profound news that Arnold Schwarzenegger was adding his face-lifted face into the California gubernatorial race. Profound indeed. How ‘bout this line from Arnold: "I want to make sure everyone in California has a fantastic job." Is that great or what? He says that and his lead jumps to 30 points over the nearest challenger.

Hmmm….maybe tell the voters: "I will make sure every man is handsome and every woman a babe." Watch his polls soar. "I want to make sure every man has a convertible and every woman a weekly pedicure. Collie-fornia will be fantastic."

Egads. Better look at the candidacy of Gary Coleman. He’s gotta be more real than Arnold. After all, the former TV child star, has already demonstrated his affinity with regular folks by appearing on "Star Dates" — a reality TV show where stars as big as Coleman go on dates with ordinary civilians. A big star like Gary hanging with the masses? Is he a candidate or what? Though it’s troubling to know that he couldn’t name the vice president of the United States and––get this—he said even though he’s running, he’ll be voting for Arnold. Ah, fantastic.

Better check who else will be on the ballot. I figure John Baxter’s gotta be on there somewhere. (Californians would eat up his cable show). Haven’t seen much of Anthony Weiner since he said the Riis Park Pool would cost more than the California deficit. Wonder if he’s walking California beaches in his shirt and tie (his trademark beachwear) these days?

I know embattled Joe Addabbo isn’t on the ballot but probably feels like Gray Davis.

The way I see it, Joe’s real fault is his inexperience. He’s smart and very able but he hasn’t played the game. It’s a compliment, actually. He naively said he wanted to get a "consensus" about beach access rules. He said people should enjoy the beaches the way they always have. At first blush, that all seemed reasonable, even politic.

Had he been an experienced politician, he would’ve never asked for a consensus. He would’ve stamped his feet and agreed with everybody. He would have pulled an Audrey Pheffer on us: he would’ve shouted "This is outrageous." He would’ve told everyone who complained (pro or con on issues) that he was outraged, too. He would’ve blamed it all on other politicians and he would have appeared as outraged as the rest of us. (When I worked at The Wave, I soon learned Audrey’s favorite emotion was outrage —at least on political issues. Do a "Google" on Audrey—the words "outrageous" and "outraged" comes up a lot). Anyway, Joe sure wouldn’t have tried to listen.

One day, he’ll be experienced and he’ll be giving us the usual pap: I’m fighting for Rockaway. I’m tired of this being a dumping ground. It’s outrageous that the city continues to treat Rockaway like a second-class citizen. And then he’ll be Teflon. And that’s too bad.

Should a challenger to Joe’s council seat emerge, I expect one campaign promise: Fantastic beach rules for everyone!

Boyle-ing over: The St. Francis Summer Classic concluded most of its schedule last week (the exciting high school girls division plays through August and the Men’s Open goes for a couple more weeks). Although rain played a bit of havoc with the playoffs, the finals in many of the divisions were of the last-minute, hair-raising, edge-of-the-seat variety. The close games were the talk of the town for days.

The wonderful basketball league couldn’t be what is without the generosity of sponsors (usually local merchants). See all the kids with their classic shirts? Check on the back for the sponsor’s name and then please lend your support. These folks support this great summer tradition; we should support them.

The schoolyard action—the best free entertainment on the peninsula, for my money (so to speak)—is possible because of some hard working people. Joe Mingino shoulders a lot of nonsense and rarely gets the praise he deserves but he’s the man—and Mr. Man to some of his boys. And kudos have to go to coaches and refs and volunteers of every stripe. Kenny Whelan and Ryan Whelan do a heap of work. Jim McKeon, Pat Klein, Frank Dima and Ray Corrigan help make things run as smoothly as they do. Carol Kelleher, Debbie and Joe Kenel and Frank Mangano go above and beyond. Bugsy Goldberg continues his tireless efforts; Brian King pitched in when called upon. And a few young men: Tommy French, Brian McKeon, and Danny O’Toole were great help and look like future Classic leaders. Great job all!

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