There are two events this weekend that should draw crowds to the Gateway National Recreation Area. The first event, perhaps the most colorful event of the summer, is the third annual Rockaway Kite Festival, which will take place at Riis Park’s Bay Nine on both Saturday and Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. The event brings kite enthusiasts from all over the east coast. On Sunday at 6 p.m. at Fort Tilden, the RMAC will sponsor the last Sunset Picnic Concert of the season, featuring "Ball In The House." This concert is also the "Leon S. Locke Memorial Concert," in memory of the long-time publisher of The Wave, who passed away two years ago.
Don’t forget to go and see the Rockaway Theatre Company’s latest Fort Tilden production, "Barefoot In The Park." The show will run from August 21 until August 30. There will be 8 p.m. shows on Friday, August 15 and August 29, Thursday, August 28, and Saturday, August 16, 23 and 30. In addition, there will be a Sunday matinee on August 24. The charge for adults is $12 and for children is $7. For further information or to make reservations, those interested should call 718-850-2450.
Here’s an example of the elitism of our city’s leaders. As those of you who regularly read The Wave know, we have been leading the charge against the beach and boardwalk access rules and against the rules that keep people from surfing and fishing on the beach. Adrian Benepe, the New York City Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, has been a regular target of our ire. Last week, however, he chose to send a letter defending his department’s actions and those of the police department in a now-notorious "raid" on a July 4 beach party in Rockaway. Did he send the letter to The Wave? Of course not. It went to the daily Manhattan-based papers instead. After all, they’re the only ones who count.
Those who live between Beach 126 Street and Beach 135 Street usually have their recyclables picked up on Tuesday on alternate weeks under the new pickup plan. Those residents, however, will be in for a shock in late October and early November. Their recyclables will be picked up on October 21 as usual. November 4 is Election Day and the recyclables will not be picked up. November 11 is also a holiday – Veteran’s Day. There will be no pickups on that day. Those residents, therefore, will have to store their recyclables from October 21 until November 18, when they will be picked up. That’s nearly a month.
The arrest of the people trying to smuggle a shoulder-fired missile into the Unites States, allegedly to be used to knock down an airliner at one of New York City’s airports, coupled with the fiasco of three men getting out of a boat and wandering around JFK Airport of an hour or so before they found the police (the police did not find them, and that is the story), has touched off a spate of soul-searching and of beefing up anti-terrorist plans. The fact is, however, that aircraft arriving or departing JFK are vulnerable to missile attack from most of the Rockaway peninsula and from Jamaica Bay. A plan to put a new laser system that would fool the missile systems would cost upwards of a million bucks per plane. That’s a large chunk of money, especially to airlines that have been suffering financially ever since September 11, 2001. Not having the device, however, may be more costly in the long run.
City Councilman Joe Addabbo is quoted in a Daily News article urging people to exercise on the boardwalk. He told News reporter Lisa Colangelo that he is always happy when he sees people jogging, biking or walking along the Rockaway boardwalk. "We need to look at them as examples and follow their lead," Addabbo is quoted as saying. That’s nice, but he should have added that, under his watch, they’d better not ride a bicycle on the boardwalk between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. or even be on the boardwalk after 10 p.m. at night. To do that violates the Parks Department’s draconian rules that seem to fit Addabbo just fine.
There will be no primary elections in Rockaway this year for the City Council seats that are up for contention in November. In District 31, the east end of the peninsula, Everly Brown has been knocked off the Democratic ballot for petition irregularities. Democrat James Sanders will face him as a Republican in November. In the 32 District, Democrat Joe Addabbo has no challengers from within the party. He will face Republican Michael Mossa in the November election. Both Sanders and Addabbo are expected to easily retain their seats.
The New York Association of Black Journalists invites minority high school students to participate in its annual High School Journalism Workshop. The six-week workshop will be held on Saturdays from September 20 to November 8 at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. Those high school students who are interested must submit an essay and an application. For more information, those who are interested should visit the website at www.nyabj.org/studentservices.htm or to contact Angela Pruitt at 212-330-0867. Students who participate will work with professional journalists to produce a newspaper and a news broadcast.