2003-10-31 / Columnists



We have once again asked the parent coordinator at Region Five to provide us with a list of all the local school’s parent coordinators with their phone numbers, so that parents will know where to contact them. Once again, we have been rebuffed as if the information was top secret and not fit for public dissemination. What is going on with the Department of Education?

City Councilman Bill Perkins has an idea that he wants to turn into law. He wants to force the NYPD to refuse to cooperate with federal police officials in rounding up terrorist suspects. We understand that some are unhappy with the new Patriot Law, and its problems with civil liberties, but this is no time to force our police to fragment themselves when attacking terrorist activity.

Now that the Rockaway Tribute Park is on hold until the spring, the Chamber of Commerce has once again opened the sale of bricks that will grace the walkways inside the park. Those interested can contact the chamber at 718-634-1300 or at its website, rockawaychamber@aol.com.

The traffic light at the corner of Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard was cycling improperly last weekend, so we reached out to the 311 system to get it fixed. The first three times we called, the system switched us to DOT, who promptly hung up on us. A call to 911 (it was a dangerous situation, with traffic tied up in both directions) got us a recording that our call was not an emergency and that we should call 311. There were two traffic enforcement officers giving tickets on Beach 116 Street and we asked them to reach out to DOT. We were told that it wasn’t their job. Finally, a call to 311 got us to DOT who said that they would check it out. Several hours later, we saw the crew making the repairs.

Lew Simon called The Wave to say that despite the fact that he was out picketing with others from the community and parents at Beach Channel High School, he does not support the charges of racism leveled at Principal Barbara Pleener (who resigned her position on Friday, shortly after The Wave with the front page story of her indiscretions at Jamaica High School hit the stand). He does believe, however, that assistant principal Claude Monereau should be reinstated.

Neither Beach Channel High School nor Far Rockaway High School are blazing the football league this year, but the big "bragging rights game" that many say rivals the Army-Navy game, will be held Sunday, November 2 at 11 a.m. at Beach Channel High School.

Long-time Rockaway resident Bernie Feuer is working on a research project on the history of Riis Park. He would like to hear from anybody who has pictures of the park from 1910 until 1950. He is also interested in memorabilia such as restaurant menus, bathhouse tickets, etc., and in any pictures of the ferry that ran from Barren Island to the park until 1937. Feuer can be reached at 917-974-0597.

Congratulations to Howard "Jate" Doremus, the president of the 100 Precinct Community Council and a tireless worker for the community, for being named as Newsday’s "Everyday Hero" on Sunday. The article says that Doremus is "single," while everybody knows that he is married to Sandy, the local executive assistant to City Councilman Joe Addabbo.

Those who get their recycling picked up on alternate Tuesdays (from Beach 126 to Beach 135 Street) should remember that the last pickup on October 21 might be the last pickup for a few weeks. Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day and Tuesday, November 11 is Veteran’s Day. The next pickup might be November 18, but residents should call 311 and input their address to be sure.

There are a number of people on the east end who are grumbling about James Sanders’ voting record recently. We checked and found out that his absences largely coincide with the illness and the death of his mother. Those who want to make an issue of Sanders’ voting record should perhaps look elsewhere for that issue.

The results of a citywide poll, which were released last week, show that the smoking ban is popular with the majority of city residents. According to the poll, sixty-two percent of those voters questioned supported the ban, while thirty-five percent said that they still opposed it.

Hundreds of local residents and firefighters turned out under cloudy skies on Saturday to rename a portion of Beach 93 Street and Shore Front Parkway for fire Captain Walther Hynes. The street was renamed "Captain Walter G. Hynes Way" in honor of the firefighter, who died on September 11, 2001.

Teenagers continue to vandalize beach blocks on the west end. This week, it was Beach 133 Street’s turn. Pumpkins were taken from people’s porches and smashed all over the streets and lawns and beer cans were left nearby the seawall. Locals are incensed with the youthful activity, but parents argue that their kids have no place to go and hang out with each other, that it is time for Rockaway to provide some recreational activities for teenagers and young adults. One possibility may be the community center to be built as part of Arverne.

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