2003-11-07 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

Despite the fact that many environmentalists have been pointing out that the Arverne By The Sea project is illegal based on the Federal Coastal Zone Management Program, the City Council has approved the entire project, virtually the last step in the chain of permissions the developers need to proceed. The final steps will be taken in the coming month and then the final approval will be given by the mayor.

Beach Channel High School beat Far Rockaway High School on its own field last Sunday in a hard-fought game that left both teams spent. Although the Dolphins won bragging rights by winning the game, both teams will now go into the city championship playoffs. Out of 16 teams in the championship round, Beach Channel is seeded at number fourteen and Far Rockaway at number sixteen. Neither is given much of a chance to win. In the first round this Saturday, Far Rockaway faces first-rated Tottenville High School (8-0) while Beach Channel faces third seeded Abraham Lincoln High School (8-0). Both local teams finished 4-4 on the season.

Ed Sullivan of Howard Beach made a good point in a letter to The Daily News. Responding to a Staten Island resident who wrote that she could not understand the glee over the demise of the Concorde because it was such a beautiful plane, Sullivan responded by saying, "You will miss the Concorde. I feel the same way about the Fresh Kills Landfill." Touché!

Last week, The Wave received an E-mail that said, "Hello, guess who will be killed in Far Rockaway on Halloween? I am not playing games. This is for real." While we usually "blow off" notes such as this one, sports editor Elio Velez ran the sender’s profile on Yahoo.com and it came with a picture of a young man posing in front of a stylized Nazi Eagle. We called the police and detectives from the 100 Squad responded quickly. Later in the day, a detective from the NYPD’s Computer Investigations Technical Unit (CITU) called to ask us to E-mail him the message’s header. We did. Later than night, a detective called me at home to say that they had tracked the young man to the Redfern Houses, had interviewed him and his parents and were satisfied that there was no threat. We have to thank the NYPD for its quick response on something that could have turned ugly.

There is a new scam in town. Larry Mayse of Beach 73 Street brought it to light for Wave readers. A lady rang the bell one day and asked for a water sample. She identified herself as being from the "New York Ecological Agency." Mayse gave her the sample and she left. A few days later, a man called to say that the results were not good, and he wanted to speak personally with Mayse. Ever suspicious, Mayse asked if this was a sales pitch, and he was told that it was not. The next day, the man came to the house, case over shoulder and folder in hand, eager to sell water filtration systems. Buyer beware!

The Rockaway Museum needs your assistance to stay in business. Public grants are drying up and the museum must turn to the public for support. A membership program has been set up and will begin shortly. Those interested in helping the Rockaway Museum to survive should send a donation to the museum at 88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Beach, New York 11693. All donations are tax-exempt.

There are lots of rumors bouncing around the west end about the future of Middle School 180. According to the rumors (which were vaguely corroborated by Region Five supervisor Kathy Cashin at a meeting earlier in the school year), the school will lose its "ALPS" program to Beach Channel High School. That program would beome a grades 6-12 program. MS 180 would then be closed (as required by law when such a change is made) for a period of time up to a year and would then be reopened as a magnet K-8 gifted school for the entire peninsula. West end parents who have voted against the school by sending their kids elsewhere, have longed for a gifted magnet school in Rockaway to rival those in Brooklyn. The only question in our minds is, what would that do to the other middle schools on the peninsula?

After the last issue of The Wave went to press, we received a call from Beach Channel High School in response to our request for an interview with newly-appointed principal, Dr. David Morris. The caller said that we would have to go through the Department of Education’s press office to get permission for an interview. That is the same office we have called numerous time over the past weeks to address BCHS issues without ever receiving the courtesy of even a call back to refuse our requests. Hiding from the public is not the way to begin a career as a high school principal in a community such as Rockaway. By the way, we know that it is not the new principal’s fault that he cannot speak with us. He could be fired for speaking to the press.

The story of the death of homeless vet Robert Ruiz nearby the Cross Bay Bridge sparked a number of people and organizations in the community to offer their services and their money to the family. We are glad to see that there is still a lot of altruism on our peninsula. His daughter called to say that he was buried at Maple Grove Cemetery, alongside his grandmother. The Vietnam Veterans of America, who were instrumental in tracking down his family, provided an honor guard for the funeral.

Congressman Greg Meeks grabbed us at the Jewish Community Council breakfast last weekend to say that he does not want to extend JFK Airport’s runways into the bay. When he speaks of expansion, the congressman says, he means facilities such as warehouses and roads.

Many Rockaway residents say that they are planning to watch the Concorde float from JFK Airport to Manhattan by crowding both the Cross Bay Bridge and the Marine Parkway Bridge, the two bridges that the plane will have to pass under as it is towed to its final resting place at the Intrepid Museum later this month.


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