2004-01-16 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Beachcomber

Congratulations to Steve Greenberg, who has served with distinction as the president of Community School Board 27 for many years and as the chairman of the board of directors of the Breezy Point Cooperative, on being named to the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Hospital Center. Now that the mayor is phasing out the school boards, we guess that Steve, who is a vice president at Salomon Smith Barney, is looking for s omething to do in his spare time.

We found out the hard way that the Mobil Station on Beach 111 Street and Beach Channel Drive is no longer an AAA station when we found our car with three flat tires lately. The new, and probably temporary, AAA station for Rockaway is Five Towns Service in Inwood, and we have to say that they did a good job for us in our time of emergency.

A Rockaway school was taken off the state’s Schools Under Register Review (SURR) list this week. After three years on the list, PS 43 in Edgemere was removed by state education officials for making adequate progress towards raising its scores. Congratulations to the staff and administration at the school for a job well done. There are still 49 schools on the list, including a couple in Rockaway.

Now that the AirTrain is open and running, Governor Pataki has dropped the other, much-needed shoe and announced that there will soon be plans to extend the service from Jamaica (its present terminus) to Manhattan. We have been saying all along that the service would fail unless it provides a one-seat service from the airport to Manhattan, and that may now one day be a reality. The final choice for a plan to move the service to Manhattan will be unveiled in April.

Each month, The Wave gets a press release from the MTA detailing the stops for its MetroCard vans that month. While there are 30 or more stops scheduled in Queens each month, none of them ever seem to be in Rockaway. We called the MTA to find out why, but we still have not received a satisfactory answer.

Alan Camhi, owner of Condor Pest Control in Rockaway Beach and a long-time activist in the business community was honored this week by Newsday by being named the "Everyday Hero" in Sunday’s paper. Congratulations to Alan.

The New York State Association of Independent Schools is looking for a few good educators. According to its ad in the New York Times this weekend, however, those good educators need not be White. "Are you an educator of color interested in teaching in an independent school," the ad asks. It then announced a "Job Fair To Promote Diversity," and says that certification is not necessary. Suppose an ad said that the organization was seeking White teachers only. It would then have been considered racist. Why is it not then racist to advertise for "teachers of color" only?

Bill Mulcahy, who once lived in Rockaway and demanded that JFK Airport be closed down because it endangered the bird population on Jamaica Bay, is at it again. Mulcahy, a retired firefighter, maintains a website that often rails against government and aviation interests. He recently ran a cartoon that showed two rats, slugged as "Developers" and "Politicians" shoving the Arverne By The Sea project down the throat of "Rockaway" while Community Board 14 looked on. We understand that there are environmentalists and others who oppose the project, but the majority of Rockaway residents believe that the building of thousands of market-rate homes and businesses will ultimately be the saving grace for Rockaway and will spur a peninsula-wide revitalization.

Many of the Orthodox residents who live in the West Lawrence section of Far Rockaway have large families. They are often restricted from adding to their homes in the area by a strict zoning code that covers all of Rockaway. A number of residents are calling for the zoning regs to be changed so that they can add rooms where their backyards now stand. There will be a meeting on January 19 at 7:45 p.m. at the Torah School For Girls on Lanett Avenue to address the question and to decide whether or not to ask the community board to begin the rezoning process. We would urge all residents to attend the meeting, because a zoning change at one end of the peninsula might well have repercussions at the other end, in Belle Harbor and Neponsit. Those who oppose the rezoning should let their feelings be known at both the meeting and to the community board.

A reminder that the Rockaway Museum is closed for the months of January and February, but that memorabilia and books that are sold by the museum can still be purchased through the offices of The Wave at 88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

The NYPD is offering money for guns. Its "Cash For Guns" program was instituted recently at the two local precincts. A handgun or assault weapon earns $100. A shotgun gets you $50. Give information to Gunstopper’s that leads to an arrest for criminal possession of a weapon and earn $1,000. All information, by the way, will be kept confidential. Those who want to turn in a gun may do so at the 101 Precinct, the 100 Precinct or Transit District 23 (in the Waldbaum’s parking lot on Beach 112 Street). Gunstopper’s can be reached at 1-866-GUN-Stop.

Police from the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway arrested five men on January 11 for a mele that nearly destroyed a store at 366 Beach 54 Street in Arverne. While police are not sure what started the fight, it is interesting that some of the combatants are not from Rockaway. In fact, one of them listed his address as Morrisville, Pennsylvania, while another was from Macon street in Brooklyn. The men were not teens, ranging in age from 24 to 33 years of age. It is bad when we start importing our problems.


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