2004-02-06 / Columnists


Many west end residents are up in arms over the city’s plan to place "No Parking" signs along Rockaway Beach Boulevard from Beach 126 Street to Beach 139 Street, the area where center malls were just constructed. City Councilman Joe Addabbo told The Wave that the president of the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association, Barbara Larkin, had officially requested the signs on behalf of the community. With the dearth of parking spaces in that area already, particularly during the summer months, the new rules would work an undue hardship on those who rent apartments in the area, (including many senior citizens who will have to walk long distances to their parking spots), and do not have access to a driveway. The proponents of the new rules says that parking on that strip with only two lanes in each direction is dangerous, but opponents believe that the new rules are simply a way to get Belle Harbor to look more like Neponsit, which has had the malls and no parking restrictions for years.

Today is "Red Alert" day for the American Heart Association. In an attempt to spotlight the heart problems faced by women, the association is asking every woman in America to wear red clothing on Friday, February 6.

The NYPD’s Patrol Borough Queens South command has a new commanding officer. The borough command controls both of the local police precincts and has an impact on policing on the peninsula. The new CO is Assistant Chief Thomas Dale, who has worked in Queens on numerous occasions. Dale replaces Chief Lawless, who had one of the more interesting names for a police official.

We often write about "zoned schools" in The Wave. Particularly on the elementary and middle school level, every address in Rock away is zoned to a particular school. Often, however, people found out about their zoned school by word of mouth. Those maps are available on the Internet at http://maps.NYCBOE.net.

The Beach Club will host a candlelight dinner for Valentine’s Day this year. The event, to be held at the Beach 116 Street catering hall, will be held on February 14 from 8 p.m. until midnight and features dinner and dancing to Funtime Music DJ. Those interested in making a reservation should call the Beach Club.

Local City Councilman James San ders ballyhooed his sponsorship of a bill to end what he called predatory lending in New York City. A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice, however, has overturned the city law (which was vetoed by Mayor Bloomberg) because it in fringes on both state and federal banking laws. The rule would have stopped the city from dealing with banks that charged "unreasonable rates of interest." Sounds good, but the city law was much broader that either of the other two venues had passed.

Congressman Anthony Weiner, who says that former Mayor Ed Koch is his political hero, has opened a fund raising account (with about $1.6 million) with the city in preparation for a possible run for mayor in 2005. Weiner spoke recently with Newsday columnist Dennis Duggan and pointed out that there is lots of precedent for a Congressman stepping down to run for mayor, including Ed Koch, John Lindsay and Fiorelio LaGuardia.

After Alberta Sprull died when NYPD officers threw a stun grenade into her apartment in preparation for a drug raid (it turned out that it was the wrong apartment), the rules for search warrants changed. That has resulted in a one-third drop in the number of warrants granted to police. The reforms resulted in a process that now takes two days to get a search warrant where it once took only hours. That has also resulted in fewer raids and more drugs and guns on the streets of our city.

Both Beach Channel High School and Far Rockaway High School have, in the past, "discharged many students who were not "making adequate progress towards graduation." The Department of Education is now looking to bring those students who were discharged back to school. The DOE is offering those students priority seats in schools, extra academic help and career counseling. Those interested should contact their former schools.

The Street renaming in honor of James Conway Sullivan is slated for February 28 at noon. The site for the memorial ceremony, which will be hosted by City Councilman Joe Addabbo is Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Representative Greg Meeks and his wife, Simone, did not have to brave the cold and snow two weeks ago either in Rockaway or in Washington, D.C. The two were on a junket to St. Lucia and Antigua, reportedly paid for by a group that is attempting to modify the Patriot Act to allow more leeway for offshore banks. The bill came to about $7,000 to $8,000 a head, but Meeks says that the trip was important. Meeks noted that he is part of the Caribbean caucus in Congress and is concerned about trade agreements with the area. Meeks told Daily News reporter Elaine Povich that he was not concerned about the controversy over taking his wife on the all-expenses paid trip. "Any time that I get a chance on a trip, you try and spend as much time as you can with your family, because you don’t get that opportunity often," Meeks told the reporter.

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