2004-02-13 / Columnists


There was another secret meeting called by the Mayor’s office at the Beach Club last week to address the question of where to place a memorial to those who died on American Airlines Flight 587. The mayor’s office invited the representatives of those who died on the A-300 as well as some Rock away people to the meeting, but the press was excluded from the meeting. Those who were present, however, told us that not much happened at the meeting. There is no doubt in our mind, however, that the mayor will not go ahead and place the "third rock from the sun" as a memorial to AA 587 in the Rockaway Tribute Park, de signed to honor those who died at the World Trade Center.

A number of local plumbers have called The Wave to advise residents to keep their water trickling during really cold weather. That should insure that the pipes in their homes, particularly those that are exposed to the weather, will not freeze.

Another Michael Bloomberg "Do as I say, not as I do" story. Bloomberg, who pushed through the toughest no smoking rules in city history, was at a New York Stock Exchange affair last week where most of the partygoers reportedly lit up. Though he didn’t join them, he did nothing to stop the illegal smoking. I guess it’s okay for Mike’s pals to smoke, but not the people sitting on the beach.

Motorists stranded on New York City highways will soon have to pay $70 for the first mile if one of the six private towing services with city contracts pulls you to safety. That is up from the present $50 for the first mile. The present charge of $4 for each additional mile will stay in force under the change.

Those of us who are more than 50 years old will remember the name Kitty Genovese. Kitty was murdered on March 13, 1964 with dozens of people looking on from their apartment windows. Not one person, however, intervened or even called police for help. The murder, which took place in Kew Gardens, became the seminal event for those who saw New York City in decline. Dozens of those who saw the murder and were later interviewed in the media said, "I didn’t want to get involved," and that became our city’s mantra for many years afterwards.

If the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 did not give Rockaway residents enough reason to stay away from that airline and it’s A-300 fleet, now comes a further reason. On a recent Los Angeles to JFK hop, the American Airlines pilot came on the loudspeaker to ask passengers to raise their hands if they were Christian. Many confused passengers raised their hands. The pilot then called those whose hands were not raised, "crazy." Some flight attendants, frightened by the pilot’s be havior, called the ground. Amer ican Airlines says that it might not discipline the pilot. "It falls along the lines of a personal level of sharing that may not be appropriate for our employees to do while on the job," an airlines spokesperson said. The FAA said that it will not investigate the incident.

Local artist Patrick Clark, who is presently working on his glass cupola for Tribute Park, won accolades re cent ly for a impressionistic three-dimensional glass "globe" that he made in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Unisphere that was built in Flushing Meadows Park for the 1964 World’s Fair.

City officials seem to be serious about building a rail link between the Jamaica terminal and Man hattan. That would allow Rock away residents to hook up with the AirTrain at Howard Beach and then make connections for Manhattan, a route that promises to be better than the present A Train service, which transverses much of Brooklyn.

The City Council recently voted 36-13-1 to call upon Congress to strike down parts of the USA Patriot Act. Joe Addabbo, who represents much of the west end of Rockaway was one of the 13 no votes. James Sanders, who represents much of the east end of the peninsula, voted with the majority.

A new test for NYPD police officer will be held on June 12. Ap pli cations must be filed by April 16 in order to be eligible for the June test. There is no filing fee for the test and applications can be found at any precinct house an online at www.nyc.gov/nypd.

Congressman Greg Meeks has bucked the Queens organization to back John Kerry for president while Tom Manton and the organization have backed Howard Dean – at least, up to now. With Kerry’s winning streak, Manton and other local pols are rethinking their support of Dean and will probably be moving to Kerry shortly.

Bernard Gassaway, who left his post as principal of Beach Chan nel High School for a higher post, has now been appointed Senior Superintendent of Alternative Schools and Programs by the Department of Education. In
his new role, Gassaway will supervise all of the newly-formed suspension centers that are designed to take the students that cannot stay in a traditional school setting.

New Yorkers can now find city services by accessing a new website at www.MyGovernmentNYC.org. That website, for example, can tell local residents the community board that represents them and how to find officials of that board.

In last week’s From the Editor’s Desk. Howard Schwach conjectured that new MS 198 princi-
pal Angela Logan is related to
a supervisor’s union vice president. He tried to get some clarification from the union, but nobody called him back. The day after
the story appeared, however, a spokesperson from the union called to say that there is no truth to what was written We apologize to the CSA vp, but he could have saved a lot of problems by calling us back in the first place. The spokesperson, by the way, said that he would check on the other allegations in the column and get back to us.

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