2004-03-12 / Columnists

Beachcomber

We have had reports that somebody in an automobile has been at tempting to lure kids into the vehicle. We have no description on the driver, but the car is described as tan, with square headlights.

The Sunset Diner has begun selling Rockaway-related apparel at its facility at Beach 116 Street and Beach Chan nel Drive. All of the shirts, Jack ets, sweatshirts and hats have logos related to Playland, Irishtown, Rocka pulco and Rockaway Beach. Golf Shirts sell for $24, sweatshirts for $26. Windbreakers go for $38, while lined jackets sell for $50.

There is a new Long Island Sound Waterborne Transportation Plan that addresses ferry service through out the region, including John F. Kennedy Airport. While JFK joins a number of Long Is land and Connecticut destinations in the plan, Rockaway is once again not even on the map.

At the same time that teachers in local schools go without supplies, the De part ment of Education and Chancellor Joel Klein are paying $33 thousand a month to a Washington, D.C. consulting firm to help polish Klein’s image with the local media. The extra bucks are in addition to the high-priced in-house staff that Klein retains not to answer questions from the media. "It looks bad when your monthly bill for PR consultants is equal to a teacher’s yearly salary," one education specialist said.

It is hard to understand how adults, even politicians, can buy into the belief that the violence in the local high schools that has re cently reached epic proportions was caused not by the students, but by the media and the police who were placed in the buildings to quell the violence. State Sen ator Malcolm Smith is the latest to pick up the fantasy. At a recent press conference held in front of Far Rockaway High School, Smith listened to students say such things as, "We feel violated be cause we have to go through a metal detector when we come into the building," "Everything was fine until the police came into the building," and "We don’t like the police in the building and we feel like we are in prison or on probation." One young man told us, "We don’t belong on the list of the worst schools. We’re only there because the media chooses to give us negative publicity." Smith acted as if those were perfectly reasonable statements, supporting the students and telling them that he was going to talk to Dr. Kathleen Cashin to remediate the situation. What he should do to get the true picture is look at the record of violence in the school prior to the police intervention and then compare it to the past few weeks, when there were more police and more school security agents in the building.

The Parks Department used public funds to send kids in an after-school program to a play that posits that Jews instigated the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn in 1991 and that shows the brutal murder of Yeshiva student Yankel Rosenbaum as an accident rather than a murder. Officials
of the Parks Department said that they did not know the play was controversial and that the decision to send the kids was made by a low-level employee.

Those who are interested in be coming members of the new Com munity Education Council that will soon replace the Community School Board will be interested in the deadlines that are rapidly coming up. Applications for the eleven-member councils are due on March 16. The applications can be found at the Region Five office and at the Department of Edu cation’s website (www.nycenet.edu/councils, or by calling 311. Can di dates’ forums will be held in each district during the period of March 17 to April 3. The selectors (the three top officials in each of the district’s parent associations) will vote during the period of May 3 to May 11. Training will be held for new members during the month of June. They will take their seats on July 1, and the community school board will then be defunct. Those who aspire to be come a board member should know that the new councils will have very little real power.

Watch The Wave in coming weeks for updates on your favorite local college basketball players who will be in volved in March Madness – the NCAA championship. Some of those locals who are expected to be in the Big Dance are Boston College’s Clare Droesh, Harvard’s Trisch Tubridy, Boston University’s Kevin Fitzgerald and perhaps Fairfield’s Janelle McManus.

The National Transportation Safe ty Board (NTSB) has announced that its final report on the crash of American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed onto Belle Harbor streets on November 12, 2001, will come in Washington, D.C. sometime this coming summer. It is clear that the agency will blame First Officer Sten Molin, who was flying the plane at the time, for over-controlling the tail during an event where his plane was caught in the wake of a heavier Japan Airlines Jet. In the same vein, Amer ican Airlines has filed pa pers blaming Airbus Industries for building a plane with problems and Airbus has done the same, blaming American for Molin’s poor training. It is easy
to blame a dead man for the
accident, but locals continue to believe that the NTSB is somehow covering up the true reason for the crash to insure that the aircraft industry contine to rebuild its base after September 11, 2001.

The Rockaway Museum is looking
to open in the near future with a
new exhibit – a Playland Retro spective. Any body who has pictures, maps, artifacts, etc. from the glory days of Play land Or, even its not-so-glory days) may loan them to the museum for this exhibit. The museum will insure that those who donate material get credit for that material in the exhibit. Pictures, artifiacts and maps should be brought to The Wave Building, 88-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.


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