2004-04-23 / Columnists

Beachcomber

It sometimes makes us wonder if people think before they give comment to the daily papers. Robert Intelisano, an ex-city public relations flack and current Belle Harbor resident (who happens to be a friend of ours) spoke to Newsday’s Merle English about the new parking signs. "Parking is not a right for people who live in New York City," Intelisano is quoted as saying. "You don’t have the right to free parking." Hey, Bob, what about if you had the free parking for many years and they took it away from you just to give the area a different look? It is easy for people who have driveways to talk about the issue as if the center malls are important and parking isn’t. It is not so easy for those who don’t have access to a driveway and yet want to live on the west end.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has signed into law legislation that would prohibit the act of placing stickers or decals on either private or public structures. The new law, proposed by the City Council, would add stickers and decals to posters in the existing "Illegal Poster Law." The question on everybody’s mind should be, "will the law be enforced?" The fact of the matter is that City Council candidates and others running for public office provide approximately 90 percent of the illegal signs, poster, stickers and decals. Under the new law, the responsible party will get a civil fine and will have to pay to remove the detritus. We’ll believe it when we see it.

If you believe the early polls, Governor Pataki has little chance in the next election. Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, which conducts many polls, says that Chuck Schumer would beat Pataki 51 percent to 39 percent and that Eliot Spitzer would beat the governor by 47 to 42 percent. It also said that Rudy Giuliani would beat Schumer by 56 to 36 percent and Giuliani would beat Spitzer by 59 to 34 percent. Would Pataki move over for Rudy? We doubt it.

The Mayor has started a campaign to attract new teachers to city schools. He now calls New York City teachers, "New York’s Brightest – to add to New York’s Bravest and New York’s Finest. Teachers all over the city are splitting their sides with laughter. How, they ask, can they be the "brightest" when they are ordered by the region to say only what they are directed to say, sit where they are directed to sit and teach what they are directed to teach. Teachers today are given orders on everything from how many staples to put on their bulletin boards to how to teach the curriculum. Why do we need the brightest people for that? Unfortunately, those who are giving the orders often know little about what education really means.

According to the Lynbrook Historical Society, that community’s name changed over time from Rechquaakie to Near Rockaway, to Parson’s Corner, to Pearsall’s Corners and then, in 1894, to Lynbrook. It’s amazing that the world once rotated around Rockaway, with Far Rockaway, East Rockaway, and now, Near Rockaway.

All those who are interested in surfing in Rockaway should make sure that they let the state know prior to April 30 that they favor the new rule changes that would allow their sport on designated beaches. Letters of support should be sent to: William Johnson, Department of Health, Division of Legal Affairs, Office of Regulatory Reform, Corning Tower, Room 2415, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York, 11237.

The Department of Education is unhappy about the fact that few parents are showing up for the parent forums they are running in each region. In fact, few of those who are running for seats on the new Community Education Councils are bothering to show up for the forums. Many parents are disillusioned with the fact that the new councils will have little or no power and that they will be chosen by a small, elite group of parents – those who are officers of the local school’s parent association. The new councils are slated to take over from the Community School Boards on June 1. The DOE says that the candidates are not allowed to campaign on school property, but that parents are "encouraged to get together to discuss the candidates."

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says that he loves the Constitution and considers it a driving force in America’s greatness. On the other hand, he does not allow anybody to tape or photograph his public speeches. So much for freedom of the press. Just last month, two reporters were ordered by deputy federal marshals to erase the tapes they had made of a speech that Scalia gave at a Mississippi high school. He has long barred television cameras from his speeches. Scalia also barred television reporters from a speech he recently gave in Ohio. At that time, Scalia was receiving an award for supporting free speech.

Save lunchtime on April 27 for the Chamber of Commerce’s "Bravest and Finest" luncheon. First responders from local precincts and firehouses will be honored for service above and beyond the line of duty. The event will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Beach Club on Beach 116 Street. Call the Chamber for info or for tickets.

We are coming up on the 85th Anniversary of the NC-4’s transatlantic flight that took off from Rockaway. Their harrowing flight took several days and a couple of stops along the way, but Charles Lindbergh, who made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in 1927, said that the NC-4 flight was much more difficult than his. Look for The Wave to commemorate the flight in its May 7 issue. The three NC seaplanes took off from Jamaican Bay off Rockaway on May 9, 1919.

The Rockaway Museum will hold a fundraiser at Pier 92 on Sunday, June 13, at 4 p.m. to celebrate the reopening of the museum and its "Playland Retrospective" exhibit. Those who have material such as pictures or documents to add to the museum’s exhibit are urged to contact The Wave. All Contributions will be credited.


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