2004-06-11 / Columnists


There was a mistake in the dates cited in last week’s front page story on the Sirota-Baxter battle that finished in court that week. The battle started with Letter’s To The Editor in the November, 2001 issues of The Wave, not the September 2001 issues. We regret the typographical error and wanted to correct it as soon as possible.

Remember to note your calendar for the Rockaway Museum Fundraiser set for Sunday, June 13 (not June 16, as reported last week)at Pier 92 Restaurant from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets are going fast for this important event. Those interested in further information or in tickets can call The Wave at 718-634-4000. On Monday, June 14, the Museum will reopen with a major exhibit entitled, "A Playland Retrospective." All are invited both to the fundraiser and to the museum’s reopening.

The Beth-El Temple, Church of God in Christ in Far Rockaway has received a $1,500 grant from the Landmarks Conservancy, one of 12 churches and synagogues on the city that received the annual grants. The money is to be used to maintain, repair and restore religious buildings.

We thought that you would be waiting with baited breath to find out the following information: The most popular dog’s name in New York City this year is "Max." "Lucky" came in second with "Princess" a distant third. By the way, the most popular breed of dog this year is "mixed," with Labrador Retrievers in second and Shepherds in third. Now, don’t you feel better knowing that?

Mike Steinberg, whose book about growing up in Rockaway and playing baseball at Far Rockaway High School for Jack Kirschman in the 1950’s was reviewed in these pages last week. Steinberg will be doing a presentation of his book, "Still Pitching," on June 25 at 1:30 p.m. at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. If you get a chance to go to the hall and see Steinberg, say hello from The Wave.

The beach kickoff on Memorial Day weekend was a big success. According to the Parks Department, which keeps track of these things, more than 48,000 people went to the beach on Saturday, with 12,000 coming to Rockaway and 30,000 going to Coney Island.

More than 150,000 people went to Jones Beach over the weekend to see the Blue Angels perform over the boardwalk. The Angels did a show in Coney Island a few years back. Wouldn’t it be great for the Chamber of Commerce to invite the Blue Angels (or, the Thurnderbirds – the Air Force version of the team for that matter) to come to Rockaway in the future for an air show? Another question: How come Coney Island got Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Benepe for its beach opening while Rockaway got the second team – Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and City Councilman Joe Addabbo, for its opening a day later? Coney gets the gravy and Rockaway gets both the beans and a wave of tickets.

The NYPD has announced that a test for police officer will be given on October 23. Applications, which are available on line, at public libraries, and from all police facilities, must be returned by August 13. There is no filing fee for this exam. To be eligible for the test, candidates must be at least 17 and ½ by the last day of filing and not yet 35 years of age. Those who served in the armed forces may be exempt for up to six years on the age requirement.

For many years, residents around Beach 130 Street and Cronston Avenue have complained about the vacant house on the corner of those two streets. It took a fire in the dilapidated home to move the family to sell it. Last week, two old and rusting cars were removed from the property, where they had been sitting for years. Neighbors see it as a major victory and hope that is the beginning of the end for the eyesore in their midst.

Plaza College in Jackson Heights is now operating a training and employment program sponsored by New York City for people who find themselves unemployed. According to the city, the institution has achieved a 95 percent success rating for the second consecutive year. Those interested can contact Plaza at 718-779-1430.

The officials at NASCAR have been looking for a New York City venue for a racetrack for its Nextel (nee, Winston Cup) Series. We have recommended in the past that they look at the Arverne Urban Renewal Area for their super-speedway, but other residents just laughed. Last week, those officials looked at Staten Island and were pleased with a site nearby the Goethels Bridge. The Mayor spiked that idea, saying that there was already too much development and too much traffic on the island. We still think that the Chamber of Commerce should contact NASCAR and ask them to take a look at the eastern end of the AURA. Wouldn’t it be great to draw 275,000 people to Rockaway two weekends a year and have the track for other activities the rest of the year?

Author William Manchester, best known for his seminal work, "The Death of a President," about JFK’s 1963 assassination, died last week at the age of 82. Manchester was an historian who taught for many years at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where we first met him in 1970. Manchester was the quintessential old-line historian and his major works include definitive biographies of Winston Churchill and Douglas MacArthur.

The young parochial school girl who told The New York Post about her colored bracelets and their tie to sex acts that we wrote about last week has been tossed from her school for "doing an un-Christian act" and for "slandering the school" by allowing herself to be photographed outside the school building. What will she do now? She’ll do what all parochial school kids do when they are tossed from their schools for one reason or another – she’ll go to public school.

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