2004-07-16 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Wave’s on-line poll shows that the majority of those who voted (presumably they are Rockaway residents if they hit the Wave website) want the beach rules to be completely lifted with no restrictions on beach and boardwalk use (outside of the restriction on swimming when no lifeguards are on duty). A full 61 percent of those who voted want the present restrictions removed; 20 percent would settle for restrictions from midnight to 6 a.m., while only 18 percent agree with the present beach and boardwalk restrictions. The poll can be found at, www.rockawave.com.

The fire that destroyed The Richner Communications Group building in Lawrence (one of the Five Towns) destroyed a lot of Rockaway history as well. In that building was the archive of the Rockaway Journal, which has been in publication since 1883, but has not been available for many years. Luckily for those interested in Rockaway’s past, the central Queens library in Jamaica (on the corner of Merrick Road and Jamaica Avenue) maintains virtually the entire run of The Wave and the Rockaway Journal as well as many other Queens weeklies in its Long Island Room.

The Parks Department has found another way to bring in revenue through the use (or, nonuse) of its parks, joining the money being brought in from Rockaway residents who think that they can use the beach when they want to. A Brooklyn resident got a ticket from Parks Enforcement Police for sitting in a park. That’s right, gasp, for sitting in a park. Seems that the Green Book (we’ve spoken of it before) says that no person over the age of 17 can be in a playground unless they are accompanied by a child. Some other little-known city rules to watch out for in this day of over-enforcement: Three or more people wearing masks at a gathering are a no-no, even if they are surgical masks; you can’t take up more than one subway seat; you can’t cover up in any way, even with a license plate holder, your car’s plates; you can’t put your garbage cans out prior to 8 p.m. on the evening before collections is scheduled and adults can’t ride their bikes on a sidewalk. Beware the revenue collectors posing as enforcement personnel.

The Paul Taylor 2 Dance Troupe will be at Fort Tilden on Sunday, July 25 for a RMAC Sunset Picnic Concert. The troupe was at Fort Tilden a few years ago and wowed the crowd with its artistry and versatility. The concert begins at 6 p.m.

On a recent visit to Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, a Wave staffer noted people on the beach until 1 a.m. A police car drove by hourly and did not interfere with the people. People actually looked as if they were enjoying themselves. Too bad Rockaway has to be treated differently from all of the other beaches in the city. Perhaps its because our city councilman does not intercede for his constituents, preferring to defer to the city officials and to a small group of elite homeowners who want nobody but themselves and their families to have regular access to the beaches? By the way, The Wave contacted Addabbo more than two weeks ago, asking for clarification on the need for further changes in state law prior to designating surfing and fishing beaches. We have yet to hear from our city councilman.

The "Function At The Junction," designed to bring back those who once lived in Rockaway for a day of meeting and greeting old friends, will be held this year at Bayswater Park (Bay 32 Street and Beach Channel Drive) on July 31 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Everybody is invited whether they now live in Rockaway or not.

The Office of Homeland Security is warning that a terrorist attack similar to the recent train attack in Spain, may take place prior to the November election. The Spanish attack, which came shortly before the election in that nation, swung lots of votes to the candidate that opposed Spanish participation in Iraq, and the European nation quickly recalled its troops. We wonder whether a similar attack in America would bring the same results in the election. We doubt it and hope that American voters would be more savvy than to allow terrorists to decide our national politics.

It is embarrassing when a newspaper makes an error on a story, even more so when that story is on the front page of the paper. The New York Post, in what it termed an "exclusive" story named Representative Dick Gephardt as John Kerry’s running mate in the upcoming election. The story was so exclusive that it was dead wrong. Only hours after the Post hit the street, Kerry named John Edwards as his running mate. The paper became the object of lots of ridicule in other daily papers and on cable television. Cole Allan, the paper’s editor-in-chief, apologized for the story, saying that he made the call to run the story after getting a tip from a reliable source that he "believed to be correct." While we can smile at the Post’s discomfort, the fact is that all newspapers, even The Wave, get tips on stories near deadline that cannot be readily corroborated and the editor must make a snap judgment on whether the story should be run or not. The fact is, like most papers, we win some and lose some. We only hope that we don’t embarrass ourselves in a front page story.

Take a ride down Beach 116 Street prior to 9 a.m., when the meters go into operation any morning and you will see a street full of automobiles. That is because locals who can no longer park on Rockaway Beach Boulevard are using the street as a not-so-convenient overnight parking spot. Once the meters go off at 7 p.m., residents can safely park there all night, taking spots away from those who want to shop on the street in the late evening or early in the morning.

When residents in northern Queens began to get tickets for having their license plates partially blocked, they went to their city councilman for relief. The result, a bill banning the tix.


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