2004-07-23 / Editorial/Opinion

An Ongoing Rockaway Problem

An Ongoing Rockaway Problem

There is a problem that has plagued Rockaway for generations. It usually rears its head on St. Patrick’s Day and on hot summer evenings and this year turns out to be no exception. The problem is underage drinking and, while many in the community consider it a non-problem because they look at drinking as a sort of “rite of passage” into adulthood, it is no joke to those who are impacted by its consequences. Add the residents in the area of Beach 90 and Beach 91 Street to that list. Late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning, depending on your outlook, a fight broke out outside of Paddy K’s on Beach Channel Drive. That is not unusual in itself, but this one turned out to be worse that many in the past, with dozens of cops responding, spreading out over a four square block area, searching for those involved in what some are calling a “real riot.” The Wave has been told by residents living in the area that most of those involved in the altercation “looked like they were younger than sixteen years of age.” Those residents say that this is an ongoing problem, that underage teens fight, scream, race motorcycles and generally raise hell in that neighborhood on a regular basis. As we said, the problem is not a new one. A number of bars with names like “Fiddler’s Green” and “High Tides” are no longer with us because they continually served underage drinkers and had constant problems with the community. We hope that Paddy K’s does not go that same route, but underage drinking has to stop. It will only stop, however, when bar owners put aside their economic needs and stop serving underage drinkers and when parents stop looking at drinking as a necessary rite of passage. Until then, we will continue to have problems as we did last week at Paddy K’s.

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