2004-08-27 / Community

Beachcomber

We have been told by a source close to the Rockaway Park Homeowners Association, who was not present at the meeting, that the first vote of its Board of Directors was to allow the controversial dunes to stay in place. While the person was not at the meeting, he or she is a usually reliable barometer of what is happening in that community. Since nobody who was actually at the meeting would comment on truth or falsehood of the report of what happened, The Wave could not include the information in a news story, but it is worthy of comment here and our readers can take it for what it is worth. In any case, the source says that the deciding vote was to keep the dunes, the tie-breaking vote being made by Wave columnist Beverly Baxter. At the end of the vote, however, Baxter was reportedly prodded to change her vote and was threatened that she would be removed from the board and treated badly if she did not change her vote to allow the dunes to be removed. The meeting and the cajoling reportedly went on far into the night before Baxter finally relented and changed her vote. The dunes were eventually removed, much to the anger and chagrin of many members of the community. We cannot confirm this story, but we believe it to be true and believe that it should be passed on to our readers as is.

Newsday recently published a large spread map of New York City that included colored grids that show each community's danger should a Class Four hurricane hit the area. The areas most in danger for being underwater in a hurricane included Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Seagirt Beach and Bayswater. Those communities could find themselves underwater in even a moderate hurricane. As you would imagine, the next group of communities that would be in danger in a moderate hurricane, is the rest of the Rockaway peninsula. The map also shows the evacuation centers for the peninsula - Brooklyn College for the west end and Aqueduct Race Track for the east end. It does not, however, tell you how to get there.

If you have not yet registered to vote, it is not too late to register for the general election. In order to vote in the election, which will include Congressional, state and local elections, you must register by October 8.

The 100 Precinct is looking for community/civic leaders interested in attending the fall Citizen's Police Academy. The 15-week course, held at the NYPD Academy on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, teaches community members about many aspects of police work - everything from counter terrorism to domestic violence. Contact the Community Affairs Unit at 718-318-4233 for more information.

We are constantly confounded by the Department of Transportation's street signs in Broad Channel. We were recently told of the sign at West 14 Road that says "Cross Bay Boulavard" rather than Cross Bay Boulevard. In a similar vein, some signs along the strip say Crossbay Boulevard, while others say Cross Bay Boulevard. Which signs are right? The DOT won't say.

One of the reasons so many local streets flooded in Rockaway during that driving rainstorm two weeks ago was that many of the curb-side drains were stuffed with garbage and debris. We have even noted local resident throwing plastic bags filled with dog doo into the drains. They sit there, along with the rest of the garbage swept into the drains until a heavy rain. Then it clogs everything up or floats out and down the street. The Department of Environmental Protection, which is responsible for drain cleaning, has to do a better job to keep us dry.

When Senator Hillary Clinton visited Broad Channel earlier in the summer, she spent some time with the volunteer fire department and promised to help them secure their new firehouse. This week, Clinton came out with a list of volunteer fire departments that received large grants from the Department of Homeland Security. Among them were units in Painted Post, Mechanicsville, Argyle, Beacon, New Baltimore, Shortsville and Endwell. Guess which unit was not on the list - you got it, Broad Channel.

KeySpan Energy and the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are teaming up for a Rockaway meeting to discuss the final remediation plan for the former LILCO Manufactured Gas Plant on Beach 108 Street and Beach Channel Drive. After nearly five years of study, the state plans to dig out all the soil on the site to a depth of eight feet and to truck it away and replace it with new soil. Sounds like a plan to us. Perhaps, after all the new soil is in place, KeySpan will sell the property for development to somebody who will give Rockaway a nice movie theater.

The new Sandbar Restaurant, situated right on the Boardwalk at Beach 116 Street, has reopened its doors. The restaurant offers a full service bar with a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and all sorts of food from burgers and hot dogs to pizza and Italian ices.

Why is a gallon of gasoline typically 10 cents cheaper in Long Beach and Howard Beach than it is in Rockaway? North Channel Yacht Club member George Johnson, and many other local motorists ponder this question often.

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