2004-09-03 / Community

Beachcomber

“The Moving Wall,” a 252-foot replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., will visit Queens for a week in October. The traveling memorial will be at Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows from October 2 to October 8 and is expected to draw large crowds. The Park is located at 196 Street and Union Turnpike. Among the names on the wall are many from Rockaway.

Over the past two weeks there have been a spate of shootings by young men, killing, maiming and wounding other young men, once again making clear that there are too many guns on the street in the hands of violent, angry teenagers. Just last week there was an incident where a man accidentally spilled a glass of water on a woman sitting nearby. The women’s boyfriend whipped out a gun and killed the man who spilled the water. The week prior to that, there was a shooting at a Bronx basketball tournament that left nine people wounded. Those events followed the shooting in Rockaway that left one dead and several others wounded after a party at Bayswater Park. The city has to give police the power to begin taking those guns off the street once again, even if it means angering activists in the minority community who have pushed the city into limiting the NYPD’s ability to be proactive on guns.

This summer was a success in terms of music and the arts and the volunteers who put the many exciting events together and made them sing. The Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC) once again ran its Sunset Picnic Concerts at Fort Tilden and most of the six concerts were well-attended. The final concert, featuring The Platters, drew upwards of 1,000 people on a beautiful August Sunday evening. The Rockaway Theatre Company (RTC) once again ran a series of sold-out shows at its Fort Tilden venue. The Rockaway Artists Alliance hosted a 10-year anniversary exhibit of member work that was filled with admiring locals each weekend. In addition, there were a number of events that delighted kids and adults alike, such as the New York Kite Festival (hosted by the Chamber of Commerce) and Barbara Morris’ sandcastle contest. The Wave has to give a “well done” to all of those who worked so hard to make Rockaway’s summer an enjoyable one.

The NYPD was stretched to the limit last week, but came through with flying colors. The main event, of course, was the Republican National Convention with its attendant marches and demonstrations. Most cities would be challenged to handle that event alone, but the city police, in addition to the RNC, had to handle the U.S. Open at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, both Mets and Yankee home games and myriad crime, fires and motor vehicle accidents as well.

The report from Canada that an al Queda operative has told authorities there that American Airlines Flight 587 was brought down in Rockaway by a shoe bomber has renewed interest in the story on the peninsula. A man who refused to provide his name called last Monday morning to say that he saw an “Arab Man” taking pictures on Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard last Saturday. According to the caller, the man was taking digital pictures of 1 Beach 105 Street, the building were firefighter Mike Moran once lived. Moran is famous for telling Osama bin Laden to “Kiss my A__” on national television. Some stories never die.

Breezy Point author Maura Conlon-McIvor will read parts of her recently-published book, “FBI Girl” at St. Edmund’s Church Hall at 7:30 p.m. on September 7. The book is billed as a “funny, razor-sharp memoir about a young girl in the 1960’s attempting to forge a relationship with her mysterious FBI agent father, Joe Conlon.” Conlon-McIvor is the niece of long-time Breezy Point resident, the late Father Ed Hogan.

There seems to be a growing sentiment to end New York City’s bid for the 2012 Olympic games. Some recent polls show that sentiment among city residents is running two to one against bringing the games to our city. Those who oppose hosting the games say that they have proved to be financially devastating to host cities in the past and that the security costs in a city such as New York would raise the cost of the games to even greater records, insuring that the city would lose money on the deal. The only venue that would impact the peninsula should the games come to the city, would be the new marina to be built as the sailing center in Breezy Point. Many locals have expressed fears that the marina, paid for by all city residents, would then be closed to all but those who live in that gated community, or that entrance to the site would be made so difficult by limiting parking that it would be virtually closed to all other residents.

West end residents should plan to attend the meeting at the Beach Club at 7 p.m. on September 8. That meeting, hosted by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and KeySpan Energy, will lay out the plan to remediate the old LILCO Manufactured Gas Plant on Beach 108 Street and Beach Channel Drive and will discuss plans for the site’s future development. This is an important issue for Rockaway, and particularly for those who live nearby the site.

Nearly half of all city workers earning more than $150 thousand a year work for the new Department of Education, an organization that promised fiscal responsiblity, and you can bet that they are not teachers or school administrators. All told, 138 city workers earned that total or more last year, and 55 of them work for the DOE. Chancellor Joel Klein makes more than anybody else, earning $250 thousand. Community Superintendents such as our own Kathy Cashin earn $158,854. In contrast, Police Commissioner Ray Kelley earns $162,800. What Klein seems to be best at is not improving schools, but in running an empire of highly-paid bureaucrats who have little idea about what they are doing.

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