2004-10-22 / Community

Beachcomber

Representative Anthony Weiner has disputed the advertisements of his challenger, local right-to-life activist Jerry Cronin that Weiner voted to take the words, “Under God,” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Weiner says that he voted “yes” on House Resolution (HR) 132, which read, in part, “that phrase should remain in the pledge and the practice of voluntary reciting the pledge in public school classrooms should be encouraged.” In addition, Weiner says, in July he voted to prohibit the use of any federal funds to remove the phrase, ‘One Nation Under God,” from the pledge.

The MTA has announced that a takeover by that organization of the private bus companies in Queens, including Green Bus, Triboro Bus and Jamaica Bus, would mean 100 new buses for those routes by spring of next year. The deadline for the transfer remains December 4, although many of those close to the negotiations doubt that the deal can be done prior to next year.

The IRS has announced that teachers and other educators can now deduct up to $250 for books and other classroom supplies that they buy with their own funds to satisfy their classroom needs. This new deduction is part of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004, and the IRS urges those educators who want to take the deduction to save their receipts. Expenses incurred at any time during 2004 would be eligible even though the bill was not signed until early October.

Kenneth J. Dillon is a former intelligence officer for the Department of State. He sent an email to The Wave last week that said, “I appreciate the article you wrote on the reported role of Abderraouf Jdey in the crash of Flight 587. There is evidence that Jdey was also the Anthrax mailer. The email includes a website to check for the evidence. If you want to take a look at Dillon’s “evidence, for his claim, go to www.scientiapress.com.

In the past five years, Representative Gregory Meeks (along with either his wife or his daughter) has traveled to Hawaii, Taiwan, Malaysia, Antigua, Barbados, India and St. Lucia. All of the trips have been in either January or February and all of the trips have been funded by private interests such as lobbying groups and foreign government agencies, according to a recent report by Northwestern University. In all, Meeks and his relatives have, since 2000, taken 31 trips worth more than $126 thousand. In fact, Meeks leads the list. Our other representative, Anthony Weiner, is 14th on the list, with 6 trips worth a little over $25 thousand. A spokesperson for Meeks, says predictably that the trips were all for educational or business reasons and that all of them “saved tax dollars.”

Talk about job security. According to the Daily News, there have been 2,000 election campaigns for the State Senate and Assembly over the past 20 years. In that time, only 30 incumbents who were running for reelection were defeated. The News argues that the kind of job security that legislators have means that there is no sense of competition and that they will be reelected no matter what they do, or don’t do for their constituents.

Since September of 2003, the sidewalks in front of a commercial building or a home used for commercial purposes have become the landowner’s responsibility, not the city’s. One of the first suits under the new rules was that of Marie McEvaddy, who fell on the sidewalk in front of 129-02 Newport Avenue, a dentist’s office. She suffered a cut to her hand and sued the dentist rather than the city and the suit was settled. McEvaddy’s attorney was John Howley of Beach 116 Street.

Recent home sales reveal the fact that property costs are up all over the peninsula, not just in the west end, where most homes go for more than $500 thousand. A home on the 400 block of Beach 45 Street in Arverne, for example, recently sold for $299 thousand and another on Deerfield Road, nearby the subway el in Edgemere sold for $386 thousand.

A recent corporate tax bill passed by Congress provides tens of millions of dollars for states throughout the nation, but cut the vital rail line from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy Airport. While the New York City rail link was cut, tax cuts worth $231 million were granted under the bill to “Destiny USA,” a planned shopping and recreation facility in upstate Syracuse.

Under a new law now being considered by the City Council, the city would be required to set up an interactive Website that would allow consumers to comparison-shop for 150 of the most-prescribed drugs without leaving their computers. Consumers will be able to type their zip code into their computer, along with the name of the drug and then see comparisons of the cost of the drug in various pharmacies nearby their home.

The City Council has passed a new law outlawing the small motorcycles and motorized scooters that can be seen on almost any street in the city. At the same time, the council exempted the two-wheel Segway, other devices used to assist disabled people and electric scooters that travel less than 15 miles per hour. Many locals have called The Wave to complain that the police have confiscated their “Pocket Rocket’s” and motorized scooters, but the new law allows that confiscation to take place. The new law prohibits the sale of the motorized vehicles as well as their use.

The Wave planned to sponsor a debate between Congressman Anthony Weiner and his challenger, local resident Jerry Cronin. Weiner said, “Any time,any place, although he did so only last week.” Cronin, however, declined after hearing that the panel would be made up of local activists asking questions about issues that affect Rockaway. He wanted something more global and political.

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