2004-11-05 / Community

Beachcomber

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a real gaffe two weeks ago during a campaign speech for President George Bush. “It’s critical that President George Bush be re-elected,” Giuliani said, “for carrying out what the terrorists started on September 11.” We are sure that Giuliani did not mean to endorse what the terrorists started at the World Trade Center and that he does not believe that Bush endorses that either, but sometimes when people speak, what they mean to say comes out a little convoluted. This is obviously one of those cases and it caused a chuckle.

The final report of the National Transportation Safety Board that found the first officer, Sten Molin culpable for the crash because he “aggressively and unnecessarily” overused the plane’s rudder, tearing the tail from the plane, has already been rejected, especially by the local who saw the plane with smoke and fire on the fuselage prior to the crash. The NTSB’s explanation that the fire and smoke were as a result of leaking oil lines and compressor stall would not explain what at least 70 people believe they saw that day.

Look for the Far Rockaway High School Homecoming Day festivities on Sunday, November 7 at 10 a.m. Both the homecoming and the game that day, against peninsula rival Beach Channel High School, should be of interest to anybody who is an alumni of the school, or anybody who wants to see a tight, hard-hitting high school football game.

There will be a memorial service in honor of all those who died in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 at Beach 131 Street and Newport Avenue on November 12 at 8 a.m. with Mayor Mike Bloomberg and many other dignitaries taking part. This promises to be the last memorial at the site of the crash. It is expected that Bloomberg will announce at the memorial service that a new memorial to those who were lost in the crash will be built at Beach 116 nearby the boardwalk. That memorial will reportedly be ready for November 12, 2005. The cost of the new memorial, which has yet been designed, but is expected to be much like the one in Benin, Dominican Republic, will be borne by American Airlines.

The Rockaway Chamber of Commerce will host its annual dinner at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach on November 17 at 6:30 p.m. Anybody interested in attending this gala affair should contact Joanie Omeste at the chamber office on Beach 116 Street.

Senior citizens will once again have access to the MetroCard Van, which will be at the Roy Reuther Houses, 711 A-B Seagirt Avenue on November 19, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. That is the only appearance of the van in Rockaway during November.

Ten years ago this week, long-time City Councilman Walter Ward passed away. Ward, who headed the Council’s Parks Committee for so many years that many believed he invented it, died shortly after being defeated by Republican Al Stabile, who then gave way to Joe Addabbo, Jr.

The New York City Department of Health (DOH) recently completed a survey of high school students that produced some frightening results. The survey found that 38 percent of the students surveyed had been in a fight in school over the last year; 15 percent of the students admit that they carry a weapon to school each day and more than one in ten has cut school a day or more because they were too frightened to go to school.

In last week’s paper, Managing Editor Howard Schwach commented that “all politics are local.” That comment comes not from The Wave, but from Congressman Tip O’Neill, the venerated Massachusetts politician who served President John F. Kennedy and our nation so well for so long.

There has long been a debate about programs for gifted students. For many years, students who were rated as “gifted” based mainly on standardized reading and mathematics tests, were put into special programs and specialized high schools. Ten years ago, the “progressive” wing of the university education establishment decided that gifted education was elitist and that all students should be mixed in heterogeneous classes under the theory that the slower students would be helped along by the gifted students. Parents of students who were perceived to be gifted opted out of the schools in droves and gifted programs were reestablished, including an innovative program to bring such students from Brooklyn schools back to Rockaway. Now, however, the establishment is once again quietly making another attack on such classes, looking to end them or to expand the definition of “gifted” to bring more students under the umbrella. City officials say that the new CEC’s will have a chance to review and vet any new program, but those groups have been cut out of the loop in every sense of the word since they were formed in July.

There is a new city law requiring owners of multi-family buildings to install carbon monoxide detectors in each of the units in the building. The law takes effect on Monday, November 1, but the largest apartment owner in the city is getting a pass. The New York City Housing Authority, with 43,000 apartments in 1,000 buildings – including many in Rockaway received an eight-month extension, available to anybody with 500 units or more.

A Florida man saw Representative Katherine Harris and her assistants campaigning on a Sarasota sidewalk. He aimed his car at her, pulling away at the last moment and speeding off. When he was later apprehended, he argued that he was only “intimidating” Harris. “I was exercising my right to political expression,” he told cops, who arrested him for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon anyway.

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