Mayor Mike Bloomberg disrespected both Congressman Anthony Weiner and the Rockaway community at Friday’s memorial service to those lost in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587. While Congressman Charles Rangel, who represents the Dominican community, was on the stage and spoke at the ceremony, Congressman Weiner, who represents Rockaway in the same body, was not on stage and had to stand with the rest of the spectators (including Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and City Councilman Joe Addabbo). Could it be that Weiner’s probable run for Bloomberg’s job next year had something to do with the snub?
Long-time Rockaway resident and Wave columnist Harry McGuirk is very ill in Ireland, according to his niece, Dolores Kavanagh. She says that McGuirk has been hospitalized since July with a number of medical problems and is unlikely to be released from the hospital anytime soon. Kavanagh wanted Harry’s old friends in Rockaway to know of his illness and that they could contact him through her email address at doloreskavanagh @equalitytribunal.ie.
Memorial Day exercises went off without a hitch at “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” the traditional celebration of Armistice Day, which later became Veteran’s Day. Local vet’s groups joined in the ceremony at the Doughboy Statue on Beach 92 Street. We urge all Rockaway residents to remember those who died to keep us free as well as all of those men and women who are fighting today throughout the world.
Although our New York State government in Albany pursues very expensive programs throughout the state that could be considered to be “pork” payouts to local politicians loyal to the Republican party, it will soon cancel all general equivalency diploma (GED) exams because it does not have the money to pay for the tests. The GED is the last hope of many local young adults who, for one reason or another, dropped out of high school. That most of those students happen to be in New York City and in other large Democratic strongholds in the state seems to show that those in power care little for the problems of the larger cities in the state.
It’s time once again for the opening of “The Little North Pole,” the home of Neponsit residents Joseph and Maritza Mure. For more than five years, the Mure’s have elaborately decorated their home at 144-03 Neponsit Avenue and invited the community for free entertainment and goodies. All money raised by asking donations of those who come goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Association, of which Mure is a Vice President. This year’s opening ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on December 4.
A November 8 New York Newsday editorial chided Rita Stark calling her “The Queens landlord with the well-deserved reputation for obstructing urban renewal…” Stark, who owns the Far Rockaway shopping center, recently sold two of the other decaying properties in her portfolio – giving hope to some that she will do the same here.
The first polls leading to the 2005 New York City mayoral election show that Fernando Ferrer is thefront-runner for the Democratic nod to challenge Mayor Mike Bloomberg with only a year to go. A recent poll, for example, shows that if the primary election were today, Ferrer, the Bronx Borough President, would get 28 percent of the Democratic vote. Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields would get 14 percent of the vote with William Thompson (9 percent), Gifford Miller (8 percent), Congressman Tony Weiner (8 percent) and City Councilman Charles Barron (3 percent) following in that order. Of course, this early in the race, undecided got 27 percent of the vote. The Daily News recently handicapped the race and assigned odds to each candidate. Ferrer is 9-2; Weiner, 6-1; Fields, 70-1; Barron, 200-1; Miller 10 to 1 and Thompson, 12-1.
The hit television show, “Third Watch,” has been filming in Broad Channel for a week, utilizing Grassy’s and the Yacht Club, as well as some private homes. While there have been a few complaints about the tv filming disrupting some lives in the channel, most locals seem pleased that a top show is being shot in their community.
Broad Channel residents are becoming tired of waiting for the city to complete the ball fields at the old Brooklyn Day Camp site nearby the entrance to the Cross Bay Bridge. The city took over the old camp more than seven years ago, promising the community a state-of-the-art athletic compound. The city has said in the past that money was earmarked for the project, but never spent. Residents are now seeking help as well as answers from City Councilman Joseph Addabbo. Most of the time, the ball fields on the site are underwater and unusable.
The Zagat Company is looking for local residents to review Long Island restaurants for an upcoming annual survey. Diners can participate by casting their votes online at www. zagat.com. Those who cast their votes by December 12 will receive a free copy of the new guide when it is published.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent formal “Safety Recommendations” to both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Direction General de l’Aviation Civile, the French equivalent of the FAA (the Airbus is manufactured in France), asking for changes to the Airbus A300 series aircraft in order to insure that the plane’s rudder system be made safe in the wake of the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Rockaway in 2001. The recommendation says that the organizations should “Review the options for modifying the Airbus A300-600 and the Airbus A310 to provide increased protection from potentially hazardous pedal inputs at high airspeeds and, on the basis of this review, require modifications to the A300-600 and A310 to provide increased protection from potentially hazardous rudder inputs at high airspeeds.” If the FAA complies (by law, it does not have to comply), it could ground most of American Airlines southern fleet and push that airline closer to the brink.
The MTA called a meeting at the Beach Club recently to talk about the rehabilitation of the Rockaway Park Subway Station and adjoining city-owned stores. Representatives shared updated plans and said that requests for proposals (RFP) are scheduled to go out during the first quarter of 2005.
In last week’s issue, The Wave mistakenly said in a picture layout that a picture of a new home on Beach 131 Street at the AA 587 Crash site was the former home of the Lawlor family when, in fact, it was the former site of the Pompanio family.