2004-11-26 / Community

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

20 Years Ago...

Somewhere in Rockaway there still are as many as two-dozen electrical devices with PCB-laden oil waiting to explode and spew out cancer-causing spray, according to the Long Island Lighting Company. The announcement comes one day after one of these devices exploded in Far Rockaway, splashing about two gallons of oil laced with the highly toxic chemical.

Throughout South Queens, from the Rockaways to Jamaica, from Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Richmond Hill to Woodhaven and Forest Hills, there is a broad movement afoot this holiday season, and beyond, to encourage local residents to shop at home. As part of this “buy local” campaign, The Wave and The Forum, are launching their own drive to help merchants in the areas they service to increase local business.

Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo will install Walter Roberts as president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways during the Chamber’s 59th anniversary dinner-dance next week at the Washington Hotel. He will also install other officers and directors. Jesse Plaxen, a principal of Town & Country World Travel Corp. and Attorney Charles J. Hynes will be honored.

Firemen in all three companies based in Far Rockaway are continuing to look for ways to help families that were burned out of their homes early on Thanksgiving. At least eight families lost their homes when fire all but destroyed 12 cottages on Brookhaven Avenue at Beach 25 Street.

The Far Rockaway Revitalization Corporation presented its first “Far Rockaway Means Business” awards during an open house last month at the corporation’s 1931 Mott Avenue headquarters.

Mayor Edward I. Koch cannot forget the welcome that he got in Broad Channel when he flew to the island for a groundbreaking ceremony – to start construction of the community’s first sewer.

30 Years Ago...

The Rockaway Park Merchants Association announces that, beginning on Thursday, stores will be open till 8:30 p.m. Free tickets will also be issued by participating merchants for a holiday raffle program – the grand prize winner’s name will be announced in The Wave.

The joint “College and Career Night” held at Stella Maris High School was a tremendous success and drew more than 500 parents and students, according to Helen Loye, publicity coordinator.

The advent of the Holiday Season will be marked by a December 16 tree-lighting ceremony on the traffic island at the corner of Mott and Central Avenues, it was announced by Irving S. Schneider, Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways. The 30-foot tree is being donated by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Administration of the city, as arranged by the Office of Neighborhood Government.

40 Years Ago...

It looks like there will be some action about cleaning up the empty lot at Beach 88 Street and the bay, something that many local residents have asked for in recent weeks. The New York City Sanitation Department ordered the owner of the property to clean up the debris within five days. If the owner doesn’t comply the city will do it and bill him, according to Sanitation Department officials.

Full support to speedy conclusion of the Arverne Renewal program has been pledged by several leading legislators. On November 25 the City Planning Commission made the designation of Arverne as a renewal area official. But the Commission pointed out in its report, “this does not constitute approval of an urban renewal plan.” A spokesman said that no urban renewal planning funds are available right now and probably will not be for another year or two.

50 Years Ago...

The Somerville-Arverne Civic Association went on record as opposing a low cost housing project in the Somerville-Conch Basin area following a discussion this week.

All civic organizations in the Rockaways have been invited to discuss formation of a joint civic council of the Rockaways at a meeting of the Rockaway Beach Property Owners Association in the hall at 183 Beach 66 Street.

An 8-year-old Hammel boy faced arraignment in Children’s Court this week on charges that he pushed a 4-year-old boy into a fire and caused severe burns to the boy’s legs and feet.

Rockaway’s new Junior High School will not be opened until February 1, The Wave was informed yesterday. The opening had recently been set for January 3.

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