2004-12-31 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

As 2004 grinds to a finish and 2005 looms large in front of us, we find ourselves (gratefully!) with temperatures above the freezing mark. It is almost balmy weather compared to those temperatures that hovered in the teens. When the frigid winds blow, it is even worse. If we are in the middle of winter, however, spring is only a couple of months away!

Begin the New Year with a brisk walk on the beach! Join the folks of the American Littoral Society at Breezy Point on Saturday, January 1 at 11 a.m. at Building 1 on Fort Tilden in the Gateway National Recreation Area. The walk will include a visit to the hawk watch tower will be lead by naturalists Mickey Cohen and Don Riepe. For the 21st time, they will try to signal across the harbor to other American Littoral Society members who will be on the lookout for them at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. There will be cookies and champagne served after the walk. Admission to the event is free and open to all. If you want more information on this event, telephone ALS at 718 318-9344.

Chances for St. Virgilius Parents’ Association 20/10 Club are on sale now. Drawing begins on February 1, 2005 and will run for 10 weeks. First prize of $200, second prize of $100 and third prize of $50 are awarded weekly. There is an Easter bonus prize of $250. In the tenth week there are two $500 prizes and a prize of $250. Winners can repeat weekly. Chances are $20 each. To buy chances call Karen at 718 945-5823, the rectory at 718 634-5680 or the school at 718 634-6237. Chances make great gifts for those who have January birthdays!

In November, a nice note from Reverend Andrea Zarou arrived at my door. This is what it said: “Just want to thank all who attended our Game Night at Christ Church. Had a very nice turnout and all had a great time. When the people left, they asked when the next game night would be.”

Friday, December 31 is the last day to round up those no-longer-wanted but still-serviceable winter coats. Outgrown children’s coats are badly needed. Of course, adults don’t outgrow their clothes. But if you get a new coat, giving away the old one is a great way to help others out while you unclutter your closets. Coats can be brought to the 100th Precinct. Go online to: www. nycares.org or call 212 402-1173 to get more information or find other locations to drop those still-able-to-be-used coats.

RAA’s show, Gifted 2004, will be closed on January 1 and 2; it will reopen on January 8.

The last day to view this exhibit is Sunday, January 9; it is being held in Fort Tilden’s sTudio 6. The exhibit in-cludes paintings in various media, photography, sculpture and other works. For more information on this or future exhibits or on joining the organization, call RAA at 718 474-0861 or email them at: rockart116@aol.com. The gallery is open to the public and there is no charge for viewing the artworks. Gallery hours on Saturday are from noon to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Books and Bagels, the book discussion group which meets at the B.C. Library, will next meet at the Library on Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 10 a.m. Under discussion will be “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold.

If you know the name of a soldier, but not much else, try emailing them through this website: http://www4. army.mil/ocpa/tooursoldiers/post.php You should be able to send an email up to 300 characters. Through this site, you should be able to send an email to an individual soldier, an entire platoon or all the brave men and women overseas.

On Sunday, January 16 at 1 p.m. there will be a Winter Botany Walk at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Join a park volunteer and learn to identify winter plants (did you know there are winter wildflowers?), hear folklore and learn about the importance of winter plant life to wildlife. Reservations are required and can be made at 718 318-4340.

At St. Virgilius Church, the service at 8:30 a.m. on Sundays is a quiet one—with no music and no singing. Parishioners who arrived at the church on Christmas Day and the Sunday after it got a special treat, however. The strains of organ music reached their ears as smiles spread across their faces before they took their seats. It was a nice, welcome surprise for the 8:30 folks to be able to raise their voices in accompanied song those two days. Way to go, Father John!

The month of December is a happy, busy—sometimes frantic one— as many folks prepare for Christmas. Parties abound in offices, organizations and private homes. (One of our neighbors was invited to and attended eight parties!) For a lot of folks, the month is an eat-fest! At the end of the month, however, and as thoughts turn to warmer weather, a lot of folks concern themselves with their weight and/or cholesterol levels. All of this leads to the number one New Year’s resolution: losing weight/eating less. Among the top ten resolutions people make to improve themselves are: to exercise more, be more patient, get more sleep, quit smoking, be more efficient at work, save (more) money and to stop procrastination. Those who want to eat healthier can call the American Heart Association at 888 MY HEART. (The AHA has a large cookbook, available at the Howard Beach library.) There is also a NYS smoker’s quit line, 866 NY QUITS.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! Let’s hope it is a safe one too, particularly for our troops—those brave men and women who are overseas and in harm’s way.

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