2005-01-28 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

Some folks must have wished really hard for snow and their wish was granted—it’s all over the place! Usually pretty when it first falls, (if you don’t have to go anywhere), it gets messy and ugly too fast. For most children, of course, it is no inconvenience, because they can scramble over the snow-plowed mounds and easily keep their footing on icy streets. For other folks, it means they are home-bound and unable to navigate around the neighborhood. Only 51 days till the first official day of spring.

A Defensive Driving Course, sponsored by St. Virgilius P.A., will be held on Tuesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 3 in the school lunchroom. Completion of the two-session course entitles you to 10% reduction on car insurance for three years or up to four points off your license. The course costs $55 and will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. both nights. Seating is limited; payment in full guarantees a seat. There is no test and refreshments will be served. Call Helen at 718 945-4648 or Cindy at 718 634-5449 to register for the course.

Chances for St. Virgilius Parents’ Association 20/10 Club are on sale now. Drawing begins on Tuesday, 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 February and March birthdays!

Supermarket Bingo, sponsored by St. Virgilius P.A. will be held on Friday, February 4 at the American Legion Hall. Doors will open at 7 p.m.; the first game starts at 7:30. In advance tickets are $10; at the door, they cost $12 each. For further information or to buy tickets call JoMarie at 718 474-8207 or Mary at 718 474-3367.

It’s not too late to purchase the 2005 Broad Channel Historical Calendar, which not only contains vintage pictures of Broad Channel but also the current times of high tide, (which is very valuable to a seaside community!). Buy one for $5 at O’Macs, All American Deli, New Grassy Point Hotel or at a Civic Association meeting or from a member of the Historical Society.   

Books and Bagels, the book discussion group which meets at the B.C. Library, has been postponed until our Librarian returns to work and it can be re-scheduled. There is no firm date for her return as yet. Jaimie, who is as quick with a lovely smile as she is checking out those library books, is holding down the fort—er, library, with substitute librarians until Carol returns.

HEAP helps elderly and disabled New Yorkers with limited incomes with a one time grant. There are guidelines to meet to qualify for this assistance. For an application, simply call 311.

New York City’s new phone number for information about government services, 311, is also good for reporting a burned-out street light or reporting potholes (sure to be seen after all the snow melts). It’s nice to be able to get a live person 24/7, although some folks have reported negative experiences with the service. It is better than the way it was at one time when a person would call any city agency and get transferred back and forth, put on hold for long periods of time or referred to non-working phone numbers.

A reminder that both of our schools are involved in the General Mills box tops for education program, which has a website located at: www.boxtopsforeducation.com Each of the designated box tops is worth 10 cents to the school which gets it! There is a box in the main lobby of P.S. 47 to collect them. At St. Virgilius School they can be left at the school office or deposited in the designated receptacle in the rear of the church.

Products on which you can find these special box tops number in the hundreds and include: the many General Mills cereals and snack-type products’ Bisquick; Bugles; Lloyd’s bowl meals; Totinos Pizza Rolls; tube refrigerated dough products like Grands; Hamburger Helper; Old El Paso products; Betty Crocker baking products; Gold Medal flour; Yoplait yoghurt products and Nature Valley granola bars to name a few! Each school can earn as much as $20,000 from each of three program components.

On Sunday, February 20 at 11 a.m. there will be a NYC Audubon Snow Birds Walk at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. You will look for winter songbirds, waterfowl, hawks and owls as you walk the trails in the refuge. Many birds and other kinds of wildlife utilize the refuge on their trips elsewhere; learn why, at this event. Bring your binoculars. Reservations are required and can be made at 718 318-4340.

Identity theft is one thing that people worry about on and off. One thing you can do to help guard against it is cut off the credit card offers that come in the mail. Call 888 5 OPTOUT to rid your mail of these pesky offers which can be stolen, given new addresses with your credit information. The thief gets a new credit card and you never see the bill until your credit is in trouble. If you don’t like the offers in the mail, consider buying a paper shredder and putting a lock on your mailbox. To get rid of unwanted sales calls, place your cell or home phone on the Federal “do not call” registry. You can do this by calling 888 382-1222. To learn more about unwanted sales calls, visit www.ftc.gov/donotcall/  

Do you have news that you want to see in this space? (Please get your important information to me by 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning if you need it in that Friday’s column.) Send email to: Lizbcbits@aol.com.

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