2005-03-04 / Community

Beachcomber

Paul Cohen, a documentary filmmaker, is planning a movie on the adventures of the “Golden Venture,” the ship laden with illegal Chinese immigrants that landed up on the shores of the Rockaway peninsula in Breezy Point and caused an international furor in June of 1993. Cohen is seeking photos, home videos and personal memories of those who witnessed the beaching and the flow of immigrants who rushed ashore. Anybody with information or memorabilia can contact Cohen at 212-799-6788.

The annual Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off tomorrow at 1 p.m. from Beach 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. There will be many parking restrictions on Saturday to permit the parade to make its way eastward to Beach 90 Street. The parade will end there this year, not at St. Rose of Lima Church on Beach 84 Street as in previous years. We understand that many of the bands complained that the parade route was too long in the past, so the six blocks were culled from the line of march. The reviewing stand will be at Beach 90 Street, not at Beach 105 Street as in previous years.

On March 10, the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a gala dinner at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. The cutoff date for the purchase of tickets is this coming Monday, March 7, so call the firehouse for information.

Even if you don’t like Congressman Anthony Weiner, you have to admire his style under pressure. Early last week, Weiner was on the steps of City Hall, announcing his plans for the city when he becomes mayor when a group of construction workers, angered at his stand on a new west side stadium for the New York Jets (he opposes it and wants it in Queens), started chanting, “Stadium yes, Weiner no,” and “Build it now.” Weiner tried to keep up with his speech but finally gave up and began a chant of his own into the microphone, joining the workers with “Build it in Queens.” Weiner asked the workers, “What are you, a bunch of rich upper east siders,” and walked away to chants of “loser.” Many who were present, however, believe that Weiner gave as good as he got.

People who live in the United States often take the rights granted by the United States Constitution for granted when they travel to other nations. In Switzerland, for example, the neutral nation that provided the banks and the funding that enabled the Nazi’s to fight World War II to the end and steal billions from dead Jewish families, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against a person simply because of their race or religion. A woman who had come from America and was black was told that she would not be hired for a job because of her color. She sued and took the case all the way to the highest court in the nation. She lost. Remember that when you travel. You do not take your rights with you in your suitcase.

Last week, Mayor Mike Bloomberg came close to saying at one of his broadcasts that Queens was not good enough for a new stadium that would house both the 2012 Olympic games and the New York Jets. The mayor said, “You can’t sell naming rights outside of Manhattan for what you can sell in Manhattan. That’s just a fact of life.” You can deduce from that the fact that million dollar naming rights is the controlling factor in choosing the west side site and that the naming rights issue overrides all of the other concerns that many people have about the stadium plan. Bloomberg is, as we have said before, only concerned with Manhattan and none of the other boroughs need apply.

Vaughan’s Pub has announced that it took in more than $50,000 to benefit the fight against Cystic Fibrosis at the annual Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis last month. That is a record for the event.

If State Senator Joe Bruno has his way, cops, firefighters and EMS workers will soon get free bridge and tunnel tolls. Bruno says that he is working out the details with the MTA and that a pilot program should be ready in by late spring.

The city has taken over another of the seven private bus lines that will all become part of the MTA over the next few months. In fact, Queens Surface Bus Company was the largest of the companies and the one with the most routes. The good news for Rockaway is that no routes were cut as a result of the takeover – at least for now. Local residents have been hearing rumors for months that the city takeover of Green Bus and Triboro would result in a cut of express bus routes from the peninsula to Rockaway.

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has brought suit against two Rhode Island men and their company, Liberty Productions for making telephone calls to New York State residents representing themselves as charitable organization connected to local police units. Spitzer warns New York City residents to be careful when giving personal financial information over the telephone to such companies and asks that anybody getting a call for charitable donations to the police to notify their local police precincts.

The National Hockey League (NHL) might be closed down for the season due to labor problems, but the game of hockey is not as dead as most people think, despite the fact that most local people seem not to care. More than 16,000 people showed up at the Nassau Coliseum two weeks ago for an American Hockey League (one of the minor leagues connected with the game) game between the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (an Islander’s affiliate) and a team from Scranton. On hand were 8,000 Islander season ticket holders who got in free that night. The place might have sold out anyway.

The Rockaway Rotary Club is setting up a fund for the burial of the toddler found dead on the beach a few weeks ago. The body of the child is still in the custody of the medical examiner’s office while the ME attempts to identify him. Final arrangements will be made as soon as the city releases the body for burial. Donations can be sent to the club.

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