2005-03-18 / Community

Beachcomber

NYPD Captain Paul Piekarski, the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach, has asked The Wave to pass along his thanks to the community for its cooperation and good behavior during and after this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Police sources say that the day and evening were relatively incident-free this year in relation to past years where there were many post-parade problems.

The obituary for Mary Kelley in last week’s Wave incorrectly stated that her funeral arrangements had been entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home. Kelley’s funeral was under the direction of the Denis S. O’Connor Funeral Home. The Wave regrets the error and is sorry for any inconvenience to her family and friends.

Talk about political correctness! The prime minister of Norway has taken the giant furniture maker Ikea to task for “sex discrimination” because its instruction manuals show only men putting together its furniture. Ikea says that it fears it will anger Muslims if it shows women putting together the furniture. The company adds that many of its manuals show only cartoon characters that have no sex. The prime minister, however, is not buying that argument. “It is important to promote ideas of sexual equality, not least in Muslim nations,” he said. It boggles the mind to know that the prime minister of Norway has nothing else to worry about except the sex of people putting together furniture.

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway will host a Diabetes Alert Day on March 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lobby. The hospital is located at 327 Beach 19 Street. Included will be a diabetes-screening program.

A third of the new Nassau County Police class is made up of New York City police officers. In fact, 53 of the 144 recruits scheduled to begin NCPC training this week come from NYPD ranks. The reason: After six years, NCPD cops earn nearly $85,000. Most Nassau cops earn more than $100,000 a year, nearly the yearly salary of an NYPD captain. Paul Browne, the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information for the NYPD shrugs the defections off. “Many of those who leave do so because they found police work too demanding,” he said. “Those men officers didn’t leave for better jobs, they left for more boring jobs.”

The National Park Service at the Gateway National Recreation Area are looking for three college students to work with its boating program this summer. The Visitor Use Assistants, who earn about $23,000 annually, will work with the summer sailing program, presenting programs on basic sailing techniques and sailboat maintenance. They also get to tool around in the park’s 17-foot Point Jude sailboats. Those interested can call 718-338-3827 before April 30.

There have been a number of complaints to The Wave about the service (or, lack of service) at some west end post offices of late. Just last week, a person dropped by to tell us that there was no window service for at least fifteen minutes, when the one clerk on duty said that she “had to go,” and just left. About five minutes later, another person came from the back and said that somebody would be with the growing line in “about ten minutes, that it would take that long for him to get ready to work at the window.” In another complaint, a man said that he waited for forty-five minutes one Saturday morning as one clerk manned the window with the line out to the door and two other clerks stood behind the one on duty and talked.

State Senator Ada Smith, who represents Broad Channel as well as a large chunk of Queens, was cleared last week of charges that she does not live within her district, as required by law. Smith, who does little for Broad Channel, was cleared by the body’s ethics committee. This is just the latest of charges against the legislator, which include assaults on police officers.

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is looking at the possibility of putting its entire grid, including Rockaway, underground. That would mean all transmission lines and electrical lines would be out of harm’s way from storms and other accidental damage. The problem: The move to underground lines would cost LIPA upwards of $33.3 billion dollars, necessitating a 153 percent increase in electrical rates. There are 19,418 miles of electrical lines in LIPA’s grid and it would cost millions of dollars for each mile to put the lines underground.

A controversial professor, who once said publicly that “all students are gifted and talented,” has been hired on a $100,000 no-bid contract to advise the city’s Department of Education in developing a new plan for the department’s gifted and talented programs.

When Captain Charles Talamo was the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct, he often earned the enmity of the Rockaway community for his tough enforcement of archaic beach rules. He has since been promoted to deputy inspector and transferred to the command of the 107 Precinct, where he continues to be controversial, despite the fact that there is no beach in the 107. A police officer under his command has reportedly filed a federal lawsuit after he was ordered by Talamo to scrub the stationhouse bathrooms in his uniform after giving a ticket to another officer who was driving drunk five years ago. The cop says that Talamo was trying to embarrass him for giving the ticket.

A reminder that tolls on both of the bridges that connect Rockaway with the mainland went up last Sunday. The toll on both the Marine Parkway Bridge and the Cross Bay Bridge went to $2.25 from $2.00. The price goes down on both bridges to $1.50 if you use EZ-Pass and, of course, if you have EZ-Pass and live in Rockaway or Broad Channel, the cost for the Cross Bay Bridge goes down to zero. It is hard to understand why some people still refuse to use EZ-Pass because they believe police can track their whereabouts. It takes all kinds.

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