2005-04-08 / Community


The good news for Congressman Anthony Weiner is that a recent poll shows that he is now slightly ahead of Council Speaker Giff Miller in the mayoral race. The bad news is that he and Miller are behind everybody else – way behind. The prestigious Quinnipiac University poll shows that former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer leads the four-person race with 36 percent, although his lead slipped some due to a recent comment about the Diallo case not being a criminal matter. C. Virginia Fields, the present Manhattan Borough President, is second with 21 percent. Weiner is third with 11 percent and Miller brings up the rear with 10 percent. A full 22 percent of Democratic voters polled say that they have not yet made up their minds. As for a race against Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the polls shows that Ferrer would win, 46 to 40 percent, while Fields would lose, 42 to 41 percent. It’s getting interesting.

A number of local business and residents have contacted us because they did not receive their Rockaway telephone directories from Verizon this year. One local called the telephone giant and was told that all of the directories had been delivered and that there were no more forthcoming. That local urges everybody who had not received a Rockaway directory this year to contact Tamara at Verizon at 800-346-9639 to tell her that you did not, in fact, receive your directory.

The City Council, worried about the health of Jamaica Bay, is in the process of passing several laws that would preserve the bay. The first would call for the creation of a “Bay Watershed Protection Plan.” The second would begin the process of turning all of the wetlands within the city’s boundaries to the Parks Department. The third would limit the total of nitrogen flushed into the bay each day. Part of the problem is, however, that the city Department of Environmental Protection, which runs the water treatment plant is the chief despoiler of the bay and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is presently planning to dump toxic dredge spoils taken from the harbor into borrow pits at the eastern end of the bay. It’s tough to save something when government constantly acts to destroy it.

Robin Williams caused a stir in Rockaway last week when the crew of his new movie, “The Night Listener,” came to Arverne By The Sea on Beach 73 Street to shoot some scenes. While Williams was not at the shoot, Toni Collette, who plays Donna in the movie was in the scene. The movie’s director is Patrick Stettner, who last worked with Hillary Swank. The movie is about a late-night radio storyteller, portrayed by Williams. When he is befriended by a 13-year-old listener, the storyteller goes on a journey of self-discovery. Knowing Williams, it should be a strange trip.

There were few people who believed that it would have been possible for the Department of Education to do a book cover with the words “Forth Grade,” rather than “Fourth Grade,” but it did. Mayor Mike Bloomberg was particularly chagrined. “Every day, you wake up in this job and you say, they did what,” the mayor said, shaking his head. Unfortunately for him, last year he took responsibility for everything coming from the new DOE, so the blunder can probably be laid at his doorstep. No, you say, it is not his fault. Who picked the people who hired the aides who chose the person who let the typo pass by? It seems that nobody at the DOE has the slightest idea of what they are doing, except the people who actually work in the schools.

We want to congratulate Deputy Inspector Paul Piekarsky, the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct on his promotion from Captain. It is highly unusual for the CO of a “slow” precinct such as the 100 Precinct to get promoted without moving to a far busier precinct.

The Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) will hold its annual dinner on May 11 at Russo’s On The Bay. This year, the RDRC will honor, among others, Wave Sports Editor Elio Velez for his coverage of youth sports in Rockaway. Velez has expanded the Wave’s sports section to cover not only local youth sports, but high schools and colleges where Rockaway residents play and coach as well. Well Done!

Surfers throughout the city are cheering the decision to create a “surfing only” beach in Rockaway. The special beach, where surfers will pursue their sport “at their own risk,” has been on the sport’s wish list for many years. The official announcement from the city will probably come sometime last this month and the beach will be open to surfers almost immediately.

During the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, there was a carousel on Rockaway Beach Boulevard opposite Playland. The big wheel was owned and operated by Mr. Gold, who lived at 160 Beach 120 Street at the time. He sold the carousel in 1957. Does anybody know where it went? Let us know at the Wave office.

A number of people called us to tell us that the bottom Far Rockaway High School picture we ran last week portrayed Mr. Luft’s gym squad in 1953, and that the picture ran in that year’s Dolphin. We are working on getting all of the names. The older picture still remains unidentified.

The Rockaway Museum will soon be running a series of art workshops for children and teens at local libraries. Wave cartoonist Robert Sarnoff will present “The Art of Cartooning” at the Far Rockaway Branch (Central and Mott Avenues) on two Thursdays, April 14 and 21 at 3:30 p.m. Noted watercolorist Arlene Cornell will present a workshop on “Painting with Watercolors” at the Seaside Branch (Beach 117 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard) on Tuesdays beginning on April 12 and continuing on April 19 and 29 at 3:30 p.m. Norma Allende and Sophia Skeans will present “Making Pinch Pots With Native American Designs” at the Arverne Branch (312 Beach 54 Street) on Fridays beginning on April 15 and continuing on April 22 and 29 at 3:30 p.m. In addition, the museum will host a fundraiser on Sunday June 12 at a time and place to be announced.

Local artists and photographers are urged to contact The Wave for possible inclusion in the paper’s new “Spotlight on Art” column.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signed legislation that requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to post the results of beach and ocean inspections at comfort stations in that area and on the city’s website. The bill also requires a posting of water quality on all of the city’s beaches on the Parks Department website. If a beach is closed, the city agency must post the reason for the closing on the beach itself. Last year, many beaches were closed without any notification to the public as to why they were closed.

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