2005-05-06 / Community


Those who shop in the Dayton Plaza Shopping Center on Rockaway Beach Boulevard should watch the clock when parked in the center’s parking lot. The management of the lot has started towing those who park for more than two hours in the lot. While The Wave has been told that the tow company puts a sticker on the car after two hours and then waits one more to tow, several people came to The Wave to say that the were towed while spending less than two hours in the lot. Since the tow company is paid by the number of cars it tows, it certainly has an incentive to tow more cars. In any case, it is parker beware.

A year ago this week, the Department of Transportation told The Wave that it would review the No Parking Any Time signs that had recently been placed on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 126 and Beach 139 Streets. The comment was that the review would be done after the “busy summer season was over.” During the last year, DOT officials constantly put off community representatives seeking a date for that review. While they have not given up, it seems more and more likely that the unpopular signs will remain forever.

It certainly seems that none of the Democratic candidates for Mayor have struck a chord with the voters. New polls show that Fernando (Freddie) Ferrer, the front-runner in the early going, has dropped five points, while C. Virginia Fields has gone up nine. Giff Miller went up two points and Tony Weiner stayed stagnant at eleven points despite a wave of press releases from his office.

The New York Times broke a story last week that could have an impact on the way the nation does business over the Internet. It seems that forgers in foreign lands, particularly in Nigeria and Ghana, have been making sophisticated U.S Postal Money Orders. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and postal inspectors have reportedly intercepted more than 3,700 fake PO money orders from October to December of last year, more than the entire year in total. Postal inspectors say that 160 arrests have been made in cases where the person receiving the money knew that it was phony. Officials say the total money amount of the fraud runs into the millions of dollars.

A number of residents of the three-building Surfside Houses complex are complaining to Alma Realty, the firm that runs the building, about a plan to renovate the complex’s parking lot that will require the pool to be closed for the entire summer. Residents question why the work could not have been done beginning last March, halting for the summer, and then picking up again in September.

All motorists should all be reminded that the death season for motorcycle riders has begun. Tell the “invincible” biker you love to wear his or her helmet, be alert and slow down. The life you save may be important to you.

Fran Cornell (scion of one of Rockaway’s founding fathers), called to say that Richard Feynman graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1935, not in 1918 as noted in the famous scientist’s Nobel Laureate biography. Fran says that she was a sophomore when he was a senior, and that he was considered a ‘math genius” even way back then.

One of the good things that came from the recent visit of the city Small Business Commissioner, Robert Walsh to Rockaway is that his agency will soon begin a study of business in the area bounded by Mott Avenue, from Cornaga Avenue to Beach Channel Drive and one block north and south of Mott Avenue on Beach 20 Street (Central Avenue). City Councilman James Sanders, who is working with Walsh, says that there is lots of space going to waste in the area, much of it above ground level.

It seems to locals that there is a shooting or some other act of violence virtually every week along Beach Channel Drive in the stretch between Beach 35 Street and Beach 60 Street. The latest came last week, when a 35-year-old Far Rockaway man was shot twice in the chest and killed at Beach 54 Street and Beach Channel Drive. Local politicians have been working for years to stop the violence in that area, but to little avail. City Councilman James Sanders, Jr., who represents the area, told The Wave that he would soon hold a community meeting in the area.

City Council members, led by Eva Moskowitz, have introduced a bill that would require that all new Muni-Meter parking meters, such as those on Beach 116 Street, will have to be installed with credit card readers so that drivers will no longer have to fumble with loose change when they park. “People have dollar bills and credit cards,” Moskowitz said, arguing for her bill. “Why not make the Muni-Meters easy to use?”

Long-time Rockaway resident Tom Fitzpatrick got his $400 homeowner’s check from Mayor Bloomberg and called to say that it would be much easier and cost-effective if the city would simply take the money off his property tax bill. Of course, then homeowner’s would not get a nice, fresh check with the mayor’s name on it during an election year.

An avant-garde filmmaker has taken on Rockaway in a film that was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival last month. “{Rockaway] is an odd and interesting landscape,” said filmmaker Mark Street. “We were mesmerized by all of the contradictions in that part of Queens, which is at once so close to the heart of New York City, but a metaphorical hundred miles away.” The film, called simply, “Rockaway,” is a “meandering study of three high school girlfriends who live on a thin strip of land east of Manhattan and a stone’s throw from Kennedy Airport.” There are no reported plans to screen the film in Rockaway.

Across from 106-20 Shorefront Parkway thre is a children’s playground that features two slides connected with a small bridge. Locals say that kids run quickly across the bridge from one slide to another and that the bridge is in danger of falling away one day soon. The bolts holding the bridge, they say, are rusted out and near collapse. Calls to the Parks Department by some residents went unreturned or were apparently ignored.

The New York Times did a story about the subway syestem’s elevated lines. A quick look showed that the entire Rockaway line was not on the map and we wondered why. The answer we got from the paper is that “On some lines, trains travel above the ground, but are not classified as elevated.” The MTA. which runs the trains, did not have any idea what The Wave was talking about when we called. “If a train runs off the ground, it is elevated,” a source at the MTA said. Makes you wonder about the Times, doesn’t it?

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