2005-05-27 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

Memorial Day gives us a special opportunity to pause from our busy lives and take the time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives for our sakes and in our names. A Day that reminds us never to take our precious freedoms for granted, because they are purchased at a great cost. It would be wonderful to see everyone from the community standing elbow to elbow and crowding the sidewalks on Cross Bay Blvd. to watch the parade and respectfully and gratefully honor those who have died in the cause of freedom from the birth of this nation to the present day. Let freedom ring loudly and all American flags fly proudly throughout this great country of ours!

On Sunday, May 29 at 8:30 a.m. there will be a church service at St. Virgilius followed by a service at Christ Presbyterian Church, both on Noel Road. After the services are concluded there will be coffee and rolls served at the American Legion Hall on Crossbay Blvd. The parade steps off from the parking lot on the east side at 21 Road and will end at the George Rieckers Memorial on the mall at 6 Road. After the parade refreshments will be served at the VFW Hall on Shad Creek Road.

P.S. 47 PTA will be hosting a Chinese Auction on Friday, June 3 at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall. To reserve tickets contact Michelle 718-634-5799 or Karen 718-945-9041. Seats are limited.

Story Time came to the B.C. Library earlier this month. It will take place every Thursday until June 30 at 10:30 a.m., preschool-age children (from 1 ½ to 5) and their Mom or Dad or both of them, will be able to enjoy 20 to 30 minutes of songs, stories! Pre-registration is not required. Just show up and enjoy!

A nice note arrived at my door signed Rev. Andrea Zarou. It read: “We at Christ Presbyterian wish to thank all the people who attended our Spring Craft Fair and Flea Market. Congratulations to the 15 people who won prizes from the raffle table and to the winner of the 50/50.”

The P.S. 47 book discussion group will examine the fiction work “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. The discussion will take place on Monday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the school. Everyone is invited who wants to discuss the book. 

On Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m. there will be a Wildflower Walk. Come and see all the pretty wildflowers growing in the Refuge. Register for the event at 718-318-4340.

The Jamaica Bay Sunset Ecology Cruise will take place on Saturday, May 28 at 5 p.m. Cost is $35 for three-hour cruise. Call American Littoral Society at 718-318-9344 to learn more, reserve seat. Cost includes tour and onboard snacks.

Books and Bagels, the library book discussion group, will be examining Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray at the next meeting on Tuesday, June 14 at 10 a.m. The July meeting is set for Tuesday, July 12 when the group will discuss The Diary of Anne Frank.

Brownie Troop #4747 will be spending the night at the Long Island Children’s Museum on June 17. The Museum has organized a sleepover for Brownies and Junior Scouts. Girl Scouts from all over will have the Museum to themselves for exploration; they will participate in special programming, and sleep in their favorite exhibits. 

The senior group had a great time last Thursday with their Armchair Horse Races. There were 6 races, 6 jockeys and of course, 6 horses. A horse or two was left at the gate a couple of times as the rest of the steeds raced for the finish line. The biggest purse available that day was $47; no one won it because the horse did not win the race. At least one jockey promised her horse hay and sugar if he won. He did—her strategy worked! The church hall rang with laughter all afternoon. Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Anyone joining the seniors in September for the first time will find themselves in for a treat—lots of laughter and good times with good friends. September 8 will be the first meeting of 2005/2006. If you’re 50 or over, you are old enough to join this fun group. They meet in Christ Presbyterian Church Hall on Thursday from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

In the Making Life Easier department, have you gotten used to dialing 311 for government agencies and services? The line was activated in March, 2003, a bit over two years ago. It’s great to dial one number to make sure of the day’s parking regulations, get the recycling schedule, get a street light fixed, get information on becoming an organ donor or to get an application for a Handicapped parking permit mailed to you. We used to have to figure out which agency filled what need, (and sometimes it didn’t seem to make sense—for instance, the Department of Transportation changes streetlights), and call and call and call. We were put on hold for long periods of time, transferred repeatedly, forgotten, disconnected. Remember the big phone books with the blue pages we used to have to look through? The 311 system has glitches and is not perfect, but it handles about 40,000 calls per day—a lot of inquiring going on! Since they began, the city says they have handled over 13 million calls! It has worked so well there has been talk of a 211 system to handle non-profit corporations. There are no definite plans on this as yet, but with 311 working so well, it may not be very far behind!

If you have an item of news or information you would like to see in this space, please get the information to me by 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning if it needs to appear in the same week’s issue of The Wave. Send email to: Liz bcbits@aol.com.

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