2005-05-27 / Community

Beachcomber

The kinds of half-truths community leaders will tell their constituency to keep them in the dark about what is truly going on is amazing. In a recent organization newsletter, Edward Re, Jr., the president of Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents (and the vice president of the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association) wrote about the coming memorial to the 265 people who died when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed into Belle Harbor in November of 2001. Re wrote, “I pointed out that at present we have two such memorials: one in front of the home built on the site where a house was destroyed on Beach 130 Street and the second across the street from St. Francis de Sales built to honor the 9/11 and Flight 587 victims. I suppose being that it is an election year the mayor’s office is on a fast track to get the third memorial in place.” First of all, the small plaque in the ground is hardly a fitting memorial to those who died in the second most deadly air crash in American history. Secondly, the memorial at St. Francis de Sales is not truly dedicated to all of those who died in either 9/11 or 11/12. It names only those parishioners who died those days. What about the other 260 people who died in the crash and the other 65 locals who died in the terrorist attack. Should their names be forgotten simply because the church, a private institution at best, chose to honor only those who attended that institution? Should we forget about Tribute Park, an honor to all the Rockaway residents who died that day simply because St. Francis chose to honor five of them? Then, there is the destruction of the “illegal” dunes, but we’ll leave that issue for another day.

Senator Hillary Clinton issued a statement recently that came too late to go into last week’s story about the $1 million that may one day come to the Broad Channel Volies for their new firehouse. “I am pleased that that funding has been included in the House-passed Transportation Reauthorization Bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to keep this funding in the bill through Conference because it is an important investment in the community.” Clinton added, “It was an honor to meet these brave and dedicated firefighters last year. I know that every day – for more than 100 years – they have put their lives on the line for the residents of Broad Channel and we are grateful for their service.”

The Rockaway Museum will host a fundraiser at Pier 92 restaurant (on Beach 92 Street and Beach Channel Drive, behind McDonald’s) on Sunday June 12 at 4 p.m. The funds raised will be used for school and community programs, exhibits and operating expenses.

New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe was so taken with Brian Magoolaghan’s picture of him and City Councilman Joseph Addabbo taking off their shoes on the beach for a recent kick-off to a surfing only beach in Rockaway that he asked The Wave to send him a copy so that he could blow it up, frame it, and put it up in his office.

Some seniors have called to tell us that the JASA Rockaway Park facility, housed in Temple Beth-El on Beach 121 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard might have to close down because it does not draw a sufficient number of clients each day. The funded program provides dancing, exercise, tai chi, trips, parties and a hot lunch each day. Those interested in further information may call 718-634-3044.

During the summer months, horseshoe crabs are as numerous on some beaches as sunbathers. The ancient creatures are actually a member of the wood louse family and it turns out that their blood can be valuable to humans in the development and manufacture of intravenous drugs and implantable devices. Because of that, Rockaway residents who come upon the creatures on their backs and unable to get back to the water are urged to flip it over gently so that it can get itself back into the water.

The Caribbean Women’s Health Association will host a Health Fair at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church (19-20 New Haven Avenue in Far Rockaway) on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will focus on information on health, nutrition, immigration, voter registration, community safety and domestic violence. There will also be health screenings in such areas as blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, dental, vision and HIV/Aids.

The Rockaway Music and Arts Council has set its highly-popular Sunset Picnic Concert Series for the coming summer. All of the free concerts will be held at Fort Tilden on Sundays at 6 p.m. The first concert in the series will feature “The Klez Dispensers.” On July 10, in a concert dedicated to the former Wave Publisher, Leon Locke, the RMAC will spotlight Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Vance and the Planotones. On July 24, the organization will host its first annual “Search for The Stars,” in which locals will compete in an “American Idol” type presentation. August 8 brings the Long Island Pops with Dean Karahalis and then, on August 21, “A Tribute To Ragtime,” Starring Peter Muir and Terry Waldo will be featured.

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