There have been some beach problems early in the summer season. A number of people who were standing on the beach watching the surfers on the Surfers Only beach were shooed away by Parks Enforcement Police. A quick check revealed that spectators are allowed as long as they do not go into the water with the surfers. In addition, a number of people were “threatened with tickets” if they did not get off beaches that were closed to bathers. The rule, as asinine as it sounds, is that people can walk or sit on closed beaches as long as they are behind the lifeguard stand. Got that? Between the lifeguard stand and the water and you are illegal. From the lifeguard stand to the beach entrance, you’re OK. Will that knowledge cut any slack with the PEP? Your guess is as good as ours. In addition, a number of east end residents got tickets last weekend for riding their bikes on the boardwalk during beach hours. Remember, the rules set up by the city for the beach and boardwalk are still in effect, they are just enforced rather selectively.
The 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach will host a blood drive at the Beach 95 Street stationhouse on April 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Police Officers Rich Brady and Jimmy Duncan from the 100 Precinct in Far Rockaway say that they are not heroes, but a number of those who live nearby the fire apartment at 364 Beach 56 Street believe differently. The two officers, seeing smoke and fire coming from the building, began banging on doors and moving more than a dozen residents off the fire floor. They took everybody up to the roof and then to another staircase because the smoke was so dense that they could not go down the two floors to the street.
New York magazine, in its June 6 issue, has a story about Duane Reade and its CEO, Anthony Cuti. The basic tenor of the piece is that Cuti is used to getting what he wants and can be difficult to deal with. We at The Wave and local artist Patrick Clark understand that. Cuti and his company sued both the paper and Clark for an ad that he ran a few years ago arguing against the large sign the company was planning that would have overshadowed Tribute Park, which Clark was designing. The company lost and the sign was redesigned to be much less intrusive. On that issue, Congressman Anthony Weiner is quoted as saying, “It seems that [Cuti] had a bit too much testosterone for his own good. It ended up the way it would have if he hadn’t been such a dick.” Enough said.
Congratulations to Bayswater resident Steve Cromity, who was named as Newsday’s Profile last Thursday. Cromity, who has long been involved with the Bayswater community, as well as with Community Board 14 and the RDRC, was recently awarded the 2005 National Salute to Black Achievers in Industry Award. His is also a jazz vocalist whose first CD, “Stepping Out,” was recently released.
The New York State Board of Regents, which includes Rockaway resident Geraldine E. Chapey, is set to vote on a plan to “raise standards” by raising the passing grade on Regents exams from 55 to 65. Seems to us that 65 should have been the minimum passing grade all along. It’s disingenuous to say that you’ve done a good job, as evidenced by the fact that more people are passing a test, when the test is made easier and the passing score is lowered to the absurd.
You can get a good idea of the educational priorities of local parents by the questions they asked Chancellor Joel Klein when he was in Ozone Park a few weeks ago. Many parents showed up, but few got to ask questions. Of those who did, the most important issue seemed to be teachers. “How can the teachers be held accountable for their negative behavior, which adversely impacts student academic achievement as well as their emotional and social development,” one parent asked. Teachers might ask the same thing about parents. Another parent asked where the “racial sensitivity” is when 90 percent of the students were African American and more than 80 percent of the teachers are white. What she was really asking for were more black teachers and fewer white teachers. Perhaps she was asking for only black teachers to teach in mostly-black schools. That is an old shibboleth that was disproved thirty years ago.
Whenever a young child commits a heinous crime, a good portion of society demands that the youth be allowed to be rehabilitated rather than punished. The theory that comes from the last century is that there is no such thing as a “bad child,” and that, given time, all children can be helped. We are learning at our peril, however, that there are some truly “bad children that will go back out and do it all over again – and again. Lionel Tate was given a second chance when he was twelve and stomped a young girl to death in Florida. He claimed that he was only aping the wrestling moves he saw on television. After all, he was only 12. What did he know of intent? Now, Tate is back in jail for holding up a pizza deliveryman at gunpoint. He reportedly came close to pistol-whipping the man or worse if he did not give his money. “We had a real chance to help him the first time around,” one of the psychologists who worked on the first case said. “The right thing was not to let him go, but to get him the help he needed.”
The impact on rockaway of the Democratic Party’s decision to take the nomination for City Council from the incumbent, James Sanders, Jr., and give it to local activist David Hooks is unclear. Sanders is the chair of the prestigious Economic Development Committee and is in a position to bring home lots of projects and money for his home district. Whether Hooks would get the same slot is debatable. Party officials say they dumped Sanders because he is “unresponsive” to his constituents. Sanders says that he is on the outs because he “doesn’t kiss the ring” often enough. Sanders has the Working Families Line and says that he will primary for the Democratic seat as well.
OK, the old Navy man made a mistake. The United States Air Force demonstration team, “The Thunderbirds,” does not fly the F-18 Hornet, as our editor, Howard Schwach, said in his front-page story last week. That is a Navy fighter. The Air Force flies the F-16C “Fighting Falcon.” Schwach says that it must have been a senior moment, because he should know better.
Mark your calendars for this weekend’s Rockaway Museum Fundraiser at Pier 92. The event will take place on Sunday, June 12 at 4 p.m.
Senator Rick Santorum (PA), a member of the religious right, wants a bill that would keep the National Weather Service from providing free information on the web. Why? Because a number of firms in his state charge for that information.