Collegiality has gone out the window at the Department of Education (DOE) under Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein. At one time, principals, assistant principals and teachers worked together in District 27 on core design teams and middle school teams. Now, they are at each other’s throats. On Thursday of last week, the DOE announced an agreement between officials and the teachers to utilize the extra 60 extra minutes each mandated by the contract for staff development on Monday afternoons after school. Everybody praised the agreement with the exception of the Council of Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), the union representing principals and assistant principals. “Once again, Chancellor Klein has reneged on his promise to give principals the autonomy they need to lead their schools,” said Jill Levy, the union’s president.
A recent story in The Wave reported that several Rockaway firefighters were honored during the FDNY’s Medal Day 2005 ceremony, but missing was the fact that one of Broad Channel’s own, Captain Daniel T. Mundy and his men from Ladder Company 138 in Corona took home the Firefighter Thomas R. Elasser Memorial Award for a December rescue of 19 fire victims, 17 of which were severely injured. So impressed was Chief of Department Peter E. Hayden, that in his entry in the Medal Day program, he gave kudos to Mundy and his five men. “This year’s Medal Day is a bit unusual compared to past years because the preponderance of medals are being awarded for actions performed at one incident – specifically, December 15, 2004,” said Hayden, who said he was proud to “work alongside such dedicated professionals.”
Robert Portano was one of the dozens of residents who wrote and called to tell us that a recent 1952 Memorial Day Parade photo was taken at Beach 95 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. He lived in the house behind Auer’s Custard Stand for many years when he was younger. He named many of the other stores along the parade route as well: Molly’s; Cestra’s; Joe Donato’s Supermarket and John’s Candy Store. He said that the photograph brought back fond memories of another time in Rockaway. Another old-timer, Anne (O’Malley) Quinn, said that Auer’s had the best hot dogs on the beach in the 1960’s. She remembers it well even though she was not born until 1953.
Japan and France are jointly developing a supersonic transport plane that would carry passengers from Tokyo to New York in six hours. It is planned to have three times as many seats as the late, unlamented Concorde. With the coming of the monster Airbus A-300 and the possibility of an even larger and louder Concorde-clone, what do we who live around JFK Airport have to look forward to in the future?
The recent decision in Federal Court that panhandlers have a “free speech” right to ply their trade on city streets will have a great impact on Beach 116 Street, the premier west end shopping street. At a recent meeting, storeowners complained to police that not enough was being done to keep panhandlers and derelicts such as John Trainor from terrorizing their customers. The police expressed their frustration that “loitering” was no longer a crime. Now, under the new rules, panhandlers can do whatever they want as long as they don’t assault anybody. “The police need to stop harassing us and catch real criminals,” one homeless man told reporters. What we need is for people to be free from harassment from the panhandlers on Beach 116 Street and elsewhere in the community.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg has stumbled in this support for the west side stadium, recent polls show. Not enough, however, to help Congressman Anthony Weiner, who remains mired in last place. The poll shows that Freddie Ferrer is now ahead of Bloomberg 46 percent to 45 percent. Before the stadium fiasco, Bloomberg led Ferrer by nine points. Ferrer has also pulled away from his Democratic rivals. He now polls 38 percent with Virginia Fields in second at 24 percent. Giff Miller is in third with 13 percent and Weiner is last with 12 percent. Despite his constant press conferences and visibility, Weiner has yet to catch fire. It is early, however, and candidates farther back than Weiner have come on to win in November.
A columnist for The New York Times wrote last week that he was on the beach in Coney Island two weekends ago when a man came by selling beer from a plastic bag. That the beer was not cold begs the point. Anybody holding a beer on the Rockaway beaches, nonetheless selling a beer, faces an immediate summons and perhaps jail. We are getting tired of hearing that the things that go on at Coney Island are ok because that it a commercial area, but they cannot be condoned in Rockaway because we are residential. How can the Parks Department say that when residential buildings sit one after another right across the street from the boardwalk in Coney Island?
Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to set up three marine transfer stations for trash in other parts of the city was killed by the City Council. Joe Addabbo voted against the plan. How about James Sanders? He was absent for the important vote.
Two weeks ago, we reported that the police officers who roused people from their sleep to get them to safety from a fire in the building were from the 101 Precinct. In fact, they were assigned to the 100 Precinct.
Liz Guarino, the author of “Broad Channel Bits” in The Wave each week, is on the board of directors of the Queens Independent Living Center. That organization was recently chosen as one of Newsday’s “Community Champions.” Congratulations, Liz.