2005-07-01 / Community

Beachcomber

With July 4 upon us, The Wave wants to wish all of our readers as safe and sane Independence weekend and a healthy summer season. Remember, swimming when lifeguards are not on duty is not a smart move no matter what proficiency in the water a person possesses. The rip currents that constantly attend Rockaway’s beaches can defeat even the strongest swimmer. A little caution goes a long way.

The Piping Plovers have hit the Hamptons Beaches and have wreaked their particular havoc in the chi-chi community. East Hampton, for example, has been forced to postpone its popular Fourth of July fireworks show because there are four newly-hatched birds on the beach where the show usually takes place – the village’s main beach. Because the plovers are federally-protected, the fireworks plans were put off until Labor Day, when the birds should be gone. A fence has been placed around the nesting area and the popular beach is now off-limits, leaving many of the local residents unhappy. Of course, Breezy Point, Riis Park and Rockaway know all about it, having been impacted by the small birds in the past. In fact, the local beach volleyball league recently had to move its venue because of a pair of nesting plovers. Jerry Della Femina, a noted advertising executive and restaurateur seemed to sum up the feelings of the locals in East Hampton. “We’ll still have [our party],” he said. “We’ll be serving barbequed piping plover. I hear it tastes like chicken.”

Karl Rove, one of President Bush’s main operatives made a statement that angered many New Yorkers last week Rove said, “Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictment [of America] and offer therapy and understanding to our attackers.” City Council Speaker Giff Miller spoke for most locals when he responded, “All of us who lived through that terrible day and its aftermath wanted swift justice for those responsible and all of us are united in our resolve to defend our city and our nation from future attacks. For the Bush administration to say otherwise is reprehensible.” Miller and other local politicians have demanded that Bush censure or even fire Rove.

Another glaring example of the cupidity of the school system, especially in our region, surfaced recently and quickly came to our attention. Many locals died in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and a number of families wanted to interact with our high schools to memorialize those heroes. The wife of Firefighter Henry Miller wanted to set up a scholarship at Far Rockaway High School, Miller’s alma mater. She was continually put off and rebuffed by school officials, including the principal. It was only when The Wave called the Department of Education for comment that somebody finally got the deal done. The brother and sister-in-law of Firefighter Steve Russell went to Beach Channel High School and asked to see the pictures of the school’s graduates that were killed that day. It turned out that the pictures, which had been donated months earlier, were sitting in a closet, unhung. When a family member requested that they be put up, she was told that she should come to the school and do it herself.

Remember to mark your calendars for the August 8 National Night Out Against Crime. Once again, there will be two celebrations on the peninsula. The eastern end of the peninsula will host its events at O’Donohue Park on Seagirt Boulevard and Beach 15 Street. The western end will once again host its main event at the Beach Club on Beach 116 Street with a fireworks display to follow.

City Councilman Peter Vallone has introduced legislation that would control the proliferation of rooftop cell phone antennas by requiring that wireless providers to go before community boards and the council in order to get approval to install the antennas. “Right now, New York City has some of the most lax regulations in the nation,” Vallone said. “They put their antennas across from our schools, playgrounds and our bedroom windows.” We wonder how often Vallone uses his cell phone and what he would do if all of the cell antennas were removed from nearby his bedroom window.

A study has found that the Beach 44 Street subway station on our A Line is one of the dirtiest in the city. The stations were rated on a sliding scale of one to four, with one being the cleanest and four being a dump. The Beach 44 Station rated a 2.61. The worst station in the city, East 149 Street in the Bronx, rated a 2.99. The cleanest, by the way, was the St. George railroad station in Staten Island at 1.08. The cleanest subway station was Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn at 1.12.

Democratic Assemblyman Felix Ortiz from Brooklyn is carrying Mayor Bloomberg’s jihad against smoking one step forward. He has proposed a state law that would ban smoking in public housing apartments. Under his bill, smoking in city or state-funded housing projects would be smoke-free by 2110. “I’m trying to get a better environment for our children,” he said, citing his contention that second hand smoke travels through apartment walls.

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