We have often written in this space of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), “The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” Another example recently came to light. Seems that a subway cleaner named Charles Woods was approached by a female passenger in the Parson’s Boulevard Station in Queens. The woman said that she was lost and very nervous. She told him that she could not read the map and asked him for help. He took her to the map and showed her which train to take to get to her destination. He says that the entire deal took about 90 seconds. A transit supervisor saw him and began to scream at him for not doing his job. Two days later, Woods, who had been on the job for more than 16 years, got a disciplinary notice for “talking to a female passenger when he should have been working.” The supervisor recommended that Woods be fired for dereliction of duty. Such is life when you work for New York City.
Nearly 70 percent of New Yorkers responding to a recent poll said that the NYPD is doing a good job. Only 23 percent said no to that question. Forty-two percent of responders said that they thought of NYPD officers as friends, while only seven percent thought of them as enemies. On the other hand, more than half (56 percent) think that the NYPD is tougher on black New Yorkers than on other residents. Only one percent think that police officers are tougher on whites and 34 percent think that both are treated equally. When asked if New York City is a safe place to live, 81 percent thought that the city was either very safe or somewhat safe. The rest considered the city either somewhat unsafe (13 percent) or very unsafe (4 percent).
As any real estate broker will tell you, the important thing is “location, location, location.” That was proven again a week or two ago when Newsday ran their compilation of Area Home Sales for the week. A house on the bay block of Beach 36 Street in Arverne sold for $354,000. Basically the same house on the bay block of Beach 139 Street in Belle Harbor sold for $750,000. A number of other like homes in Rockaway were sold that week. A home on Gipson Street in Far Rockaway sold for $285,000 and another on Camp Road sold for $430,000. To top it off, two smaller homes, one on the 400 block of Beach 144 Street in Neponsit sold for $635,000 and another at Beach 123 and Newport Avenue in Rockaway Park sold for $499,000. Location is the key.
The Wave continues to draw lots of interest in the old Rockaway photographs that we have been running each week. One reader called to say that the photograph with the first police officers in Rockaway in front of their station was taken on Beach 102 Street behind the Irish Circle, a house that still stands today. Marie Russell dropped in to say that the picture of the old store was taken in an A & P store in the 1930’s. She said that Mr. Singer was the manager of the store, which stood on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 68 and Beach 69 Streets, on the north side of the street. A number of readers, including Dotsy and W. Hopkins emailed us to say that the building behind the Doughboy Monument is the old PS 44. “The site today is occupied by a public library and a housing development with all the architectural charm of a WW II German POW Stalag.”
The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation recently set up a program to teach kids to swim. The program runs as a number of pools, none of them in Rockaway. In fact, none of them are in Queens. The nearest place for Rockaway kids would be in either Red Hook or Bedford-Stuy. Why not use the two high school pools in Rockaway to teach kids to swim?
Gifford Miller, who is running for Mayor, joined Councilman Domenic Recchia in calling for the Parks Department to open more beaches in Coney Island. “Too many beaches in Coney Island are closed during the week,” the letter said. “This is simply unacceptable. Coney Island is home to some of the finest beaches in the New York Area, and those beaches should be fully accessible at all times.” Good for them. By the way, where is a similar letter from our councilmen, Joe Addabbo and Jim Sanders decrying the fact that many of our beaches are closed during the week? That letter does not exist and it probably never will.
Speaking of the Mayoral election, Congressman Anthony Weiner has yet to get any traction, despite the fact that he tries harder than the others. The latest poll numbers show Fernando “Freddie” Ferrer at 33 percent, C. Virginia Fields (of the Photoshop Fields) slipping with 16 percent, Miller with 15 percent and Weiner with 11 percent.
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has announced that a new peak summer use record was set on Tuesday, July 19, when 5214 megawatts was delivered between 3 and 4 p.m. The previous record was set on July 22, 2001, on the second day of a three-day heat wave. The record set that day was 5,059 megawatts. Parts of Rockaway, including some Belle Harbor streets, lost their electricity on that day when a two-phase generator about Beach 129 Street went down. Power was off for about three hours late in the day. LIPA recommends several ways of decreasing residential electric use. Those include: Place air conditioners on timers. Do not let them run when you are not home. Set air conditioners at 78 degrees. Use fans to circulate cool air, which also helps to cut air conditioner cost. Set refrigerators and freezers at the most economical temperatures and run appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late evening to avoid peak demand hours.