2005-08-05 / Community

Beachcomber

The Wave has been around a long time. The first edition was printed in 1893, making this the oldest continually printing weekly in New York and the third oldest over-all, right behind the New York Times and New York Post. We recently did some figuring and decided that we would publish our six thousandth edition some time in September of next year. That’s a lot of papers.

The men and women of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department got some good news last week. A Conference Committee made up of members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the Omnibus Transportation Bill. In that bill is more than $1 million for the volies to build a new firehouse on Cross Bay Boulevard, adjacent to the present American Legion Hall. Their old facility is more than 100 years old and is not only dilapidated, but outmoded as well. We hope the feds come up with the money quickly and allow the volies to get on with their building plan.

Millionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg is looking more and more like a schoolyard bully each day. Last week was not a particularly good week for the mayor, despite some endorsements that usually go to Democrats. First, the mayor’s minions used some of his millions to challenge the ballot petitions of Thomas Ognibene, his only Republican rival. There are many who think that Ognibene is not a serious challenger and that the mayor was taking a petulant stand rather than a rational one in challenging his petitions, particularly in light of Bloomberg’s earlier statements decrying efforts to throw him off the ballot during his first run. Then, the mayor refused to involve himself in a candidate’s debate set up by cable news channel NY1. Opponents claim that Bloomberg is afraid to come out and meet his challengers in public, preferring instead to push his message in a long series of expensive television ads.

Congressman Anthony Weiner has a problem that none of the other candidates face. His campaign activities are ruled by two often-conflicting and always-complicated bureaucracies – the federal campaign laws and the city’s campaign finance laws. Weiner’s spokesperson recently said that the campaign is trying to keep things straight and to comply with both sets of rules, but that doing the right thing is not always easy under the conflicting laws. This had led Weiner’s campaigns to experience some minor finance glitches, but so far, he has kept out of the major maelstroms that have hit his Democratic competitors. Fernando Ferrer was killed by his speech to the NYPD’s Sergeant’s union, Virginia Fields by her stupid composite picture and Gifford Miller by his campaign brochures. Nothing as big has yet to hit the Weiner campaign.

Congratulations to Walter Salowski, the commanding officer of the 101 Precinct, who was promoted to Deputy Inspector last week. He has done wonderful things for the Far Rockaway community and we can only hope that the NYPD will allow him to hang around for a while now that he has been promoted.

City Council Introduction 669 seems innocuous enough. It allows a motorist to park a vehicle on Sunday at a parking space with a meter without having to activate that meter. The introduction, which was passed last week, will have a huge impact on the west end shopping areas that center on Beach 116 street and Beach 129 Street. Think about it. A resident who wants to clear his or her driveway so that company can come need only park a car on one of those shopping streets at 7 p.m. on Saturday night and then leave it there until 9 a.m. on Monday morning, thereby tying up all the parking slots for the weekend. Or, some DFD can come early on Sunday morning, grab an open slot and keep it until the next day without worrying about the meter. What does that leave for the customers who shop in those important shopping areas? Not much. This is another bill that the council did not think through, preferring instead to go for the popular and cheap vote.

Margaret Spelling is the Secretary of Education. She recently sat for a short interview with the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Two of her interview answers stood out. When she was asked what she made of the controversy in Kansas over whether creationism should be taught in the schools along with evolutions, she said, “I can tell you that in Texas, we did go through this issue, when Bush was governor and I was working for him. We ended up with the curriculum basically saying that both points of view were taught from a factual basis. Next asked is she was implying that events in the Bible should be taught in the public schools as literal history, she answered, “I’m not implying anything. I’m just saying that my recollection from my Texas days is that both points of view were presented.” Enough said about our Secretary of Education.

There is a little sanity in the courts after all. A Bronx judge ruled recently that the city is not liable for the drowning deaths of four teenagers who stole a small rowboat from City Island and then took off into Long Island Sound on one of the coldest and windiest nights of the year. You’ll probably recall that one of the boys tried to make a 911 call from his cell phone, but transmitted only sketch details about their plight. The judge ruled that the brief call was not enough reason for the boys to believe that somebody was coming to rescue them. The parents of the four boys had sued, arguing that the city failed to locate the callers on the 911 emergency system.

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