The Wave has started a new service for those who subscribe to our online edition. Those subscribers can now comment on stories that appear in the newspaper each week. Beginning next week, we will begin running some of those comments under the banner of “rockawave.comments. Those comments will appear on the Bag of Mail pages along with the letters we get by more traditional means – snail mail and Email. Those who already subscribe to The Wave’s print edition may add the online edition for only $5.
A year ago next week, The Wave’s front page featured a story about shots fired at 123-11 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, a building that had become notorious in the neighborhood for problems with the law and with neighbors. At the time, the new owner of the building said that he wanted to “restore it to its past condition” and to turn it into a condominium building that would benefit the community. He is keeping that promise. A year later, only one of the past tenants remains in the building and we have heard that tenant will soon be leaving. Then, the building, which has been gutted, will be reconstructed and the new apartment units will be sold at market rate costs. It is nice to see somebody keep a promise in such an event.
The third day of the Hindu Festival of Diwali has been added to the list of holidays on which alternate side parking is suspended by the city. On that day, family, friends and community members in temples and homes observe Lakshmi Puja citywide. Diwali is celebrated throughout the world and marks the triumph of good over evil and new beginnings. While the actual date fluctuates from year to year, the festival heralds the approach of winter and the beginning of the sowing season. The date for each individual year will be posted on the Department of Transportation’s Website. This year’s celebration falls on November 1.
Christopher Cataldo of Arverne is confused. Despite the fact that he had a parking receipt on his car, which was parked on Beach 116 Street, that showed he was legal until 3:27 p.m. on September 6, he received a $35 parking ticket at 2:37 p.m. When he caught up with the Traffic Enforcement Agent Jackson, who gave him the ticket, she told him that she had made a mistake and that he should simply send in the ticket with a copy of the receipt. She refused to mark the ticket with an indication that she had made a mistake, according to Cataldo. The ticket was for “Failure to display Muni Rec.” Cataldo sent his ticket in with the receipt and got a letter back stating that his fine had been reduced to $26 from the original $35 fine. He has two choices. Go to court, where he will probably not do any better, or pay the reduced fine. He thinks that it is wrong, but then many people on the shopping street, including many of the storeowners, have had problems with the traffic agents recently.
Congratulations to Liz Sulik, the Director of External Affairs for the Peninsula Hospital Center. Sulik was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Queensborough Public Library. In addition, Sulik was the subject of a Queens Profile in Newsday last week. She is also on the board of the St. John’s Residence for Boys Community Advisory Board, Community Board 14 and the 100 Precinct Community Council.
Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg have announced that the new MTA Bus Company, which will run the private bus routes once all of the takeovers are complete, has purchased 529 new local and express buses. The delivery of the new buses is expected to begin next spring. By then, the MTA company should have taken over Green Bus, Jamaica Bus and Triboro Bus, the three lines that run that impact Rockaway. There is a letter of intent for the city to take over those companies by the end of November, but we’ve all heard that song before.
Governor George Pataki talks a good game about bringing business to lower Manhattan, but his acts belie his words. The New York State Department of Labor will soon move 250 jobs from lower Manhattan to upstate New York. The state is closing its New York City Unemployment Telephone Claims Center, making it more difficult for locals to get the information they need in that vital area.
Slightly more than 21,000 candidates signed up for the October police exam, a drop of nearly 40 percent from last year’s October test. Why? Most observers put the drop down to the fact that the latest contract with the police union cut the starting salary for cops to $25,100 a year, and fewer people are going to do a difficult and sometimes dangerous job for that kind of money. “I’ve had candidates tell me that they can earn more working at PetSmart,” one NYPD recruiter told Daily News reporters. A spokesperson for the NYPD said that the next class, drawn for a June list, will “fill the academy with top-notch candidates.”
Airbus Industries is having landing gear problems with its A320 series aircraft. That is the same company that manufactures the A300 and A310 series, which have problems with their vertical stabilizers. It was an Airbus A300-600 that crashed into Belle Harbor on November 12, 2001. So far, all of the “incidents” with the planes have been blamed on pilot error by the NTSB.