The City Council on Tuesday overrode Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s veto of the bill that would make it legal to ignore parking meters throughout the city on Sundays. The change could be in effect as early as mid-November. While the change would be welcome in Rockaway during the winter months, the new law might need tweaking in beach areas, where Sundays are big parking days as well as big shopping days. Merchants say they will suffer as beachgoers can plop themselves at a meter on Beach 116 Street or Beach 129 Street on Sunday and stay there for the day. In addition, it is expected that local residents who live nearby those shopping streets will take advantage during the summer months by parking their cars after the meters expire on Saturday night and then leave their cars in place until the meters take effect once again on Monday morning.
Rumor has it that the satellite United States Post Office at Beach 169 Street in Fort Tilden will soon be closing. Patrons are being asked to sign a petition urging that the office, which is used by many people in Breezy Point and in the west end of the peninsula, be kept open.
Speaking of parking, it has been difficult to park on Beach 116 Street recently, what with the work being done from Rockaway Beach Boulevard south to the boardwalk and the intermittent closing of the Municipal Parking Lot at the north end of the street. We have to note, however, that the reconstruction of the street to allow parallel parking is going quickly. The DOT has advised us that it will allow parking along the curbs while construction is going on. We hope the Parking Enforcement Bureau knows about that, because an agent was still giving out tickets for cars along the curb last week.
The Wave story about the hurricane preparation meeting two weeks ago inadvertently left out the fact that the Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department participated at the meeting. Sorry for the slip.
It looks like the cell tower that was to be built in the center of Broad Channel is a dead issue. The community’s latest newsletter says that the local committee will meet with T-Mobile to come up with an alternative location, should one be necessary to provide cell phone service locally. There has long been a “dead spot” for cell service on Cross Bay Boulevard between Howard Beach and Broad Channel. Perhaps the National Park Service would allow a cell tower nearby the wildlife refuge. That recommendation should draw some letters from environmentalists, but a tower is needed somewhere in the area, if only for emergency reasons on a road that has seen more than a dozen serious accidents in the past three years.
A few weeks ago, we ran a photograph from the Chamber of Commerce dinner that mislabeled one of the photos. Deputy Inspector Charles Salowski was not in the picture as noted with Joanie Omeste, the Chamber Executive Assistant. Instead, it was Captain Mark Watenberg, the commanding officer of Transit District 23. Sorry. Must have been a senior moment.
On Friday two weeks ago, Stella Maris High School held a special day with an early dismissal. Residents of Beach 125 Street observed 75 or 80 of the school’s students having a party in the back yard of a house on the 200-block. The party soon turned rowdy, with what looked like lots of beer and some boys in cars taking beer with them after a short stop. The police were called and a number of the girls (all of who were wearing school shirts) left. Some stayed. The school was called the following week and Sister Barbara told the caller that there was nothing the school could do because the action was off school grounds. The school was even disinterested in taking the address where the party took place. In light of the problems with driving and drinking, especially among the young, you would think the school would have been more interested in what their students were doing.
The Wave’s Sports Editor, Elio Velez, is looking for parents or other family members to report on the sports activities of their sons and daughters who are involved in high school or college sports outside the community. We already get lots of information from some parochial, public and prep schools, but lack information on students at such schools at Bishop Kearney, Archbishop Malloy, Christ The King, Xavier and Bishop Ford High Schools. In addition, we know that many Rockaway students attend schools like John Adams, Midwood, August Martin and Poly Prep. We’d like to keep up with the activities of students at those schools as well.
Wave Managing Editor Howard Schwach has been named by Borough President Helen Marshall as Community Board 14’s “Local Historian.” Schwach has authored a number of American History text books, including the two-book “Foundations in American History,” which has sold more than 600,000 copies for Glove Books since its publication more than fifteen years ago. Some of the Worker-Texts he has penned are “Juveniles And The Law,” “Youth Crime And Punishment,” “The Great Depression” and “Wild Tales.” He was also for a time the editor for the New York City Board of Education’s Special Education Curriculum Development Unit, turning out curriculum guides and other materials for teachers. In addition, he adapted Jules Verne’s “Journey To The Center of the Earth,” to a fifth grade level for a commercial publisher. Earlier in his career, Schwach was an editor for such school publications as Weekly Reader, Current Events and Current Science.
Although the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs said earlier that a final decision on the American Airlines Flight 587 Memorial slated for the southern end of Beach 116 Street would be made sometime in late September, no date has yet been set for a meeting of the committee tasked for making that final choice from the six finalists. Work goes on quickly at the site and it is possible that this year’s anniversary memorial will be held on Beach 116 Street rather than at the crash site 15 blocks west. Our Website poll (www.rockawave.com) still shows Option one (two low, arching walls shaped like an embrace) is the most popular with 44 percent, while the 100-foot bell tower is second with 23 percent. Remember, however, that the Wave poll is not binding on anybody, including Rockaway Chamber of Commerce Executive Assistant Joanie Omeste, who is the only “Rockaway” person allowed to vote. Since Joanie lives in Long Beach, there will be no Rockaway residents involved in the final decision.