2005-10-28 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

20 Years Ago...

With assaults-robberies following one day after the other in the area of Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Beach, police are beefing up patrol (in uniform and out of uniform) and appealing for people to be more alert and more aware of anyone else around them.

Two-year-old boy fell into a cesspool at Devon Walk in Breezy Point on November 5, at about 4 p.m. He was pulled out by neighbors who heard his grandmother scream, rushed to the Peninsula Hospital Center in Edgemere by the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department’s Ambulance Corps, and rushed again to Long Island Jewish Hospital, where at last report he was in serious condition.

Thanks to alert Transit Police, two men were arrested for carrying guns openly, but what has happened since is a mystery. What is certain is that Russ Keuling, Mark Petito and Tom Birmingham, all District 23 Transit Police, were on patrol at the Gaston Avenue-Beach 67 Street subway station in Arverne about 5:30-6 p.m. when they spotted two men at Beach 67 Street and Rockaway Freeway carrying guns (most likely rifles). The chase went all the way to Beach 129 Street and Beach Channel Drive in Belle Harbor before the men were stopped.

In honor of Rockaway’s 300th birthday, noted Wave historian and author of the soon to be published history of Rockaway, “Sand In My Shoes,” Emil Lucev, is serializing Rockaway’s past. Beginning in this issue and continuing throughout our tri-centennial year look for this series and other Rockaway history. This series as well as others will be ideal for school reports as well as history buffs. Nowhere else in any other publication can such a wealth of Rockaway history be found. So be sure to tell your friends to pick up their copy of The Wave every week.30 Years Ago...

Meyer Schneider (Meyer’s men’s shop) was the first heard by the Beachbomber to apply the term “Hammel Graduates” to former Rockaway Beach businessmen who have opened stores in other communities. Today there are “Hammel Graduates” in many Nassau and some Suffolk county communities.

Questions are being raised about the “Tivoli Gardens” development proposed for the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, for example, Jack Smith of McDonald’s restaurant, who is president of the Far Rockaway Board of Trade, wants to know more about how it’s going to be financed. “We don’t want anyone coming along with $10,000 and then expect the government to grant nobody-knows how many millions to aid the plan,” he said.

Beach Channel High School was the beneficiary of a fund raising campaign staged by McDonald’s restaurant when passing motorists responded to appeals by students. A similar undertaking three weeks ago in Far Rockaway brought in $4,000 to aid the Far Rockaway High School Seahorses.

40 Years Ago...

Last week the former Cushman bakery building at Beach 79 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard was demolished. It was the final building to be removed from the Dayton Beach Park site.

When is Reades Lane in Far Rockaway going to be restored? The street’s unkempt condition since it was torn up for sewer work gives a poor appearance to the surrounding area where there are some fine homes.

Another Veterans Day is almost here and still nothing has been done about replacing the bayonet which now has been missing for several years from the Doughboy monument in Cross Bay Plaza.

Members of the Rockaway Fishermen and Boatmen’s club went on their annual flounder fishing expedition in Great South Bay. They had a lot of fun but the serious fishermen who made the trip said the catch was no better than they could have made in Jamaica Bay.50 Years Ago...

Although the project has remained dormant for many months, the Seaside Property Owners Association decided at a meeting that they will support their president, Edward Martin, in an all-out battle to defeat a private housing project from Beach 102 to 108 Street from the freeway to Ocean Promenade.

Rockaway failed to get back the $2 million deleted from the Capital Outlay Budget by the City Planning Commission but salvaged appropriations for a junior high school in Rockaway Park, a public school in Edgemere and a new school in Broad Channel to replace P.S. 47.

Park Commissioner Robert Moses won a second round in his battle to retain the Neponsit Hospital site as Parks Department property this week when Supreme Court Justice Peter M. Daly ruled that the city cannot sell the property to private interests.

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