The old photographs that we have run in The Wave recently continue to have great interest with our readers. Shaun Reen emailed us recently with the information that the “World’s Largest Hotel” on Beach 116 Street that we recently discussed was indeed never opened, but a portion of it was put to use by the Sisters of St. Joseph, who taught at both St. Camillus and Stella Maris schools. “The sisters used the eastern portion of the hotel as a convent after the majority of the hotel was torn down,” he says. “I do remember as a kid when the nuns lived there before relocating to their present convent on Beach 99 Street.”
The Wave was inundated last week with digital pictures that were taken along the ocean during the recent Nor’easter. We used a number of the photographs in last week’s paper and we want to thank all of those who sent or brought in the photos. We are always interested in photographs of events or activities in the community and we will be glad to give photo credit to anybody who submits a photo that we use.
The Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association will hold its annual Christmas Party at the Knights of Columbus Hall on December 17. The honorees this year are Steve Stathis and the Graybeards.
With Mayor Mike Bloomberg running away in the polls (the latest polls show him ahead by 31 percent) and a lack of local elections to focus on, Rockaway residents are looking closely at the two propositions and three questions that will appear on the ballot next Tuesday. The Wave’s endorsements and recommendations on those propositions and questions can be found on the Editorial Page, page four in this issue.
Boardwalk Bagel on Beach 108 Street has been open for a relatively short time, but it already has a large following on the west end. Those in the know say that the small shop’s flat bagels, specialty cream cheeses and freshly-made salads are the way to go.
Urban Designer Michael Kwartler must come from some other planet. He cerainly seems not to know anything about New York City, yet the City Council and the Public Advocate have paid him lots of money to come up with a plan that he says will “erase the stigma of city housing.” Kwartler’s plan is to build mixed-use housing in between the buildings in the present city housing projects. Who does he think is going to buy those houses? Perhaps he didn’t think about that unimportant fact. Another city planner told him that it is “an absolutely brilliant idea.” Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?
It seems like one lane on the Gil Hodges, Marine Parkway Bridge is closed down in each direction each time it rains. One local stopped to ask why and was told that the closedowns would continue for at least a year. We think that the TBTA owes Rockaway residents an explanation, but one does not seem forthcoming.
Both city officials and residents are angered by the fact that a teenage murder suspect was allowed back on the streets with a relatively low bail, only to join his friends in a robbery spree. He was finally stopped by police officers who shot him when he showed a realistic-looking pellet gun during an attempted mugging. Judge Margarita Lopez-Torres set his bail at only $150 thousand despite the prosecutor’s information that he is a gang member who would probably rob again. A court officials said that bail cannot be used to hold a defendant, that it can only be used to insure his appearance at court and that the perp made his appearances in between robbing and beating local citizens. Perhaps our legislators should change the law to allow serial perpetrators such as this one to be held without bail until trial and incarceration.
The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs says that the final decision on which of the six designers will get the nod to build the American Airlines Flight 587 memorial on the southern end of Beach 116 Street will come in early November. We are betting that it will come prior to the November 12 anniversary of the 2001 crash so that the Mayor can announce the decision during the memorial services to be held that day. The Wave online poll is still open and you can voice your opinion at www.rockawave.com. The poll is not binding, of course, but we hope that those who do have the vote will take into consideration the voice of Rockaway residents. John Lepore, the president of the Chamber of Commerce has the one Rockaway vote.
Federal grants to firefighters favor smaller states and communities and disadvantage large cities such as New York, a recent report found. New York City, for example, gets twelve cents per person in fire grants, while Montana gets eight dollars a person. The grants, given out by the Department of Homeland Security seem to be based more on politics than in providing security to the places that are genuinely at risk for a terrorist attack.
With this year’s World Series in the record books, it is clear that the Houston-Chicago match up did not engender much excitement in other parts of the nation despite the fact that many of the games were exciting and well played. By the way, when will the National League team finally win a game? There’s always next year.