2005-11-25 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

20 Years Ago...

Beach Channel High School in Rockaway Beach overcame unfair and invalid considerations last week to glow outside of what New York City Schools Chancellor Nathan Quinones called “a bad rap for the city’s schools.” Far Rockaway High School did not fare as well. A list of “the worst in New York State” claimed 53.2 percent of its students failed mathematics in the Regents Competency Test, and 46.8 percent and 40.8 percent writing and reading respectively. In addition, Far Rockaway was saddled with a 9.5 percent dropout rate.

Even symbolic support for opponents of an increase in city subway and bus fares and possibly an accompanying bridge toll increase was missing in Rockaway on Wednesday, December 4, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority held hearings on proposals at 1 Police Plaza, Manhattan. It was suggested by the Straphangers Campaign and the Transport Workers Union that motormen, conductors, token clerks and drivers wear ribbons in symbolic protest, but Transit Police reported they could not find a single ribbon in the Rockaways, not among train operators, token clerks or others.

Alanna Ashley O’Connor, sixth child of Vincent and Diane O’Connor, was born Monday, December 2, at 7:45 a.m. at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, Long Island.

Shortages of police officers in the two local precincts that patrol Rockaway is leading to almost continuous non-patrol of at least half the sectors in the 100 Precinct, which patrols the west end of Rockaway. This intoleraboe condition was leaked to this newspaper by reliable sources, and is not being denied by the precinct’s command. Sources also reveal that patrol power is down to 75 assigned officers, which , when divided by four tours and reduced by sick leaves and other duties leaves just enough officers for three patrol cars on each tour, a number that is reduced further if there is an arrest or an emergency.

30 Years Ago...

Visitors to the beach in Rockaway Park and Belle Harbor have been astounded by the large number of footprints left in the sand by people taking advantage of the mild weather following the Thanksgiving holiday to enjoy a stroll along the water’s edge.

Mayor Beame was in Washington Monday stumping for passage of a bill to provide New York City with $2.2 billion a year for the next three years to avert the possible bankruptcy of the city. The bill has President Ford’s blessing and is considered to have a good chance of being passed this week by Congress.

Alexander Metzger, a longtime resident of Rockaway who has been associated with teaching since 1956, is the new principal of Rockaway Beach Junior High School, No. 180.

Basketball players at Beach Channel High School are looking for more support at games. The supporters start by being there.

40 Years Ago...

A few weeks ago the Columbia Theatre on Central Avenue closed and hardly caused a ripple in the community’s equanimity. But there are people who recall when many stock companies played there.

Would it be better for the city to spend millions of dollars it does not have on the completion of that Breezy Point Park – or spend fewer millions it does not have to restore things as they were before the city stuck its nose in?

All kinds of new taxes are being discussed as the city looks for ways to get out of its financial mess. Before we get through, a lot of people who have been saying “let the city pay,” are going to realize that it was their own money they’ve been talking about.

Dr. Vincent S. Cunningham’s medical bag was stolen. He wonders weather it was a practical joke or someone looking for narcotics. The bag is still missing but he has found some of the contents scattered along Beach 136 Street.

50 Years Ago...

Lawrence J. Ortman, chairman of the board of the Belle Harbor Yacht Club, will preside at the annual meeting and election of the club’s officers on Sunday afternoon.

The St. Camillus Senior Drum Corps announced this week that it has again been invited to play in the Orange Bowl parade in Miami, Florida on Dec. 31.

Assessments for Hammel sewers will not be completed for several months, members of the Rockaway Beach Property Owners and Civic Association were informed this week.

A study of flood conditions in various areas of the Rockaways due to high tides in Jamaica Bay will be made by the Corps of Engineers of the U.S. Army, Irving N. Klein, President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, was advised by Col. C. C. Noble, assistant district engineer.

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