2006-05-19 / Columnists

On The Beach

Ahhhhh, Spring!
With Beverly Baxter

BEVERLY BAXTERBEVERLY BAXTER Is it any wonder that the season's know exactly when to change? As if on a particular cue, all is born and new and we feel, in some specific way,connected to that. Out from under a long slumber, as if something screams inside that you're alive! In a sense, each moment is a birthday. Each moment anew. Celebrate your life!

Not too long ago, I found myself in the emergency room of a hospital on the North Shore. I was admitted for certain tests that required that I could neither eat nor drink...ANYTHING.... for nearly a week. Of course I was on an I.V., but that certainly doesn't make up for a scrumptious meal at any one our fine restaurants.As I lay there, Istarted to envision thesucculent scallops I so much enjoy at the Snug Harbor, or the SnapperLivornaise that Raymone prepares especially for me at Tiberio, or the homemade Turnips you can only get at Bernie's Harbor Light. I was hallucinating....Foooood! Then it was my craving for my daily iced-coffee.If only there was aDunkin Donuts downstairs, I could meander about in the middle of the night likeEloise in The Plaza! Who would know!

After a couple of days, myneedsbecame more simple.Just a couple of scrambled eggs would do. Then, it seemed the hunger disappeared altogether; and with my mouth like sand, and the humbleness of Oliver Twist,all I required was just a few sips of...WATER! 

After what feltlike an eternity, the moment came when I was grantedmerely a few...ice chips! To me,the chipswere more valuable than a cup of diamonds. Those couple of ice chips, as they trickled down my mouth and into my throat, there was nothing I needednor could have meant more.

Then,a few days followingmy release from the hospital, I attended a conference at theUnited Nations for a foundation of which I am involved. The foundation funds humanitarian endeavors throughout the world such as theUnited Nations Development Fund and theNational Womens Congress of the United States. This particular conference was for the funding of a Well-Water project in Ghanna West Africa. Although we had seen the horrific images of Katrina victims who were both drowning in water; and yet, dying due to a lack of it, it isstill unfathomable that there are those in this world who have toliterally walk ten hours to where there is clean water in order to provide for their families the most basic of necessities. It kind of separates our needs from our wants and puts it all into perspective.

***As a director of the Rockaway Republicans, I recently attended a charity fete hosted by the Tri-State Italian American Congress at the Metropolian Club. The organization funds scholarships to exceptional students who wish to attend catholic high schools. This year, the organization endowed over two hundred thousand dollars in awards to students. The Guest of Honor was his grace,Cardinal Eagan who, in his address, spoke of a recent meeting he had in Albany with Governor Patakiurging the provision of tax credits to families who wish toprovide parochial education for their children.Also in attendance wasBishop Nicholas DiMarzio whom I had the opportunity to speak with about the Diocese's decision to close St. Virgilius, as well as how the Diocese, due to the projected swell in our population due to increasing residential construction, isplanning to meet the increasing need for the construction of additional schools in our area.

Rockaway Republicans will continue to use its influence withthe Tri-State Italian American Congressto urge the Diocese to meet our needs. As a result of my brieftete-a-tete with Bishop DiMarzio, I anticipate an exclusiveinterview with him for this column.

***Stuart Mirsky, at a recent Rockaway Republican meeting, formallyannounced his candidacy for the State Assembly, a seat that his been occupied by the incumbent Audrey Pheffer for eighteen years. WhileMr. Mirsky concedes that the task to unseat Ms. Pheffer will be a Herculean one, he states that his decision to run is based on principle.

It would be a dereliction of our duty as Republicans to let yet another political season go by without offering votersachoice on the ballot. I applaud Mirsky's decision. At the meeting, Republican District Leader Ed O'Hare produced a copy of a letterto County Chairman Serf Maltese in support of Stu Mirsky's candidacy.

***The Rockaway Homeowners and Residents Association will host its quarterly meeting on Thursday June 1 at The Beach Club at 7:30 PM. Invited Guest Speakers include Norman Silverman, Senior Director of Planning and Development with the MTA, who will discuss the several changes and improvements to local bus routes; NYC Parks andRecreation First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, who will discuss the Lifeguard situation for this summer season; and Paul Graziano, who has been contracted by the three sistercivic associations (Neponsit, Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park) to perform the preliminary study as to whether we may apply for re-zoning. You are warmly invited to attend.

***Local residentand Saint Frances de Sales Parishioner Peter Stubben has approached both the Belle Harbor Property Homeowners and RockawayPark Associations, as well asCommunity Planning Board 14,fortheir supportof the re-naming of a portion of the Blvd. at B.129 Street to be named for the much beloved Monsignor Geraghty.

We feel the gesture to bebefitting of thespiritual leader who selflessly rendered so much to our community.

***It would be nice if the Chamber of Commerce would endorse local Artist Bob Sarnoff's celebrated Rockaway Jetty U.S. PostalStamp as theiconic image of Rockaway.

***My love andwarmest wishes on thisMother's Dayto Teresa Baxter who is, thankfully, moving right along!

***See you...On the Beach!   

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