In last week's edition, we erred in our front-page story about the Rockaway man who was brought back to the peninsula to face murder charges for a 1996 homicide. The man, Clayton Levy, was captured and brought back to Rockaway by detectives from the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, not the 100 Precinct as stated in the story. We apologize for any problems this mistake caused.
Matthew Regan, a parent whose child attends PS 114 in Belle Harbor has been elected as First Vice President of Community Education Council 27. The CEC meets monthly to discuss the progress of education in the district. There are two other Rockaway members of the committee: Shalom Becker and David Hooks, Jr., both of whom were on the old Community School Board 27. By the way, there is one vacancy in CEC 27. Only parents need apply and an application can be downloaded for the DOE Website at www.nycenet.edu/councils or by calling 718-642-5805. Seats on the councils are becoming more difficult to fill because of the growing perception that they are becoming rubber-stamps for the Regional Superintendents rather than genuine parent interest councils. A recent survey of about half of the present council members in one borough showed that the councils are not doing what they were supposed to do and that many of the council's members were not even sure what their real job is supposed to be. For example, the councils are supposed to prepare a yearly school district report card. More than 60 percent of those council members responding to the survey said that they did not know what a district report card is, let alone developing such a report card.
Nick Minucci was sentenced to 15 years for his part in the racial beating of a black man who was in Howard Beach admittedly to steal a car. The court pointed to "Fat Nick's" prior behavior in declaring the sentence. One of those prior acts was the vicious assault on John Rich in Broad Channel in November of 2002. Minucci was on probation for that stabbing because Rich died under the wheels of a Rockaway subway car in December of 2003 and was therefore not available to testify against him at trial. At first, local detectives thought that his death might have been connected to the stabbing incident, but later ruled it an accident. Minucci will probably spend the next 12 years in prison.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent an investigator to Broad Channel to check on the death of five nursing home patients in a van accident two weeks ago. The NTSB has jurisdiction over the accident because it involved a commercial vehicle. If we know the NTSB, the agency has already declared the case of the fiery crash as "pilot error."
Take the kids to the Graybeard's Family Run tonight (Friday, July 28). There is a two-block run for kids age seven and below, a three- block run for kids eight to ten as well as two runs for people of all ages, the first at one mile, the second at five miles. All races begin and end at Beach 110 Street and Shorefront Parkway. Registration begins at 4 p.m. and the races begin at 6:30 p.m. There will be a post-race barbeque in the St. Camillus parking lot after the last race.
Andy Cooney and his band will present an evening of Irish classics at a free concert sponsored by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council on Sunday evening, July 30. The concert, part of the RMAC's Sunset Picnic Concert series, will take place at Fort Tilden at 6 p.m.
Nearly one-third of the city kids who were registered for summer school because they were failing last school year have failed to show up for that summer school program. Add that to the twenty percent of kids who should have gone to summer school but never registered and you can immediately see the problem.
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has announced that it broke all records for power demand on July 17 by delivering 5426 megawatts of electricity to its customers. That broke the old record of 5340 that was set the previous day.
We know that parents and grandparents from throughout the Rockaway peninsula have been waiting with baited breath for the reopening of the Nelly Bly Amusement Park in Brooklyn. The old kiddy park has long been a destination for peninsula residents because it sits right on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, nearby Bay 8 Street. The park, which opened its doors for the 1966 summer season, was closed down after last year's season because the people who ran it could no longer pay the insurance and the upkeep on the old rides. Now, a new owner who promises a complete revamp of the park with new rides has started work and promises that he will reopen the park before the beginning of August, albeit with a new name as well.
Now comes the silly season in the election process. Petitions were due into the Board of Elections by July 13. The board had until yesterday, July 27, to decide whether or not the signatures on those petitions are valid. During that period, candidates and their representatives (usually a partly lawyer) have the right to challenge the petitions presented by their adversaries and that is usually just what happens. That challenge process can get nasty, with candidates going all-out to knock their opponents off the ballot prior to the election itself.
Some complain that the ban on personal water craft in Jamaica Bay that was imposed in 2002 caused a dangerous condition in Mill Basin and other surrounding areas. They argue that the ban has forced those who want to use the PWC have to crowd into small, narrow waterways to avoid the bay. "You have all these people with jet skis and they're bottlenecked in the canals," said the manager of the Kings Plaza Marina. He blames the National Park Service and the NYPD for the recent death of a teenager who was in a jet ski accident in Mill Basin. "I blame the park service for the ban and the police for not monitoring the scooters in Mill Basin," he said.