2006-09-08 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The funeral for Marine Lance Corporal Michael Glover, who was killed by a sniper in Iraq, was a solemn ceremony as befits the occasion. Hundreds of mourners, many carrying American flags lined Rockaway Beach Boulevard nearby St. Francis de Sales Church on Beach 129 Street. The hearse was preceded by muffled drums and a Marine Honor Guard in Dress Blue Uniform. You could have heard a pin drop on the street as the hearse and its honor guard passed by. While we got a few telephone calls complaining that we did not properly address the the story the young local man who died serving his nation, the long-standing policy of The Wave is not to cover local funerals. We leave that to the daily papers and the myriad of television stations. Community papers are different in that respect from our daily colleagues. The young man was our neighbor and we are not going to shove a camera in his family's face and demand a banal comment about how they feel now that their son is dead. While there were staff members from The Wave at the funeral mass, and while the Wave offers its condolences to family and friends of the dead Marine, you will find no stories or photographs of the funeral in our pages.

The Rockaway Theatre Company is beginning its busy season. The RTC's production of "Noises Off" began last week for a three-week run at its Fort Tilden Theater. There will be performances this weekend, September 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and two matinees, Saturday, September 9 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, September 10 at 2 p.m. The show's run will end with next weekend's evening performances. At the same time, the RTC is gearing up for its highly respected Children and Teen Workshops. The basic workshop is called "Introduction to Theater," for ages six to nine. A beginners workshop for kids ages ten to thirteen will also be held, as well as an advanced workshop for those who have already been through the basic course. In addition, there is a Teen Workshop for kids aged 14 to 18. Registration for all courses will be held at Fort Tilden on September 9 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Broad Channel residents who watched a moving van empty all of the furniture from the St. Virgilius Church rectory last week are concerned that having only a visiting priest at the church is the first step towards the Brooklyn Diocese's decision to close the parish entirely. Many, including church members, have told The Wave "off the record" that once the school was closed in June, the handwriting was on the wall. That school is attached to the church proper and there is other parish property at Noel Road and West Road as well. "All of that property is just too valuable for them to leave it without selling it away," one parishioner told us. "It really is no longer viable without the school." We have heard that about an equal number of displaced students from the closed St. Virgilius School registered at PS 47, the local public school, for this year and at other parish schools on the Rockaway peninsula. St. Rose of Lima on Beach 84 Street seems to be the major recipient of those students.

The August 25 edition of The Wave broke something of a record. With 112 pages, it was the largest edition ever in the paper's 113-year history. Of course, the paper held a 20-page special Back To School section, but it was still a record, even counting that special section. Last week (September 1), the paper broke its own record for the number of pages in an edition without a special section, running 108 pages. That makes eight editions with more than 100 pages so far this year - another record. The staff wants to thank our advertisers and readers for making those records possible.

Despite what Progressives think of racial profiling, the majority of Americans favor using it to stop terrorists from another attack on our country. A recent Quinnipiac University poll conducted in mid-

August shows that the majority of Americans expect a terrorist attack on the United States in the next few months and support the screening of people "who look Middle Eastern" at airports to stop that attack. By a 60 to 37 percent margin, respondents said that authorities should single out people who look Middle Eastern for security at locations such as airports and train station. Predictably, the poll drew sharp criticism by civil liberties groups

and progressives.

Teachers in Detroit went on strike last week, refusing an "offer" from city officials that would have cut their salaries by more than five percent and also mandate that they pay up to 20 percent of their health care costs. Of the 6,000 teachers who voted, only two voted for the pact. City officials say they don't understand why the teachers did not take their offer and say that it is the best that they can possibly do.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to urge everybody to take public transportation and he made a strong plea for those going to the U.S. Open at the Tennis Center and those attending Mets Games at Shea Stadium to use the subway to get to those venues at a time when both were being held at the same time. Thousands took his advice on the first night of the Open tournament only to leave the premier match after midnight to find out that all of the trains were gone. There was only one train from Queens to Manhattan in operation. MTA officials agreed that they had dropped the ball because they did not know that the match was going to run so late. They promise better communications with tennis officials in the future.

Not only are kids returning to classes to perform the three R's, they are also returning to local high schools in time for the kickoff of their fall football season. Beach Channel High School and Far Rockaway will both begin their 2006 campaign away from the peninsula this Saturday, September 9, with some new faces on the sidelines. The Dolphins, headed by new coach Victor Nazario who was previously the skipper in 2003 and 2004, battles Brooklyn Tech at 11 a.m. New coach Walter Wilkerson will lead the Seahorses to battle in Brooklyn as they face New Utrecht at 12 p.m.

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