2006-09-29 / Columnists


The Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC) is looking for the best photographs taken during its annual Fall Festival at Riis Park two weeks ago for a contest that will bring prizes to those whose photos are chosen. Those who are interested in entering the contest can find out more information by calling 718-474-6760.

Republican candidate for Assembly

is finding out just how hard it is to be

a Republican in Democratic-dominated Rockaway. Mirsky says that he was

invited to speak at the Bayswater Civic Association a week ago by its president, a Republican. When he got to the meeting, however, he was told that

he was not on the agenda. Then, they gave him a couple of minutes to introduce himself before the formal agenda began, but when he started to talk about his opponent, Audrey Pheffer

(a long-time local resident and member

the association), he was cut off they did not want him "talking about anything political." After he spoke, he says that he was castigated by some Democrats in the Jewish Center's lobby and was treated rudely. Welcome to Rockaway politics. When you go into the lion's den, you have to expect to be

bitten once or twice. Mirsky faces an uphill battle at best and Bayswater

is Pheffer's home territory. We don't understand how Mirsky, who features himself as a savvy pol, could think

that he would get a different reception from the civic association other than the one he got. He's in a tough game, and you have to have a tough skin to play it.

Local artist and filmmaker Bob Sarnoff wants to do a documentary centering around his "Ye Olde Jetty" concept. He believes that many old-time Rockaway residents have something to say about their own experiences with a jetty in Rockaway, (they line the beachfront, after all). He is collecting photographs, artifacts, stories, poems, journal entries and whatever about Rockaway jetties. Send them to Sarnoff at PO Box 940452, Rockaway Park, New York 11694.

Shoppers on Beach 129 Street in Belle Harbor were surprised last week when they found that Poppa's Pizza was out of business and holding a fire sale for all of its equipment and supplies. The pizza shop has been a favorite stop and hangout for many of the local teens who saw it as a "home away from home." The shop was closed with no warning and many locals wonder about what happened because it always seemed to have lots of business.

There was a power outage in the Far Rockaway shopping center due to a faulty transformer. The outage centered on Beach Channel Drive and Mott Avenue, but the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) told The Wave that only 15 to 20 customers were affected and that it lasted only an hour and a half. Police called in help from the Queens South Task Force for traffic control and to prevent problems, but a local police source said there were no incidents during the outage.

Many of the people who saw the Wave article about the new homes being built next door to the water treatment plant on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 104 Street reacted just about the same way, with a question, "who would buy a house next to a facility that gives out a foul odor for most of the summer and fall months?" In any case, if the developer does build the planned two three-story buildings, he'd better sell them in the dark of winter. He certainly is not going to sell any units to those already living in Rockaway.

By all reports, some of those who work for Ada Smith may need an anger management course as much as their boss. As the voting machines were being checked after the primary election, aides for Smith were reportedly goading representative of Shirley Huntley, the woman who beat her in that primary. The goading then turned to "scuffling." We'll be glad to see Smith go. The State Senator, who has represented Broad Channel for more than a decade, has never, to our mind, been really responsive to that community except perhaps for the historical society, whose officers seem to love her. Perhaps its all that funding she provides them.

It's a typical New York City story, On Wednesday, the New York City Fire Department announced that it seems to be on the verge of a large change in makeup. Long looking for diversity in the department, the report says, the city spent $1.4 million to recruit minorities for its upcoming test and it paid off.. FDNY announced that of 40,000 people who "showed interest" in taking the test, 41 percent are black and 26 percent are Latino. The application period runs out on October 13. On Thursday, however, the New York Post reported that very few of those minority residents who "showed interest" have actually applied for the test. Applicants must be at least 17 1/2 years of age and younger than 29. They must have a high school diploma or have 15 college credits or must have served in the armed forces with an honorable discharge or six months of full-time, satisfactory work experience. FDNY officials say that the majority of applications traditionally come in the last week of the filing period and they hope that a surge of minority applicants will show up in October.

State Senator Malcolm Smith has put in his bid to lead the Senate Democrats, but he is reportedly facing some opposition from members of his own party. One Senator charged that Smith's endorsement of Mayor Mike Bloomberg shows that "he's spent more time being a Republican than being a Democrat." Another charges that Smith is no "pro-choice" because he supported a 1999 ban on late-term abortions. Smith reportedly denied the charge, asserting that he is "pro-choice."

Buried in Eliot Spitzer's campaign rhetoric is a chilling comment for Rockaway. Spitzer told reporters that he's more than willing to close hospitals to trim spiraling medical costs. Cutting costs sounds good as a campaign pledge but Rockaway, a peninsula growing by a rate of thousands of residents a year, has been threatened by politicians with losing one of our two hospitals. That would be a disaster for the peninsula and our local Democratic politicians (are there any other kind in Rockaway) should get to the front-runner for Governor and explain that we cannot afford to lose a hospital.

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