2006-10-13 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

What The Wave Said
20 Years Ago...

Dr. Louis Abelson, a physician from Far Rockaway with an office at John F. Kennedy International Airport, takes time out from a session of the International Congress of Military Medicine to meet with His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. The audience with the Pope was granted at the Vatican. Dr. Abelson, an attending physician at Peninsula Hospital Center, was in Rome to deliver a paper on "emergency medical response at Kennedy International Airport and the airport's disaster plan."

Unless the community organizes and formulates distinct principles and objectives to give the city to use for the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, we can be forced to accept more city subsidized housing, no matter what our collective will and interest may be. This warning comes from Dan Schneider of the Rockaway Independent Democrats and a new umbrella civic organization for the entire Rockaway Peninsula, to be called the All-Rockaway Planning Committee (ARPC).

The 12-foot obelisk-like monument in the old Methodist cemetery in Rockville Center commemorates two great sea disasters of the last century; the destruction of the "Bristol" and the "Mexico" in the coastal vicinity of the Rockaways. After a journey of five weeks out of Liverpool, on November 21, 1836, heavy seas drove the Bristol ashore two miles west of Far Rockaway. One week later the Mexico met a similar fate off Point Lookout. Even though both ships were less than one-half mile from shore, raging icy seas made rescue difficult and 200 people, mostly Irish and English emigrants, perished in both wrecks.

Councilman Walter Ward introduced a resolution on October 7, calling upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to allow senior citizens who present half-fare cards to ride subways and buses in New York City free during non-rush hours. 30 Years Ago... Park Theatre on Beach 116 Street is scheduled to reopen October 27. With the closing of the Surfside Cinema, this is now the only general interest theatre in Rockaway.

Step two in the beach replenishment Plan has been completed-the pipes have been removed. Hopefully they will now begin step three.

There was a big meeting in Assemblyman Lipschutz's office about the revitalization plans for Beach 116 Street. The first step should be to rid the block of drunks and panhandlers.

Meanwhile, revitalization in Far Rockaway is moving right ahead. Mott Avenue is completely torn up for a repaving job. However, there are no new trees planted yet.

Emergency Coalition to Stop the SST has begun circulating petitions addressed to Governor Carey and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, advising them that the signers are serving notice that lawsuits will be instituted if they allow the British-French Concorde Supersonic Transport to land at Kennedy Airport. 40 Years Ago... District Attorney Nat Hentel is watching the Arverne Urban Renewal Area to see that there is no exploitation of tenants and property owners by unscrupulous real estate speculators.

"It served dem bums right," commented a Rockaway former Dodger fan after the Baltimore Orioles had trimmed the Los Angeles Dodgers in four straight games in the World Series. "Dey should of stood in Brooklyn."

Observers were impressed by the sight of the Fire Department's super pumper in action at the fire in Arverne last week. "When the stream hit an electric light pole, the pole swayed like a reed in a gale," said one observer, adding that "maybe it would be a good way to demolish buildings."

Talk about turning a loss into a win. Mayor John Lindsay told some editorial writers the other day that the January subway strike saved the city a lot of power and halted crime in the subways. 50 Years Ago... The job will probably not be complete until next fall but a project to construct submarine water mains to the Rockaways is now underway.

Members of the Stella Maris Commercial Mothers Auxiliary are elated over the plans for the new high school to be built on the site of St. Malachi's grounds, Beach 112 Street.

Immediate acquisition of land adjacent to Far Rockaway High School was urged upon the Board of Election by Municipal Court Justice Abraham Argufies, President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways. An addition to the high school is being planned and the new wing will occupy part of the present athletic field.

The Daniel M. O'Connell Post No. 272, American Legion, the largest post in Queens, will honor on of its past commanders, Charles "Ted" Closs, Jr., at a dinner October 20.

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