2006-10-27 / Columnists


With the general election on November 7 coming up quickly, The Wave is hosting some special pages that highlight the campaign platforms of the two candidates in the only local contested race - the State Assembly seat in the 23 Assembly District. Pheffer, a life-long Democrat, has represented Rockaway in the Assembly for fourteen years. She is challenged this year by Republican Stuart Mirsky, a retired City Department of Health official. Where do they stand on the major issues impacting Rockaway? Take a look at what they have to say in the editorial section of this paper. No matter what party you are affiliated with and which candidate you like, The Wave urges you to get out and do your civic duty - vote on November 7.

It is unusual for a community board to directly take on a city agency. Members know all too well that the way to get reappointed to the volunteer board is to go along with the borough president and local politicians. That is why kudos must be given to Community Board 14 for shedding a lot of light (and heat) on the way the Parks Department runs the lifeguard recruiting program, to the detriment of the Rockaway community. We hope that the promised City Council hearings are held soon, because the next summer recruiting season is only six months away. We disagree with City Councilman Joseph Addabbo that the hearings should be at City Hall. "Everybody comes to City Hall," Addabbo told The Wave last week, but that is not true. The hearings should be held at a Rockaway venue so that everybody who wants to have a say and who has vital information on the cupidity and cronyism of the present system of recruiting lifeguards can be heard. Forcing those people to travel to Manhattan to have their say is not the right way to do it. By the way, the most interesting part of the CB 14 report recommends entirely taking control of the lifeguards from the Parks Department and giving it to the fire department. We have checked venues all over the east coast and find that, in the majority of cases, the local fire department controls the lifeguard program and that most use the national standard in hiring and training. We strongly recommend that the City Council follows their lead on both counts.

Speaking of Councilman Addabbo, it seems more than ever that he is slowly disengaging himself from Rockaway. A few weeks ago, he turned the "dog park" meeting over to somebody else, spent five minutes in the room and then left. On Saturday, he was the sponsor of the street renaming in honor of Monsignor William Burke and did not show up at all, favoring instead the Columbus Day Parade in Howard Beach. Then, on Sunday, he was a no-show at the 100 Precinct Community Council's Oktoberfest Breakfast. For a local politician, missing events such at those causes tongues to wag.

The three major health care facilities in Rockaway - Peninsula Hospital Center, St. John's Episcopal Hospital and the Addabbo Family Health Center, will sponsor a Diabetes Family Awareness Day at St. Rose of Lima Church on Beach 84 Street on November 11. The event, which will feature health screenings, lectures and cooking demonstrations, will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizations such as the Visiting Nurse Service and the American Diabetes Association will be on hand to speak with participants and to hand out information.

A new restaurant opens in Rockaway today, October 27. Kenny Good, formerly of the Beach Club, the Rockaway Sunset Diner and other local eateries opens his Rockaway Lobster House on the site of the former High Tides at Beach 92 Street and Beach Channel Drive. The restaurant will feature a raw bar and lobster dinners. We wish Kenny luck with his new endeavor.

First Congregational Church on Beach 94 Street will be hosting a Halloween Party on October 28, from 5 to 9 p.m. The party will feature music, costumes, games and a fortune teller. Parents with children younger than 12 years of age are invited.

The Neurobehavioral Research group is looking for people with insomnia and anxiety for a study. If you have the classic symptoms of anxiety, they want to talk with you. Those symptoms include worrying all of the time, nervousness, a diminishing quality of life and the fact that those things are disrupting your social, professional or family life. Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up often in the middle of the night with the inability to go back to sleep, poor concentration and memory during the day, drowsiness and anxiety. If you want more information about the research, call Yvette Vega at (516) 295-7230.

Steve Good will close his popular Beach Club catering hall on December 31, leaving Rockaway with no stand-alone facility on the peninsula. Good said that he will continue to pursue his plans to build condominiums on the site. Good told The Wave that he is also looking for another Rockaway site for a catering hall

Those who believe that religion is a unifying force in the world need only look to Iraq as an example of why it is often just the opposite. The deadly violence in that nation stems from the long domination of the Shia Moslem majority by the minority Sunnis, but the problem really dates back to the Seventh Century, when the two branches of the Moslem religion split inextricably apart. The rift developed over the line of succession after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 ACE. The Sunni's believe that the line went through Abe Bakr, the Prophet's father-in-law. The Shia, or Shiites, believe that the prophet's son-in-law is the first true Caliph and in the direct line of succession. On the basis of small family matters do the lives of thousands depend. Over the years, experts say, that difference has led to differences in the way the religion is practiced. In Iraq, of course, you have to add the Druze to the mix as well, proving that the nation that we are attempting to force our brand of democracy on is really three nations, none of which want democracy in the first place, favoring instead a theocracy based on their own brand of religion.

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