2006-11-10 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Sometimes when covering a fast-breaking news story on deadline, mistakes and misidentifications are made. This was the case with the incident in Broad Channel on Halloween evening. The Wave ran a front-page picture in last week's edition identifying the young man on the ground as Patrick Rich after checking with sources in the community. In fact, the youth was Nicholas Stack, another of those arrested in the egg-throwing melee. We apologize for our error and for any embarrassment our misidentification may have caused.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, a planning group involved in regional planning, has placed a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking the services of a consultant to develop a transportation plan for the Rockaway peninsula. The RFP says that the plan is needed to reduce congestion, to facilitate travel and to examine future land use growth. The RFP was released to interested consultants on November 2 and is due back sometime in January.

Somebody has left flyers around the Far Rockaway community claiming that the Dunkin Donuts in the Wavecrest Shopping Center is roach-infested. Owner Bernard Langer told The Wave that his two donut shops are clean. Langer says he does not know who is placing the flyers, and he challenges the person to act like a man and come out into the open to back up his claims.

It seems as if the shareholders of Dayton Beach Park Number 1 Corporation spoke loud and clear on the issue of privatization in a recent election for the Board of Directors. The October 19 election turned out to be a referendum on the issue, with two candidates who support the move to take the cooperative out of the Mitchell-Lama program lost big. Both JoAnn Catanese (with 80 votes) and Ella Van Zanten (with 90 votes) lost out to a group of candidates that oppose the plan. There were 536 votes, but some are challenging the election on the grounds that ballots were collected apartment to apartment by those who were in favor of the plan and that those ballots cannot be verified.

This city seems to be run by a group of nannies. They know what is best for us and are going to force us to do as they say whether we want to or not. First, it was smoking. Now, it is trans-fats. We know that it is healthier to eat foods that were not fried in the trans-fats, but we believe that we have the right to weigh the risks and decide for ourselves. By the way, both corned beef and pastrami have lots of natural trans-fats. Is the city going to ban those foods next? Of course, they might well run into some religious objections to banning those two traditional Jewish favorites, but that would probably not stop Mayor Bloomberg and his food police from trying in any case.

The city's Department of Transportation has come up with a novel idea based on the latest road management technology. Coming soon to a major road near you (such as the Belt Parkway and the FDR Drive) is real-time travel information based on EZ-Pass information. For example, you might be nearby Fort Hamilton on the Belt and in traffic when you spot a sign that tells you that you have forty minutes to get to the Midtown Tunnel. That might not make you happy, but at least you would know what you face.

Judging from the events of Halloween eve in Broad Channel, and the fact that several young men died of drug-related occurrences in the past few months, it would seem that the community has a problem that needs to be addressed. Channel Two reporter Lou Young, a seasoned veteran summed it up when he was doing his stand-up report from Cross Bay Boulevard that evening. A group of teens and young adults had jammed themselves behind him, yelling and hooting and demanding that those arrested for assaulting a police officer be released. Young said, "Look at this group behind me and you will understand what the police face in dealing with this community." He is right. Despite the growing drug and alcohol use in the community, a meeting held by the drug treatment program, Daytop Village, drew only 25 participants. That shows the undeniable fact that the Broad Channel community has yet to face its problem.

Mark your calendars for this Sunday, November 12, and the annual memorial service for those who died in the tragic crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in that date in 2001. The plans call for the service to be held for the first time at the new memorial at the southern end of Beach 116 Street at 9:16 a.m., the exact moment that the plane fell into the intersection of Newport Avenue and Beach 131 Street five years ago. It is expected that family members will gravitate to the crash site after the memorial ceremony.

Tomorrow is the day for those who have diabetes or want to know more about the disease. Saturday, November 11 is Family Diabetes Awareness Day at the St. Rose of Lima Church, 130 Beach 84 Street. The event, which is sponsored by the Peninsula Hospital Center, St. John's Episcopal Hospital, the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, the NYCHA, the Visiting Nurse Service and Congressman Gregory Meeks, will feature lectures, cooking demonstrations, nutritional counseling, health screenings and more.

Congressman Anthony Weiner, who represents the west end of Rockaway, has come up with public funds in the amount of $100,000 for a comprehensive study of whether new storm protection measures are needed at Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. Can you think of a beachfront area he left out? Oh, yeah! How about Rockaway? By the way, the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that did the study, says that those two Brooklyn beachfront areas are in danger during a coastal storm. "[The Corps of Engineers] indicated that future storms could pose a serious threat to residents and homes along the coast and recommended that action be taken," a Weiner press release said. If it cost the agency a $100,000 to figure that out, we're all in trouble.

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