2006-12-22 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

Overall, the weather still doesn’t feel much like winter. Even cold days aren’t that cold. Nonetheless, Christmas is almost upon us. Whatever your plans are for Christmas—whether you’ll be in the Channel or hopping a jet bound for faraway places; whether you’ll visit relatives and/or friends or mark the day alone—whether you’re cooking a big dinner for many people in your home or enjoying restaurant fare—have a beautiful, peaceful, wonderful day.

Santa Claus will be visiting some Broad Channel homes again this year on Christmas Eve. If you would like to have Santa visit your home and deliver some toys, please call the firehouse to make the arrangement. Make reservations now for visits which will take place between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. A $25 donation per house visited is requested by the BCVFD, which provides this for residents every year. Call the BCVFD any evening after 8 p.m. to make a reservation. Call 718-474-6888.

Story Time/Picture Book Time for preschoolers meets every Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Library. It began meeting during the month of November and will continue through the last week of January—on Wednesday, January 31. For children ages 3 ½ to 5 years, this program features music, stories, games and other activities suitable for the preschool set.

Annie’s Angels are fund-raising a number of ways to raise money to fight Cystic Fibrosis. If your $5 Daily Raffle chance number matches the NYS evening number (must be straight) any day during the entire month of December you will win; on weekends prize will be $50, on weekdays $25, and on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve prize will be $100. There are also $10 50/50 boards with the winner receiving $500 in cash.  SnowFlake Bingo will be held in January of 2007. Items or gift baskets to be used for the raffle table will be gladly accepted. 

Start the New Year off with a nice, brisk walk on the beach at 11 a.m. with the American Littoral Society at Fort Tilden. Every year the beach walkers signal another group across the harbor at noon with a mirror. Will 2007 be the year the signal is seen? Join the American Littoral Society walkers and find out. Call 718-318-9344 for further information.

On Sunday, January 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Cross Bay Boulevard at the north side of our community will present a Nature Photography Workshop. A photographer, Johann Schumacher, will offer helpful hints on the ins and outs of photographing wildlife, plants and landscapes. After his presentation the photographer and audience will move outdoors (if the weather cooperates) and take pictures, putting what they have just learned into practice. Reservations are a must and can be made by telephoning 718-318-4340.

The DOS reminds people who have real trees to have them chipped so they can use the chips for their gardens; the trees can only be chipped after the holidays are over if all decorations are removed and if they do not have any tinsel on them. If trees have any decorations or tinsel on them, they will be collected as garbage. DOS will pick up Christmas trees at the curb from Friday, January 5 through Tuesday, January 16. Trees will be chipped, mixed with leaves, and made into compost for NYC’s green spaces.

Interestingly, DOS has a list of different environment-saving gifts to give to and ask for from loved ones. Some suggestions include: family memberships in zoos and museums; tickets to sporting events, concerts, Broadway or the opera; handmade or cooked or baked items; passes for a massage, facial or spa treatment; or gym membership. One of our neighbors gives scratch-offs to people on her gift list. Kids can give the gift of doing things around the house they normally do not do. DOS recommends that we recycle tissue paper, boxes and wrapping paper if we get shirts, blouses, sleepwear and other boxed items. They also recommend sending email and e-cards instead of using paper greetings. They remind us to recycle cards and envelopes too.

If you haven’t visited the new building at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, it may be quite a treat. The new building is spacious and well-organized, with an auditorium where a series of lecture/presentations will be held beginning in February. There is a sitting area outside the auditorium with a huge window and a southern exposure to the refuge that is stunning. The building incorporates green ideas into its design to save money on heating and cooling bills while providing a comfortable place for workers and volunteers alike! 

At this time of year, the phone rings a lot more often in many households. Offers to buy things, and people trying to bamboozle others by taking advantage of the season’s busyness. Remember, no matter what a caller says: You don’t have to give personal information of any kind to anyone who calls and asks/coaxes/wheedles or otherwise tries to bully it out of you. If being put on the federal “do not call” registry appeals to you, call 888-382-1222 or go to the following website: www.ftc.gov/ donotcall/.

If you promised yourself a trip abroad in 2007, now is a good time to begin your passport work. You will need one to go out of the country. To find out what documents you need to get a passport, visit www.travel.state. gov. The post office in Rockaway Beach on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and the one in Howard Beach on Cross Bay Boulevard are the closest passport offices to the Channel. For more information about passports call 877-487-2778.

If you or your organization has news that belongs in this space, please get the information to me by 9:30 a.m. on the Tuesday before you need the item to appear in The Wave. Please sign your email; like the rest of the newspaper, I cannot publish info that comes without a name.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@ aol.com

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