2006-12-29 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

It has finally happened! We have run out of 2006 and are nipping at the heels of 2007. Our neighbors have many different ways of welcoming in the New Year. Some folks enjoy the crowds in Times Square. Others will watch the ball drop—on television. Still others crowd into restaurants and catering halls to welcome the New Year. Another bunch of folks prefer house parties—large or small or large and noisy. And some folks prefer tucking into bed early and greeting the year on January 1. Wherever you are, whatever you choose to do— have a wonderful evening and a Happy New Year!

A note from American Legion Post 1404 found its way into the mailbox and this is what it said: “We would like to thank everyone who supported us in our recent raffle that was held on December 16 at the Post Christmas party at our Post Hall; it was a big success. Thanks to your support, we will have a big helping hand in our plan to make our Hall wheelchair accessible. Thank you all very much.”

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.

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 Saturday, January 20 from 10 a.m. to noon join “Winter Birding on the Bay” with naturalist, Don Riepe at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Walk along refuge trails and find winter waterfowl in the bay’s wetlands; find owls, hawks and snowbirds too. Binoculars are a must; bring lunch. Reservations are a must. Call 718-318-4340.

Kids aged 7 to 12 will have their own winter birding workshop on Sunday, January 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This workshop has indoor and outdoor sections in which kids will have practice with bird identification. They will also learn about different adaptations birds have made to insure their survival. Kids should wear outdoor-appropriate clothing and bring binoculars. Reservations are a must.

A series of lecture workshops having historical subjects pertaining to Jamaica Bay on Wednesday nights will be held at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Cross Bay Boulevard beginning on February 7. The first presentation will be a discussion with Dan Hendrick, who is the author of a book on Jamaica Bay. A presentation on Robert Moses and Jamaica Bay will take place on February 21 and the role of railroads and trolleys in developing Jamaica Bay will be held on February 28. All three workshops will begin at 7 p.m.

The Department of Sanitation reminds people who have real trees to have them chipped so the chips can be used for green spaces in city parks and 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. If you prefer a definite date to drop off your tree, DOS has arranged for real trees to be dropped off on Saturday, January 6 and Sunday, January 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Shore Front Parkway & Beach 94th Street in Rockaway Beach. (This is a drop-off location only; no mulch or chips will be available here.)

Cystic Fibrosis fundraising for December still has prizes to win. If your $5 Daily Raffle chance number matches the NYS evening number (must be straight) during the entire month of December you will win; on weekends prize will be $50, on weekdays $25, and on 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. (Items or gift baskets to be used for the raffle table will be gladly accepted.) 

Many of the Channel’s organizations have their own websites, which isn’t so surprising, but the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has a website at: http://www.nyc24. org/2003/islands/zone7/broad-index. html that profiles the Broad Channel community. It needs an update as far as the post office goes, but it seems somewhat interesting.

There is a nice photo of the houses on stilts near the sluice—-always attention getting because houses on stilts are a rather unusual sight, especially in this city!

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