2007-01-05 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

What The Wave Said
20 Years Ago...

A quick-moving fire at 429 Beach 140 Street killed a local woman and her eight-year-old son on Christmas Day. Detectives from the 100 Precinct and fire marshals said that the fire was so intense that the entire front half of the home was destroyed before fire apparatus arrived. Three other members of the family, including the husband, managed to get out of the house and were treated in local hospitals for smoke inhalation and then released. Police from the 100 Precinct and fire marshals are investigating the suspicious fire.

Congressman- elect Floyd Flake is denying a charge that he paid Rockaway newspaper publisher John Baxter $20,000 to procure his paper's endorsement in the recent election. The charge was made by the man who lost the election to Flake - ex-police detective Bo Dietl. Baxter says that he was planning to endorse Dietl in The Rockaway Press, but changed his mind when he "found out that Deitl was running a racist campaign." Baxter is suing Dietl for slander over the charge. Baxter added that when Deitl found out that he did not get the paper's endorsement, he physically threatened the publisher. Prior to Baxter's suit, Dietl filed a suit against he publisher for reporting in his paper that the ex-detective was "forced off the NYPD," something that Dietl denies.

More than 50 Rockaway residents marched over the Cross Bay Bridge to Howard Beach this week to show their support for those protesting the death of Michael Griffith, a young black man who was chased to his death on the Belt Parkway by a posse of white youths as Griffith ate a piece of pizza at a local pizza place.

Leon Locke, the publisher of The Wave was presented with a plaque and made an honorary member of the Detectives Endowment Association this week as a reward for helping the police to capture the killer of police officer Scott Gadell last summer. Gadell died trying to reload his weapon as a drug dealer with an automatic weapon stalked him on Beach 32 Street. "The Wave did more than anyone in assisting us in capturing his killer," the detective sergeant from the 100 Precinct Squad said as he presented Locke with his plaque.

30 Years Ago... The 100 Pct. in Rockaway Park was without phone service for a few hours on Wednesday night, when its switchboard went dead after burning out.

The first of the new revitalized stores on Beach 116 Street will be ready to open its doors in the coming weeks. Look for the new Scott's II.

Claiming that most of the people who use the State Unemployment Office in Cedarhurst are from Rockaway, the local Chamber of Commerce has urged that the office be moved to a vacant office space in Far Rockaway.

Swiss airports close at night to noisy international flights, as does Heathrow Airport outside of London. Why not John F. Kennedy, some locals are asking.

It looks as if the local Republican Party has made up its mind. Sheldon Farber, who ran last November for State Senate, will once again be the party's candidate in the next election.

40 Years Ago... The death of a young, five-year-old boy crossing the street at Grassmere Terrace and New Haven Avenue last week has brought about a petition and planned demonstration for a traffic light at the intersection of Beach 22 Street at Cornaga and New Haven Avenues.

The lights of the Rotarians Christmas Tree in front of the Rockaway Park Subway Station on Beach 116 Street were suddenly dimmed on Christmas eve when a car slammed into the tree and dragged it 30 feet until the motorist realized what had happened and came to a screeching halt.

Sylvia Levine, the owner of the Washington Hotel on Beach 125 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard presided over a groundbreaking ceremony this week for an impressive expansion of the dining room at the popular hostelry.

50 Years Ago... Neponsit's "Ghost Hospital," on Beach 146 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, that has been closed since 1955 when the Department of Hospitals decided that it was no longer needed to combat tuberculosis, is well on its way to becoming a home for the aged.

Mario P. Russo was reinstalled as President of the Sommerville-Arverne Civic Association at a dinner held in the Palace Restaurant in Far Rockaway on Tuesday night. Milton Jacobowitz, was the master of ceremonies and Judge Abraham Margulies was the installing officer.

Election of Dr. E. F. Werner as the President of the Medical Board of the Rockaway Beach Hospital was announced this week.

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