2007-05-04 / Columnists



The shopping area on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 108 Street and Beach 116 Street has always played second-fiddle to the Beach 116 Street shops, but now the area is becoming more upscale with the inclusion of a new children's shop and Patrick Clark's glass studio and other new shops and restaurants on both sides of the boulevard. Perhaps it's time for everybody to take a second look at the street. You will probably like what you see.

Mark your calendars now for the weekend of June 9 and 10 and the annual Relay for Life, which will once again be held at Beach Channel High School. Teams are now forming all over the peninsula and those who are interested in joining in can find information at the American Cancer Society website.

The mystery of the floating suitcase, which was featured on last week's front page, could easily be turned into a television movie. It has all the elements of great drama: a home invasion in a high-profile Connecticut suburb where the rich and famous live; a threat to inject poison into the homeowner's veins if they don't turn over eight million bucks; the threat is carried out, or is it? The bad guys flee the scene in the homeowner's SUV. The SUV is later found in New York City. The syringes and some weapons are found floating in Jamaica Bay, off the shore of Broad Channel, right across from JFK Airport. Start writing the script.

There are some who look at the auction sale that will take place at the Ocean Grande condominium building on Beach 116 Street as a bad omen for all those who are building new housing in Rockaway. The owners will auction off 21 brand new units in the luxury building because they could not sell them on the open market. Sheldon Good and Company, the auctioneers, promise that four of those units will be sold "absolute, regardless of price. Real estate pros tell The Wave that the location was just not right for a luxury building. Situated across the street from Baxter's Hotel, the Lawrence Hotel, the Park Inn what-ever-it-is, the new AA 587 Memorial Park and the summer crowds coming off the subway, there is a mix of factors that might very well repel those thinking of spending many hundreds of thousands of dollars for an apartment, even one overlooking the ocean. The units will not come cheaply, we are told, even at auction. The suggested opening bid on a three-bedroom, two-bath unit originally priced at $740,000 is $300,000 and for that, you'll need a minimum of $30,000 at the auction. The priciest unit is the penthouse that was previously priced at $1,035,000 that you can now try to pick up for the minimum bid of only $400,000.

You have to give City Councilman Joseph Addabbo credit for standing up to the forces that were attempting to rename a city street in honor of Sonny Carson, one of the most famous racists in New York City History. Carson, who was involved in the 1968 school strike and in the Korean Boycott, made no bones about his hatred of white people. He clearly stated that hatred often in his press statements. Councilman Al Vann, who was also involved in the school wars, wrote the bill that would have renamed a Brooklyn street for Carson. Because of the opposition of Addabbo and Speaker Quinn, however, Carson's name was taken off the list. Don't bet, however, in this city, that it will remain off the list.

Speaking of the City Council, here are some of the things that it attempted to ban in the past 18 months or so: trans-fats; pedicabs; foie gras; fast-food eateries in poor neighborhoods; aluminum baseball bats; mail order medicines; cell phones in upscale restaurants; pork products from North Carolina; candy-flavored cigarettes; Wal-Mart Stores and the circus. This, in addition to naming innumerable streets for friends and relatives. All for only $1 million apiece.

Wave Columnist Nancy Gahles, who writes the highly-popular "Health and Harmony" column, has been elected as President of the National Center for Homeopathy. We all offer our congratulations to Nancy on this well-deserved honor.

The City Council's Transportation Committee held a special hearing in Broad Channel two weeks ago to take testimony from both the public and from city agencies about the state of commuter transportation in the area. There were those who believed that few residents would show up because apathy runs wild in the peninsula. They were wrong. It was standing room only at the small meeting venue. Actually, we wonder why the meeting wasn't held in a larger Rockaway venue such as Beach Channel High School, but that's a story for another time. The Council committee heard testimony from some city agencies such as the MTA and the DOT and was getting ready to take testimony from the public, when the representatives of those agencies left. It would have been nice had they stayed around to hear what the public had to stay and it would have been nice as well if some of our elected officials had come themselves rather than sending representatives on this critical issue.

On April 14, 2006, we reported on the front page that Edward Bain had been charged in the death of his wife in an accident on Cross Bay Boulevard. Bain was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident in which his wife died. Bain reportedly turned down a plea deal and his trial is now set to begin on May 21. The wheels of justice grind slowly.

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