2007-09-07 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

20 Years Ago...

20 Two locals died in an automobile accident this week and bystanders say that their deaths were caused by delays on the part of city ambulances responding to the accident scene. Those witnesses say that the two elderly Oceancrest Boulevard residents bled out in the 35 minutes it took for EMS to arrive on the scene.

The annual Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC) Fall Festival will begin this Saturday with a square dance and a hayride at Fort Tilden. The festival will continue on Sunday with a full range of arts and crafts as well as music and food.

Far Rockaway High School was named as the third most dangerous high school in Queens in a report by the Board of Education that was released this week. The report put the local school in the top 20 most dangerous high schools in the entire city. Beach Channel High School was not far behind, named as the fifth most dangerous school in Queens. Intermediate School 53 in Far Rockaway was also named as the sixth most dangerous middle school in Queens and the 44th most dangerous in the city.

Congressman Floyd Flake will speak to the community board this week about the future of Rockaway. Also on

20 the agenda is a presentation about the changes being made to Gateway National Park.

The Rockaway Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual dinner-dance at the Bayswater Jewish Center on November 19. The planning committee is headed by Jesse Plaxen and Dan Tubridy.

Acommuter ferry from The Wharf restaurant on Beach 116 Street and the bayfront to Pier 11 on Wall Street will commence operation on September 9. The high-speed ferries were to run a regular weekday schedule beginning at 6:15 a.m. with a stop at the Rockaway Point Pier prior to traveling straight to Wall Street. A round-trip will cost commuters $9, but there will also be a commuter pass that will lessen the cost.

City Councilman Walter Ward warned city officials that they cannot cure all the housing ills of the city by putting too much affordable housing in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area. The city recently put out a request for expressions of interest for the 83-acre site. Years Ago... 30 The Arverne-Edgemere area set for urban renewal is a foreboding sight, what with fences around each of the streets and large signs about keeping off the property remind us of a science fiction movie.

James Hurley, of Rockaway Beach, a popular member of the staff at St. John's Home for Boys, has been promoted to assistant director of child

30 care. He has served as supervisor of the group home in Richmond Hill operated by St. John's Home.

Will somebody explain why the new telephone booths are continually being cleaned when there are no phones in the booths? Why waste the time, effort and expense?

Reconstruction of the boardwalk should begin the week after Labor Day, according to a pledge made by the mayor when he visited Rockaway on August 5. 40 Years Ago...

40 New York City Police Officer Tom Hetzel, who last week swam the English Channel, was given a tremendous "welcome home" party at his home in Rockaway Park.

Architectural rendering of the proposed Beach Channel High School have been seen by The Wave. The scheduled opening of the 4,000-student school is still two years away.

"Save Broad Channel," was the undisputed theme of the island community's Mardi Gras during the weekend. Television cameras and the news media, as well as many area politicians were on hand to add to the festive atmosphere.

Cosmo Pacetta, Jr., 21, a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam was killed in action when he stepped on a land mine, according to his parents, who live in Bayswater. He went to Vietnam on July 5.

50 Years Ago... 50

50 The first bomb scare to hit Rockaway in many years emptied the Far Rockaway branch of the Jamaica Savings Bank Wednesday morning when a prankster phoned the bank and warned, "There's a bomb in your place."

With preliminary work underway for a new terminal in Far Rockaway, the Long Island Railroad next week will start asking neighbors in the community what colors they would like the new building to be.

Forty years ago, Fort Tilden was known as Fort Funston and The Wave staged a community fund drive from which a flagpole and flag were purchased and presented to military officials at the fort following a large military and civic parade.

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