2007-12-07 / Community

Beachcomber

The opening game of the season for the Beach Channel High School girls basketball team was marred last week by a parent who so harassed the referees that the game was forfeited, giving Cardozo High School a win. Eyewitnesses to the incident tell us that the parent and an older sibling were chiding the refs for their calls. Cursing and name-calling soon followed. Several school security agents were called to take the miscreants out of the gym, but they were allowed to stay. Finally, after at least two warnings, the refs called the game and walked off into the locker room. This comes on the heels of the school's inclusion on the city's "Impact Schools" list, a list of the most dangerous schools in the city. The next step, officials say, is for the gym to be closed to spectators during games, forcing the players to give their all in front of empty seats. Doing that would not be fair to the BCHS players or to the coach, who were reportedly not involved in the fracas.

Remember to mark your calendars for tomorrow night, Saturday, December 8, at 6 p.m. That's the opening of the annual "Little North Pole" display at the home of Joseph and Maritza Mure on Neponsit Avenue. This event, which takes place between Beach 144 and Beach 145 Streets in Neponsit, draws more than 1,000 people each year, so be sure to arrive early. The home is ablaze with lights and mechanical devices, there is lots of entertainment and some hot chocolate and spicy eggnog, as well.

The reopening of Rockaway Beach Boulevard from Beach 73 Street eastward will take some of the strain off Beach Channel Drive and the Rockaway Freeway. We have to say, however, that driving on the "new road," officially called "Beach Front Road," was fun, especially during the daytime. Now, if we could only make Rockaway Beach Boulevard four lanes from Beach 73 Street all the way to Seagirt Boulevard, it would give a big boost to Rockaway traffic. The original plans, drawn up long ago, called for Shore Front Parkway to run from Beach 108 Street to Seagirt Boulevard. That is why some of the buildings in Ocean Village at Beach 57 Street have a Shore Front Parkway address, even though the road ends at Beach 73 Street. Confusing? Sure. We wonder why the new road was not simply called Shore Front Parkway, since it is an extension of that road.

Some credit must be given to the members of the ad hoc committee that came together to insure that the new YMCA facility planned on Beach 73 Street by Arverne By The Sea will be adequate to community needs. Some of the committee members are also members of Community Board 14. They include Jeff Cohen, Hank Iori, Mike Tubridy and Al Moorer. Other members include Dan Tubridy and Kevin Callaghan. The committee has no name, but it spent countless hours meeting with local politicians and lobbying Queens Borough President Helen Marshall to get on board - which she did. Dan Tubridy told us that Marshall and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer actually took the lead in getting local pols on board and in sending a letter to the mayor asking for his endorsement of the use of a fund from the Port Authority (mandated under a deal with the city) to use for a larger pool and an enclosed gymnasium. Last we heard, the mayor has approved the use of the money and the request was forwarded on to the PAfor final approval. Nobody is talking, however, so we're not sure where that proposal stands at this time.

For the past 25 years or so, Rockaway has been plagued by the violence generated by a territorial imperative between residents of various public housing complexes on the peninsula. When Ocean Village was opened, it joined the mix, even though it is not a public housing complex. The kids from Redfern hated the kids from Hammels. The kids from Arverne fought incessantly with the kids from Edgemere. To place those kids in close proximity to each other often invited violence. The problem still exists today, although drugs and guns have joined the list of reasons for the animosity. That is why it is incomprehensible to us that the Department of Education (DOE) thinks nothing of mixing the kids from various housing projects in one school. The problem came to light when it was discovered that a computer program at the DOE sent at least 50 transfer students (many of them problem students with criminal records or records of school violence) from Far Rockaway High School to Beach Channel High School, simply because there were seats available at the Rockaway Park school and it was the nearest school to the residences of the Far Rockaway teens. To the DOE computers, the transfers made sense. Had a human being with some sense of reality been involved, he or she would have known right away that the transfers would cause problems for BCHS, which they did. It is just another case of DOE managers who have no idea of what is going on in the schools, or what education really means.

The first episodes of "Sesame Street," the ground-breaking children's program that began in the late 1960s, have been released on DVD. The strange part of the program's release is that it is marked with a warning that the episodes "may not suit the needs of today's pre-school child." Those whose kids grew up on the program when it first began (called "Sesame Seeds" by the program) will be surprised by the disclaimer. What's the problem? Cookie Monster ate too many cookies, Oscar the Grouch really was irascible and Bert and Ernie, well, don't ask, don't tell. In any case, it shows how far our political correctness has grown since the first programs were broadcast in 1969. Most of the Sesame Seeds have their own young kids these days, and they should decide for themselves whether or not they want those kids to view the delightful and educational programs they grew up with.

Barbara Larkin called from the west coast to say that she never sent out a letter asking residents to pen letters to local politicians asking them to put an end to the plan to put a Dunkin Donuts on Beach 129 Street. Sylvan Klein, the executive vice president for the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association stopped in to say that we erred in our report. Klein said that the letter in question may have been an old one detailing some objections to a new bank for the street and parking for the dentist's office on the corner of Beach 129 Street and Newport Avenue. If we erred in the Beachcomber report, then we want to apologize to Larkin for the erronious report. If this was a hoax perpetrated on The Wave, then it was an elaborate one, certainly too elaborate for such a non-issue as to whether or not a Dunkin Donuts should be placed on Beach 129 Street. In any case, we are investigating the original report.

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