2008-02-22 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

The temperature this past week was a bit like a roller coaster!

On Monday, there was a lot of fog even in parts of Queens nowhere near the water. We haven't seen any of that in quite a while. Temperatures were up in the 60's that day unusual weather for the middle of winter! The entire rest of the week seemed closer to expected but still higher temperatures than anyone would expect in the middle of February.

An email from one of our neighbors offers the following information: According to ads running in many different publications, "Queens residents including Broad Channel residents have unclaimed money listed with the state. To see if you are owed anything, check out the NYS Unclaimed Funds office at www.osc.state.ny.us/. While searching for your name, why not check your friends and neighbors that may not have computer access and print the form for them."

From one of our neighbors comes the following information: "Congratulations to Bo & Erin, who have FINALLY set the date and are planning to be wed on May 23."

One of our neighbors faxed me the following information a while back. The winter has not been bad, but you never know. So, here are the rules on snow removal from the sidewalks, as required by the laws of this municipality: Snow and ice must be cleared from sidewalk within 4 hours after it has stopped falling or by 11am if the snowfall stopped after 9 p.m. the night before. Snow cannot be thrown in the street. Hard ice may have ashes, sand, sawdust or other suitable material (kitty litter can be helpful in a pinch) strewn on it. sidewalks must be thoroughly cleared; fines may be imposed.

The congregation at Christ Presbyterian Church said: "Many thanks to all who came to the Friday night Bingo. There was a nice crowd and a lot better jackpot."

On Sunday, February 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, check out the birds that are migratory, but spend the winter in the refuge, and birds who live there year round. Sign up in advance at 718-318-4340 and dress for that day's weather.

A Defensive Driving Course sponsored by St. Virgilius Church (all proceeds benefit St. Virgilius Religious Education Program) will be held on Wednesday, March 12 and Thursday, March 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the lunchroom of the Broad Channel School Building, 16 Noel Road, in Broad Channel. For attending this course you can receive 10% off of your car insurance for 3 years OR up to 4 points off of your license. Cost is $60. Seats are limited. Payment in full guarantees a seat. No test is given and refreshments will be served. Call Helen 945-4648 or Cindy 634-5449 to register. If you attended the course in March 2005, your certificate expires in March 2008.

If you went to the slide show on Jamaica Bay's lost cities at the Riis Park bathhouse on Wednesday, February 13 at 7 p.m., it was re-scheduled due to inclement weather. It will be held on February 27 at 7 p.m. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. The program is free, but reservations are required. Sign up at 718-318- 4300.

Broad Channel has been in the papers a lot lately. Last week the Queens Chronicle had a full page article on page 4 and several photos on the cover page. Then, Sunday's New York Times travel section carried a photograph of the Channel, and part of its article on island hopping without leaving the city was devoted to the Channel and some of its eateries. I knew the Chronicle would carry a story, but the Times article was quite a surprise! And for those who saw it, Channel one NY1 News on cable television showed the Times photo briefly and mentioned the material in Sunday's newspaper.

Several years ago, there was some interest in getting Broad Channel its own zip code. Here is a possible reason why this would be a really good idea: Access-A-Ride drivers at one of the paratransit companies are getting GPS systems installed in their vehicles by company owners to cut down on the drivers getting lost and to help them to complete trips as per their agreement with the MTA (the companies get paid per completed trip).

The drivers put the address into the GPS and the systems tells them in a male or female voice and in one of several different languages how to get to the address from wherever they are. Anyway, recently a driver had to make a pick up here in the Channel. He had put the address in at the base and was on CBB, heading south. The GPS told him to go over the toll bridge, so he did and of course couldn't find the address. His manifest listed the home phone so he called. "Are you in Rockaway?" he asked when the phone was answered. When he was told that the pickup was in the Channel even though the manifest said Far Rockaway 11693, he said, "I knew it was wrong, I knew it!" Maybe what's wrong is the postal zip code setup being used by Access-A- Ride dispatchers. But the question remains: Why are we sharing a zip code with a geographically different location?

If you have news that belongs in this column, please get the item(s) to me by Tuesday by 9 a.m. of the week in which the item is to appear.

Please sign your email or note; like the rest of the newspaper, I cannot publish info that comes without a name.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@aol.com

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