2008-02-22 / Community

Beachcomber

Save the date. This year's Faye Cohen Heart Luncheon will be held on June 24 at the Lawrence Country Club. The luncheon, sponsored by the Rockaway Park Chapter of Hadassah, will be both a toast to the past and a celebration of the future, says a spokesperson for the organization. It will honor the founding of the state of Israel and its fiftieth birthday.

The Wave has learned from a number of sources, including Democratic District Leader Lew Simon, that Frederick Werbell, the convicted sexual offender headlined in the February 8 edition of the paper passed away in March of 2007. Despite that fact, current records on the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services still shows that he is alive and living at the Belle Harbor Manor. We guess it takes a year or so for the state to catch up to reality. There are still many convicted sex offenders living nearby schools, however, and the call for a state law to remediate the problem is still appropriate.

In last week's paper, The Wave published a story about four teens who were arrested and who claimed that the police treated them brutally while they were at the 101 Precinct station house in Far Rockaway. The parent of one of the teens told us that none of the four had ever been in trouble previously and that they were innocent. A quick search on the paper's website, however, revealed that one of the teens, Marques Pike, who has been charged with assault and gang assault, was in the stolen automobile that crashed on the Rockaway Freeway on October 17 of last year, killing one of the teens and breaking Pike's leg.

The city council is looking at an introduction that would call upon the House of Representatives to pass and the Senate to introduce and pass the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. That act would benefit those who participated in the operations at the World Trade Center and those who spent lots of time around the site, whether for school or because they live nearby. City Councilman Joseph Addabbo, who represents the west end of Rockaway, is one of the many sponsors of the City Council bill. James Sanders, who represents the eastern end of the peninsula, is not. We have to wonder why, but his office did not return calls for an explanation. Perhaps he's too busy working with Charles Barron to get around to the 9/11 bill.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg picked up his Congestion Pricing Plan from the British, who use a similar plan in London. Given his stance against smoking in public, can he be far behind in picking up on a new British plan that mandates a "License To Smoke" for all Brits who want to smoke. Under the plan they have to get a letter from their doctor stating that smoking would not harm them in any way. Armed with the letter, they can go to a government office and pick up a permit for only $20. Since you can't buy cigarettes without the permit, no permit means no smoking. The British Government says that it hopes the plan will dissuade even more people from smoking. BBC news says that smokers are outraged. Can a similar New York City rule be far behind?

There are many locals who are angered with Mayor Mike Bloomberg for ignoring Rockaway entirely on the issue of extra money for the planned YMCAto allow the Y to have an eightlane pool and an enclosed gymnasium. It's not that the mayor said no to the money, the ad-hoc citizen's committee says. It's that the mayor has ignored not only the community, but the borough president, Senator Charles Schumer and all of the other local politicians as well. Time is getting short for the Arverne By The Sea developers to change their present plans to include the needed amenities. The price for the Y goes up each month, and soon it might well be priced out of the market entirely.

The drill the NYPD ran on February 12 at Beach 94 Street and Beach 106 Street prompted lots of calls to The Wave to find out what was going on. Dozens of police vehicles and hundreds of cops flooded the two areas. The calls came despite the fact that officials posted flyers in all of the Shore Front Parkway buildings in the area, advising residents that there was a drill in progress. The drill scenario posited a plane crash on the beach at Beach 106 Street. Cops from all over the southern portion of Queens rushed to Beach 94 Street to muster and be given assignments in the "crash" area. Senior officers worked in the Parks Department building at Beach 106 Street, which was set up as a command post. NYPD officials say, "Practice makes perfect."

While the Board of Elections tells us that the results from "Super Tuesday" on January 5 are not official and cannot be released as yet, preliminary results show that Obama did well in the eastern end of the peninsula, while Clinton did well on the western end of the peninsula. What a surprise. No Republican results as yet, but we're betting that McCain got the Rockaway nod.

Barbara Corcoran, the realtor to the Manhattan in-crowd, writes a column in the Daily News each Friday. Last week, she pointed to the high cost of homes in Manhattan Beach and Coney Island and advised people to head for Rockaway. "There are lots of buyers combing the beach blocks in Belle Harbour [note the spelling], where prices start at $1.5 million and sell for as much as $3.5 million (and probably more right on the water," she wrote. "So, if you're willing to put on your flip-flops and walk a few blocks to the beach, you'll find a cheaper deal. But don't wait for the warm weather or you'll be fighting the crowds at the height of competition." The fact is, nothing in either Belle Harbor or Neponsit has ever sold for as much as $3.5 million, real estate insiders tell The Wave. I guess we should be thankful that Corcoran, who is widely read and who has one of the largest real estate firms in Manhattan, is sending people with money to spend on high-cost housing to Rockaway, rather than to Coney Island or the Hamptons.

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