2008-04-18 / Columnists


The City Council has asked the NYPD to add a statistic involving crimes committed in local parks to its crime database. According to published reports, Councilman Joseph Addabbo asked for, and received, the addition of the Rockaway Community/Edgemere Park to the list of those city parks where crime is tracked individually, separate from the local streets. We have to wonder what the councilmembers are speaking about, however. The only land designated officially as a community park in Edgemere is the abandoned landfill, and nobody will be able to use that land for another decade. Consequently, there is no crime at that "park," although there has been lots of crime on surrounding streets.

For those of you who live in Rockaway and had no water from the evening of April 9 to the next morning, you might want to know what happened. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was working on a large three-way connector located at Cross Bay Boulevard and Van Brunt Road. Closing that connector shut off the water to a large chunk of the peninsula from 9 p.m. on Wednesday until 7 a.m. on Thursday.

City Councilman James Sanders, the only local politician who voted in favor of the mayor's Congestion Pricing plan, believes that the east end of the peninsula, particularly those who use the Mott Avenue A Line station, will suffer. He told The Wave that he voted for the plan because only four percent of his constituents drive into Manhattan, with the great majority using public transportation. He thinks that Rockaway will still get the amenities he was promised for voting yes on the plan, but that they'll now take ten years to come on line. A number of political bodies are investigating just what the mayor offered councilmembers for their vote and whether that "arm-twisting was unethical or illegal.

The maker of M&M candies has teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise funds through the sale of pink and white candies. For each eight ounce bag of the special treats sold in stores, the candy company will donate fifty cents to the foundation.

Congressman Anthony Weiner may have taken a step ahead of one of his chief rivals for the Mayoralty, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The speaker supported the Mayor's Congestion Pricing Plan and helped him push it through her body despite the opposition from outer borough councilmembers. She earned the respect of Bloomberg (who will probably fund her campaign), but not the respect of lots of voters. Weiner, on the other hand, opposed the plan from the beginning, earning the votes of middleclass commuters who saw the plan as a regressive tax on those who live outside of Manhattan. He will use Quinn's support of the plan to paint her as elitist and a Bloomberg clone. Keep tuned, this is going to get interesting.

The Jewish Daily Forward recently ran an article that evoked Rockaway of old. The article deals with those who roam far from home for Passover. Seems that it's an old tradition, and Rockaway is involved. "Avoid Household Cares, Spend Passover in Arverne," said one 1915 advertisement for the owners of Stone's Cottage. Isenberg's Wave Crest Hotel in Far Rockaway tempted prospective vacationers celebrating Passover "Amid delightful country surroundings by the sea." We remember when the late, lamented Washington Hotel in Rockaway Park was the destination for Passover celebrants. Oh, for the good old days.

We have to congratulate the four unidentified teenagers who saw a man snatch a woman's pocketbook at Beach 54 Street and Beach Channel Drive two weeks ago. The boys, all students of PS 105 in Edgemere, chased the mugger. Eventually, he threw down the pocketbook and the boys returned it to the stunned woman. She offered them a reward, but they turned it down. Those teens deserve the approbation of their community, if not a monetary reward.

The Wave has provided a new way to access our staff members and columnists. There are now hyperlink connections on our website that will direct readers to the email addresses of those who write for The Wave each week. The link can be found at the "Contact Us" section on our homepage at www.rockawave.com. That link gets readers to the Staff Box, which contains the hyperlinks. Clicking on the hyperlink will allow them to send email directly to the staffer they want to contact.

It's amazing how two newspapers can take the same story and make it sound so different. When the federal Department of Education recently released the statistics showing how student fared on the state writing tests, John Hildebrand wrote a story for Newsday that was entitled, "Students Score Higher On Writing Tests." His lead said, "Students' writing scores are up, both nationwide and in New York State, according to federal testing officials who report particular improvement among African- Americans." Same story from Yoav Gonen, writing in the New York Post. The headline blared, "City Kids Lacking Write Stuff." His lead was, "Just one in four city eighth-graders scored proficiently on last year's national writing test - above average for 10 large cities, but below the nationwide norm." Who is right? Both writers. Depends on your focus.

Ciy Councilman Joseph Addabbo, who will soon announce a run for the mainland State Senate seat now held by Serph Maltese, was to be the guest at a fundraiser hosted by Governor Eliot Spitzer, but that is not longer a good idea. Of course, Addabbo is swearing that he never had firm plans for Spitzer to host his fundraiser. Council Speaker Christine Quinn was reportedly next on the list, but that fell through in the wake of her slush fund scandal. Now, Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith will host the event. The move to the Senate, of course, would mean that Addabbo would no longer represent Rockaway, and we have to wonder if a peninsula resident will run for the City Council seat that Addabbo is going to walk away from.

People who were shopping for Passover necessities at Waldbaum's on Beach 112 Street this week were in for rude awakening. Although a circular chock full of coupons went out this weekend promising specials on such items as Matzah, the items were nowhere to be found in the store. One shopper told us that she was told that the matzah on the shelves was not the matzah that was promised in the sale. When she asked to speak with the manager, she says, she was rudely told that he was at a meeting and did not want to be bothered with complaints.

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