2008-05-23 / Columnists

Beachcomber

It is hard for many locals to understand how Rockaway Postmaster George Buonocore keeps his position. His chief assistant was charged with misusing his government credit card more than a year ago and a number of local politicians charged Buonocore with incompetence. Certainly, the local post office was in disarray and remains so to a lesser extent today. Buonocore was banished from the Far Rockaway office more than a year ago, to a detail at the Jamaica PO. He then had an eye problem and was on extended sick leave. Now, we understand he is coming back, a move that flies in the face of all logic and violates the public's faith in the post office's ability to deliver the mail. It sometimes seems as if the pseudo-governmental organization just doesn't care.

New York City Water Taxi, the operators of the Rockaway ferry service to Manhattan, has already changed its schedule to reflect the needs of local commuters, a move that we consider a good sign for the survival of the service. The original schedule had the boat leaving Manhattan's Pier 11 at 4:30 p.m. for its first return run to Rockaway and then again at 6:30 p.m. for its second and final run. Many locals argued that the first run was too early and the second too late in the day. "Most people who work on Wall Street finish work between 4:45 and 5:15 p.m.," one such commuter told The Wave for its original story on the ferry service. "The 4:30 boat is too early and who wants to hang around Manhattan every day until 6:30?" The new schedule has the first boat at 3:30 p.m., probably still too early for most working commuters, but the second will now run at 5:30 p.m., a much more convenient time for locals to start home from a long day at the office.

It's time for "Musical Automobiles" once again in the west end of the peninsula. With the coming of the ides of May, the summer parking restrictions begin and a word to the wise should be sufficient. Police officers were out in force just after midnight on Friday night, doing out parking tickets. .

It has been nearly seven years since American Airlines Flight 587 crashed into Belle Harbor streets in 2001, but family members keep coming to Rockaway on Mother's Day and on the anniversary of the crash, November 12, in memory of the loved ones who were lost that day. Last Mother's Day, a few dozen gathered at the memorial that was built on Beach 116 Street two years ago for a short memorial service. Then, most of them moved on to the crash site at Beach 131 Street and Newport Avenue. It was sad to see them huddled around the tree on the corner that holds a small plaque commemorating the tragedy. Joel Garyn, The Wave's golf columnist, says that one of the women in his ladies golf league at Riis Park has a son who is in his second tour in Iraq. Garyn says that while many of the men who serve with the son get packages from home, others do not, and both he and the mother, Maureen Redden, would like to remedy that fact. No matter how you feel about the legitimacy of the war, our fighting men and women need our help. Those who are interested in helping out should call Redden at 347-886-1000.

There is a new weapon on the web that may or may not help local motorists fight their parking tickets. Glen Bolofsky - the founder of parkingticket.com, has set up a program designed to find errors in summonses that might be used to get the ticket dismissed. The program has an interface designed to look like a parking ticket. After filling out personal information about the vehicle and the incident, the customer enters information on the ticket. The program then flags any information that appears vulnerable to challenges.

Registered sex offenders cannot contact kids under the age of 18 on the internet and must disclose all of their screen names to the state under a bill that was signed into law yesterday by Governor David Paterson. The new law allows social networking sites such as FaceBook.com and MySpace. com to check screen names to insure that the sex offenders are not using those sites to contact children or teens. The two social networking sites have also agreed to cut off service for registered sex offenders.

A number of correspondents have emailed us to warn of a new computer virus that's making the rounds. This one begins with an email message with an attachment entitled "A Postcard Image." Opening that message reportedly burns your entire C- drive to toast. Should you see the message, delete it and then reboot your computer, experts say.

A copy of Bellot's "History of the Rockaways, From the Year 1685 to 1917," has been uploaded to the web. The out-of-print, extremely rare tome, can be found at the website: www. archive.org/details/bellotshistoryofthe rockaways1917. The picture quality might not be the best, says Shaul Ceder, who uploaded the document, but what can you expect from a book that is nearly 100 years old.

Should you get an email from a site purporting to be the Internal Revenue Service asking you to click on a link in order to get your Stimulus Economic Refund check, do not do it. The website and the request that comes with it are part of a scam to steal your identity. Be aware. Do not respond to the email, do not open any of the links.

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