2008-08-15 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

This August weather has been surprising. The month is halfway through already, and so far we have had mostly moderate temperatures for this time of year. The rain has been a surprise as well. What seems like a good amount of rain has fallen, but it is quite nice to have a flood fall on our heads, rain itself out, then have the clouds clear away and sunny blue skies take over for the rest of the day. August is usually very dry, so the green living things are benefiting from the rainfall, too. So far, so good!

On Saturday, August 16, the BCAC will be hosting an Irish Festival from 12 to 8 p.m. at BCAC Memorial Field. An honor guard will open the festival at 12:30. There will be local vendors; artists, jewelry designers, local shop owners; and national Irish novelty vendors. There will be food, raffles and plenty of entertainment: pipe bands, step dancers, and Black 47 will close the show! A donation is requested. All proceeds will go to BCAC.

Christ Presbyterian Church will have Bingo in the church hall on Church Road on two consecutive Wednesdays, August 20 and 27. Doors open at 6 p.m. Early Bird is at 6:30 p.m. Bingo starts at 7 p.m. Donation is $5. Coffee and cake will be served.

On Sunday, August 24 in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. join the "Shorebird Festival." First, walk to the West Pond and look for shorebirds. Then go indoors for a presentation from Don Riepe and Kevin Karlson on the biology, behavior and conservation of shorebirds. After a break for lunch, head over to the East Pond for more shorebird viewing. Waterproof boots are needed by participants. Bring drinking water, sun and insect protection. Advance sign up is required for this day-long event; call 718-318-4340.

Activities for children of all ages will take place in August at the library. On Fridays — August 15 and 22 — enjoy playing games from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Play one of theirs or bring your own. On Saturday, August 23 at 3 p.m. enjoy Arts and Crafts at the library.

On Saturday, August 23 at 11 a.m. at the library, the Adult Summer Reading Book Discussion Group will discuss, "The Almost Moon," by Alice Sebold, who also wrote "The Lovely Bones."

Broad Channel Athletic Club volunteers are selling $100 chances to win $10,000 — among other cash prizes. Anyone interested in purchasing a chance, please contact Sabrina at 718- 634-4632 or Jessica at 718-318-3806.

Channel neighbors can buy their copies of Broad Channel [the book] at Grassy's and Wharton's — both on Crossbay Boulevard — and from members of the B.C. Historical Society.

Emails have come from Rockaway residents asking if they can buy the Broad Channel book locally. The answer is yes — The Gift Is Love on Beach 116 Street is carrying it. If you buy a copy and want it signed, Dan and I will appear at various events. If you can't make it to any of these events, we will make ourselves available at other times.

Rockaway neighbors and friends will have an event held close to them for their convenience. A book talk, slide presentation and signing event for Images of America: Broad Channel will be held at the Seaside branch of the public library located at 116-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard at the corner of Beach 117 Street on Monday, August 18 at 6:30 p.m. by the authors of the book. Books will be available for purchase at this event. Owners of books are invited to bring them if they want them signed by the authors, who are my better half and me.

Last week, a lot was written about the renovation job at the library. Some further notes: the current arrangement of the materials allows a wheelchair used to move around the entire library, looking at all the materials — this could not be done with the old arrangement. Also, I heard some complaints about "the big yellow thing" in the front of the library — it will check books back in. Also, the yellow on the "big thing" matches a yellow on the library card.

A cable television news station, NY1, had a short feature spot on Broad Channel this past week. It focused mostly on the bungalows built over the water and the boardwalks that are still here, but there was a nice shot of the boulevard, too. The spot featured photos of Broad Channel of yesteryear (guess where they got them!). If you saw the feature, you saw some of our neighbors enjoying life in "a hidden gem in Queens."

It went by quickly, but NY1 showed it a lot; it was a nice spot!

High gas prices are one thing that everyone is dealing with — even those who don't drive cars are paying higher prices at the food store because so much [if not all] of our food is trucked into food stores. Some enterprising souls have put gas price comparison websites on the internet to help people pick the best buy in their area. But, since a lot of folks work at different locations, checking by zip code may be helpful to many. Try www.gasbuddy. com. AARP's magazine calls it the granddaddy of comparison websites. If this site is helpful to you, please let me know. Also let me know if it's not helpful.

Gas prices are negatively affecting tourism, too, as people stay at home for their vacations. AAA's magazine highlights vacations that are driving distance — one tank of gas away — so people can be close to home, yet enough away to still enjoy a vacation. An interesting solution!

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:


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