2008-08-22 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

August is on the way out and the weather, with some exception here and there, has been to the liking of a lot of people.

Even the rains have been tolerable. The moderate temperatures in the low 80s during the day that we have been enjoying are on the rare side for this time of summer.

No one has been heard complaining about the lack of "dog days" so far this month. But, will it feel like something's missing if those high heat and humidity days don't show up as often as they usually do during the rest of the summer?

Christ Presbyterian Church will have Bingo in the church hall on Church Road on Wednesday, August 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 have taken place in August at the library. On Friday, August 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.

Gas prices dropped a bit at the pump due to the tried and true formula of supply and demand.

Because of the ever-rising prices, many Americans changed their driving habits: consolidating trips, carpooling, going in to work earlier to avoid stop and go traffic, and taking mass transit.

A big drop in the amount of gas used sent the prices down. They might climb before Labor Day weekend because a lot of Americans go away for the long weekend.

So, here's that website again: www.gasbuddy.com and another newer attempt at finding the best gas price near your home on the way to work or anywhere you happen to find yourself with a car and its thirsty gas tank: www.gaspricewatch.com for gas price changes made at stations in the last 72 hours.

Gas prices have affected tourism, too. Some hotels are offering gas cards in varying amounts to people who stay in their facilities. If you're traveling somewhere by car and staying in a hotel or motel, it might be

worth asking.

It was a beautiful day last Sunday, with moderate temperatures, sun and blue skies. In the late afternoon, some clouds appeared overhead, but they moved on very quickly. On this lovely day, the North Channel Yacht Club was the scene of the retirement party for St. Virgilius's Father John Maloney.

Approximately 200 people attended the party, filling the back decks and overflowing into the club's bar area and dining room. The NCYC is a beautiful place and a great backdrop for the celebration for a priest who has meant a lot to so many people. With the delicious food that was served, it was a very festive occasion.

NCYC was a perfect setting for the priest's retirement party as he has come full circle with Broad Channel. As many people know, St. Virgilius was the first assignment for Fr. Maloney as a new priest.

Now, it's also his last assignment as his retirement will become official and actual in the very near future. He won't be totally gone from the Channel however; he will fill in from time to time. I once asked Fr. Maloney what he will do when he retires.

His reply was, "Pretty much the same as I'm doing now." There will be a difference though; when people (and that includes priests!) retire, they are able to do everything on their own terms. Enjoy retirement, Father Maloney!

A couple of neighbors asked how our slide presentation/book talk for Broad Channel went at the Seaside Library this past Monday night. It was very well attended. About 24 neighbors were there and we were pleased to see so many people interested in B.C.'s history, some of our B.C. neighbors among them.

The event involved a slide show of a selection of the older images in the book.

And it's great when you have knowledgeable people in the audience (which we did!) to add liveliness and information to the discussion to enhance the whole thing for everybody. Having B.C. neighbors at an event like this is especially helpful because in many parts of the dialogue about this community, it's very encouraging to have heads bob up and down in agreement because they know first hand what we're talking about. A big thank you goes to all neighbors—Rockaway, Broad Channel and elsewhere for coming to the library Monday night — you were a great audience!

Albert Camus, (1913-1960), was a known existentialist, novelist and dramatist. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957. He also said the following: "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." (He died young from an auto accident.)

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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