2008-10-10 / Columnists


Rockaway has become a favorite site for shooting television commercials. A few weeks ago, Dunkin' Donuts shot a number of commercials on Beach 129 Street. Last week, a buffet chain called the "Golden Corral" restaurants shot a commercial at three locations - at the Belle Harbor Steak House on Beach 116 Street, Snug Harbor on Beach 108 Street and Harbor Light on Newport Avenue and Beach 130 Street. We wonder what allure Rockaway brings to the commercials, except for some beachfront shots, which don't seem to be on the schedule.

Now that JP Morgan-Chase has bought out the Washington Mutual Bank in the latest of commercial meltdowns, we wonder what that means for Beach 116 Street. As you already probably know, both banks have a branch on the shopping street, only a couple of doors from each other. The present WaMu chain is in the building that once housed North Fork Bank, which moved to a new location and became Capitol One Bank. In addition, there is a Citibank right around the corner in the Waldbaum's shopping center. You have to buy a scorecard to know all the players. Officials at Chase tell us that no decision has yet been made, but that it is clear that some branches of WaMu will be closed down.

Want to tell the MTA what you think about its subway lines? Officials of the agency were handing out rider report cards at Rockaway subway stops this week, asking riders to rate the A Line in a number of categories, including wait times, delays, security and service. The cards are then to be dropped into a mailbox for return to the Maryland PR company that will tally the results.

Most of us carry mobile phones these days, and those phones have lots of names and telephone numbers stored in memory. Emergency service personnel have sometimes used the phones to contact next of kin or family doctors. It's hard, however, to separate the wheat from the chaff, so a new recommendation is that everybody program in an emergency number, designating it by using three letters - ICE - to show that the number is the one to call in case of emergency. The idea was dreamed up by a paramedic who found a phone, but did not know what number to call. It's a good idea, and one that everybody who carries a cell phone should use.

The city's Department of Design and Construction is planning to begin a major construction project in Rockaway Beach. The infrastructure improvement will include new sewers, roadways, sidewalks, and curbs in the following areas: Beach 91, Beach 92 and Beach 94 Streets, from Holland Avenue to Beach Channel Drive; Beach 88, Beach 89 and Beach 90 Streets, from Rockaway Beach Boulevard to Beach Channel Drive; Beach Channel Drive from Cross Bay Parkway to Beach 88 Street; De Sota Road, from Cross Bay Parkway to Beach 88 Street; Gull Court, from Beach 89 Street to Beach 88 Street; Rockaway Beach Boulevard, from Beach 87 Street to Beach 94 Street; and Holland Avenue from Beach 90 Street to Beach 94 Street. DDC engineers are asking permission to check structures in that area to insure that they can take the pounding that the reconstruction will bring to the area.

The United States Postal Service put out an amazing statistic last week. With the advent of email and texting, and the growth of delivery services such as UPS and FedEx, the post office is becoming more and more irrelevant. Statistics show that more than onehalf of all the mail handled by the post office is direct mail advertising. More than half! Only a quarter of the mail delivered by letter carriers is first class mail. That's why the post office is fighting a move to allow people to opt out of getting what most consider "junk mail." "Efforts to convince people not to receive mail is really going to hurt," a post office spokesperson said.

Congressman Anthony Weiner plans to run for mayor whether or not the City Council approves extending term limits to 12 years from eight. "Anthony is running for mayor. He wants to offer a vision of how to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it," a Weiner spokesperson said in response to a question relating to whether he would run if Bloomberg was in the race. Others, however, won't be quite so excited about battling Bloomberg and his billions. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says that she is reserving judgment, and others who previously said they were interested in the job are pulling back.

A recent study shows that polling people by telephone may be skewing the poll results because it leaves out those who have no home telephones, preferring instead to use only a cell phone. And, since most of those who rely solely on cell phones are a younger demographic than those who use home "land-line" telephones, that means that fewer younger people are polled when that polling is done on land-line phones.

Seven years ago, the State Legislature, with the help of the Democratic majority in the Assembly, helped to kill the commuter tax, and New York City has been behind the eight-ball ever since. The tax, which impacts anybody who works in New York City, regardless of where she or he lives, was thought by many to be equitable based on the fact that those who worked here also used vital services such as fire, police, EMT, etc. Now, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says that the tax was not such a bad idea in the first place and that it should be reinstated.

Waldbaum's corporate office has responded to a story that The Wave ran two months ago, in which it showed a beer bong being sold in the local supermarket. The beer bong is used by young adults in abusing alcoholic beverages through binge drinking, experts say. "The funnels that you refer to were part of a vendor promotional campaign and were not sold to us directly. However, once we learned of the funnels, they were immediately removed from the shelves and the store manager was instructed to send all the remaining funnels back to the vendor," said Anke Kullenberg, VP of merchandising.

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