2008-11-28 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

It is almost December already. As we head toward the holidays and the end of the year, are you asking yourself where the year went? It seemed to fly past at an amazing speed. The seasonal cold has set in, making everyone move a little bit faster, while the scent of a fireplace burning tickles and tantalizes a lot of noses. The trees are bare except for the evergreens, of course. The entire area seems all set for winter— and—snow!

The Broad Channel Crafters and the American Legion Auxiliary Post # 1404 will host the 20th Annual Craft Fair on Friday, December 5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, December 6 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Broad Channel. Ornaments, baked goods, raffles, wreathes, home made items, homemade candy and more will be available. Kitchen will be open. All proceeds go to the Rockaway Graybeards - Wounded Warriors Fund.

The American Legion Post 1404 will hold its Annual Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Ceremony on Sunday, December 7 at 1 p.m. at the 17 Road. Park. After the ceremony there will be coffee and rolls served at the Post. All are welcome!

At the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, December 13 from 1 to 3 p.m., watch the presentation of photographer Johann Schumacher; afterward, trek the West Pond Trail with your camera and the photographer. Sign up in advance at 718-318-4340.

At the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, December 14 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., children age 4 and over, with an adult, will create a snowy scene they can take home with them.

After, there is a short ranger-led walk on the refuge's trails. Sign up in advance at 718-318-4340.

The members of the Book Discussion Group decided to try a nonfiction book for their next selection. A History of Iran by Michael Axworthy, a book that covers a span of over 2500 years, is their choice. Discussion for this book will be held at the library on Saturday, January 17 at 11 a.m.

The BCAC CYO Girls Swim Team is still accepting registration for this year's swim team. Anyone interested should contact Nancy 718-945-1329 or Barbara 718-474-0139.

A note from Rev. Andrea Zarou says, "Many thanks to all who came to our Annual Craft Fair. Wishing one and all a very blessed Thanksgiving and a joyful Christmas."

One of our neighbors sent a link to Snopes at: http://www.snopes.com/politics/ christmas/soldiercards.asp

They list a way to send holiday cards to military personnel when you don't know anyone who is serving. The American Red Cross is sponsoring the "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program for 2008. There are rules to follow to ensure that your card is forwarded and not returned to you. "Our goal is to collect and distribute one million holiday cards to spread holiday cheer and facilitate thanks to these brave individuals and families. Please send cards to this address, following the guidelines listed below: Holiday Mail for Heroes; PO Box 5456; Capitol Heights, MD 20791- 5456. Please follow the guidelines listed below:

"Please follow these guidelines when mailing a card to ensure that your card will quickly reach service members, veterans and their families. Every card received will first be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working in one of 16 sorting stations around the country.

"All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Cards sent after this date will be returned to sender. Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a larger quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope or postage. Sign all cards. Use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member." Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program. Send cards as opposed to long letters which delay a quick review process.

Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships. Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process. All cards received may be used in program publicity efforts, including appearing in broadcast, print or online mediums. Phone cards or gift cards will not be accepted with the holiday cards." Those who want to print out a card can go to http://www.redcross. org/email/saf/ for the Red Cross website.

Last Friday Broad Channel was on the cable television station, NY1 News, with another serious matter under scrutiny. And Rockaway residents were also on the film clip, with a lovely photo of the Cross Bay Bridge and another of the toll booths. It seems the proposed MTA cost-cutting budget might have us paying tolls on the Cross Bay Bridge again. The residents interviewed are not happy over the prospect of paying tolls to go to the "same zip code" as one of them put it. There will be a series of public hearings in January; residents of both Rockaway and Broad Channel will likely be there in force. When the toll was first rebated under Governor Pataki, one of our neighbors predicted that something like this would happen, "We should enjoy the free toll while it lasts," she said, "After Pataki is no longer governor, we'll be paying tolls again." If you are online, the film clip can be located using NY1 News website.

If you have news that belongs in this column, please get the item(s) to me by 9 a.m. Tuesday 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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