2008-12-05 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Long Island Power Authority, which supplies electricity to Rockaway as well as to Long Island, will soon raise its rates by 4.8 percent, according to a spokesperson for the authority. The company cites rising fuel costs, purchased power costs and the cost of new environmental regulatory compliance as the reasons for the jump. Despite the drop in fuel prices, LIPA says that its power costs will rise by $187 million this year. The spokesperson says that the increase will add about $7.45 a month to the average homeowner's cost.

The MTA's plan to do away with the rebate program that effectively renders a trip over the Cross Bay Bridge free to Rockaway and Broad Channel residents who use EZ-Pass, has sparked lots of anger in those two communities. One longtime Broad Channel resident told The Wave that she makes at least eight round trips over the bridge each day to drop her daughter off at the Scholars'Academy and then to pick her up, to access the post office and other necessities. She says that it will cost her approximately $12 a day to make those trips. That adds up to more than $60 a week, $240 a month or $2,500 a year. That is not an insignificant sum when you consider all the other economic problems people have today.

As part of a new stage in the major deck and ramp reconstruction of the Cross Bay Bridge, the northbound ramp from Beach Channel Drive West to the bridge will be closed to traffic beginning December 1 and will remain closed through May 2009. The ramp will be fully closed for demolition work and structural concrete repairs, followed by new paving. During this period, customers driving westbound to the bridge on Beach Channel Drive West should make a left onto Beach 84 Street; turn right onto Rockaway Freeway, and a final right turn at Beach 94 Street, which leads to the ramp onto the bridge. Customers heading to the bridge beyond Beach 84 Street will be detoured to make a left turn at Beach 108 Street, followed by a left onto Rockaway Freeway, then another left at Beach 94 Street, leading to the ramp onto the bridge. The ramp onto the bridge from Beach Channel Drive East, which has been closed for construction since September, has now re-opened to motorists.

We usually don't address email chain messages, but this one about a new virus seems to be for real. There is a message going around. The message subject line says something about "A postcard for you from Hallmark Cards." If you open it, the warning says, it will wipe out your hard drive and take control of your computer. Even if the message is from somebody you know, delete it immediately. The city says that it can't afford to hire any new cops because of the stock market fiasco, but it has added 600 new traffic enforcement agents over the past three months. The city figures that those new traffic agents will write $61 million worth of tickets next year at $115 a ticket. The great majority of new agents will be stationed on major avenues in Manhattan, ticketing anybody who "blocks the box." When did traffic enforcement move from being in place as a deterrent to those who would break the traffic laws to a revenue stream for the city? Seems to us that using traffic tickets as a revenue stream leads to quotas for traffic agents, which leads to the public being ticketed even when they don't deserve to be.

Ever since the vote to modify the term limit law and the financial collapse that proved once again that the business model that "greed is good" does not always work for government, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's approval rating has dropped like the proverbial stone. A new Marist Poll shows that his rating has dropped from nearly 70 percent to below 60 percent and still dropping. This is the first time his popularity has been this low since August of 2005. In fact, in October, the poll showed that if the election were held then, Bloomberg would have beaten Congressman Anthony Weiner by 56 to 30 percent. This week, Weiner was about seven points closer.

The Daniel M. O'Connell Post of the American Legion is once again planning to send holiday gift packages to Rockaway servicemen and women serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Family members are asked to contact Mike Honan at 917-685-4974 or Vinnie Calimano at 718-318- 4625 with the APO address for their loved ones no later than December 10.

Two weeks ago, The Wave did a story about a Far Rockaway High School reunion that was held in New Jersey. Lisa Glazer emailed us to say that we left out one name from the captions and that was the name of one of the event's organizers, Judy Binder. Sorry, Judy and hope you all have a good holiday season.

Jim Daimus lives in Dover, Delaware, but his family hailed from Rockaway and owned the carousel near Roaches Beach on Beach 19 Street in Far Rockaway during the 1950s. Daimus is looking for photos or 8 mm film of the carousel and surrounding area and says he will pay to copy any material. You can contact him at jimdotty@msn.com or at PO Box 125, Clayton, Delaware, 11938.

Jewish interests in the local area are calling for a presidential pardon for Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel against United States interests. The press release put out by those interests say that he has already served 24 years and is in poor health. Many veterans groups and other interests in this country, however, want to see Pollard finish his days in federal prison.

Our new artist, Arverne Resident, Elgin "Subwaysurfer" Bolling, is a professional cartoonist, character designer, and Caricature Artist, who has authored two books on extreme caricature drawing, and also has done work for BET, Mc Frank & Williams, Advertising and Sardi's Restaurant, just to name a few. According to Elgin, he's done more Bar/Bat Mitzvah's than the average Rabbi, and his popular blogsite has More than 23,000 viewers.

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