2009-01-23 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

We've been getting on again, off again small snow showers, which leave some white stuff on the streets and sidewalks. It doesn't seem to be posing much of a transportation problem for motorists, except for a few extra minutes to clean the snow off the car before work. Most people are ok with the way it has been, because few people like tons of snow. Maybe we'll get lucky and escape big snowstorms this winter. Too soon to say; we're still in January—more bone chilling cold and possibly big snows are probably waiting to make themselves felt!

The Broad Channel Pre-K is selling raffle tickets; they are $25 each. The minimum prize is $1300; the more the Pre-K sells, the more the prize is. If anyone is interested, please contact Sabrina Gross 718-634- 4632 or Lisa Sacco 718-634-1861. The raffle ends February 10.

The members of the Book Discussion Group have chosen another nonfiction book for their next selection. The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman is a book about people who hid Jewish people during WW II, saving their lives. Discussion for this book will be held at the library on Saturday, February 28 at 11 a.m.

On Sunday, January 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge there will be a "Late-riser Winter Bird Walk." Check out the bird migrants that have 'gone south' and are here! Snowbirds are in the gardens and waterfowl are on the West Pond. Dress for the weather that day and bring binoculars. Sign up in advance at 718-318- 4340.

On Tuesday, January 27 join St. Virgilius Golden Age on their bus trip to the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Bus leaves from Noel Road and Crossbay Boulevard. at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $35 per person ($25 cash and $5 food comps). On the way there, bingo will be played; a movie will be shown on the way home. Call Dolores at 718-634-9472 or Margaret at 718-945-4967. Make check payable to St. Virgilius Golden Age.

The Broad Channel Pre-K will be hosting a Texas Hold 'em on February 6 at the Shad Creek Association. Sign up starts at 7 p.m. and the game starts at 8. It will be $100 buy-in and a $60 rebuy. Drinks and food included. All proceeds to benefit the Broad Channel Pre-K.

The American Legion Auxiliary will be hosting a Brunch on Sunday, February 8 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Legion Hall on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. On the menu: eggs any style, omelettes, freedom toast, pancakes, home fries and choice of bacon, ham or sausages. "Come on down," said the Auxiliary, "and enjoy the food and company of friends."

At the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, February 8 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., take a look at what's happening on bare branches in the refuge. A close, careful look with a magnifying glass will reveal signs of spring! Dress suitably for the day's weather. Bring magnifiers; sign up in advance at 718-318- 4340.

By now, most everyone knows that the new firehouse may be just a dream, but it's very necessary to the vollies, first responders when the towers went down and for local accidents and fires as well. Dan McIntyre, chief of the BCVFD, wants and needs help from residents. He offered the following: "This funding [for the new firehouse] was obtained by Senator Clinton and Representative Weiner. Senator Schumer is also involved in this now as he has assumed all Clinton's duties until a new senator is picked. All residents can help our cause by calling our elected officials, repeatedly, if you can, and remind these officials that it's their job to help steer this funding through the halls of city government. City Hall is dispensing inaccuracies as to how they will get stuck with cost overruns and how we (the Vollies) are not needed.

"We need our neighbors in BC to get involved in our plight and in the fight with MTA. If all of us don't fight, we will get fare increases and tolls on the Crossbay bridge.

"Eventually, without our neighbors' financial and physical help (members) the BCVFD will go under.

"Pressure from only a few people will not, no matter how committed they are, work. Politicians only listen to numbers. The more people that scream, the more their concerns are addressed. [Putting names on a petition will not help, either.]

"Sitting back and letting someone else fight for you and then complaining that these same people didn't accomplish the task is not the way this 'war' will be won.

"I have been involved in the BCVFD building project for over 15 years. Our matching (20 percent) funding was raised by many means over this time span. The federal appropriation was a blessing and a curse. Battling with the bureaucratic system has been extremely difficult. Our Government doesn't make acquiring dedicated monies easy in the least. Only constant pressure from many can accomplish our task. Your Volunteers need your help. This town has to get involved; the future way of life may depend on it."

As anyone who has had a house fire or an injury that needed the care of hospital staff knows, the vollies are always first on the scene and needed by this geographically isolated island community. A list of how to contact elected officials is in the front of this newspaper. Call or write, send a fax or 'snail mail' letter. A sentence like: "Secure funding for our new firehouse," signed with name and address will let officials know where you stand on the issue.

If you have material that you wish to appear in the column on a Friday, please get the item(s) to me by 9:30 a.m. on the Tuesday before the issue comes out.

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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