2009-03-20 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Elizabeth Guarino

Friday is the first partial day of spring—Saturday is the first full day of the season. Temperature-wise the weather is about the same, but some folks have been in spring mode for weeks. The sound of hammering is a sure sign of spring! Hearing that sound is almost as good as walking past a lumberyard that has the door open and has recently cut some 2 x 4's or other wood for someone. Ah—the smell of sawdust from newly cut wood! There's nothing quite like it. Too bad they can't bottle it. A lot of people might be attracted to the scent.

A two-session Defensive Driving Course will be given on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the school building at 16 Noel Road in Broad Channel, in the lunchroom. By taking this course, you can receive 10 percent off your car insurance for three years or up to four points off your license. No test will be given. Fee is $60. To make a reservation or for further information: call Helen, at 718-945-4648 or Cindy, at 718-634-5449. Refreshments will be served. If you attended the course in March, 2006, your certificate expires in March. Payment in full guarantees a seat—they are unable to hold a seat without payment. The course is sponsored by St. Virgilius Church and all proceeds benefit the St. Virgilius religious education program.

The Broad Channel Pre-K will be hosting an Open House at Christ Presbyterian Church Hall on Wednesday, April 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for anyone who is interested in registering a 3- or 4-year-old son or daughter for the 2009-2010 school year. Your child is more than welcome to come with you to the Open House. Registration will be held on Thursday, April 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Christ Presbyterian Church Hall. There is a $50 cash registration fee that is due at the time of registration. You will also need proof of residence and your child's birth certificate in order to register. Seats are limited. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Karen at 718-634-5693 or momto3boysandagirl@msn.com.

The PS 47 Parents' Association will be holding a Bake Sale on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, 5 outside St. Virgilius on Noel Road before and after the masses. Any baked goods donations will be greatly appreciated. If you would like to donate please contact Jayme at 718-474-1884. "As usual everyone's support is greatly appreciated." They are also looking for any brand new/unused items that anyone would be interested in donating to the Parents' Association for the Annual Auction that will be held on June 5 at the American Legion—Mark Your Calendars. There are chances available to win a 42" Flat Screen TV for a donation of $5 each. If anyone is interested in either donating an item or would like to purchase a chance please feel free to contact Karen Panetta at 718-634-5693 or Karen Trudden at 718-945-9041. "Thank you to all for your continued support," from the Parents' Association.

The BCAC will be hosting the annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 5 at 1 p.m. at the 9th Road Park. Each family is asked to make a $10 donation. There will be cupcakes and juice for every child. A special visit from the Easter Bunny is expected; don't forget your camera!

"Free Individual Income Tax Counseling for Low-Income Older Adults" at the Broad Channel library will take place this tax season. American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has teamed up with the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the Library to offer older adults help in completing their 2008 income tax returns. Counselors trained by the IRS are available to help through April 8 on Wednesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Bring last year's forms, W2 or 1099 and any other pertinent information.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge invites people to "Step into Spring" on Saturday, March 21 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. It's the first full day of spring and a park ranger will lead a walk on the West Pond Trail. Don't forget to bring binoculars. To make reservations (required), call 718-318-4340.

Look for the American woodcock and see "his elaborate courtship display" which is described as a "spring spectacle not to be missed" at dusk in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, March 22 from 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sign up in advance at 718-318-4340 and bring binoculars.

The members of the Book Discussion Group have rescheduled their next discussion until Saturday, March 28 at 11 a.m. Under discussion will be The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman, a non-fiction book about resistance activists Jan and Antonina Zabinski, keepers of a zoo in Warsaw, Poland, who hid Jewish people during WW II.

Do you eat or use products that have labels for education or box tops for education? The labels/box tops are used by elementary schools to get equipment for the schools. The Parents Association of P.S. 47 uses the box tops while the parochial schools on the Rockaway peninsula use the labels.

In general, scams increase with economic difficulties. A lot of folks may notice more spam if they're online. Most of these offer large sums of money and expect no effort from the recipient except bank account numbers so they can clear out their victims' hard earned money. There has also been an increase in telemarketing phone calls offering help with debt consolidation. It would be so good if they could all be told, "Don't call us; we'll call you!"

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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