2009-07-03 / Columnists

Beachcomber

A word on submitting editorial material to The Wave. The best way to reach us is by email, at editor@rockawave. com. You can also use snail mail or bring the copy in to our offices at 8808 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Beach. Some tips, however. Don't use all capitol letters in your letter or story. Please use initial caps only. Don't abbreviate such things as street and boulevard. Make sure the address is correct. For letters, a full name, address and contact telephone number is necessary. We don't print anonymous letters without a compelling reason. And, please do not embed photos inside a word document. Rather, send them as a jpg attachment to your email. Finally, do not shrink photos when you send them. We need our photos to be at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) and at least three inches by five inches in size. Smaller photos pixilate when you publish them.

We want to add our voices to those who mourn the loss of Jack Kerchman, a Far Rockaway High School icon for more than 30 years. Kerchman came to FRHS straight out of the Army Air Corps in WW II and built football and baseball dynasties at the school, winning a few city championships along the way. Anybody who played for Kerchman has a favorite story about the man. There are some that have become legend - telling a player who just broke his leg to "walk it off," kidnapping students from class to talk them into playing on his football team, hitting ground balls in the gymnasium, hiding on the roof of the "new wing" to watch his players without being seen. We would love to tell some of those stories. If you have a Jack Kerchman story you want to tell, email it to editor@rockawave. com.

A number of parents and teachers have contacted The Wave to complain that our new City Councilman Eric Ulrich made a point of disparaging teachers when he spoke at the graduation ceremonies for PS/MS 225 recently. Ulrich reportedly told the kids that he was told by his teachers that he would never amount to much, certainly no more than a teacher or a clerk at Walmart. He told them that they should strive for more, as he did. He then added that he did do more - he became a politician. If Ulrich thinks that he can make hay in Rockaway by speaking ill of teachers, even in a school that will soon closed, he should think again. Rockaway is chock-a-block with teachers and they all know that teachers are not to blame for the ills of the public schools, even though the mayor and his minions try to push that position.

Now that plans for a "Racino" that would bring hundreds of video slot machines to Aqueduct Racetrack has fallen through again, Belmont Racetrack wants into the action and their seems to be a battle brewing between the two tracks to pick up the pieces in the wake of the fallout from the former failure. There is a chance, however, that both of the tracks would get a piece of the action, but it seems unlikely that two companies would want to jump into the gambling arena with casinos in nearby Atlantic City falling by the wayside and facing bankruptcy.

It seems as if Congressman Anthony Weiner has not learned the hard lesson that we all should have learned from the sub-prime mortgage crisis, that people who can't afford homes and condos should not get mortgages. The chair of the House Financial Services Committee says that he recently got a letter from Weiner and Representative Barney Frank stating that new restrictions on condo mortgages "may be too onerous, and could impede the goal of stabilizing the condominium market." If Weiner means that we should go right back to giving mortgages to families who can't afford to pay them, then he is wrongheaded. We all want more homes and condos to be sold, and we all want people to have a decent place to live, but not at the expense of the economy.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to cut homelessness by two-thirds by the end of his second term, but he has failed miserably. In fact, activists say, the number of people needing shelter each night has dropped only by one percent on the past seven years. Of course, the city says those number are all wet, stating that the number of people living on the street has fallen by 47 percent. Whose numbers do we believe?

It looks as if this was the final year for the Far Rockaway carnival sponsored by City Councilman James Sanders Jr. There were a number of problems at the Seagirt Boulevard venue in past weeks, including at least one gun arrest. Last year, the carnival was plagued by many fights and assaults.

The 101 Precinct Community Council usually skips the summer months for its meetings. This year, however, there will be a council meeting on July 15 at the 101 Precinct house on Mott Avenue. The meeting will address the question of where and when next year's meetings will be held.

The Rockaway Diner and Bakery has reopened after a short period of closure dictated by the city's Board of Heath. We assume that the owners have resolved their permit problem and have cleaned up the areas deemed unhealthy by the city agency.

If you still use your own film camera rather than moving to the new technology that digital brings, you are a little closer to making the changeover whether you want to or not. Kodak has announced that it will retire it's 73- year-old premier film, Kodachrome by the end of this year due to dwindling sales and the move by most labs to stop processing the film. That leaves Fuji as the only firm still mass-producing 35 film.

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