2009-07-31 / Columnists

Beachcomber

We were looking at the 1966 bound volume of The Wave last week and came across a story about Peter Sammon being named as president of the Neponsit Homeowners Association. Here is it, 43 years later, and Sammon still serves his community. Talk about longevity and dedication.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is suing 35 law firms over the way they collect debts from state residents. Cuomo says that the firms illegally obtained judgments against 100,000 people who either had already paid the debts or never owed them in the first place. In many cases, they did not even know they were being sued, Cuomo says. He had brought fraud charges against one Long Island firm, American Legal Process, who, he said, failed to serve papers on thousands of city residents, causing them to summarily lose their court suits. He intends to get all of the tainted suits thrown out and reversed. In addition, Cuomo says, many firms are illegally seizing bank accounts that contain money from social security checks, something that violates federal law.

The College of New Rochelle has announced that it will soon close its extension campus in Far Rockaway, a move that has many locals angry. The extension campus has been open since 2004, but recently it has seen its enrollment drop precipitously, officials say. It has been the only college venue on the peninsula and those who have been attending the school, located at St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church in Far Rockaway, say they have no place else to go.

One local with a small pond in her backyard told us recently that she has a raccoon that comes regularly to the pond to wash off its food. She thinks it is cute, but city officials have recently warned that many raccoons showing up on city streets are rabid and should be avoided at all costs.

The auxiliary of the Peninsula Hospital Center is planning to publish a local cookbook entitled, "Rockin' Around the Kitchen." The book will highlight cuisine of the many ethnic groups who live in Rockaway. Auxiliary coordinators are asking locals for their favorite family recipes for the cookbook. All proceeds from the book will go to the hospital. Send recipes to PHC in care of Public Affairs— Auxiliary, 51-15 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Beach, New York, 11692.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said recently that it was "ridiculous" to think that the Independence and Republican parties gave him their ballot lines simply because he gave each of the organizations $250 thousand. "You're telling me that you believe that everyone who gives money {to the political parties] expects their support? Don't be ridiculous," the mayor said with a laugh. Actually, we do believe that Bloomberg bought their support and that his billions will probably buy the election for him.

Borough President Helen Marshall allocated more than $9 million in discretionary funds in Queens this year, but not one penny to Rockaway. You'd think she could have at least kicked in a few bucks for our new YMCA.

The A Train got a pretty good evaluation from the Straphangers Campaign this year, even though locals continue to complain about the service. The report says that the A arrives with near-average regularity and that you're more likely to get a seat on the A than on most other lines. In addition, the report says, the A is just about as clean as the average of other lines. There are two negatives. Cars on the A break down much more often than cars on other lines and it is way below average when it comes to in-car announcements. We guess that three out of five isn't bad.

The New York Times recently did a study of jobs lost and gained during the current recession. There are few surprises, but the list is interesting nevertheless. The most jobs were lost in the motor vehicle and parts industry. The second hardest hit categories were in temporary jobs and employment services. Furniture and related products came in next. The largest growth during the same period was in the home health care industry. Next came oil and gas extraction and then federal jobs.

Central Park held a party a few weeks ago, hosting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for a free concert. Those who attended brought their blankets and lawn chairs, their picnic baskets and their wine. What, alcohol allowed in a New York City Park. The rules say that drinking wine or beer in any city park is a violation, as much so as having a beer on Rockaway's beaches, but nobody at Central Park got a summons or was arrested, because they were the mayor's crowd— Manhattanites with class, not outer borough slugs with beer bottles. No PEP thugs bothering the Mayor's friends. Last time we questioned why wine was allowed at other parks in contravention of the rules, but not in Rockaway, we were told that it was much more dangerous to drink in Rockaway.

Mark your calendars for National Night Out Against Crime on August 4. There will be ceremonies held by both the 100 and 101 Precincts on that evening. The 101 Precinct will be hosting NNOAC at O'Donohue Park at Beach 17 Street and Seagirt Boulevard. The 100 Precinct festivities will be back at Beach 116 Street and the beachfront this year. A fireworks display will cap the 100 Precinct festivities.

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