2009-09-11 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Three more barrels of hazardous waste have been found dumped in the Arverne area. This time the barrels were spotted on DeCosta Avenue just east of Beach 63 Street. According to one reliable source, the barrels had been there about a week.

After months of preparation, painting, hanging banners, gathering vendors and entertainers and going over the final plans with members of the Gateway National Recreation Area, RMAC's sixth annual Fall Festival is about to take place.

Thomas and Patricia Cavanagh of Broad Channel, and Ellen and Jim Lynch of Belle Harbor are ready and waiting to greet their newest grandchild, Kevin James Cavanagh, when he comes home from South Nassau Communities Hospital, Oceanside, this weekend.

Two Beach Channel High School teachers - Patricia Tweedy and Richard F. Carr - have won awards from the Fund for New York City Public Education for "innovative ways to teach."

Marine LCP1 William E. Johnson (a lance corporal) is expected home from Okinawa this weekend, after a year in the Marines. His mother, Muriel Johnson of 106-20 Shore Front Parkway (Surfside Park in the Seaside section of Rockaway Beach) says she expects her son this Saturday, September 16; and she thinks that from here he is going to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Loud, angry and acrimonious, were the words used to describe the meeting of Community Board 14, held Monday night, September 11. Members of the board argued with community residents and other board members over the question of bringing a truck body assembly plant that would employ up to 300 people to a piece of Arverne wetlands.

Emergency Medical Specialists Edward Valentine and Joanne Miller, who are known in Rockaway as the crew of Emergency Medical Service (city) Ambulance 41 Boy, went right from completion of a call at North Channel Bridge on Monday, September 11, at 1 p.m., to saving the lives of two-year-old twin boys who were lying in the bottom of a pool in Howard Beach.

30 Years Ago... 

Cross Bay Boulevard was pretty flooded during the hurricane. But Cross Bay Boulevard floods when there is a cloud burst.


Imagine what Rockaway could do with a large auditorium. The concert arranged by Jimmy Sullivan and the Ancient Order of Hibernians was sold out even before the tickets were released to the general public.

More than 125 children participated in the first annual street Olympics competition held on Beach 129 Street, Belle Harbor, and in the St. Francis de Sales School yard and gymnasium, under the sponsorship of the Pioneer Club of the New York Telephone Company and the St. Francis de Sales Parish Council.

Since the only thing that remains to be done to Beach 20 Street is a second coat of asphalt, why can't the street be opened to traffic? Merchants there are still waiting for completion of the revitalization project.

40 Years Ago...


The new fishing reef under construction three miles offshore will be known as the Rockaway Reef. Others are under construction by the Conservation Department off Atlantic Beach and several other locations farther to the east.

Captain Gus Fraennznick of the Jamaica Bay towing company just had the flagship of his fleet equipped with new-style steel guards around the hull to make it better able to handle heavily laden gravel barges. Although school reopened on schedule at PS 183, nothing whatever is being done about the school's playground which was to have been in use this term.

For the first time in three years, classes in public schools began and there were no disputes between teachers and the Board of Education.

50 Years Ago...

Far Rockaway High School's football season opens on home ground Saturday afternoon when the Seahorses will go against Clinton High School at 2 p.m.


Lots of people who should have had Salk vaccine shots for polio just shrugged off the whole idea. There's also a lack of enthusiasm about home shelters against radio-active fallout from a possible bomb attack. Maybe people don't care anymore whether they live or die.

So he gave away two fine watches for prizes at the Rockaway Beach Hospital dinner dance Saturday night. Then Larry Prigozen turned around and won a trip for two to Europe. Not a bad exchange.

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