2009-10-23 / Columnists

Beachcomber

If you're wondering about all the activity in Belle Harbor last Mon - day, blame it on a new independent movie that was being shot on Beach 130 Street between Rock - away Beach Boulevard and New - port Avenue. The movie, Álmost Per fect" is about a 30-something woman played by Kelly Hu, a career woman who tries to find a balance between her demanding family and her perfect new boy - friend. Also starring in the movie is Roger Rees, who you may re - member from a number of dramatic television series as well as the comedic "Cheers," where he play - ed the millionaire who bought the bar from Sam Mallone. The film shoots took place in Harbor Light and in 124 Beach 130 Street, as well as on portions of Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

If you believe the city's Department of Education and the state's Education Department, New York kids are suddenly doing extremely well on mathematics standardized tests. Those in - creased scores have been used by both the mayor and the state Regents to show how wonderful they are and how much their leadership has meant to education. The problem is, neither the state nor the city can control the federal tests and they show that New York students are doing the same at best and have gone down a few points at worst. This year's fourth grade results from the federally funded National Assessment of Educational Programs found that our scores dropped a full two points from 2007 to this year. Education expert Diane Ravitch knows why. "The fabulous gains reported last spring, we now know, were based on dumbed-down tests and the dubious scoring of those tests in Albany."

Some Rockaway people look at the state plan to put video gambling terminals in an Aqueduct Race - track Racino as a mainland problem, but the facility will impact Rockaway as well, especially in the flow of traffic around the facility, which is bound loosely by the Belt Parkway and Cross Bay Boule vard. Many locals use those roads as outlets from the peninsula to other parts of the city. In addition, the gambling facility will most certainly draw tourists who, during the summer months, will come to Rockaway's beaches when they are not at the casino. That's why it's so troubling that the word from Albany is that the fix is in and that the Reverend Floyd Flake's partnership will get the nod whether it is the best bidder or not. If we are going to have to put up with all the hassle of a highstakes gambling hall in our vicinity, it should be the best deal possible for the residents of the area, not the one that fulfills some political promises.

The general election will be held on Nov ember 3 and we urge all of our readers to come out and vote for the candidates of their choice. This issue provides some of the information you might utilize to make that decision. We have asked each of the City Council candidates to respond to written questions put to them by The Wave. Their answers appear elsewhere in this issue. In addition, the endorsements of The Wave's editorial board can be found on page 4 of this issue. No matter who you plan to vote for, please go out and vote.

In our September 18 issue we ran some photographs of an unidentified man writing a sand memorial on the beach at Beach 118 Street. That man is no longer unidentified. He is Theodore Martin Robin - son. He contacted The Wave and told us that the memorial was for his nephew, Glyde (Cookie) Fraizer, who died in the second tower on September 11, 2001. Fraizer was an employee of the state's Depart - ment of Taxation and Finance and worked on the 86th floor of the building.

If you are having a problem keeping your car registration and inspection stickers stuck to your front windshield, don't worry, you're not alone. Motorists are flooding the Department of Motor Vehicles with complaints that they can't keep their officials stickers in place and are getting tickets from local police for violating the law that they must be affixed to the inside of the window. It seems that as many as two million of the nine million registration stickers issued this year and as many as 2.5 million of the 13.5 million inspection stickers are defective and refuse to adhere to either the windows or the state rules. The state says that it has asked local police departments to cut motorists a break and refrain from giving tickets for errant stickers, but it is questionable whether Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who depends on the ticket money to run the city, will go along with the state.

Rockaway teens need more to do after school, not less. That's why the closing down of the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club by the organization in the face of massive new fees and charges by the New York City Housing Agency (NYCHA) is so troublesome. For years, NYCHA provided a rent-free home for the program at Beach 38 Street, a program that everybody agrees was doing a good job. The club then provided money to run its programs, while the city agencies and politicians kicked in some money as well. Now, however, un - der a tight spending mandate, NYCHA has decided that it has to charge $160,000 a year for rent and end the small amount of funding it supplied for the much-needed programs. We need to get both the teens and the guns they often use indiscriminately off the streets of Far Rockaway. Closing one of the major recreation centers in the area does not help.

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