2009-12-11 / Columnists


Store owners on Beach 116 Street are cheering the fact that the city has reopened the municipal parking lot on the vital shopping street. The lot was closed for renovation on October 5 and was scheduled to be shuttered for only a few weeks. The DOT said that sewer problems forced a postponement of the work. A number of store owners told The Wave that customers said they could not shop on the street, particularly on the weekend, be - cause there was no place to park. The DOT says that it will leave the lot open and free until it can replace the muni-meters. While there is no timetable for the re - place ment, those on the street hope that it will remain free until after the holiday season.

Two of those who voted in the State Senate against same-sex marriage were Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., who was once our City Councilman and Senator Shirley Huntley, who presently represents Broad Channel as well as part of Brooklyn. They were just two of the eight Democrats who voted against the bill.

Reacting to President Barak Obama's speech on sending more troops to Afghanistan, City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who represents Far Rockaway, said, "Pres - ident Obama is taking the least bad approach on the war in Af - ghan istan." We think we understand what he was saying. The city's Department of Health has released a list of the most popular baby names for 2008, and they are somewhat surprising. The most popular girl's names are Sophia, Isabella and Emily. The most popular boy's names are Jayden, Daniel and Michael. Sophia and Ryan were the most popular names among Asians and Pacific Islanders. Go figure!

Local resident and activist Rose - mary Gurry wrote to say that she saw the looking backward 50 years ago item about the surprising early snowstorm and how it provided a foretaste of things to come. She says that she remembers that day well, because that was the day her son, Joe, was born.

Under a court order forced by a New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, the NYPD has to submit a list of shooting incidents involving police officers each year. The 2008 statistics are interesting. Cops were involved in 105 shooting incidents in 2008, the lowest number since the department began keeping records in the 1960s. Those 105 incidents produced 364 shots. Police accuracy is not that great, except when shooting at dogs. Police hit the target 57 percent of the time when firing at suspects and 90 percent of the time when shooting at the canines. The cop's accuracy went up to 67 percent when the police were firing at people who were firing back at them. Luckily, the accuracy of perpetrators shooting at cops is much lower, at 13 percent. Of the 142 shots fired at dogs, 39 dogs were involved and 85 percent of those were pit bulls.

That controversy over the "racy" sign on Rockaway Boulevard ad - ver tising a gentlemen's strip club is getting heat once again. The sign on the roof of the Platinum Club features a buxom blonde with just enough leather clothing to cover the parts that need covering. It has incensed the sensibilities of many Rockaway residents who travel the main road out of the Far Rockaway community, particularly in the Orthodox Jew - ish Community, who see it as a sin. City Councilman James Sanders Jr. tried to get the sign removed, but was not able to get the job done. Now, he and others are asking the State Liquor Control Board to not renew the club's liquor permit. The state says that it is looking into the controversy.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg pursued a nationwide search for a new commissioner of the city Department of En - vironmental Protection, saying that he wanted the best, most-experienced person for the job. Then he went out and named a man who worked in his office and has absolutely no experience in running an environmental or engineering department. Loyalty is apparently Job One where the mayor is concerned. By the way, just for your information, Bloomberg spent $175 per vote in the election last month. That's a world record that experts believe will stand the test of time - or, at least until the billionaire runs again.

If you're looking for something to take the kids to during this holiday season, you might consider "Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke," who perform their own music for kids and who put on a great show. They will be performing at the West End Temple, 147-02 Newport Avenue on Sunday, December 13, at 2 p.m. Also, mark your calendar for the annual Breakfast with Santa, which will be held December 19 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Beach 90 Street. That event is host ed by the 100 Precinct Com - munity Council, and it never ceases to please young participants.

Two of the schools shuttered by the Department of Education last week are sister schools to Rockaway institutions. The KAPPA II school in Brooklyn is closing, but no word on KAPPA VI, which runs out of Far Rockaway High School. KAPPA, by the way, stands for Knowledge As Power Preparatory Academy. In addition, Frederick Doug - lass Academy III in the Bronx is closing, but not its sister school at Far Rockaway High school. When those schools were opened, they were heavily touted as the hope of education in the future. Now, the city is quietly closing them down as failures.

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