2010-01-22 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The Wave was honored in the Congressional Record on November 17. Congressman Anthony Weiner entered remarks into the record congratulating this paper for being named the Best Community Newspaper in New York City by the Village Voice. “The Wave has been serving the many communities in Rockaway for 116 years,” he said. “Each Friday, residents read this venerable publication, not only to stay informed about the peninsula, but also to make sure their voices are heard and not forgotten by City Hall, Albany and our nation’s capitol.”

 

An ad hoc group is attempting to keep Stella Maris High School open by turning the school into the “Stella Maris Leadership Academy,” a new school that would take the place of the old, which the Sisters of St. Joseph is closing at the end of this school year. The group wants to determine if the school should remain all-girls or should the new school be co-ed. They say they want to find out what is best for the Rockaway community, and they are seeking the help of all local residents. The group has set up an email voting site for all those who are interested. Email your vote to shouldstellagocoed@ gmail.com. The email will remain active until January 31, and those who vote are asked to leave their name, address and a phone number.

After reading “Historical View” a few weeks ago, local resident Ellen Schneider decided to call The Wave to tell us that the column was incorrect when it said that the Neponsit Monument was taken down because it became an eyesore. She had a far more interesting tale to tell. It seems that in the late 1970’s a woman driver smacked into the monument, which was at Beach 141 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The woman was killed in the crash and her husband was so angry that he took a sledgehammer to the monument, destroying it completely. It was never rebuilt, Schneider said.

The Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Cultural Committee will host a fundraiser this Saturday night, January 23 at St. Camillus’ Springman Hall at 6 p.m. The Hearts and Shamrock event is the annual kickoff event for this year’s parade. The Celtic Justice Band will provide the entertainment and there will be a Corned Beef dinner.

Local school advocates are urging all those interested in keeping Beach Channel High School open as the peninsula’s only comprehensive high school to go to the Department of Education’s meeting at Brooklyn Technical High School on Tuesday, January 26 to voice their opposition to the plan. The city’s Educational Priorities Panel will vote that night on the closing of 20 schools in the city. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

In the wake of the deadly earthquake in Haiti, seismologists are warning that a magnitude 5 quake can one day be expected in the New York City area. We have already had one such quake. On August 10, 1884 (the second year The Wave published a Rockaway paper), at 7:07 p.m. a magnitude 5.2 quake had its epicenter in New York Harbor, just south of Rockaway. The quake toppled chimneys and rung church bells all over the peninsula. The quake, reports say, could be felt from Virginia to Maine.

Even Though the New York Aviators won the NEPHL title by beating the Rhode Island Storm at an away playoff game last weekend (with some Rockaway people in attendance), the team will continue to play at Aviator Sports in Brooklyn for some time, with games against the Connecticut C-Men and the Long Island Stingrays. In addition, the team will play against the NYPD hockey team on February 12 and the FDNY hockey team on February 20. The team is looking for a new league to join for next season, officials say, with one possibility being the new Federal Hockey League forming in New England states.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association recently held a “Second Amendment Advocacy Day” in Albany; about 1,500 gun advocates lobbied the state legislators to induce them to reform the state’s gun laws so that the law would allow any resident to openly carry a gun “for protection.” They were particularly interested in forcing New York City to drop its gun laws and move into line with other, friendlier gun-toting venues.

The New York City Housing Authority, which runs several of the large public housing complexes on the Peninsula, has a new rule. The authority recently reduced the weight limits for dogs in NYCHA apartments to 25 pounds from 40 pounds. So far, officials say, 171 dogs, most pit bulls, have been sent to shelters because they are no longer welcome in city housing. In addition, the new rules, which went into effect on January 1, specifically outlaw pit bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans, whether pure bred or mixed.

Residents have called to say that the cooperative on Beach Channel Drive at Beach 139 Street has a new management team. The buildings will be managed by the M.C. O’Brien Company of Brooklyn, with Shelly Lava as the new on-site manager.

The city is busy cutting services, postponing police and fire classes and cutting school aides, but it has plenty of money to plant trees at $1,000 a pop and to spend $1.2 million to get residents to compost their garbage. The Compost Project hosts about 200 events each year, teaching city residents how to turn the garbage into compost. Some question the importance of the expenditure in light of all the cutbacks that are being made in other, seemingly more important areas.

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