2010-05-07 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said

20 Years Ago...


Oceanview Associates President Harvey Schultz is promising to brief Community Board 14 sometime next week about controversial changes requested for the development of the 183-acre Arverne Urban Renewal Area.

Measles is staging a comeback in Rockaway! “Any adult age 33 or younger who has never had the measles should be immunized!” This alert is being circulated in this area by Mark A. Raifman, M.D., director of pediatrics at Peninsula Hospital Center.

According to a spokesman for Friends of Rockaway, Inc. (a local environment group), the City Planning Commission recently received an earful of doubts and complaints about the Oceanview developer’s plans for Arverne and the humungous environmental impacts associated with it. Members of the planning commission responded by stating that they had never heard those comments before.

Federal Aviation Administration’s regional office must stay in Queens! This resolve came last week from Queens Borough President Claire Shulman. “If you look at all the considerations— proximity to the airports, accessibility to mass transit, availability of sites, convenience to employees and cost to the taxpayers—it is clear that the regional office of the Federal Aviation Administration should remain in Queens,” she said.

Kids are taking to “The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks,” according to New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection. And why not? asks Andrew McCarthy and Tina Casey, who speak for DEP. “Why can’t somebody with hotdogs on her shoes teach New York City kids about their water system?”

Rockaway residents are invited to accompany a National Park Service ranger at Gateway National Recreation Area on Sunday for “A springtime walk along the ocean and bayside beaches of Breezy Point tip… to discover the animals living in and around these interesting habitats.”

The internationally renowned fine line and polychrome pottery of Lucy M. Lewis and her daughters, Emma Lewis-Mitchell and Dolores Lewis Garcia of Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, will be on exhibit and sale in the New York area in June.

30 Years Ago...

Word has leaked out that the City of New York intends to hire only 110 lifeguards for the entire Rockaway beachfront this summer. This is unthinkable and dangerous, locals say.


At the urging of Queens Borough President Donald R. Manes, the Board of Estimate has added $2,736,628 to the contract for construction of storm and sanitary sewers in Neponsit.

Residents of Neponsit are worrying about the construction being done from Beach 145 Street to Beach 147 Street. They can’t get their cars into their driveways and the summer parking restrictions are almost upon them. They are looking for relief from the 100 Precinct.

Some fight was finally shown in Albany as the Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto of the death penalty. There is supposed to be a tough time in getting the Assembly to do the same.

40 Years Ago...

The fire last Thursday night on Beach 98 Street was an unadvertised attraction at Rockaway’s Playland. Thanks to prompt work by the firemen, damage was confined to concession stands.

It was a pleasant change to observe a Department of Sanitation sweeper cleaning the pavement of the Freeway Monday afternoon. The improved appearance of the street was noticeable.

Civil Court Judge Frederic E. Hammer, a long-time devotee of the golf course at Jacob Riis Park, welcomed the opportunity the sunny weather gave him to knock a few balls around the pitch and putt course.

Some old Rockaway Beach photos at the Queens Borough Public Library’s main office Jamaica include a picture of the ill-fated steamer General Slocum, and her sister side-wheeler, Grand Republic, tied up to Seaside dock in Jamaica Bay, circa 1880.

50Years Ago...

Good things come at a price. The new Rockaway Beach hospital is a beautiful modern building. When it opens it is estimated that the interest on its indebtedness will amount to $5,000 a month.

Not only in the Rockaways do public projects move slowly. Demolition is just starting in Inwood in preparation for the new highway between Doughty Boulevard and Rockaway Turnpike, where property has been earmarked for condemnation for more than ten years. The Adams lumberyard was leveled last week.

Whatever could have inspired those kids to stage a hatchet building last week? They claimed they had nothing to do, but they displayed originality which indicates talent gone awry.

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