2010-05-14 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The daily multiple lifts at the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge have come to an end, according to the captain of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ship that has been working to rejuvenate Jamaica Bay. The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, however, says that occasional lifts of the center span on the bridge may still be necessary for maintenance and to accommodate sailboats and tugs passing under the bridge.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 15 and the official street renaming ceremony for Rockaway icon Beverly Baxter, which will be held on Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard at 10 a.m. The stretch of Rockaway Beach Boulevard from Beach 116 Street to Beach 108 Street will be named in honor of Baxter.

World War II veterans who wish to be profiled by The Wave in connection with the 65th anniversary of the end of the war and who want to be honored by the American Legion as grand marshal of the Memorial Day Parade this year are asked to call Mike Honan at 917- 685-4974. A number of WW II vets have already registered and Memorial Day is almost upon us.

Stella Maris High School, which is scheduled to be closed in June, has reportedly been rented to Senator Malcolm Smith’s public charter school, the Peninsula Preparatory Academy (PPA). While no official statement has been forthcoming from the school’s board of directors, it is widely-held that the deal has been made for the charter to take over at least a portion of the former girls’ parochial high school.

There is a lot of talk in Broad Channel about formally protesting the Department of Transportation’s plan to cut one lane in each direction between the town line and the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge on Cross Bay Boulevard in order to make the road safer. Many locals argue that the plan will make the road no safer but will tie up summer traffic southbound to Rockaway and further isolate the island community.

What’s next for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whose minions have already banned cigarettes and trans-fat and is currently moving against salty foods? Baby-back ribs. “They’re going to kill you,” the mayor warned on his radio show recently. “We all do things that are not good for us.” Bloomberg said that a full rack of ribs contains 2,000 calories and 2,600 milligrams of sodium.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has lots of interesting, fun events lined up for the coming beach season. A list of those events can be found on our It’s What’s Happening pages in each issue. By the way, Parks now has a mascot – Pearl the Squirrel. If you attend any of the Parks sponsored events you find in the paper, you are sure to run into Pearl, who was chosen by a group of Bronx students in a Parks’ afterschool program.

One of Rockaway’s premier events will be held at Riis Park on the weekend of June 12 and 13, the annual Relay For Life. For those of you who are not familiar with the event, teams of participants walk laps to raise money for cancer awareness and for a cure. The overnight walk is led off by a “Survivor’s Lap” made up of those who have beaten cancer as well as their caregivers.

Experts say that one in eight Americans will cancel their cable service outright or cut back on the services they receive this year. The cuts will be made, a new survey shows, because the service is getting too expensive. Instead, the study shows, as many as 10 million homes will use their computers or go back to the old, free rabbit ear antennas. The average monthly cable bill is now $71 (it’s higher in big cities such as New York) and is going up about five dollars a year, the study shows.

The Department of City Planning is looking for citizen input to its new Vision 2020 Plan, which will detail programs for the city’s waterfront acres, including those in Rockaway. Those interested should access the city’s website, www.nyc.gov/waterfront, to provide input and to find out about local meetings. The next Queens workshop will be held at York College, 160-02 Liberty Avenue in Jamaica at 6 p.m. on June 2.

The Wave wants to welcome NYPD Captain Michael J. Lepetri to Rockaway. Just last week, Lepetri took command of the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway when its former commander, Deputy Inspector Brian McMahon, was transferred to the Manhattan Narcotics Bureau. We hope the new CO has a happy and productive tour at the 101.

Despite the recent bombing attempt in Times Square, President Obama has proposed slashing tens of millions of dollars in security grants for the city. In the past, the administration has cut grants for protecting the subway and hiring more cops. Now, he wants to cut the entire $60 million program called “Securing Our Cities,” which was to create a ring of radiation detectors around the city to monitor nuclear material coming into the city by truck.

The plans to put the first Walmart store in New York City in a Brooklyn shopping center next to the present Gateway Mall has stirred controversy even before the giant retailer has filed for permits to build the facility. City Councilman Charles Barron has joined union members and retail sales associations in calling for the retailer to go elsewhere, and they will most likely win the battle, as opponents of the store have in the past.

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