2010-05-21 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

Cool, stormy weather here and there helps us to appreciate the nice days that much more!

Young children (ages 4 to 8) accompanied by an adult will be able to take a close look at plant parts from “roots to shoots” in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, May 23 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. They will also have the opportunity to plant wildflowers in the garden of the visitor center. Advance registration is a must. Call 718-318- 4340.

In Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Friday, May 28 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., it will be high tide and time for “Horseshoe Crabs and the Flower Moon.” On this ranger-led walk down the West Pond Trail, you’ll see the activity of the horseshoe crabs and the rise of the full Flower Moon. Bring binoculars. Sign up in advance at 718- 318-4340.

A Jamaica Bay Sunset Cruise will take place on Saturday, May 29 from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be a 3-hour narrated tour of the backwater marshes of Jamaica Bay. Learn about the history and ecology of the bay; see nesting peregrine falcons, osprey, herons, egrets, ibis, shorebirds and waterfowl. The cost of $45 includes narrated tour and onboard snacks. For information or reservations call 718-318-9344.

A few words from Jack Allen, president of the BCAC: “With Memorial Day a month away, it’s not too early to start thinking about the summer. And here in Broad Channel, that means one thing....Mardi Gras! This year it’s the BCAC’s turn to host a summer’s worth of events.

Rumors are that Movie Night, 3rd Annual Broad Channel Irish Festival, Family Day, Kids ‘Puttin’ on the Hits,’ and a Family Camp Out are all on the docket.”

Broad Channel Athletic Club’s Hall of Fame Dinner will be held Saturday, May 29 at the North Channel Yacht Club in Broad Channel. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. A roast beef dinner will be served. Please get your tickets early, as the inductees are sure to draw a crowd and space is limited. For ticket information, contact Jack Allen at 646-267-5423 or Mike Kelly at 917- 628-0413. “Please join us in a night of great memories on and off the field!”

The NYC Audubon Horseshoe Crab Hike is set for Sunday, May 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at the North Channel Bridge. Participants will meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and carpool to the bridge and look for horseshoe crabs that are mating and shorebirds with naturalist Don Riepe. Bring binoculars and register in advance at 718-318-4340.

Reverend James T. Devine, who was ordained on May 28, 1960, is known to many Channel people who may not realize that his Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination is almost upon us. The Celebration will be held on June 13. Mass will be held at St. Rose of Lima Church at 11 a.m. for those wishing to attend. A reception will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Rockaway Knights of Columbus at 333 Beach 90 Street. Cocktail hour, buffet dinner, open bar, live music are included at $35 per person. Tickets can be bought from St. Rose of Lima Rectory 718- 634-7394 and the Knights of Columbus at 718-634-3699. Checks should be made payable to Knights of Columbus Rockaway Council.

People who bought new computers and monitors and are saving the old for a recycling event may want to donate the old stuff to an area nonprofit to which Broad Channel residents belong. Donate old computer equipment [whether working or not] to Rockaway Artists Alliance – an art organization that is looking to set up a computer lab to teach basic computer skills and basic digital photography. To arrange to donate your computers, monitors and other computer equipment call David at 917-881-8110, evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. [Please do not bring equipment to the Beach 116 Street office. David will make arrangements for pickup.]

Evacuations are kind of scary, especially when they happen at night! A couple of weeks ago, residents in two adjacent houses had to evacuate when one family smelled lots of propane and heard a loud hissing sound made by the escaping gas. It seems one of the six propane tanks between the houses had rusted through and was leaking at a good rate.

So the firefighters came and were pounding on doors to rouse the occupants from their homes. I was watching a really good television show when my door was pounded at 10 p.m. one Wednesday night. I wasn’t going to answer the door that time of night though. A few minutes later, the pounding started again. I looked out the window and saw emergency lights outside. “Uh oh,” I thought, “this doesn’t look good.” Raising the window, I yelled out. “You have to get out,” hollered a firefighter. “There’s a gas leak.” Grabbing my purse, I went out, leaving the front door wide open — I was glad though — when there’s an emergency, firefighters kick house doors in to check the interiors to warn anyone to evacuate who may still be inside — good thing I saw those lights! I stood on the sidewalk, my knees knocking. I was cold and nervous. And where was I going that time of night? “Liz, what happened?” my neighbor asked. I told her the story. “Would you like to come home with me?” Would I ever! She took hold of my arm and gently led me to her house. Well, the block was closed off. I was told the HazMat people came. Using equipment attached to the leaking tank, they burned off the propane – a 3-foot-high flame burning from its equipment. At midnight the drama ended, and I left my neighbors and went home again. “Thank you neighbors, so very much!”

Please send material to be published in the column by Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. of the week before it is to appear. Thank you.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@aol.com

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