2010-06-04 / Columnists


The annual Memorial Day parades in both Broad Channel and Rockaway were again well attended by spectators, but the number of those veterans participating in the parade continues to drop each year. This year’s Rockaway parade honored a number of World War II veterans, who rode the parade route in style. The Rockaway parade was bolstered this year by more than a hundred little league youngsters and their families. It was good to see kids in the parade.

Local politicians have been working to find some money for mosquito abatement in Rockaway this summer. Jonathan Gaska, the district manager for Community Board 14, told The Wave that the city’s Department of Health sprayed a larvacide early in the summer last year and that kept the mosquito population at bay for a few weeks. “The last five weeks of the summer were a nightmare,” he said. The best that residents can hope for, however, is the same kind of plan for this year unless City Councilmen Eric Ulrich and James Sanders Jr. can come up with big bucks to expand the plan. The fact that Rockaway is surrounded by water makes it a special mosquito magnet, especially for communities such as Arverne, Edgemere and Bayswater, where many houses sit right on Jamaica Bay.

Congratulation to the girls of the Beach Channel High School/ Channel View School for Research lacrosse team. They once again brought the city title back to Rockaway. We can’t wait until next year when, thanks to the Department of Education, the team will represent another school, The Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability.

For several hours on Wednesday, May 26, with the temperature in the 90s and the surf running high, Rockaway beaches, from Beach 80 Street to Beach 118 Street, were under siege with a few thousand teenagers who apparently cut school to have a few cold ones on the beach, rampaging and getting themselves in trouble in the water. There were a number of arrests and more than a few water rescues despite the fact that the lifeguards were not yet on duty. One local surfer, Carlos Rodriquez, pulled three teens to safety by placing them around his board and “paddling for my life.” If that was any indication of what our summer is going to look like, we all better head for the hills.

Gary Toms, better known to Wave readers as the “G-Man,” recently won a New York State Senate Citation, which was presented to him by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (you remember him). Toms won the award for his work on his Internet news and talk show, “From the G-Man,” which was also the title of the column Toms once wrote for this paper.

Far Rockaway resident Kobie Brown Jr. will perform with some notable gospel professionals at the annual McDonald’s Gospelfest 2010. The event will take place on June 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Democratic State Senator Shirley Huntley, who represents Board Channel in the Senate, has a challenger in the upcoming election. Lynn Nunes, 25, apparently has the support of same-sex marriage organizations in her race against Huntley and they promise to bring both money and muscle to the election.

The Daily News recently did a full spread on the best food in Queens and included two Rockaway eateries in the mix. The best bar food at the beach, the News says, is The Wharf, located on the bay right behind Tribute Park on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 116 Street. “Chomp on a basket of shrimp and fries,” the paper says. “All while watching the sun set over Jamaica Bay. The best beachside taco award went to Rockaway Taco, located on Beach 95 Street right off Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Of the taco stand, the News said, “This taco shack is the perfect place to refuel after working up an appetite from too much sunbathing.” It’s nice to see Rockaway getting notice for something positive for a change.

New Yorkers like Mayor Mike Bloomberg a little less than they once did. His approval rating has fallen to the lowest it has been in five years, down from 62 percent to 57 percent. A recent poll shows that city dwellers reject closing firehouses to save money (88 percent opposed) and laying off city workers (63 percent opposed).

A few weeks ago, a Wave editorial called for non-partisan elections. We are not alone. A new poll shows that 41 percent of city voters like the idea and that 30 percent backed it last time the idea was floated in an election year. Voters who consider themselves independents like the idea most of all, with 61 percent calling for the Charter Revision Commission to place the idea on the November ballot.

Congressman Gregory Meeks has called for major league baseball players to boycott the All-Star Game, which is to be played in Phoenix, Arizona this year. “deplore the discriminatory intent of the recently enacted Arizona Immigration Law. The Sixth District of New York is the most ethnically diverse district in the country, and its residents epitomize the rich cultural values that make America unique,” Meeks said. “urge major league baseball players to boycott the all-star game. A boycott will send the unmistakable signal that people should not be arrested based on race or ethnicity.”

Tim Rohrs, the owner of the Sands Point Medical Building and a physical therapist in his own office, called to say that some people think that the recent arrests for Medicare fraud at Solstice Medical, which rented space in his building, took place at his office, which is not true. We just wanted to clarify the fact that Rohrs has nothing to do with the fraud.

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