2010-06-11 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Rockaway escaped the dreaded rip currents during the Memorial Day weekend, but a college student died in Long Beach, just to the west of Rockaway, when a current took him out to sea just before the weekend. Since seven people died on Rockaway and Breezy Point ocean beaches last year, we thought a review of the rules for defeating rip currents might be in order. First of all, the currents form when rough surf piles up on shore, creating reverse currents strong enough to drag even a strong swimmer out to sea. If you are caught in a rip current, let it take you out to sea until it dissipates. Do not fight the current, or you will lose strength and not be able to get back to the beach. Once the current has dissipated, swim parallel to the beach for a short time and then swim back to the beach. Don’t swim where there are no lifeguards, and remember that alcohol and water do not mix.

Asher Taub, who is running for Gregory Meeks’ seat in Congress, emailed to clarify some of the points he made in a recent Wave story. Taub said that the health care bill recently passed in Congress will cost New York State, not New York City, more than $5 billion in 2011. In addition, he says, he wanted to make clear the fact that he wants to change the standard from negligence to recklessness only in medical malpractice suits and not in personal injury cases. As for Medicaid recipients, Taub does not believe that they should be completely barred from suing. They should be limited to suing only for gross malfeasance.

A six-member team of documentary filmmakers is walking across the United States, recording the dreams of those they encounter while allowing their own dream. On April 21, they dipped their toes in the water of the Atlantic Ocean at Beach 116 Street and then headed west. Walking 15 to 20 miles a day, they expect to be dipping their toes in the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach, California, sometime in November.

The Daily News did a story on Far Rockaway Beach Bargains, stating that the foreclosure crunch has hit the community hard, leaving lots of good housing bargains – at least by New York City standards. The story says that the eastern end of the peninsula is connected to the Queens mainland and, of course, it is really connected to Nassau County. All in all, however, the story was a positive one and it lists our beaches, parks and bicycle paths as positive amenities.

We have received lots of complaint calls about moving violations in the area around Beach 102 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. It seems that a police car stationed in that area is giving out lots of tickets to motorists driving west on Rockaway Beach Boulevard who do not, police charge, make an adequate stop at the stop sign at the corner. One woman who says that she came to a full stop and then fought the ticket in traffic court said that there were more than a dozen people who got similar tickets on the same day at the same spot. We understand that people who break the law should be ticketed, but tickets have become a revenue stream in Bloomberg’s New York City, and just too many tickets are being issued. Double-parking tickets have become an issue as well. The City Council recently voted to give an amnesty to double-parkers who are awaiting a legitimate parking spot or who are either picking up or dropping off a passenger. Those tickets have risen to more than 1.3 million last year from the 806,000 that were given out just eight years ago. The mayor will veto the bill, he says, because the city would lose too much money. “We don’t have a gotcha mentality,” the mayor said recently. “We try to enforce the law and get some revenue.”

Congressman Anthony Weiner, one of Israel’s major supporters in the Congress, issued a statement after the Israeli attack on a ship attempting to break a blockade of Gaza. “We know this tragedy was instigated by Turkey,” Weiner said. We know that Israel had not only warned that this boat was in violation of an entirely lawful blockade, but had offered safe harbor to the boat in Ashdod. We also know that a known terrorist group – Hamas – has put its hateful agenda over the well-being of its people. Any loss of life is tragic, but this loss of life was the result of the Turkish instigation and Hamas terror policies. Even if we are the only country on earth that sees the facts here, the United States should stand up for Israel.”

In the May 28 issue of The Wave, we ran a story on the senior citizens at JASA. Unfortunately, we mixed up two names in the photos accompanying the story. The caption should have said Ruth Weber and Arthur Brangman, not Ruth Brangman and Arthur Weber. We apologize for the error and hope it did not inconvenience anybody at the senior center.

The digital age may soon claim another victim – the residential white pages that generations of locals used to look up phone numbers. The white pages could soon stop landing on your doorstep because Verizon, the dominant telephone company in this area has asked regulators for permission to end the annual delivery of customers in New York State. The company says it would save 5,000 tons of paper each year and argues that most of the people use the internet or their smart phones

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I like the last paragraph

I like the last paragraph regarding Verizon, but with a proviso--which is--that a viable digital alternative be provided. Presently, if you look up a phone number on the web, you get inundated with sites asking for money to do the search. No deal. Verizon should have it's own digital directory available via the web or by phone wherein the services of the phone book may be reliably duplicated. Otherwise it's a bust.


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