2010-10-08 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Military members whose service was involuntarily extended, or whose retirement was suspended between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009, due to stop loss are entitled to retroactive payments of $500 for each month they were extended, according to Department of Defense officials. But the deadline to receive those benefits is rapidly drawing to a close. The deadline to apply for the benefits is October 21, 2010. Eligible members should print, complete and sign Department of Defense Form 2944, Claim for Retroactive Stop Loss Payment. They must then select the appropriate method for submitting their claim form based upon their service requirements. The information can be found on their service’s stop loss web site, www.de fense.gov/home/features/2010/0710 _stoploss/, or call: Army: (877) 736- 5554; Navy: (901) 874-4427; Marine Corps: (877) 242-2830 and Air Force: (800) 525-0102.

The Wave is looking for a few young writers who love sports and would like to write about the New York Aviators for the paper during the hockey season. Students interested in become a “wingman” for The Wave should submit a short essay on their interest in hockey and why they would like to write for this newspaper. Those who are chosen will get a chance to interview New York Aviator players and publish their interviews in the Wave. That means free tickets to the game they cover and access to the locker room. Email essays to editor@rock awave.com. All entries are due no later than October 22.

In the November 10, 1990 edition of The Wave, there was a frontpage story about how the National Park Service was contemplating several plans for the unused former Naval Air Station, New York, located at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. Just this week, nearly 20 years later, a group of local residents was convened to do the exact same thing. Notice how time flies. To add to the déjà vu, many of the plans under study 20 years ago were up for discussion last week.

Despite all of the stories in the daily newspapers detailing the rise of crime, and especially murders, in New York City, major crime continues to fall in the two Rockaway precincts. Last year, by late September, there were two murders in the 100 Precinct and five in the 101 Precinct. This year, by the same date, there was one in the 100 Precinct and five in the 101 Precinct. At the same time, murders have gone up 13.2 percent citywide and 25.9 percent in Queens. Interestingly, robberies are up in both pre-cincts, as they are citywide. Robberies are up 12 percent in the 100 Precinct and 2.4 percent in the 101 Precinct. There are those who believe that the fiscal crisis and the lack of jobs is the prime reason for the rise in robberies.

Those locals who have their medical coverage through New York City agencies will have to wait until July 1, 2011 to put their children aged 23 to 26 on their policy under the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). “The health benefits program will implement this coverage at that time under the new law,” a city spokesperson said. Until then, keep the COBRA open and working.

Nearly half of the guns that crossed state lines and were then used in major crimes in 2009 were sold in just 10 states, according to a report by the Mayors Against Guns. Those 10 states accounted for the nearly 21,000 guns connected to major crimes in other states. Those guns were sold in Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California and Arizona. A federal agency tracked more than 145,000 guns used in crimes in 2009 and found that 43,000 of those weapons were sold in those states.

Drivers paying bridge and tunnel tolls in cash could be socked with a bigger cost than EZ Pass users under a plan the MTA is considering, officials said. Under the plan, which still has to be approved by the MTA board, tolls would rise by 25 to 50 cents on most of the agency’s bridges and tolls, but those using the toll-paying computerized device would pay only a 10 percent raise. In addition, some of the bridges and tunnels may well experiment with “paperless” tolls where cash could not be used.

The New York Aviators hockey team will open its season in November. The pro team, part of the new Federal Hockey League, will play its games once again at Aviator Sports on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, just north of the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Bridge. Last year, the team quickly became the favorite of many local kids, who dragged their parents over the bridge for games. The new league features teams as close as Danbury, Connecticut and as far away as southern Canada. While the roster won’t be set until later this month, some of returning players are fan favorites such as Jesse Felten, Angelo Serse, Chris Holmes, KC Timmons, and John Geofredo.

Moving into the last month of the election season, the hottest local race pits Democratic incumbent Anthony Weiner against Breezy Point resident Bob Turner. Weiner points to Turner’s lack of experience while Turner paints Weiner as a typical tax and spend Democrat. We’ll have to wait and see which of the messages have more traction.

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