2010-10-29 / Columnists


Congressional candidate Bob Turner, who lives in Breezy Point, stunned even his supporters last week at a local debate by saying that those who work on the public payroll are like those on “the dole.” That term comes from England, where welfare and unemployment insurance are called The Dole. His opponent, Congressman Anthony Weiner, jumped all over the statement, saying, “You had me until you referred to firemen, policemen and teachers as being on the dole.” Weiner is right, but that is the current political temperament – that public workers earn too much and that their pensions are a major problem for state and city governments. Turner, like all conservatives, sees making scapegoats out of public employees as the road to getting elected.

“I am not running for president of the United States. I have the best job in the world. It’s a job that hopefully I can do well,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a Rockaway press conference last week. “Some people think so.” As for the draft movement, he said, “Look, there’s not going to be a third-party candidate, I assume, but if there is it’s not going to be me. I am not running. I have what I think is the best job. I have a job that I think I have the talents for, I’ve learned how to do in the last nine years. The public seems happy with the job this administration’s doing — not everybody and not for everything, but generally speaking, I think we’re making progress in this city and I look forward to serving out the cuatro años mas that I asked for.” Bloomberg was in Rockaway for the groundbreaking at a new park on Seagirt Boulevard.

Halloween is coming, and police officials warn once again that hooliganism will not be tolerated. For the past couple of years, the playground at St. Francis de Sales Church on Beach 129 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard has become a battleground for kids with eggs, shaving cream and chalk, but police are determined to stop the public from becoming collateral damage in those battles. Parents of small children are also being warned to watch their kids carefully when crossing streets.

When car thieves prowl the streets of Rockaway, they are not looking only for high-priced sports cars and SUVs. Police says that older vehicles are being targeted – especially older work vans (there was a recent rash of van thefts in Far Rockaway, but the thief was caught recently), and sedans. “Those are easier to steal,” said Assistant Chief James Secreto, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South. “They are heavier and pay off when they are taken to scrap yards.” Secreto told reporters that stolen car reports are up 78 percent this year and that the precincts under his command, including the two Rockaway precincts, have developed special programs to address the problem.

The results are in and the most popular name for baby boys born last year is Jayden. The most popular girl’s name? The winner is Isabella. Daniel and Sophia came in second and then Ethan and Mia.

It never ceases to amaze us how little many of our political candidates actually know about government. Last week, Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell of Delaware questioned where in the U.S. Constitution there was anything about the separation of church and state. When she was told that it was in the First Amendment, she was incredulous. “You’re telling me that it’s in the First Amendment?” she asked. The audience, made up mostly of law school students actually gasped. She argued that teaching Creationism in the schools was not a violation of the Constitution because that document said nothing about the wall between church and state.

Anybody who regularly attends New York Yankee games in the Bronx knew Freddy Shuman, perhaps not by name, but by his signature frying pan and spoon that he banged constantly to fan the fires. Most people knew him as “Freddy The Fan” or Freddy Sez,” which was painted on his shamrock bedecked frying pan. He died last week, and he will be sorely missed.

We were looking through The Wave archives last week and found a 40- year-old item about PS 42 in Rockaway Beach (a school that no longer exists). Seems that two brothers were elected to lead the school government. One of them was Jay Walder, who today leads something larger – the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Famed radio disc jockey Jerry Marshall who spent more than 30 years on the airwaves in the heyday of Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, died two weeks ago. Marshall was born Jerome Saul Jaffe in Far Rockaway on April 15, 1919.

In the wake of an announcement that Social Security recipients would not get a cost of living increase again next year, Congressman Anthony Weiner has called for an emergency five percent raise for those who live in highcost states such as New York.

How the mighty have fallen. Last year at this time, Mayor Bloomberg was flying high and a Marist poll thought he was doing just fine for our public schools. No longer. Recently, a new Marist poll found that only 38 percent think he is doing the right thing for the schools, while 49 percent think he is not.

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Wow Beachcomber it never

Wow Beachcomber it never ceases to amaze us how little many of our columnist actually know about government. The first amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Nowhere in this statement addresses the separation of Church and state. The separation of Church and state was in a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote not in the constitution. I may be wrong but the way I read it the first amendment is to insure that the government does not start a church that will rule over the country like the church of England did.

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