2010-10-29 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

District 27 Superintendent Colman Genn, who is widely remembered as the man who brought down the rogue school board that was blackmailing him to give jobs to their cronies, will retire from service at the end of the year. Genn cited health reasons for his unexpected retirement from the local school scene.

Police officers from the Queens Robbery Squad are spreading out all over the west end of the peninsula in an attempt to cut the recent crime wave. The special unit will patrol from Beach 102 Street to Beach 129 Street, from the ocean to the bay each night, police sources say.

A hold-up man wanted for 15 armed robberies in Far Rockaway was nabbed as a result of a police stakeout at Beach 25 Street and Seagirt Boulevard, police say. Most of the robberies targeted local fast food stores, Carvel, liquor and drug stores throughout the eastern end of the peninsula.

Some Rockaway voters are viewing the challenge of Rockaway resident William Sampol to Congressman Floyd Flake as a “legal sideshow.” Flake is fighting an indictment by the federal government on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion. Walter Hyde, 49, was arrested last week for criminal possession of a controlled substance when he was found to have more than 500 milligrams of cocaine on his person inside an unidentified bar on Beach 116 Street.

The Queens County American Legion will honor Past County Commander Jerry Klein, a member of the Daniel M. O’Connell Post, at a dinner-dance at the Astoria Manor early next month.

A heavy fire at 103 East 6 Road in Broad Channel on Sunday night was extinguished by the volunteer fire department even before the city fire engines appeared on the scene. The FDNY Battalion Chief said that the fire was caused by an errant oil burner in the home’s basement.

Since July of 1990, when the Queens Public Library’s 62nd branch opened in Broad Channel, growing demand for service has strained the library’s already-strained budget. For the third consecutive year, the Queens Library system has had the highest circulation of any public library in the United States.

Years Ago... 30

Ryan’s Raiders, the undercover police officers from the Queens Narcotics Squad, struck again on October 28, swooping down on 1450 Greenpoint Road in Far Rockaway, which police officials called a “drug supermarket.”

Shots were fired at a Daily News delivery truck last Saturday as it drove north on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. Residents of Far Rockaway will dedicate their new community center at Beach 19 Street and Cornaga Avenue as the Police Officer Robert Sorrentino PAL Center. Sorrentino, a popular police officer in the 101 Precinct, died of wounds he suffered while chasing a robbery suspect near St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in Far Rockaway.

Assemblywoman Gerdi Lipschutz has pledged her support to a bill drafted by State Senator Jeremy Weinstein that would allow U.S. Park Police to make arrests on any federal property.

40 Years Ago...

George Wolpert, the director of development for Peninsula General Hospital, is at his wit’s end trying to figure out how to seat the 1,000 people expected for the hospital’s annual dinner on Saturday night.

Rockaway Park businessmen are angered at the plan to build a nursing home at the boardwalk and Beach 116 Street.

Joel Gerstel, president of the Rockaway Park Businessman’s Association, says he now has assurances that the municipal parking field on Beach 116 Street will be completed with new lighting by the early spring.

Residents of the neighborhood are still unhappy about the new Edgemere public housing project and will never lose an opportunity to say so. “Why all of these low-rent developments in Rockaway,” they want to know.

Years Ago... 50

Frank Christie reports that a low-flying plane from Floyd Bennett Field came so low to his house last week that he opened a window to let it fly out.

The 16-story buildings proposed for the Title I project might not be a bad idea, thinks Charlie LaMonica. In his opinion the tall buildings would keep low-flying planes from coming over the peninsula.

Many of those businessmen who have had their property condemned for the new city housing projects are contemplating moving to Nassau County rather than looking for a new site in Rockaway.

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