2010-12-10 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Thanks to the 101 Precinct anti-crime unit, the prime suspect in a number of early morning robberies and assaults that have been plaguing the west end is in custody. Detective Donald Moran, who made the arrests, told The Wave that they have the right man, identified as Leonard Jackson, 21, of Hammels Boulevard.

A meeting to address the redistricting of Rockaway held at John Adams High School last week was about what you would expect. The great majority of locals who spoke were in favor of Rockaway remaining one district, but a number of minority residents argued that a second seat for a minority candidate was badly needed to redress past grievances.

School Chancellor Joe Fernandez came to District 27 last week to talk about replacing the disgraced school board and the retiring district Superintendent, Colman Genn. The plan is to form a committee made up of the 35 school parent association presidents. That committee would review applications from district residents to come up with 12 names for the new school board. Fernandez would chose the nine-member school board from those 12 names. That board would then hire a new district superintendent. One of the questions that arose and could not be answered was whether or not members of the suspended school board could apply to be on the new board.

Local merchants are complaining to police that the number of panhandlers working Beach 116 Street has increased greatly. One woman was walking on the beach block of the street with her two young children when she was approached by a panhandler who asked her for a quarter. When she said that she had no change, the man got angry and threatened both her and her children. She and her children escaped by running into a store and remaining there until the police responded to her call.

The Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) will honor several locals at its annual dinner next month. Among those being honored are long-time activist and travel agency owner Jesse Plaxen, Hartman YMHA leader Paul Kantrowitz, City Councilman Walter Ward and Community Board 14 president Sallijane Seif.

Years Ago... 30

Friends, neighbors and members of the Roman Catholic family joined in mourning this week with the family of Sister Maura Clarke, a Belle Harbor woman who was killed by soldiers in Latin America recently.

Many senior citizens have been terrorized and robbed recently in the Dayton Beach Park – Dayton Towers Area. Most of the robberies were of purses and wallets, which police say can be easily stripped and thrown away.

The Ocean Village Tenant’s Association called on its young people to come to a meeting last week in an effort to get some to join the new Tenant Youth Council, which has just been formed.

Fifty years ago this week, plans were finalized for the new Magistrates Court scheduled to be built at Beach 92 Street and Beach Channel Drive. The building will cost $375,000.

40 Years Ago...

A turnaway crowd of more than 300 residents gathered at the old courthouse on Monday night to hear the fate of the Arverne Urban Renewal Area. The area’s manager, Benjamin Bell, told the crowd that plans call for 6,500 units of middle class housing and 1,500 units of affordable housing. According to Bell, Rockaway residents will be given first choice of the new units.

It is reported that quite a few of the enlisted men and officers at the Naval Air Training Detachment at Floyd Bennett Field are Rockaway residents. Some of them transferred to the training detachment for their reserve duty after the closing of Naval Air Station, New York.

President Richard Nixon flew into New York City last week, landing at Floyd Bennett Field. He told greeters that he was “ashamed” that the Naval air station had to be closed down. The field had been active for two weeks when the President’s staff asked for permission to land there.

Years Ago... 50

Walter Blum has been complaining about the standing water in the street in front of his house. He called to say the water is no longer there. Now, he said, it’s ice.

Congressman Manny Celler has kicked up a row with the Transit Authority, claiming that the two bridges that access Rockaway have been paid for many times over and should now be free.

If there was a benefit to the wrath of Hurricane Donna, it is the magnificent beach that was left at Rockaway Point, made up of sand from eastern Long Island, which was deposited there by the storm.

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