2010-12-17 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Liz Guarino

This week the snow flurries came, stayed briefly and quickly moved on. We received not even a dusting, unlike other parts of the country which are now shivering under tons of the white stuff. Brrrrrr.

Participate in an annual tradition and citizen science project at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, December 18 from 9 to noon. Count the watering birds with naturalist Don Riepe. Bring binoculars to this NYC Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

St. Virgilius Church Christmas schedule: Christmas Eve - Children’s Pageant and Mass at 4 p.m.; Christmas Day Mass at 10 a.m. St.Camillus Church Christmas schedule: Christmas Eve - Children’s Pageant and Mass at 5:30p.m.; Christmas Day Mass at 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. All are invited and invited to bring a friend.

Santa will again be stopping by the BCVFD for a brief rest stop and some local deliveries in Broad Channel. Please call 718-474-6888 any evening to arrange for a stop at your home on Christmas Eve. Include your address, contact phone number and the number of children Santa will be visiting. Santa has been stopping by the BCVFD for many years now. Please call for arrangements.

A Reminder: The Emergency line for the BCVFD is 718-474-8888; this line is always manned even if the firehouse members are not in quarters.

If you have gotten a new coat this winter, consider donating the old coat to a good cause. THE NEW YORK CARES COAT DRIVE has begun and will end December 31. New York Cares asks that you drop off your gently used, freshly laundered coat at any donation sites. The 100 Precinct and all other precincts will have donation boxes. For additional collection sites or infor-mation on volunteering go to new yorkcares.org or call 212-402-1173.

St. Virgilius Golden Age is taking a bus trip to Mount Airy Casino Pennsylvania. On January 18, 2011 the bus will leave from Noel Road and Cross Bay Boulevard at 8:30 a.m. Bingo will be played on the way there; a movie will be shown on the way home. Cost is $35 per person (make check payable to “St. Virgilius Golden Age”). Comps include $30 slot money and $10 food coupon. RSVP to Dolores Schmitt at 718-634-9472 or Margaret McCarthy at 718-945-4967.

For Teenagers (grade 7 and older): Come to Teen Club to spend time with old friends and to meet new friends. There will be music, food and games. Teen Club will be held on Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in St. Virgilius Meeting Room, 16 Noel Road. Please use rear entrance. For more information, please call Sister Mary Anne at 718-634-5680.

St. Virgilius Golden Age Club (age 50 and over) meets every Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in Christ Presbyterian Church by the Sea Hall (entrance on Church Road). All seniors are welcome.

One of our neighbors sent me an email full of information I’d never heard before. I tried some of it …. and it works! So here it is: 5 Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do. Here are a few things that can be done in times of emergency. Your mobile phone can actually be a lifesaver or an emergency tool for survival. First: The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. Even if you are outside your coverage area, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you. Interestingly, 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

Second: Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy, if you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home or elsewhere. Call someone at home from your cell phone. Hold your cell about a foot from your car door. Ask that person at the other end to press the unlock button on your spare remote, making sure to hold the remote close to the mouthpiece. Your car will unlock. You can even unlock your trunk, too!

Third: Low cell phone battery? Press the keys *3370#. Your cell phone will restart with reserve power, and the instrument will show a 50 percent increase in battery. This reserve gets charged when you charge your cell phone.

Fourth: Disable a STOLEN mobile phone? Key the digits: *#06#. A 15-digit serial number will appear on screen which is unique to your handset. Write it down. Keep it somewhere safe.

If your phone is stolen, call your service provider, give them this code. They will be able to block your handset making it useless even if the thief changes the SIM card. You won’t get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can’t use/sell it either. And Fifth: cell phone companies charge $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls. And most of us don’t carry a directory around. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial 800-FREE-411 or 800-373-3411 without incurring any charge at all.

Don’t forget to be heard on this issue! The National Park Service is looking for public comment in the form of ideas for future use of the parks. There is a series of public hearings held at various locations for this purpose. Anyone who has an idea for park use is invited to share it with Public Affairs. Their telephone is 718-354-4606. Their email address is: GATE_Public_Affairs @nps.gov and their mailing address is: Public Affairs Office; 210 New York Avenue; Staten Island, NY 10305.

If you get new computer equipment for a gift this year, please consider donating the old equipment to a good cause. A computer class needs more equipment so everyone who joins the class can become computer literate. So many things today are online from renewing your driver’s license to registering for college. After the first of the year, I will print complete information on donating. Please send material to be published in the column by Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. of the week before it is to appear. Thank you. Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@aol.com.

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