2011-01-07 / Columnists

Beachcomber

City Councilman James Sanders Jr. put his foot in his mouth again last month by likening New York City’s treatment of minority business people to the treatment of blacks in Selma, Alabama during the period before the Civil War. “It’s a sad thing when minority businesses have a better chance to make it in Selma, Alabama, with its sordid racist history than in liberal New York City.” Sanders was reacting to a report that Local Law 129, which mandates that a percentage of city business be given to minorities and women, is not being followed. Sanders was one of those who pushed the bill in 2005. Speaking of Sanders, he was not among those City Council members who spoke up against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his snow removal fiasco. Could it be that he remembers how much money the mayor raised for him with a private get-together at the mayor’s townhouse prior to the last election? Or, was that fundraiser a partial payoff for Sander’s support for allowing the mayor (and himself) a third term.

In the wake of its highly-successful reunion in Queens late last year, the Far Rockaway High School class of 1960 will host a Florida gathering, meeting for lunch on Thursday, February 3 at 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at Highland Beach in Boca Raton. Those interested in participating should email arlinelit@aol.com for further information.

The New York Press Association is sponsoring a paid summer internship program. Applications have been sent to all the high schools and colleges in New York State and students have until March 1 to apply. Those Rockaway students who wish to participate should send their applications to The Wave at 8808 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Beach, New York 11693. The Wave will then forward its candidate of choice to the NYPA. Applications for the internship can be downloaded from www.nypapers.com.

Rockaway students are among those involved with trying to get York College in Jamaica to accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards accepted in the school cafeteria. The group pushing the feds to allow cafeteria use of the card say that the poor economy and the pending increase of cafeteria prices have led them to the belief that using the EBT cards would allow many Rockaway people to stay in school and to eat in a more health manner.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has reappointed Acting Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenthal to another ten year term on the bench. Blumenthal is the justice who freed Rockaway resident and convicted murderer Kareem Bellamy and then ordered a new trial for Bellamy even though the new evidence that got him free was tainted. Blumenthal, 65, has been having an ongoing battle with Queens District Attorney Richard Brown over the DA’s Central Booking Interview Program, in which prisoners are questioned prior to their arraignment and before a defense lawyer is assigned. Brown reportedly wrote a letter to Bloomberg asking for Blumenthal’s ouster. Blumenthal was first appointed to the bench by Mayor Ed Koch in 1987.

In the wake of last month’s blizzard and the inability of the city to clean the streets, the Department of Sanitation has outlined its snow plan. The plan divides roadways into three categories: arterial, secondary and tertiary. In Rockaway we have two arterial streets – Beach Channel Drive and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Most of our streets are tertiary streets and therefore treated last, in relation to Manhattan, where most of the streets are arterial. Within each of those categories, roadways are designated with a numerical value, which is then used to set priorities and assign plow routes. We have been told that the beach blocks in the west end have the lowest priority because they are not “through streets” and because the sanitation trucks with plows cannot turn around at the end of the street. That means the route is assigned to a more nimble pay loader, machines that are in shorter supply.

Are physical books dead? Some people seem to think so, and they might be right. Experts believe that 50 years from now most people will have grown up reading an e-reader rather than a book. E-book sales are already at the billion dollar mark and that number is expected to triple by 2015. By 2020, experts say, electronic sales will represent 80 to 90 percent of the publishing market. Those numbers are based on the amazing growth of e-readers such as the Kindle, which sold 8 million units this year for Amazon.com. This does not mean that people will stop reading books, only that they will change the way they do it. One Wave editor told colleagues that he wanted to read the new Tom Clancy novel when it came out early last month. On its publication date, he went to the Kindle Store on his e-reader, typed in the name of the book, hit the “Buy” key and the book was ready to read less than a minute later. You can’t beat that kind of availability with a book store in Green Acres.

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