2011-02-18 / Columnists

Beachcomber

When the plan was proposed to put a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal off the shore about equidistant between Rockaway and New Jersey, we wondered why the development company was bothering because New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had already vetoed one facility last year and had promised to veto all additional LNG offshore terminals. Under federal law, any governor whose state is adjacent to the planned site may kill it outright. Christie did just that, and perhaps we won’t have to worry about that problem any longer. It’s a good thing Christie acted, because David Paterson had no interest in killing the LNG terminal plan, and it does not look like Andrew Cuomo is any more inclined.

In the February 5 issue of The Wave we published a Black History Week quiz that asked readers to match a quotation with the famous person who made the quote. The answers to that quiz are: 1. W.E.B. Dubois; 2. Frederick Douglass; 3. Carter Woodson; 4. Bill Cosby; 5. Barbara Jordan; 6. Mary McLoed Bethune; 7. A. Phillip Randolph; 8. Booker T. Washington; 9. Benjamin Bannekar and 10. Martin Luther King. We hope you enjoyed working out the right answers.

It is interesting that Congressman Anthony Weiner has asked Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the efforts to overturn the vital health care reform bill because Thomas’ wife is a lobbyist who has benefited financially by the efforts to overturn the law. Weiner and 73 of his closest friends in the House of Representatives see that as a conflict of interest. His call has some resonance in another case. Federal judge Nicholas Garaufis has ruled several times in a case involving adult homes and the judge has said that the residents were being denied their constitutional rights and must be moved to a less restrictive environment. His wife is the head of an advocacy group that will benefit from his rulings and we believe that is a conflict of interest as well. The state’s attorneys in the case decided early not to take on the judge over that issue; maybe they should have.

Anybody who drives the major streets of Rockaway knows the impact of the pothole problem on the peninsula. While the city blames the problem on the cold weather and snow since December, the problem existed in Rockaway prior to that time. Now, the mayor has admitted that part of the problem is a financial one – the city continues to furlough the people who fill the potholes, forcing the 535 workers to stay home one day every two weeks without pay. A recent study shows that in 2007 it took 2.1 days to fill a pothole from the time it was reported to the city. This year, it takes 6.1 days on average, and many potholes in Rockaway have been hanging on for months.

Many east end residents use the Atlantic Beach Bridge on a regular basis and have noticed a developing problem. For those who don’t have a yearly pass or a 15- trip swipe card, the cash lane is a must. Coming over the bridge from Atlantic Beach to Rockaway, local residents must make a quick right turn just out of the toll booths in order to access Seagirt Boulevard and the rest of Rockaway. Most recently, however, the cash toll taker (there is only one on duty at a time) is in the far left lane, forcing Rockaway residents to cross in front of five other toll booths to get to Rockaway. This is an accident in the making.

Best selling author James Patterson has penned a new mystery and it is set in Breezy Point. Seems that his NYPD detective hero and his family (which includes some adopted kids who are minorities) summer at the point and are set upon by a group of Irish criminals who don’t like the kids in their community. The settings, by the way, are very realistic but not very complimentary to Breezy Point. The book is called “Tick Tock” and it is must reading for locals.

Born in Rockaway in 1946, civil rights attorney and lesbian activist Patricia (Patti) Rose Roberts died while on vacation in Mexico two weeks ago. Robert’s parents, Florence and Bernard, lived in Rockaway for many years.

For the first time in recent memory, not one New York City public school student is a finalist in the Intel Science Search (what was once called the Westinghouse Science Search). Staff at the schools that traditionally placed a number of students, such as Brooklyn Technical High School and the Bronx High School of Science, say that they no longer have the resources or the time to work with students seeking the prize because their budgets have been cut and they are mandated to teach to the test for an inordinate portion of the school day. In a parallel story, a recent study shows that many of the city’s schools do not have Science Fairs any longer because the emphasis is on only reading and math.

Muriel Berry, who says she never throws anything away, sent us a May 1999 story from the Queens Chronicle that praised the coming of Technodome, the long-awaited entertainment complex that had been promised for the Arverne East project. Now, Arverne East is only a memory and Technodome never materialized. In case you don’t remember that far back, the project was to include a 30 screen movie complex, a 1,100 room hotel, a convention center, an indoor Scuba tank, an indoor ski slope, an ice rink and several restaurants.

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