2011-04-01 / Columnists

Beachcomber

The decision in a French court that Airbus Industries can be brought up on criminal charges in regard to an Air France crash into the Atlantic Ocean several years ago brings to mind the circumstances surrounding American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed into Rockaway in November of 2001. While only bits and pieces of the destroyed plane were found floating out to sea, there are many who believe that the French court relied on the upsets of other Airbus A-300 series aircraft, such as AA 587 and Air Transit to show that the plane’s rudder and control system are somehow flawed and that Airbus knew that the plane is flawed. The Wave has been saying that for years, pointing out that at least six aircraft have had rudder upsets on A-300 series aircraft since they went into service.

We want to congratulate the girls on the Scholars’ Academy basketball team for winning the city’s Division B championship. The program is only in its second year, and both the coach and Rockaway resident Claire Drosch, who serves as an assistant coach, have done a great job with the team.

We expect the census date on Rockaway and the rest of New York State to be released sometime this week or next. As soon as we get it, you will get the details in The Wave.

Once again, a local school has proven not to be up to the job. On St. Patrick’s Day, an autistic 11-year old in the special education program at PS 257@ PS43 walked out of the schoolyard without anybody noticing and then walked from Beach 28 Street to Beach 118 Street without any passers-by wondering why she was wandering alone during a school day. To add to the puzzle, the girl was wearing a bright green Irish hat and a bright red wig and carried some green and white flowers. It turns out that the girl, who has few language skills, walked away a month previous to the St. Pat’s incident and was found an hour later by police on Beach 59 Street. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, they say, but the word is there were six students and four adults in the schoolyard, yet they had to take a headcount to realize the girl was missing. The parents are planning to sue the Department of Education and the city.

Mark your calendars for the Rockaway Rotary Ocean Run, sponsored by SweetN’ Low. The race will take place on the boardwalk on May 1, at 10 a.m.

The general contractors for Arverne By The Sea have announced that Beach 67 Street, between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach Front Road will be closed entirely from March 28 to April 29 due to ongoing construction activity. That effectively cuts off using either Rockaway Beach Boulevard or Beach Front Road as a east-west outlet from the west end, forcing everybody to Beach Channel Drive, which is a mass of potholes and craters, and virtually impossible to traverse.

It’s like the last election in 2009 all over again. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is buying $1 million in advertising time to run ads trumpeting his administration and his favorite causes. During the election, he spent even more to get term limits extended and to extend mayoral control of the schools as well.

Congressman Anthony Weiner has been busy and has become one of largest users of social media in the Congress. On Saturday night, Weiner was at Aviator Sports, dropping the first puck in the championship game between the Aviators and the Warriors from Canada. On Wednesday, the first anniversary of the passage of the health care bill, Weiner discussed the bill at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C, After the speech, he hosted a conference call with reporters and editors. Then, he held at Twitter Town Hall, a Facebook Town Hall and chatted live with readers on something called Daily Kos. Then, to round off the day, he held an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit.com. As part of a statewide program called “RecruitNY,” the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Depart ment will be hosting open houses on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10 at their Noel Road firehouse. Check the firehouse for times and availability.

With the schools concentrating on reading and math to the detriment of all other subjects, it is no wonder that Newsweek magazine recently found that a great majority of our citizens know little of their own history or government. For example, two-thirds of those questioned did not know how many justices sit on the Supreme Court. Three-quarters did not know why we fought the Cold War. Seven out of ten did not know that the Constitution is the law of the land. Forty-three percent could not identify the Bill of Rights. Forty percent did not know that the United States fought Germany in World War II. Perhaps it’s time for the federal education department to put history, civics and geography back into the national curriculum.

Those who sent comments on the future of the Gateway National Recreation Area to the National Park Service and haven’t yet seen them on the agency’s website should know that comments from the summer of 2009 are already online and run more than 60 pages. Comments from the 2010 open houses, however, are being processed by park planners and should be online by the summer.

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