2011-04-01 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Pressed by Queens Borough President Claire Schulman, Community Board 14 voted for the second time in two weeks in order to chose a new president. The first vote was taken by secret ballot, something that Schulman’s legal advisor, Nicholas Garaufis ruled was illegal under the Freedom of Information Law. The second vote held in open session at a special meeting, elected Vince Castellano as president, as did the first vote.

Efforts are under way to insure the continuance of all of the programs offered by the Hartman YM-YWHA in Far Rockaway after June 30, when the organization officially goes out of business. Hartman is selling the land to cover debts which may be as high as $11 million, officials say.

The Rockaway Park chapter of Hadassah will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the State of Israel with a Heart Luncheon to be held at the West End Temple on April 11. The chair for the luncheon is local Fay Cohen.

One of the first rulings by Community Board 14 president Vince Castellano was to rule that board members who are also on the board of the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) could vote on giving a lucrative afterschool contract to that corporation because they would personally get no financial reward from the vote. Some had urged those on both boards to recues themselves from the vote on the issue.

Former State Senator Andres Jenkins, who once represented Rockaway, has asked a federal appeals court to throw out his conviction on charges brought after an FBI sting operation found him laundering money in Africa.

There is another sign of bad times in Rockaway. Mel Chevrolet, a long-time fixture in Far Rockaway, closed its doors for good last week. Rockaway once boasted of seven new car showrooms, but Mel Chevrolet was the last, and now there are none.

Police officers from Queens Narcotics busted 12 locals in a drug raid at the Hammel Houses last weekend. All of those arrested were charged with possession of a controlled substance. The drug sweep was part of a long-term plan by Queens Narcotics detectives and the local detective squads to stop drug dealing in the several public housing complexes that dot the Rockaway peninsula. Last month, the Redfern Houses was the target.

30

Years Ago...

Rapidly deteriorating beaches and boardwalk, particularly between Beach 10 and Beach 19 Streets, was the topic of conversation between Rockaway and City Councilman-at-large Steven Orlow at a meeting last week.

Despite the fact that half of one side of the building at 1334 Caffrey Avenue in Far Rockaway was burned away on March 11, residents of the first four

floors have moved back in to the building.

Extensive damage resulted the evening of March 12 from a fire that erupted in the oldest building at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway.

Supreme Court Officers Tim Gallagher of Belle Harbor and Kevin Flynn of Bellrose risked their lives last week when off duty to help police in Manhattan capture an apparently deranged man firing a gun in the mid- dle of a busy intersection.

40

Years Ago...

There still are parking meters on Beach 129 Street which were painted green on St. Patrick’s Day and some with heads missing as reminders of the same celebration.

The Beach Channel High School site has been given a surface of cinders. That, combined with spring weather, ought to reduce the size of sand drifts along Beach Channel Drive.

Martin Gallant, city planning commissioner, is asking local organizations to assist and cooperate in monitoring the mobile homes in Arverne. What does that mean, we ask? City-sponsored vigilantes?

50

Years Ago...

Max Rivkin, chairman of the Rockaway Boy Scouts District, has been in scouting most of his life. The rest of the time, he teaches accounting at Far Rockaway High School.

Andy Kirk, Nassau County’s police commissioner, is an old Inwood boy. He’s following in the footsteps of a former neighbor, Abram Skidmore, once a Lieutenant in the 100 Precinct, who went on to become the first Nassau police commissioner.

Rockaway was well-represented last week when the racing season opened at Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica.

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