2011-05-13 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

The two bridges that connect Rockaway with the rest of New York City will soon be getting a facelift, according to officials of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. The agency said this week that it has earmarked $37.8 million for repairs and rehabilitation on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Eight Rockaway passengers riding in an illegal and unlicensed livery van were stripped of their valuables and cash and left standing on the corner of Doughty Boulevard and Burnside Avenue in Inwood last Monday. The robbery was carried out by the ninth passenger, who was armed with a Uzi machine gun, authorities say.

Tickets are still available for the special retirement dinner to honor long-time Far Rockaway High School football coach Jake Miller. The dinner will be held at the Lawrence Country Club in the evening of May 16. Miller is retiring after 33 years at the school and service to the community. Miller was a player for the high school prior to joining the staff.

Ninety million gallons of raw sewage were poured into Jamaica Bay this week when a 48-inch main at the wastewater treatment plant on Beach 108 Street and Beach Channel Drive was ruptured by some maintenance workers. Officials at the DEP said that the spill was not a major problem because the bay can easily absorb that kind of runoff. The new district trustees that will replace the suspended district school board have been named and will meet next week to pick a chairperson. On that board, appointed by the school chancellor, are James Adams, Martha Dana, Cecil Dudley, James Eagan, Muriel Russell, James Mayer, Marie Camacho McCormick, James Sanders Jr. and Robert Young.

A number of local business people are complaining about the toll booths on the Cross Bay Bridge. One of the locals complained that he was heading to Rockaway earlier this week and found that only one exact change only and one full service lane open. He had to wait on line for nearly 20 minutes to pay the toll. “Why the hell should my customers come to me when they have to wait that long just to get over the bridge,” he complained.

30 Years Ago...

Beginning this week, a toll will be collected in only one direction on the Gil Hodges-Marine Parkway Memorial Bridge. Only those motorists entering Rockaway via the bridge will have to pay a toll. For those leaving the peninsula, there will be no toll. The plan will remain for the summer, at which time it will be reevaluated.

Fifty-six percent of the people polled by the New York Daily News favor placing a gambling casino in Rockaway and in other parts of the city. With the demolition of the four white mansions on Seagirt Boulevard – one of them the former home of New York Governor Alfred E. Smith – another piece of Rockaway history bites the dust. The mansions are on the property of what is now the Hartman YW-YMHA.

The Far Rockaway High School class of 1959 held a reunion in Manhattan this week. More than 200 former grads attended the event, which was coordi40 nated by Vicki Weitzberg Mechner.

Years Ago...

The New York City Board of Estimated voted this week not to allow a mobile home park in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area. This was a victory for local activists, who fought hard to kill the proposal. The vote in the Board of Estimate was 16-6 to kill the proposal.

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Far Rockaway is arranging to open a methadone treatment center at the hospital. A community storefront is being suggested, but residents of the Holland section of Rockaway have already rejected a storefront proposal in their community.

John Curran advertised in The Wave last week that he had filet mignon for sale in his Beach 129 Street market. He sold more than a thousand pounds of the meat during the week, quite a load to move across the counter.

50 Years Ago...

Sommerville’s Tom Caliguiri gets his neighbors all steamed up about the mosquito controls for the coming summer. Then, he goes off to Florida for the summer, perhaps to study how they control mosquitoes.

Even if it were legally permissible to take oysters from Jamaica Bay, they’re now legally out of season. When somebody harvests a cluster by mistake, however, they are more likely to be eaten than thrown back into the bay.

Saul Maskin, who is opening a new men’s store on Beach 116 Street, is the busiest man in town. Close behind him are Kimball and Fusco, who are putting the finishing touches on the new shop.

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