2011-05-20 / Columnists


We have received some letters, mostly from Catholics, that we misused the word “absolved” in the headline on the recent story about the dismissal of charges against Brother Tom Trager, the Marionite brother who had been charged with sexual abuse. The dictionary defines the word as meaning “to proclaim free from guilt,” and we used the word in that context, rather than in the religious context that our Catholic readers know best.

There was a buzz in both Rockaway and Broad Channel last week as a movie crew took over large chunks of local real estate to shoot a new movie, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and newcomer Jeffrey Wright. The crew filmed on East 12 Road in Broad Channel on May 9 and at Beach 5 Street and Seagirt Avenue on May 10. The movie tells the story of Oskar Schell, and eccentric nine-year-old (Wright) who loses his father in the World Trade Center attacks. When Oskar finds a key in a mysterious envelope, he believes that he has found an important clue left behind by his father and embarks on an adventure to find the lock that fits the key.

There will be a series of demonstrations on May 21 to argue against the library budget cuts mandated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new budget. One group of protesters will meet on the boardwalk at Beach 60 Street, while another group will meet on the boardwalk at Beach 116 Street. Those groups will meet at 11 a.m. Then, the two groups will march to the Peninsula Library at 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard for a 12:30 p.m. rally. Library officials say that some local libraries will have to shut their doors and others will have to severely cut days and hours of service should the cuts go through.

According to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, fatal shootings of law enforcement officials this year is up 40 percent over last year. The report adds that most of the killers who did those shootings were legally barred from owning guns, but managed to get them nevertheless. Of the 31 law enforcement officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty in 2011, at least 23 where murdered by those who were barred under federal law from possessing firearms. Because of that fact, the group has called for an improved national do-notsell database and improved background checks for all gun sales.

First came bike lanes to gobble up Beach Channel Drive and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Now, from the makers of the bike lanes comes a massive rent-a-bike program that would take up curb space and impose bike stations on each and every community in the city. Mayor Bloomberg’s plan is to set up 600 bike rental stands that would hold 10,000 bikes. If the mayor wants it, it won’t be long in coming to a street near where you live.

The Beach Channel High School Campus will host a community health and safety fair on Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will be held in the campus cafeteria, on the first floor at 100-00 Beach Channel Drive. The fair will include lots of health screenings as well as safety information.

There was an iconic photograph of President Obama and his national security cabinet watching in real time the takedown of terrorist murderer Osama bin Laden. In that photo were two women – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Director of Counterterrorism Audrey Tomason. When the photo ran in a number of Brooklyn papers published by Hassidic Jews, however, the two women were exorcised – photoshopped from the photo. Why? Officials at the papers said that it would have been wrong to show women in a position of power.

Rockaway resident Becky Moers, who captained the Scholars’ Academy girl’s basketball team that won its division City Championship earlier this year, was named a Daily News honorable mention for all city honors. Congratulations.

Right after the terrorist attack in the World Trade Center in 2001, Rockaway resident and firefighter told a national television audience that was watching a Madison Square Garden memorial concert that Osama bin Laden should “Kiss my Rockaway Irish ass.” Moran was interviewed by the Daily News after bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team Six. “I was just filled with so much rage against him,” Moran said last week. “Finally, the guy is gone. I’m happy that they got him, but it brings everything back. I wasn’t sure that it would ever happen.” Moran’s brother, John, was one of the 343 FDNY members who died in the attack.

The Parks Department says that the settled lawsuit against David Selig, who won an eight-year concession to run three food shacks and up to 20 food carts on the boardwalk, was not a factor that would keep him from getting the nod. “As part of the vetting process prior to awarding a concession, the business entity that is the highest rated proposer is subject to a background check,” a Parks spokesperson said. “The background check has been completed. Currently, the contract between the City and the concessionaire is being reviewed by the city’s law department, another stop in finalizing the contract and there have been no undue delays in the process.” Selig told us a week ago that our front page story about his financial problems would probably stop the project dead, and claimed that The Wave was driving him out of Rockaway.

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