2011-05-20 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Six prospective New York City Council candidates running for the new east end council seat have opted to take public funding for their campaigns. They are: Stephen Cooper, Renaldo (Rey) Clarke, Rolando Fujardo, David Hooks Jr., Gregory Meeks and Peggy Sheppard. They are each eligible for up to $80,000 in public matching funds.

The newest proposal put forth by the New York City Transit Authority is to take conductors away from all the C Train line subway trains. All train operations during off-peak hours, such as opening the doors and handling emergencies, would be done by the train’s motorman. The city agency says that it has to cut costs to meet its budget.

The annual beach opening ceremonies, which include a tour of the beach, will take place this year on May 24 at the boardwalk at Beach 19 Street. Prior to this year, the annual tour always took place at Beach 116 Street, the terminus of the subway line and the most popular beach in Rockaway. This year, the site was moved at the insistence of City Councilman Walter Ward, who believes that the site should be moved each year.

Harold Cornell, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, made an impassioned plea to the city’s redistricting commission, urging them to keep Rockaway as a single entity. “The proposed Councilmanic districts are the typical results of a bureaucratic decision with which the bureaucrats do not have to live, but the citizens of the community do,” he told the commissioners.

Community School District 27 superintendent Josephine Schwindt warned Rockaway residents that a new middle school was needed on the peninsula. “If we don’t get a new school, we’re going to have to look for storefronts as schools,” she said.

Despite damage done by burglaries and vandalism, as extensive as ripping out pipes and memorial bronze tablets ripped from walls, the board of Congregation Derech Emunoh voted unanimously this week to do whatever is necessary to repair the synagogue at 199 Beach 67 Street.

More than 2,000 runners, joggers and walkers are expected to participate in the 11th annual Buckley’s to Kennedy’s run, a six-mile race that goes from Avenue S in Brooklyn, over the Marine Parkway Bridge and then to Riis Park.

30 Years Ago...

Two young boys drowned this week in Norton Basin in Bayswater. Police say the two boys, who lived nearby the park, fell off a concrete abutment into 10 feet of water and could not climb out.

The Board Channel Memorial Day Parade is set for May 24. The parade will once again be sponsored by the American Legion and the VFW.

The recreation hall at St. John’s Residence for Boys has been renamed Springman Hall, in honor of Brother Frank Springman, a longtime staff member at the facility.

Irving Baron was reelected as the president of the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaways. Irving Kizner was elected as first vice president.

A group of locals has purchased the unused Strand Theater in Far Rockaway with the intent of turning it into a roller skating rink.

40 Years Ago...

City Councilman Walter Ward has joined residents in opposing the widening of Shore Parkway (the Belt Parkway) to accommodate commercial traffic. He said that increased traffic would make an already bad situation even worse.

Local veterans organizations are taking the lead in organizing Memorial Day parades in Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park, honoring those who gave their lives for our nation.

The new library building at Beach 94 Street may give the community a lift, but police and firemen will still have a look at the new building from their quarters across the street.

50 Years Ago...

When Dr. Jonas Salk, of Polio vaccine fame, appeared on television last Sunday, how many local residents recognized him as the kid with whom they attended PS 42 some years ago?

These rainy weekends have played havoc with the youth baseball leagues in Rockaway, but so far they have had no problem making up the ames. Joe Cohen’s new card shop, across the street from The Wave office, amounts to a rebuilding and the largest undertaking in the Hammels-Holland area section of the peninsula in many years. Navy ships are regularly tied up alongside the piers at Floyd Bennett Field, across the bay from Rockaway.

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