2011-05-27 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

In case you missed the notice, the world did not end last week. However as I took the A train into Manhattan early last Saturday morning, after debating whether to buy the round trip Metrocard, I did notice some noteworthy things. The air, though damp, was cool and smelled fresh. The train ride, usually bumpy, glided along with a soothing, sleepy rhythm. Passing East Pond on my left, I noticed not one or two big beautiful swans, but a dozen or more. Leaving the island, headed out over the wide and blue Jamaica Bay, at the shore I spotted three dozen ducks, all lined up!

Well, if the world were scheduled to end by 6 p.m., here in the Channel we at least had a chance to feel the breeze, breathe in the moist air, tally the sum of the natural beauty of our home, and yes, know that all of our ducks were in a row!

Whew! Last Saturday was a busy one in many ways. Broad Channel saw the 3rd Annual JJ Harnisher Memorial Striped Bass Tournament with its 12 noon weigh in and barbecue and party afterwards. Bless you early risers, the dedicated fishermen and women who had their lines in the water at 5 a.m., and all who made this a great charitable event. Proceeds go to the Project Link children’s autism charity.

Thanks to Mark Ott and so many others for organizing this event, hosted by the Back House.

Christ Presbyterian Church would like to thank everyone who came out for their SpringFlea Market and Plant Sale. Thanks also to the vendors and volunteers for making this event happen. In their quiet way the Christ Presbyterian congregation and Reverend Andrea Zarou are an engine of good works.

No doubt many residents also participated in Saturday’s Stand Up For My Library walks and rally across the bridge. Note: Our Broad Channel library branch will be closed this Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day. Our hardworking librarians and staff will be enjoying a well-deserved day off. The automatic book return will still be available 24/7.

Thursday, May 26, saw an important BC Civic Association meeting at the VFW on Hall. As you know, officials from the City’s Department of Design and Construction and design firm RBA Group’s representatives were there to discuss the project to raise West 11, 12 and 13 Roads scheduled to start in Summer 2012. As Civic Association President Dan Mundy has stated this is a major project with “huge implications… such as wider sidewalks which may require residents’ stoops and decks (to be) cut back.”

Look to this space for more news from this meeting and future developments with the west side street raising project.

Be in the know with what goes on around town: join the Broad Channel Civic Association. Dues are $5 per family per year, a great deal. New memberships or renewals can be handled at the Civic meetings or dues can be mailed to BCCA, 740 Crossbay Boulevard, Broad Channel, NY 11693.

Also keep a look out for The Channel News, the BCCA newsletter, edited by Natalie Grant, and delivered fresh to your mailbox each month.

Did you know? Our own Margaret Wagner is now President of the Rockaway Republican Club. As she said recently we’re “looking for some new members. We meet about six to seven times a year at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. Our club assists individuals whom are interested in running for public office. We are involved with community projects. Some members write (informative) articles in The Wave (on) various issues. Shortly, we will begin work on another campaign for a special election for the 23rd Assembly. This is also a great club for college students to get involved in. Anyone who is interested in joining can e-mail me at mwagner realtor@aol.com.”

Whether the weather is agreeable or not, you can step into spring at the Rockaway Artists Alliance’s Fort Tilden galleries with “Nature: Fur, Flora and Feathers” a great exhibition which opened this past Sunday, May 22, along with “Tomorrow’s Art Today” and fine works from “Geoff’s Painting Class.” Broad Channel musician Mike Benedetto, among others, played at the opening. All of these exhibitions, like the RAA itself, feature quite a number of Broad Channel artists. Come and enjoy and see how many familiar names you spot. The galleries are open Saturdays and Sunday from 12-4 p.m.

Hit the trail, go to the beach or take to the water! The National Park Service has a lot going on this Memorial Day weekend. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge invites you to take a stroll through the “Spring Greens and Wildflowers” on Saturday, May 28. Join a Park Ranger 10-11:30 a.m. for a walk through the refuge to explore and enjoy the season’s fresh new wildflowers and green growing leaves.

Later on Saturday the American Littoral Society, based here in Broad Channel, hosts their “Jamaica Bay Sunset Cruise” from 5-8 p.m. It’s a three hour tour of the Bay’s backwater marshes where you can learn about the history and ecology of the area and spot the peregrine falcons, osprey herons and egrets who make their home here. Departure is from Pier 2 in Sheepshead Bay. Reservations, fees and information: call 718-318-9344. Don’t miss the boat; call early!

My wife Liz, originally a biology major, loved horseshoe crabs. Going back to prehistory, she said, these ancient creatures have gone on unchanged for nearly 300 million years! On Sunday, May 29, you can catch up with the newest generation at the Refuge’s “Horseshoe Crab Evening” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. At high tide waves of horseshoe crabs will be coming ashore for their millennia-old mating ritual. Reservations are required — for you, not the horseshoe crabs. Phone 718-318-4340.

Got BC news, organization information or an upcoming event (non-profit or benefit only) or anything that is new and newsworthy in the Channel? Send it to me at workingstories@aol.com.

Please send all information by 5 p.m. on Friday if you’d like to see it in the following Friday’s paper.

Thanks for reading.

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