2011-06-17 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

The Queens Borough Public Library located at 116-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard – the Seaside Library Branch – will be closed on June 6 as part of the city’s budget cutting process, library officials said this week. The Seaside Library is one of 25 in the borough that will be shuttered.

Two men with green Uzi submachine guns held up Freeway Foods in Far Rockaway at about midnight on June 10. One of the men was wearing a ski mask and the other had a green scarf wound around his head, police say. Nobody was injured, and an undisclosed amount of money was taken from the grocery store.

Firefighters from Rockaway rode the subway train to get to a fire on Goose Island in Jamaica Bay last weekend. The small burning island is located just east of the subway tracks and the subway, fire officials say, was the fastest way to get water on the fire.

A Brooklyn woman was arrested on Friday night for driving her vehicle into a nest inhabited by piping plovers, a small bird on the endangered species list and protected by the federal government. The woman was spotted by national park police officers inside the protected area, just sitting in her vehicle and enjoying the view from the Breezy Point beach.

Malcolm Smith, the district manager for Congressman Floyd Flake, has announced that he will be seeking election for the City Council in the new 31st Councilmanic District that was recently set up by the state’s redistricting commission. Smith said that he would make senior citizens his priority should he be elected to the council.

Al Sharpton’s march to Long Beach last weekend to protest the severe beating of a black man on the boardwalk there began in Rockaway. Sharpton bused more than 100 people from Brooklyn to take part in the march. At one point, a group of students from Lawrence High School, both black and white, attempted to convince Sharpton that the march was unnecessary, and that it would cause more problems than it solved, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. The march went through West Lawrence and then over the Atlantic Beach Bridge before reaching the Long Beach boardwalk.

Police Officer Kenneth Hansen, who drowned during a routine training exercise in the waters off Battery Park in Manhattan, is remembered as the coxswain of the Beach Channel High School crew in 1982.

Officials at Congregation Derech Emunoh in Arverne say that the synagogue will survive until the Arverne Urban Renewal Area is developed and the historic building is refurbished by the developers. The building has been troubled by vandalism and arson over the past few years.

30 Years Ago...

Councilman Walter Ward is supporting the proposal that would allow Broad Channel residents to buy the land on which their homes are presently sit- uated.

Rockaway Park Women’s Division of Israel Bonds honored Fay Cohen last week at its annual luncheon. Cohen has been active in Hadassah for many years and is currently the heart fund chairperson.

Ground was broken on Friday for the two-story extension of the building that houses the Rockaway Park Post Office and Ming’s Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant. The new extension will house stores on the first floor and offices on the second floor.

40 Years Ago...

Rockaway’s unwelcome visitor, a 45- foot whale weighing six or seven tons and smelling very bad, left on the high tide on Friday with some mighty help by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Reverend Kieran Martin, administrator of the St. Virgilius Church in Broad Channel, seldom misses a chance to “save” the island community. He worked in a plea at the opening of

the new Cross Bay Bridge last year and another at the recent hearing held by the City Planning Commission.

The trees that have been planted in the business district in Far Rockaway promise a beautiful transformation for the district in the next few years.

50 Years Ago...

Rockaway’s skyline is constantly changing with the construction of new highrise buildings on the peninsula. They all seem to sell out as quickly as they are built.

Despite the house wreckers being on strike, the Zuckerman Brothers are not doing too badly. Some of their tenants in Sthe Hammels Title I area do a pretty good job of house wrecking on their own. They’re not strikebreakers, they just do it as a pastime. When word got around that there was better than usual fishing in the East Rockaway Inlet, parties began to arrive from other points in the area, some of them very fine looking craft.

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