2011-06-24 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Rockaway residents who don’t use bug spray will feel the bite this summer, warns Jonathan Gaska, the district manager of Community Board 14. The city, he reports, has only one exterminator for the entire city and budget constraints will keep any more from being hired. “There are places in Bayswater and Arverne where you can’t open your mouth to speak without swallowing some mosquitoes,” he said.

Democratic State Committeewoman Bertha Thomas pleaded guilty last week to receiving unlawful gratuities when a local dance school for disadvantaged children was seeking public funding. She is expected to be sentenced to 250 hours of community service when she is sentenced on July 17.

The Rockaway Music and Arts Council (RMAC) will host a Summer Sunset Picnic Concert on Sunday, July 21 at the Fort Tilden unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. The free concert will feature Arnie Mig and his Serenaders in a tribute to Cole Porter.

Residents in Broad Channel have hired an attorney to overturn the recent decision of the redistricting committee to take the island community out of the City Council district represented by Walter Ward. “Ward has done so much for us, it will be detrimental to the community to lose his services,” a resident said at a recent meeting. “Nobody knows us as well as he does and nobody else will fight as hard as he did.”

Rabbi David Cohen and his wife were honored by the Jewish War Veterans at their annual dinner last week. Cohen is the spiritual leader of Congregation Derech Emunoh in Arverne.

Considering the number of parking tickets issued by our local police precinct along Shore Front Parkway on weekends and holidays, when no parking is allowed, it’s a wonder that the city still has a fiscal crisis.

The city has added a second Rockaway library to its list of branches to be closed due to the fiscal crisis. In addition to the Seaside Branch in Rockaway Park, the Arverne Library will close as well.

Maud Howley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Howley of Rockaway Park, was one of the graduates from the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts this month. She will attend Franklin Pierce College in September.

30 Years Ago...

One-way tolls on the two bridges leading to Rockaway will begin on Monday, June 22. The $1.50 one-way toll will remain for the rest of the summer. Drivers heading for Rockaway will have to pay the toll, while drivers leaving Rockaway will not.

June 25, 1981, marks the 25th anniversary of subway service to the Rockaways. It is promised that there will soon be a line connecting Rockaway with the line at Rego Park and provide a quick and easy way to Manhattan for Rockaway commuters.

Mayor Edward Koch, the City Council, the Board of Estimate and local politicians are reportedly hashing out a request from Borough President Donald Manes for $2 million to completely redesign the shopping area on Beach 116 Street.

Police Officer Sherry Pavone, who recently came to the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway as a community affairs specialist, has announced that she will concentrate on becoming a liaison between the local high schools and middle schools and the police department.

40 Years Ago...

Everybody wants to do something about pollution, but nobody did anything about the pollution coming from the dead whale on the beach last week.

Construction work is humming on the Peninsula Hospital Center. The new facility will provide lots of health care options for Rockaway residents.

Jim Bocker is the chairman if this year’s Kiddie Day in Breezy Point. The day is sponsored by Mayor Bob Taphouse, and will provide lots of activities for local kids. The event is scheduled for July 4.

50 Years Ago...

Some of the local parking lot operators are arguing that it is unfair to allow motorists to park free of charge on the many empty lots in the area.

So many fire apparatus respond to each fire in Rockaway these days that it is virtually a second alarm at each fire. Companies from the mainland that are called in to replace Rockaway companies at local firehouses often return to their own quarters even before they get to Rockaway. Picnickers have been invading the beaches at Neponsit. Some of them come complete with cooking utensils and the smells coming from the cooking fires are not always to the liking of the locals who live nearby the beach.

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