2011-07-01 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Police Officer Robert Nowicki was always out of the ordinary. He wore his hair long and in a pony tail and his favorite mode of transportation was a motorcycle. By all accounts from those who worked with him on the midnight tour in the 100 Precinct, he was a cop’s cop, always ready to help out on a job or to provide some cash for a cop in financial trouble. He worked the sector that took in Beach 90 Street to Beach 108 Street as well as Broad Channel, and everybody in those areas of the community had great respect for him. He was killed last week while working on a Tennessee help vehicle on a major highway. Another big rig hit the truck he was assisting and that truck rolled over Nowicki, instantly killing him. “He survived the worst that New York could throw at him,” one cop who worked with him at the 100 Pre-cinct said. “He survived 9/11 and the South Bronx as well as Rockaway. Then, this had to happen to him.” The Wave wants to express its regrets to his wife and young children.

The new Stop & Shop supermarket on Beach 73 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard gives shoppers “gasoline points,” for shopping at the store. Shoppers get one point for every dollar spent at the store, and they add up quickly. They can be redeemed at Gulf gas stations, including Channel Drive Service Station on Beach Channel Drive in Arverne. One Wave staffer recently used his shopping card to save $1.50 a gallon on his fill-up, a savings of nearly $15. His gas that day cost him $2.54 a gallon.

The cost of parking at a meter or in a Muni-meter lot will go up beginning on July 23, the city’s DOT said this week. The hourly rate will jump by a quarter to $1, meaning that you will get 15 minutes for your quarter rather than the 20 minutes you presently get. The city says that it will take “some time” to redo the meters throughout the city, so some communities will get more time at the old rate. Want to bet they start with Rockaway?

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner sent his formal resignation letter to the Speaker of the House on Tuesday. It said, in its totality, “I hereby resign as the Member of the House of Representatives for New York’s Ninth Congressional District at midnight, June 21, 2011. It has been an honor to serve the people of Queens and Brooklyn.” So ends the fruitful career of our Congressman, who was brought low by his own stupidity and the social media that is so praised these days. His colleague, Congressman Gregory Meeks, who is under investigation for so many transgressions that we lost count, continues to serve. Meeks said, “This is a sad day, but Anthony has made the right decision for himself, his family and the Democratic Party. He will be sorely missed by me and his constituents. I wish him the best.” That goes to show that sexual misbehavior is considered much worse than actually stealing from the public.

The annual drug take-down occurred two weeks ago, with dozens of arrests and the break-up of a drug gang called “Gang of Apes.” Doesn’t seem politically correct, but you can’t make this stuff up. The cops and the Queens District Attorney say they put a big dent in drug sales around the city housing projects, but that’s what they say every year and every year somebody else or some new gang comes along to pick up the slack.

The Department of Education has announced that the public school kids will get one more day of summer this year. Schools around the city will open for students on Thursday, September 8 this year, rather than on September 7 as previously announced. The extra day has been planned so that teachers can “prepare for mandated curriculum changes,” officials said. In a letter to parents, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said that an extra day of prep for teachers was needed to give the teachers time to adjust to new curriculum and testing standards that are being rolled out this year. The change drops the year’s schedule to 182 days – the mandated minimum. That means any snow days will have to be made up at the end of the year.

Genting New York, the group that is building the gambling Racino at the aging Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, now says that it is contemplating building a convention center that would rival the Javits Center in Manhattan. A spokesperson for the Malaysian company says that it is considering many projects on the land adjacent to the racetrack “if the right opportunity exists.”

Two weeks ago, the New York Times did a two-page story in its Thursday Styles section extolling all the culinary and social changes brought to Rockaway and its boardwalk by residents of Brooklyn. It was titled “Taking the A Train To Summer. The article calls the new paradigm in Rockaway “a vision of summertime idyll that plays out every weekend in beach towns around New York.” “But,” it adds, “this was not the Hamptons, Fire Island or even Jones Beach. It was the Rockaways in Queens – the sliver of dilapidated bungalows, drug-riddled public housing and WPAera boardwalk at the end point of the A Train.” A week later, New York magazine did a spoof of the Times article, asking “Do you ever wish Williamsburg was farther away, dirtier, and more bathing suit friendly. Then try the Rockaways this summer.” The New York magazine article even spoofed the fact that the Times article crowed about the fact that there were no kids on the beach at Fort Tilden, saying that there were never any kids in Rockaway.

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