2011-07-29 / Columnists


Those who are familiar with the players in the education field would have had no problem identifying the man sitting over Rupert Murdoch’s shoulder in the recent Parliamentary hearings on hacking of private telephones. It was none other than former schools chancellor Joel Klein, who now operates as Murdoch’s crisis manager, better known as a spin master. Klein, whose Murdoch-owned company just picked up a multimillion dollar deal with the state education department to track student test results, simply took more money to move from one bully to another, from Bloomberg to Murdoch, two men cut out of the same cloth and with the same mantra – business can do no wrong as long as it is making a profit.

One of the west end mailmen called to say that he read the story in The Wave about somebody stealing packages from local porches and that he caught the man who is doing the theft not once, but twice. In each case, however, the police were slow in responding to his call and the young man got away. “I see him every day between Beach 108 and Beach 116 Streets, and all the cops have to do is ask and I’d gladly point him out,” the mail deliverer says.

Vivian Carter is pursing a Rockaway Beach Instant History project and needs your help. The purpose of the project is to create an archive of historical materials related to those who pioneered Rockaway beginning in the 1850s, from Beach 80 Street to Beach 102 Street. Of particular interest are the doctors of Rockaway during that period, lawyers and architects, the first schools in the area, the original police and fire stations, the houses of worship, local businesses, sports and recreation, veterans’ groups, politicians, and communication facilities. Carter can be reached by email at vcarter@rockawave.com.

The Rockaway Artists Alliance has come up with a summer treat for Rockaway residents. It has developed a mini golf course called “The Gallery Green,” at its Fort Tilden venue, with each hole being designed by one of its member artists. The course opened on July 23 and will remain open until September 4 on Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m. and on Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. The course is behind sTudio 7 and a donation is requested.

There were at least four shooting incidents in Rockaway July 14 and July 17. As a result of those incidents, three were wounded and one was killed. There was a double shooting on Gouverneur Avenue in Arverne on July 16, a shots fired call in Bayswater on July 14 and a murder at the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway on July 17. Police sources seem to think that this is just the begninning of a long, hot summer for the peninsula, especially now that Operation Impact, a program that flooded specific communities with cops, has been cut to make way for the new Ground Zero precinct in Manhattan.

Representatives from Arverne By The Sea announced this week that they have closed on the land for the future site of the YMCA, meaning construction can officially commence. The group was officially given the land by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development on June 30, says YMCA spokesperson Ellen Murphy. “The developer is in the process of finalizing their construction contract with the general contractor,” Murphy said. “As soon as that is complete, the agreement between the developer and the Y will be concluded and site work will begin.” According to project manager Gerard Romski, a contractor has indeed been selected and work should begin in approximately two more weeks. We know that you have heard this before, more than once, but Romski assures us that this time it’s for real.

City cops have issued an astonishing 32 percent fewer traffic tickets in the past weeks compared with the same period last year – before the ticket scandals and before cops were warned that they better get the tickets right – or else. According to published sources, cops in all precincts were told that they would lose vacation days if they botched any moving violation tickets. Therefore, fewer tickets and fewer chances to make a mistake. Makes sense to us, but Mayor Mike must be fuming about the loss of revenue.

Yahoo News ran an online story last week entitled “Top 5 Places to Enjoy the New York Summer Outdoors.” The first place named in the story was Fort Tilden State Park. Now, those of you who live in Rockaway know well that Fort Tilden is part of the federal National Park Service unit called Gateway National Recreation Area. It goes on to say that the beach is great because there are few people there because it lacks amenities like bathrooms and food stands, which is true. It says you can get there by car or bike from Flatbush Avenue or Route 878 (which straddles Nassau County and Far Rockaway). In addition, it says, you can take the A train to Beach 116 Street. It then intimates that you can walk to Fort Tilden from Beach 116 Street, which is quite a hike in any weather, but particularly in the heat of summer lugging all the amenities you will need for a day at the beach.

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