2011-08-05 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

More than 5,000 residents and more than 100 organizations are slated to take part in the local National Night Out Against Crime activities that will take place in Rockaway on August 6. Expected guests include city Comptroller Liz Holtzman, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Congressman Floyd Flake and State Senator Alton Waldon. A group from the east end and a group from the west end will march with flashlights to Beach 86 Street and the boardwalk for a community rally to take back our streets.

One person was injured (but apparently not removed to a hospital) when a Chevrolet four-door sedan struck a GMC truck making a left turn from Beach Channel Drive southbound on Beach 67 Street in Arverne on July 29. There were two adults and three young children in the car, which was struck on the rear panel.

Residents of New York City may use the Edgemere Landfill on Beach 49 Street to dispose of bulk appliances and furniture legally and without charge, it was announced by Mario Russo, the chair of the community board’s environmental committee.

Seventy-five years ago, Congress established the Department of the Interior to provide administration for the national parks. Nineteen years ago, that department established urban recreation areas, leading to the opening of Gateway National Recreation Area, which is partially in Rockaway.

The Southeast Queens Clergy for Community Empowerment has endorsed Malcolm Smith for the new City Council seat that will represent the east end of Rockaway.

The Rockaway Irish Festival last month was one of the best on record. Kudos go to Marina Callaghan and Patricia Tubridy for its success. The only problem they face in the future is that they had too much success, and the site of the festival on the old Rockaway Beach Boulevard has become too small to handle the crowds that attend each year. Perhaps they will have to look for a larger venue for next year.

It looks as if casino gambling is off the back burner and back on the agenda once more. This time, the focus is on the western portion of the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, centering on Beach 73 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

30 Years Ago...

Westrich’s Restaurant on Beach 116 Street promises many specials for the remainder of the summer. With beach crowds at a high because of the good weather, many of the stores and restaurants on the busy shopping street are having a bumper season.

Haley Seif, daughter of Allen and Sallijane Seif of Neponsit, is working this summer as an intern for Representative James Scheuer in Washington, D.C.

Eugene Falik, a Bayswater resident who designated his home as an airport a few years ago to keep planes from flying over his house (the law says planes can’t overfly an airport without permission), still thinks that it’s a good idea, and is trying to get other Bayswater homeowners to join him. So far, he hasn’t gotten many takers, and the FAA seems to be ignoring him.

Local residents are worried that the demise of the casino gambling plan will bring far worse amenities to the Arverne Urban Renewal Area. Some federal lawmakers from the Midwest are working on a plan to use the area to house ill prisoners. Another plan is to use the land for more public housing projects. Rockaway residents wonder what comes next for the largest undeveloped oceanfront property in the nation.

40 Years Ago...

Rockaway’s Playland will once again host an outing that brings more than 500 underprivileged children from all over the city to the famed amusement park on the ocean. The event is sponsored each year by Walter Kaner, a columnist who writes for the New York Daily News.

No new home solicitations will be allowed in parts of Rockaway due to a decision by state officials. The problem is, blockbusters have been working to destabilize many areas in Queens and Brooklyn, including the eastern parts of the Rockaway peninsula.

Inwood resident Mildred Carella was the first person to cash a winning ticket at the new off-track betting parlor at Beach 20 Street in Far Rockaway. Her winning ticket totaled $26.

50 Years Ago...

The synagogue at Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Far Rockaway will be enlarged later this month or early next month when ground is broken for a 40- foot extension, increasing the seating capacity in the sanctuary from 500 to 850 congregants.

The concrete work on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel has been completed, and locals think it’s a case of better late than never. The work was scheduled to be done before the summer months.

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