2011-08-26 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

The Broad Channel Athletic Club will benefit from the 1991 Mardi Gras, which will be held in the community next weekend, August 30 to September 2. The hits of the weekend will be the old-timer’s ball game, the children’s races and the grand parade.

Sewage in some parts of Rockaway was backed up more than 40 blocks after torrential rains last week. The floods overwhelmed the water treatment plant at Beach 108 Street and it took at least two days for the plant to process all the flood water.

A Rockaway lifeguard who has served for years on Rockaway’s beaches has been summarily transferred to an indoor pool because of his “union activities,” the lifeguard, Joe McManus charged this week. “I have been questioning my bosses about questionable policies and activities on the beach,” he told The Wave. “Rather than answer those questions, they transferred me.”

The election races are heating up, with the Majority Coalition, a group dominated by Mayor David Dinkins, choosing Malcolm Smith in Far Rockaway, which is no surprise since Smith works for Congressman Floyd Flake, one of the most powerful politicians in the city. On the west end, the coalition gave the nod to Thomas Gebert, who is running against the incumbent Walter Ward. Ward gained Dinkins’ disfavor by fighting his budget cuts in the City Council.

Hurricane Bob hit Rockaway last week, causing many local stores to close their doors and shutter their windows. Damage to Rockaway was limited to some downed trees and electrical wires.

Local schools have been told by Community School District 27 officials to program their September opening with larger class sizes than allowed by contract due to the fiscal crisis the city is undergoing. Elementary classes will be programmed with 28 students rather than 25, while middle and junior high schools will be programmed with 35 students rather than 28.

The 100 Precinct in Rockaway Park welcomed a new detective to its squad this week with the addition of Detective Skye Williams, who came to Rockaway from the robbery unit of the 110 Precinct, where she worked undercover for three years.

30 Years Ago...

Congressman James Scheuer and Joel Gerstel, the president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, have asked Community Board 14 to hold a public hearing in Rockaway in regard to the proposal to house derelicts in the former Naval barracks at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, right over the Marine Parkway Bridge from Rockaway.

St. Mary’s Star of the Sea parishioners in Far Rockaway opened celebration of their church’s jubilee (125 years) with a mass last Saturday night that included hanging a cross over the alter.

Two hundred and thirty reservations have already been received for Peninsula Hospital Center’s 74th annual dinner dance, which will be held in October at the Sands in Long Beach, according to Dr. Louis Hoffner, the dinner chairman. More than 600 people are expected to attend.

Governor Hugh Carey is ignoring pleas for a fishing industry in Rockaway and is instead moving forward with establishing the industry in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, according to a recent announcement by Assemblywoman Gerdi Lipschutz.

City Councilman Walter Ward has announced a new youth center to be built in Broad Channel.

40 Years Ago...

John Curran, the Beach 129 Street butcher who specializes in prime quality beef, is getting ready to move very soon to the former bakery building he recently purchased just a couple of doors down from his present location.

Look for some novel promotional ideas to be brought into play with the opening of the Jerry Lewis Cinema in the Surfside Shopping Center in early September. It’s to be a family theater and plans to show some great films.

More fishermen than ever are using the walkways of the Cross Bay and Marine Parkway bridges to drop the fishing lines and crab traps. Perhaps it’s the state of the economy that draws them to Rockaway’s bridges.

50 Years Ago...

It seems good to see some life around the old Rockaway Beach Hospital, which was closed for several months. The activity comes from workmen who are transforming the former hospital into a nursing home.

One of the orange-uniformed parks department workers was making time with a young lady in the shade of the boardwalk recently. Then, he saw a supervisor approaching, so he got up and ran. That was an error, because the supervisor had not seen him until the running orange uniform caught his eye. It was like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

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