2011-09-09 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Four young girls were mowed down at Beach 44 Street and Edgemere Avenue by a westbound 1987 Oldsmobile on Monday afternoon by a driver who sped from the scene, but was arrested by responding police at Beach 67 Street and the Freeway. The driver told police that he fled in panic and did not mean to leave the girls on the street.

Jacob Riis Park will remain open to the public through September 22 this year. There will be lifeguards on the beach and all the concession stands will remain open. Park officials say that this was a banner year for the beach and that the weather is expected to remain warm through the end of September.

Malcolm Smith, a candidate for the new 31st District City Council seat has called for an accounting of all the money spent by the city on youth programs. “Many parents have complained that Rockaway has few recreational programs for young people,” Smith said.

Rockaway Beach Civic Association officials say people who live adjacent to the Holland Avenue - Beach 90 Street subway station have been complaining that vandals are throwing rocks and bottles from the platform, striking both their homes and their parked automobiles.

On the last weekend of the summer, 500 pieces of medical waste washed up at the Riis Park beach. Officials think that they were dumped by an illegal barge carrying waste from Nassau County landfills.

Most of the local Democratic politicians are backing Juanita Watkins for the seat in the new 31st Councilmanic District. Watkins is a political hack in the great tradition of the people who are endorsing her. The eastern end of the peninsula was much better served by Walter Ward than they will be by a political insider such as Watkins.

The coming Rockaway Music and Arts Council Fall Festival, which is coming to Fort Tilden next weekend, will feature a tour of the historic Nike batteries that once defended New York City. 30 Years Ago...

Charles Hynes, the New York City fire commissioner, will speak at the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways meeting to be held at Rick’s Harbor Light Restaurant on September 21.

Rockaway Beach Boulevard, between Beach 116 Street and Beach 120 Street, will be closed to traffic from mid- September until just before Christmas. The closing will allow for a new sewer project. Traffic will be rerouted to Newport Avenue during the construction period.

Wave endorsements for the primary election included Ed Koch for Mayor, Harrison Golden for Comptroller, John Santucci for District Attorney and Sheldon Farber for Councilman At Large.

The City Council is considering a resolution that would rename Greenport Road in Far Rockaway. The resolution, which would change the street’s name to Gateway Boulevard, was at the behest of Councilman Walter Ward and Community Board 14. A number of developers want to build on the street.

Funeral services were held this week for Sam Schultz, the founder of the local chapter of the Knights of Pythias. Rabbi Daniel Mehlman, formerly the spiritual leader of Congregation Derech Emunoh, presided. 40 Years Ago...

Democratic District Leaders Sy Sheldon and Helen Leonescue greeted the community last weekend at the opening of the Rockaway Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways. The club’s headquarters is in Far Rockaway, above the Pix Theater.

The Hebrew Institute of Long Island (HILI), whose campus graces Seagirt Boulevard, will dedicate its newest addition this week, a new educational learning center to be named in honor of Simon Cohen, a longtime friend of the institution.

Ada Zakin, a leading Rockaway community activist, was not exactly flattered by an account of Arverne’s antimobile home campaign, which recently appeared in one of the daily newspapers. The article made it appear that local opposition was less than sincere.

50 Years Ago...

Bill Blum is in charge of the arrangements of the Rockaway Rotary Club’s annual fishing party, to be held on September 14. Fishing will be followed by a dinner at the Newport Inn, where lots of tall stories are bound to be told.

Some local bowlers are having a hard time deciding how many leagues they will participate in this winter and which leagues to join.

This is the time of the year when Rockaway residents have to pay more attention to the weather. Memories of Hurricane Donna’s visit last year are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

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