2011-09-23 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

A Rockaway man was killed on Tuesday when the 1978 Buick four-door sedan he was driving crashed head-on with a Nationwide ambulance on Beach Channel Drive at Beach 139 Street. Police say that the ambulance was driving westbound when it was confronted by a car coming from Beach 139 Street and that it swerved to avoid that car, hitting the Buick.

Celin Umonzor of Neilson Street was sentenced to 25 years to life this week for the brutal murder of Omar Munoz, of Gipson Street. According to prosecutors, Munoz was strangled to death and then hacked with a machete more than 35 times.

Advocates of a plan for one-man police patrol cars to save money have targeted the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Beach as a good place to start the experiment. They say that the precinct is one of the safest communities in the city and does not need two-man patrol cars.

Malcolm Smith, who lost the recent City Council election in the new Far Rockaway district to Juanita Watkins by only fifteen votes, wants to see the results in all of the voting districts because of what he calls “polling irregularities.” Watkins had 2,446 votes, while Smith had 2,431. Gregory Meeks had 978.

More than 15,000 people flocked to last weekend’s Fall Festival, sponsored by the Rockaway Music and Arts Council. They were treated to fine art, crafts, music and good food over the two-day annual festival.

One item on the wish list presented last week by Community Board 14 is a feasibility study that would focus on turning the abandoned courthouse on Beach 92 Street and Beach Channel Drive into a town hall that would house all of the government agencies in one place. Those who oppose the plan say that moving all of the agencies from their present locations would work great hardships on their present landlords and force Far Rockaway residents to travel to Rockaway Beach for services.

Breezy Point residents killed a controversial plan to build sewers throughout the area, but CB 14 has made the state road that runs down the spine of the community a priority for repairs.

30 Years Ago...

At the urging of Borough President Donald Manes, the Board of Estimate voted last week on two resolutions that would allow the residents of Broad Channel to buy the land that their homes are situated on.

Steps are underway to improve Beach 116 Street and the area around it, starting with the construction of an indoor mall on the site where the A & P Supermarket once stood. Also planned is a “San Francisco-style” wharf at the bay end of Beach 116 Street.

District Attorney John Santucci has announced the closing of a “porn” establishment at 113-20 Beach Channel Drive. The owner was recently arrested for showing two “sexually-explicit” movies at the site.

While the casino gambling deal is now dead, locals are waiting for somebody to come up with a good idea that would address Rockaway’s needs. Everybody agrees that it is a waste to leave that valuable property sitting fallow in the middle of the peninsula.

40 Years Ago...

Chamber of Commerce meeting last week that he was opposed to raising the fare on the subway and was working to do away with the double fare for Rockaway.

With bipartisan endorsements, Civil Court Judge Frederic Hammer is certain to become a Supreme Court judge on the first of the year.

Residents of Beach 9 Street near Central Avenue have become wary because of the number of burglaries and muggings in the area in recent weeks.

The final houses standing in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area finally succumbed to the bulldozer last week.

Comptroller Abe Beame told a crowded

There are large piles of sand on the bayfront at Beach Channel Drive and Beach 92 Street as excavation proceeds for a new McDonalds that is being built on the site.

50 Years Ago...

Among the landmarks scheduled to be demolished this week is the former Charles Murphy Building on the corner of Beach 86 Street and the Boulevard. It was formerly used for the Correlo Fish Market and before that, the King Laundry.

Adolph Mayer, the owner of the meat packing plant in Rockaway, heads the local Optimists Club. He recently painted a glowing picture of Rockaway’s future for the Rockaway Rotary Club.

George Smith says that he had a great time talking about the Rockaways with Guy Mott and Dr. Austin Johnson a few days ago at the Mott estate in South Egermont, Maine.

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