2011-10-21 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Bids will soon be accepted for the rehabilitation of Riis Park, Congressman Floyd Flake reported to the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce this week. In August, 1991, Flake secured $6.5 million for the park’s rehabilitation.

Discovery of a body behind Waldbaum’s Supermarket Sunday morning touched off a search by detectives of the 100 Precinct. The body was found in an alleyway used by many motorists to access the supermarket’s parking lot from the Rockaway Freeway. Police would only say that the body was that of a woman in her twenties.

Queens Public Television will air a program about the problems faced by Rockaway. The program, called “Rockaway, The Forgotten Community,” will be shown on Channel 35 on Sunday, November 3 at 8 p.m. and then will repeat on successive days.

After the cleanup of the old Hunter Ambulance site on Beach 67 Street, all of the rubble was piled up in the middle of the site. Sticking up out of the rubble is a 100 pound liquid propane tank, which really looks like a rocket ship waiting to take off. We hope that the site gets cleaned before it blows up and takes the neighborhood with it.

As The Wave was going to press, we received word that there would be a run-off election between Malcolm Smith and Juanita Watkins for the new City Council seat in Far Rockaway. The winner will then take on Republican Rudy Washington in the November general election.

Captain Robert Cividanes, the new commanding officer of the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway was introduced to the community at a precinct council meeting on Wednesday night.

Special recognition was given last week to a group of senior citizens who volunteer many hours of their free time to help others on the peninsula as part of the Retired Senior Volunteers Program. Among those recognized were Sylvia and Morris Goffin of Bayswater, who give much of their time to the patients at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway.

30 Years Ago...

Development of the Hartman YMHA on Seagirt Boulevard will soon “lead to the revitalization of the entire Rockaway peninsula,” according to Harry Wertlieb, the development director of the Y.

Three large mosaic murals will be dedicated this weekend on Beach 116 Street and the boardwalk. The murals, described as “a dedication to the birds and the sea,” cost $30 to produce.

Plans for the development of Floyd Bennett Field, as the key element for Gateway National Recreation Area, will be discussed this week at an informational meeting to be held at the park on Sunday.

New York City firefighter Matthew Ireland of Rockaway Point was rushed to the hospital with second degree burns suffered as a result of an electrical fire in his home.

Rumors have it that Mayor Ed Koch has plans to sell the Arverne Urban Renewal Area to developers without notifying the community. Community Board 14 had better keep a close eye on Koch to ensure that Rockaway does not get something that it does not want.

Dan and Pat Tubridy, Frank Gallagher and Father William Reuger have just returned from two weeks in Ireland.

40 Years Ago...

The Reverend John Bracken of St. Francis de Sales Church on Beach 129 Street must take great pride in the fact that the city has installed a light on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 129 Street. He has been lobbying for a light at that location for years.

Ice skating at Jacob Riis Park may soon be in the cards. Parks Commissioner August Hecksher has also promised to look into a roller skating rink for the same location.

With most of the stores on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway closing early, the absence of street lighting south of Cornaga Avenue is especially evident.

The Hebrew Institute of Long Island (HILI) will celebrate its 36th anniversary this week with a dinner at the Capri Club.

50 Years Ago...

We now hear that the new firehouse at Riis Park, which has reportedly just been awaiting fixtures, might well be open before winter.

Newcomers cannot believe it when they hear that the toll will be removed from the Cross Bay Bridge when it is paid for. Oldtimers, who have been paying for the bridge for a generation or so, can’t believe it either.

The recreation area on the bay side of the Edgemere Houses is rapidly taking shape. Now, if the inside of the buildings can only be kept attractive.

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