2011-11-04 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

It was no ghostly abduction or Halloween prank. If you did not see the Broad Channel Bits column last week, it is because, like other Wave columns, it will now be appearing on a bi-weekly basis. Thanks for seeking it out this week. Thanks for reading.

Well, driving recently on Cross Bay Boulevard through the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, you may have encountered an unusual sight. As afternoon turned to twilight a little sooner than it did the week before, one by one the street lights overhead suddenly came to life in sequence. As each began to warm into a new glow, they were like emerging beacons lighting the way into Broad Channel and home.

Close up the kitchen this Sunday, November 6, sleep in and then enjoy a late morning brunch with family and neighbors as the VFW Men’s Auxiliary serves hot eggs, crisp bacon, pancakes, sausage, waffles and more from 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Juice, drinks, hot beverages and dessert are included for a donation of $7 per adult and $3.50 for kids!

Maybe you’ve noticed the flyers around town or glanced at the lead article in last week’s Wave about the Participatory Budget Project. You might have also heard it’s very important to our Broad Channel community. But what is it really all about?

PS/MS 47 Parent Coordinator Rachel Colleran was happy to explain. “In a nutshell it is a process where community members have a direct impact on how part of a public budget is spent, specifically discretionary funds. The process starts by holding a series of neighborhood assemblies where residents can come out and make proposals on how they would like the money to be spent. The proposals with the most votes will then go on to the next level.”

For instance “here at PS/MS 47Q we are in desperate need of a technology upgrade. [So] the more parents [and residents who can] attend these meetings the better.”

The next of these very important meetings will be held on Monday, November 7 at the BC VFW Hall on Shad Creek Road just off Cross Bay Boulevard. Channel residents are asked to come out and be a voice for our community.

These funds amount to at least $1 million for capital spending. Explains Pete Mahon of the West 12 Road Block Association, “that’s money for physical improvements that benefit the public like rebuilding a street, renovating a park, installing benches or streetlights, or trash cans, repairing buildings, or buying computers or equipment for a school or community center. [At the meetings] volunteer budget delegates will be selected [and] then meet for several months to identify and develop budget project proposals. Other Neighborhood Assemblies are being held across the Rockaway Peninsula within District 32.

In March 2012 residents of District 32 will [have] the opportunity to vote on all final budget project proposals with the top vote getters being included in the city budget.”

If you can make it, please turn out and help make sure Broad Channel is represented on NYC’s budget map.

Well, despite the changeable weather there were lots of ghostly gatherings in the Channel last Halloween weekend. The VFW Ladies Auxiliary kicked things off on Friday, October 21 with a ‘dress your scary best’ Halloween party at the Prince-Wynn Post. Neighbors were still talking about it Monday morning!

On Saturday, October 29 Christ Presbyterian Church conjured up the spirit of fun by hosting their 3rd children’s gathering at the church hall. The hardworking congregation would like to “give our thanks to all the Moms, Dads, Big Sisters and Brothers who brought children to our Halloween Carnival. It was great to see the children’s faces as they came through the door with the snow and rain on them. Everybody had a great time! Thanks again for supporting us, even on such a foul weather day.”

On Sunday October 30, the 17th Road Park near the Library was packed with excited kids and families gathered for the BCVFD’s annual Halloween Parade from the park to the firehouse. The colorful kids parade kicked off around 1 p.m. Goodies were distributed at the end. Kids came in costume or just as they were and all had a great time.

Says Chief Dan McIntyre, “This is an event we have been running for many years. Last year over 150 marchers attended. Everyone enjoys the chance to display their costumes! One day a year – Halloween – is not enough.”

A pumpkin orange and witch hat black alert was observed on Monday morning as PS/MS 47 marked the grand day itself, October 31, with their own Halloween/Harvest Season celebration. All students were allowed to come to school in costume for Halloween. It was sunny and brisk as the parents, grandparents, families and friends who packed the schoolyard were treated to a gathering of all the kids and staff in costume and a very special Halloween parade. One by one, grade by grade the assembled ghouls, goblins, rockers, princesses, pirates and superheroes processed by to great applause. Even teachers got into the spirit with some very clever costumes! Children also enjoyed fun activities over the day and — trick or treat! — no homework!

Monday afternoon our sidewalks were filled with trick or treaters, all having a great time. Thanks to all for looking out for them.

The last game of the season for the BC Shamrocks will be at the BC Memorial Field and hosting Rosedale on Sunday, November 6 at 11 a.m.

Track or treat! Almost better than a bag of Halloween candy for weekend subway riders, the last shutdown of service from Howard Beach to the Rockaways will be November 5-7. Shuttle buses will run on the Boulevard and the BC token booth will be open.

Send BC news or info to workingstories@aol.com or drop it off in the right hand mailbox at 126 Noel Road, at the corner of Noel and Walton. Include your organization name and your full name, too. The deadline is Friday 5 p.m. Reminder: starting from this week this column will be appearing every other week.

Thank you for reading.

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