2011-12-16 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Local politicians were told by Queens Public Library officials that the library cuts announced last week would be put in place by the first of the year. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and State Senator Jeremy Weinstein had called the local meeting to try and convince the officials that the cuts in Rockaway were disproportionate with the rest of the borough.

New York City and the developers of the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, Oceanview Associates, have concluded a deal that would allow the developer to build out the project in a series of small discrete smaller projects due to “prevailing economic realities.” The plan would allow Oceanview to develop some of the smaller plots while turning others over to different developers.

Dr. Norman Brust, who has practiced in Rockaway for many years and who was a prisoner of war during World War II, suffered facial lacerations and scars as a result of a car accident last week. The doctor’s two-door ’88 Lincoln automobile was totaled in the accident, which tool place on Seagirt Boulevard and Beach 35 Street.

Police are turning to the public for help in finding the murderers of two women who were found dead in Edgemere last week. They were not found together, and the medical examiner says that there is no connection between the two. The first was found in a deserted, weedcovered area on Beach 30 Street near the beach, while the other was found in an apartment in the Beach 41 Street houses.

Alexandra Bernhart, a champion kayaker, who was born and brought up in Rockaway, has married Michael Harbold, another champion kayaker, in Hawaii, where the two are training for the 1992 Olympic games. Bernhart was named the top female kayaker in the United States last year and is a good bet to make the United States team in Barcelona, Spain for the games.

With Blockbuster Video coming to the Beach 116 Street shopping area, we wonder what will be the fate of the four local video stores already in the area. Each of the other stores is owned and operated by a local resident, and we hope that they will be able to hold their own against a national retailer such as Blockbuster.

30 Years Ago...

Publication of The Wave was delayed this week by a power failure that erased all of the electronic screens that produce the paper. The power failure lasted for fifteen minutes, but caused more than an hour’s delay in getting the papers to Rockaway newsstands.

New York City officials have said that they have no plans to sell the Arverne Urban Renewal Area through the city auction process. “We agree that any piecemeal sale of the site would not be in the best interests of the community,” said the head of the city’s planning commission.

Despite strong evidence that motorists entering the Rockaways are doing so to evade the one way tolls on the bridges across Jamaica Bay, the MTA voted last month to extend the toll plan for another three months.

Democratic District Leader Sy Sheldon spoke to the Jewish War Veterans this week, promising his help for the group’s plan to build a Jewish chapel at West Point.

40 Years Ago...

Lance Harrison, a member of the Far Rockaway High School football team this year, was named to the Daily News All-Star Team.

The firehouse on Beach 116 Street sports a beautifully-decorated Christmas wreath, thanks to the men of Ladder 137 and Engine 268.

After several trips to court to testify against a man who committed armed robbery in his place of business, a local businessman has given up in disgust and will no longer talk about the criminal justice system, except to say that there is no justice in the system.

There’s a new guessing game in Rockaway Park now that the frame apartment building on Beach 116 Street between Beach Channel Drive and Newport Avenue has been razed. People are trying to figure out what will be constructed in its place.

50 Years Ago...

Band Leader Mitch Miller has been seen house hunting in Hewlett Bay Park. Locals must be slipping, because they usually report entertainers house shopping in either Belle Harbor or Neponsit.

These are exciting days for the young people who play in the St. Camillus Band and the Rockaway Irish Band. They are gearing up for a trip to Florida, where they will march in parades during the holiday season.

Lee Green flourished as a speaker last week when he spoke about “fine wines” at the West End Temple.

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