2012-01-13 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

The air was brisk and mild enough last Sunday for a January day.

Down in the street below a neighbor’s deck, a man and his three girls could be seen out for an afternoon’s walk. The man and one girl were on foot. One girl came bouncing along on a nifty pogo stick. The last girl, the smallest, came pushing along on a little bicycle.

“She’s stuck,” one girl was heard to say, pointing to her bike riding sister as she stopped to tie her shoes.

“She doesn’t know how to work the peddles yet,” said her pogo sticking sister, hopping alongside.

“Well, give her a push,” said Dad wisely as he turned around.

Each with a firm hand on the bike seat, both girls gave their temporarily becalmed sister some forward momentum. Soon she was happily rolling along again.

The man and his daughters continued on, enjoying their afternoon together.

Come in, sit down, warm up and enjoy a full hot breakfast at the VFW this Sunday, January 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first brunch of the New Year, it’s a great time to sit down with family, friends and neighbors. And a great way to celebrate a winter Sunday.

VFW Post 260 is located at 705 Shad Creek Road, just off Cross Bay Boulevard. Adults- $8, kids- $4 and seniors get $1 off. This is surely the best breakfast south of the American Legion. Come out and enjoy.

Keep an eye out for great upcoming brunches from both the VFW and the American Legion (also the best breakfast north of the VFW). Hats off to the men and women in the kitchen who make it all to order and make it so well. Spatulas down, they are the best cooks anywhere.

You may have read Nicholas Briano’s excellent article in last week’s Wave about the great volunteers who are putting so much effort into transforming the St. Virgilius lunch room into something new and special for the entire community.

I received the following e-mail from Father Ahlemeyer advising me of the project and the then upcoming ribbon cutting. Here’s the letter that came through:

“Dear Dan:

If the weather is nice and you are out for a walk, stop in at the School on Church Road. A group entitled LEGACY89 is renovating the Lunchroom and expanding the meeting space so that it can accommodate more people. They are planning a ribbon cutting ceremony on this Thursday, January 5th. Please stop in if you are free.

Thanks, Fr. Richard”

On a nice sunny morning I stopped in and was amazed at all the work that had gone into transforming this space. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Lori McKeon, one of the volunteers taking the lead that day. Even as we spoke, volunteers were redoing floors, painting walls, adding flourishes to murals and carting away construction debris ahead of the ribbon cutting. It’s quite an amazing project. More on that next column.

Flyer on a lamppost: “Guardian An- gels Safety Patrol - Join Now. Call Toll Free: 347-942-2886.”

Noted: There seems to be some renovation work in progress on the concrete stairwell that goes up and into our Broad Channel subway station. Couldn’t get a good look behind the plywood, but it will be interesting to see what develops.

There will be music in the air at PS/MS 47 every Thursday from 2:30-4 p.m. In a letter to parents, Principal Janet Donohue announced that, “Thanks to funding from the Parents’ Association, we are now pleased to offer an after-school music/guitar program.” The program will run from January to May and the school also offers guitars for the students to borrow.

Addressed to parents of 6th-, 7th- and 8th-graders, it also notes that the program now has ten additional spots open to 4th-graders. If more than ten students apply, the applicants will be selected by lottery.

With so many people in Broad Channel who truly enjoy making music and sharing it with the rest of us, it is nice to see a brand new crop of young musicians being nurtured and encouraged. Studies have shown it also helps them in school and socially, too!

If you hadn’t made plans to attend the next Broad Channel Civic Association meeting, you may want to. Says BCCA President Dan Mundy, “Commissioner McCarthy (DOT) and the DOT/RBA design group will be attending the January 26 civic meeting starting at 7:30 p.m. at the VFW hall. They will be there ‘to discuss the details of the construction plans for the west 11, 12 and 13th street raising project, that have been recently finished.’ ”

“Please inform your neighbors,” he adds, “and try to attend the meeting if possible, as we want to ensure that the community has the necessary input in the details of the plan as they are now being finalized. We appreciate Commis sioner McCarthy’s continued outreach to the community regarding this project and feel that with the input from our residents we will be able to ensure a project that will be a success.”

Parents: Your children can enjoy a free, healthy breakfast right at school. Writes the NYS Department of Education, “Eat well, learn well. One good breakfast is all your child needs to start the day off right. Visit http://schools.nyc.gov/ schoolfood to view our breakfast menus and learn more about our programs.”

Like so many in Broad Channel, did you put out your tree for pick up after the holidays? Thanks! From January 3 to January 14 the Department of Sanitation collected clean (no hooks, lights or left over ornaments please) Christmas trees left at the curbside. The trees are chipped, mixed with leaves, and recycled into rich compost for NYC’s parks, institutions and community gardens and go on to benefit our community and all New Yorkers.

The Department of Sanitation also reminds us that beverage bottles, whether they’re from holiday wine or weekend beer; cartons, whether from eggnog or milk; wrapping paper; holiday cards; junk mail; cardboard tubes; and more are all recyclable and help cut waste all year round.

Thanks for reading.

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