2012-01-27 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Reports of a brother and sister being held hostage at 24-14 Oceancrest Boulevard in Bayswater brought police from all over the borough to the scene. It turned out, however, that the phony hostage situation stemmed from a drug money dispute.

State Senator Jeremy Weinstein, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and City Councilman Walter Ward have begun discussions with the MTA in an effort to delay any increases in tolls on the two bridges that access Rockaway – The Cross Bay Bridge and the Marine Parkway Bridge.

Unofficial plans for reapportioning the peninsula call for State Senator Al Waldon to gobble up much of the peninsula, with the west end linked to a Brooklyn district. The peninsula might lose Senator Weinstein as well, and that would be a problem, because he has worked so hard for Rockaway in the past.

Amid the shouts of angry residents and an attempt by School Board 27 chair James Sanders to still their voices, four trustees spoke at a meeting last week about the racial politics that were involved in the search for a new district superintendent. Beverly Hall, a black woman, was chosen by the board, but that choice has been suspended by the schools chancellor amid allegations of vote swapping.

Democratic District Leader Sy Sheldon has been asked by Governor Bill Clinton to run as one of his delegates in the April 7 Democratic primary.

The community board has asked the sanitation department to halt the dumping of bulk material at the Edgemere Landfill, but environmental chair Mario Russo warns that there will be much more dumping in Rockaway’s empty lots should the material no longer be welcome at the landfill.

The proposals for Floyd Bennett Field are in and they look better than the plans for Riis Park. One proposal calls for an air and space museum and another calls for a space camp. Other plans call for more ball fields and picnic areas.

30 Years Ago...

Rockaway residents and leaders are lashing out at the proposal that would raise tolls on the Cross Bay Bridge and the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway Memorial Bridge to $1.00. “The toll raise would cause an economic disaster in Rockaway,” said Joel Gerstel, the president of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce.

State Senator Jeremy Weinstein and Borough President Donald Manes will both seek the Democratic nomination for New York State Attorney General if the incumbent, Robert Abrams, decides to run for governor.

Local leaders in the Neponsit area are complaining to Senator Al D’Amato about nude bathing in Riis Park. “The people in this community are united in their opposition to this perverse, immoral and illegal practice,” the senator was told.

Fire destroyed at least three businesses and at least two homes on Wednesday at Beach 45 Street and Beach Channel Drive in Edgemere, according to fire department sources. The fire broke out in a check cashing establishment and quickly spread to the other buildings.

40 Years Ago...

Alex Polley has been watching others receive plaques for years. It became his turn last week when he was awarded with a plaque at the installation of officers of the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways. He beamed with pleasure when he received his award.

Another high-rise housing complex is scheduled to be built on the triangle of land bounded by Seagirt Boulevard, the Freeway and Beach 35 Street.

The Community Hospital Committee is expected to receive final approval this week to purchase St. Joseph’s Hospital, which will then be renamed South Shore Hospital.

Ada Zakin, who was a leader in the Allied Parent’s Association for many years, is vehemently opposed to the proposal to boycott local schools to protest delayed school construction. She believes that this is poor way to show children how things should be done.

50 Years Ago...

There has been a feeling for many years that there should be a skating rink at Jacob Riis Park. Now, there are plans to put a rink at O’Donohue Park in Far Rockaway. Perhaps that will spark the Parks Department to do something on the west end as well.

Last year’s heavy snow made the transit authority realize that here will be times when the tracks on the Rockaway line will need to be cleaned. It has now installed a scraper blade on one of its engines. That is a move in the right direction.

Those people who said that the Title I Project in Rockaway would never be built had a setback last week when construction began in Seaside.

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