2012-02-24 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Beach Channel Drive was recently the scene of three accidents over a four-day period, beginning on February 15 and ending February 18. All of the accidents occurred on a six-block stretch of road, from Beach 140 Street to Beach 146 Street. Two people were killed and several others injured in the spate of accidents.

The schools chancellor has given his approval for the election of a new superintendent of schools by Community School Board 27. The election has been held up by a report that ordered one board member suspended and another – board president James Sanders Jr. censured for his actions in relation to a political deal that was made in order to make Dr. Beverly Hall the new superintendent. The board had already approved Hall in a secret meeting held a month ago. The vote is expected to be held at the next school board meeting, which will be held next week.

According to Percy Sutton, the CEO of Queens Inner-City Cable, 11,000 of the 38,000 homes in Rockaway already have the cable service and that the wiring is in place to accommodate all of the others who want the service. Lew Simon asked Sutton why there can’t be a satellite studio in Rockaway, at Beach Channel High School, and Sutton promised to look into the possibility.

The argument remains over whether or not the Oceanview plan for the Arverne Urban Renewal Area is dead or just dormant. There are some members of Community Board 14 who like the plan and would like to see it implemented by a variety of developers, while others want to start the process all over again to allow for more mixed-use proposals.

Housing Authority Chairman Laura Blackburne will probably not lose any sleep over what her housing police here in Rockaway have to put up with every day, but she can certainly take a seat on her new, expensive leather couch, put on some soothing music, and forget about their problems – and hers.

Far Rockaway was the scene of two huge fires on Monday, February 17, leaving three dead on Gateway Boulevard. Fire marshals say that an accelerant was used in the deadly fire. In the other fire, just a few blocks away, a 16-yearold girl helped her five siblings to get out of the fire.

30 Years Ago...

The city’s fiscal budget for 1983 lists an expenditure of $52 million to replace the deteriorating North Channel Bridge, which connects the mainland with Broad Channel.

The annual Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off on Saturday, March 13, following a mass at St. Francis de Sales Church. The festivities will include a concert the evening prior to the parade featuring the Wolftones, a famous Irish group.

Local private bus operators, including the Green Bus Line, has announced that they will cease service on March 1 unless they get $12.5 million they say they are owed by the City of New York.

Michael Wein, a senior at Far Rockaway High School, has been accepted to the Pennsylvania State University Jefferson Medical School Five-Year biomedical program at the school.

Rabbi David Novick and Cantor Reuben Caspe are inviting all Bayswater residents to a Shabbatone at the syna- gogue to be held on February 20.

40 Years Ago...

The decrepit mall in the center of Beach Channel Drive has not been repaired, but officials are glad to see that an aluminum fence has been put up on the top of the mall. Perhaps that will cut down on the number of accidents on the drive.

Congregation Shaare Zadek has cleared the land for a new synagogue in Edgemere. With the departure of the last tenant on the land, construction can now begin to replace the old synagogue on Beach 36 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. That building was demolished because it stood in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area

Mario Russo has been trying to cut down on his community involvement but it is hard when he is on so many committees and they meet the same night. That is the price of popularity and commitment.

50 Years Ago...

The tide was so high on Tuesday morning that for a while it looked as if Captain Gus Fraznick of the Jamaica Bay Towing Company might go down Beach Channel Drive with his tugboat at any minute.

High gusts of wind, coupled with sidewalks made slippery by ice and snow, had people taking two steps forward and then blowing three steps back last Tuesday.

Now that the shock of last week’s air tragedy is wearing off, people in Broad Channel are beginning to wonder how long their luck will last. It was the second near miss in the community in the last year.

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