2012-03-02 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Despite the fact that there have been numerous traffic accident fatalities in the area over the past few years, the two west end communities – Belle Harbor and Neponsit – are at odds over how to alleviate the problems. Studies done by borough engineers from the Department of Traffic, indicate that the best short-term solution would be to redirect traffic to Beach Channel Drive until Beach 144 Street, rather than allow it to exit the drive directly onto Cronston Avenue, as is now the case.

“Queens Grapevine,” a television show produced by Rockaway resident Wallingford Lee, will air a segment with Congressman Floyd Flake on QUICS Cable next week. Flake and Lee will discuss such important issues as bridge tolls, jobs, the Arverne Urban Renewal Area and transportation.

The Ram’s Horn Diner on Beach 116 Street (famous for quality steaks, chops and seafood), brought back its popular One Stop Complete Luncheon this week, promising everything from soup to dessert for only $5.95.

An all hands fire that brought fire department units from all over the Rockaway peninsula gutted a Rockaway landmark on Friday night, February 21, when the unused Riverside Funeral Home on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway became engulfed in smoke and flame. While fire officials declined to provide a reason for the fire, locals say that squatters were living in the building, which was once one of the premier funeral homes on the peninsula.

Biggest thing in Rockaway now is the legalized car theft being perpetrated by the city. That’s where a group of tow trucks swoop in and tow off all the vehicles belonging to scofflaw drivers. We saw at least six of the tow trucks in the Rockaway Beach area on Wednesday morning.

With the St. Patrick’s Day Parade coming, isn’t it time to clean up Rockaway Beach Boulevard and repaint the center line? Lots of people visit Rockaway for the parade and it should look its best.

Congratulating their team after a hard win could have taken the Far Rockaway High School wrestling team out of the city championships. Lots of fans left the seats in the stands and jumped all over the mats after Rockaway beat Dewitt Clinton High School 34-33. The referee then deducted a point from Rockaway’s score for “unsportsmanlike conduct.” In the recount, Rockaway lost another point, making Clinton the winner.

30 Years Ago...

Tolls on both the Cross Bay and Marine Parkway Bridges were raised this week to a “reasonable” $.90. Residents can continue to use the reduced fare tokens, which cost them $.60 each.

Designs for the long-sought community park in Broad Channel will be unveiled to the public at a meeting of Community

Board 14 to be held in Far Rockaway on Tuesday evening.

The Wave is actively seeking any individual who was a Rockaway resident in the late 1920s and was assessed for the Cross Bay Bridge. Many locals believe that the bridge was originally paid for by the residents who lived between Beach 90 Street and Beach 98 Street at the time through the assessments that were added to their city tax bills.

40 Years Ago...

Four local leaders are suing Governor Rockefeller over school funding issues. Those four, Sy Sheldon, Helen Leonescue, Fred Kholreiter and Gerdi Lipschutz, are all Democratic leaders in the community.

Dr. Norman Brust, a long-time practitioner in Rockaway, has been named to lead the medical staff at the Peninsula Hospital Center.

Rehabilitation of the courthouse on Beach 92 Street and Beach Channel Drive as a civil court has been recommended by Vincent O’Connor, the regional vice president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Local residents have reacted to the rumors that the city will soon close the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway by sending petitions to Commissioner Patrick Murphy. Ada Zakin, the president of the Far Rockaway Taxpayers and Civic Association led the petition drive.

50 Years Ago...

A number of years ago, the city changed the name of Central Avenue to Far Rockaway Boulevard. Local residents, however, never took to the change and now the city is changing it back to Central Avenue again.

It has been a week since the tragic crash of an American Airlines Boeing 707 at the edge of Pumpkin Patch Channel, just north of Broad Channel and recovery efforts to find the bodies and the all-important flight recorders go on. First at the scene of the crash was the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. The vollies quickly extinguished the flames that wracked parts of the aircraft.

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