2012-03-30 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 14, when the Clare Fund Run, a 5k run/walk or a 10K run will be held on the boardwalk at Beach 95 Street. The event, which begins at 9:30 a.m., is a fundraiser for Clare Droesch, a Rockaway icon who played basketball for Boston College and was an assistant coach at Scholars’ Academy and who now suffers from stage four cancer. In addition, there will be an after-party fundraiser at Bungalow Restaurant on Beach 92 Street beginning at noon.

The Scholars’ Academy girls basketball team has taken the B Division City Championship for the second year in a row with a big win over Bedford Academy in the final. The team found a way to repeat despite the loss of all but one of its starters to graduation this year.

Insiders say that local Republican Bob Turner will have a hard time winning an election for Senator Kirstin Gillibrand’s seat without a nod from the small but powerful Conservative Party. That ballot line, however, has gone to somebody else and now it is not clear whether or not Turner will even get the Republican nod at the upcoming convention because the delegates tend to go for the person who has the Conservative Party line as well. The Democrats have already been targeting Turner and his television past by posting stories about his work with Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Springer. We believe that Turner got a free pass from the press when he ran in the special election against Dave Weprin, but it will not be the same now that he is on the big stage. In last week’s edition, The Wave published the final political maps for the upcoming election. As the maps stand, Congressman Gregory Meeks represents the entire peninsula in the House of Representatives after Tony Weiner’s old district was deleted. We will have to wait to see who the Republican candidate will be, because Bob Turner has decided to run for the Senate rather than challenge Meeks for Rockaway. In addition, there might well be some Democrats who want to challenge Meeks in a primary, but that is looking less likely each day. On the state level, State Senator Joseph Addabbo is back, representing the west end of Rockaway, with Shirley Huntley, who previously represented Broad Channel, now getting a large portion of the east end of the peninsula. The Assembly lines remain roughly the same as they are now. With Meeks and Huntley under investigation, however, there might just be more changes in our political future. While Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to veto the lines, he went along with them this time because the legislature passed a new law that would reform the reapportionment procedure ten years from now.

The problem with the traffic flow around Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Park are documented in the Wave this week by student Ana Solares. The problem is critical because many of the students have to cross the busy Rockaway Freeway to get to their bus rides and there are no traffic controls available. In addition, the sidewalks in the area are broken and sometimes non-existent. The city has to do something to remediate the problem before some student is badly hurt.

Speaking of that, the city will soon begin putting in the guard rails on Cross Bay Boulevard that were promised after a critical accident more than a year ago. There was another fatal accident there two weeks ago, and we wonder if the guard rails would have done something to stop that accident from becoming deadly.

The house collapse on Beach 72 Street on St. Patrick’s Day once again points out a major problem in Rockaway and that is home owners who build additions to their homes without permission or break their one-family into several apartments in order to increase the value of their prop erty. The house at 451 Beach 72 Street was originally a one-story building. The owner had permission to build a second floor, but was fined for some of the work that was done. Then, somehow, a third floor was built onto the home without permission, according to the Department of Buildings. It was that unoccupied third floor that collapsed under the weight of 100 party-goers, causing some injuries.

Changes to the state’s testing prgram could leave public school students in grades 3 through 11 taking as many as nine standardized tests a year beginning in 2014 — four times in math and five times in reading. In addition, the new teacher standards program requires testing in science, social studies and foreign language. Soon, our kids will do nothing but take tests all year long, all in the name of standards and accountability.

Two weeks ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan took to the street to show the public the city’s latest toy – a machine that fills potholes and promises to reduce the city’s workforce. The machine cost the city nearly $300,000 and it did not work. Bloomberg says that the one machine will take the place of six men – if it ever works.

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