2012-04-20 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

December 2007:

“I have written 1000 words every week for the last five years. About events that take place in Broad Channel. On people I’ve met. About items that need covering. I have written about the commonplace—geese crossing the roadway and holding up traffic. I’ve written about the unusual—Santa Claus paying children visits on Christmas Eve and arriving with presents on the volunteer fire truck. I’ve written about the odd—a swan on the sidewalk in front of the house. I’ve written about the extraordinary—a woman interested in obtaining the organist I’d written about, for her mother’s funeral.

I write about the area—events that take place; people who live here; visitors who come here; the email I get— from other states like California, Colorado, Florida, Texas and New Jersey or other countries like Turkey and (places like) Puerto Rico.

Over the last five years I’ve written and written and written. This is the most interesting job I have ever had— the best job I have ever had.”

-Liz Guarino

Next Friday, April 27 would have been my wife Liz Guarino’s birthday. I think it fitting then that she start off this column, in her own words. She wrote the Broad Channel Bits column right up until February 25, 2012, the day she passed away. She loved writing about Broad Channel. And yes, she deeply loved living here.

Who needs Citifield? Come out for the Opening Day Parade and Ceremony for the Broad Channel Athletic Association’s Shamrocks Little League baseball teams. That’ll be this Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the BC Memorial Field.

With the pledge “I plan to walk 20 blocks for Jamaica Bay Little League,” kindergarten through eighth-grade children will be reaching for their personal best distance in the annual BCAC walk-a-thon this Saturday also.

The goal is to help raise at least $10,000 to fund Jamaica Bay Little League, part of which will go to continued improvements to the BCAC field, new clubhouse and facilities

Don’t be left with an empty plate; this Sunday, April 22 as Christ Presbyterian Church serves up a terrific hot sauerbraten dinner starting at 3 p.m. Donation: $15 per person. Reservations a must. For reservations or free delivery call Janet at 718-318-6454, Joyce at 718-474-7769, Al at 718-474-0534 or the Church at 718-945-3443. There’ll also be a 50/50 drawing, with tickets on sale at the dinner.

Pull up a chair! There’ll be Bingo at the North Channel Yacht Club this Saturday, April 21. Doors open at 7 p.m. Calling starts at 7:30. It’s $5 per person and there will be more than $600 in prizes!

Mark your calendar in green. Says BC Civic Association Beautification Committee chair Judy Zack, “We’re celebrating Spring! The Committee is organizing a ‘Clean Up a Tree Bed’ and ‘Adopt A Tree’ event on Saturday, May 19 – Kick off time is 10 a.m. all along the Cross Bay median.

Please join us on the center mall to spruce up and clear out the tree beds. We will be distributing a variety of flowers for each tree bed along with flags and flyers. Come claim a tree pit and be a part of NYC Million Trees Adopt-a- Tree initiative. Like us on Facebook [and] tell all your neighbors and friends about the event.”

Representatives from the Citizens Committee for New York City, which recently awarded a sizeable grant to help the Civic beautify our town, will be on hand, too. A hearty Broad Channel turnout would be a good thing with which to welcome our guests.

Thanks to Judy, the Beautification Committee and all our weekend gardeners for all that they do.

It’s very good news indeed that the Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate is back in place, at least for this year, and will be retroactive to April 1. As has been stated before though, the goal of Broad Channel’s civic leaders and our elected officials, notably Assemblyman Goldfeder, is complete elimination of the toll.

Sadly, just as we have regained our bridge rebate we have lost Peninsula Hospital. Not only is it a vital resource — ask any of our BCVFD Vollies; in an emergency every second counts towards life or death – but many members of our community worked there. They are now out of jobs. Our thoughts are with them.

The need for a nearby hospital has not diminished. In fact, with more people moving into Rockaway, it has expanded. Nor has anybody ever claim-ed the healthcare industry is going broke. How this can happen is beyond understanding.

Turning to the North end of town, Marie Harnisher made some good points in her letter to The Wave last week. Citing an article which confirmed City Council funding for guardrails along Crossbay Boulevard as it runs through the Wildlife Refuge in June 2011, she went on to note, “As of today there are no guard rails.”

“There have been many accidents since, ... one on February 26 and another on March 12, 2012. We in the community need to take immediate action and be proactive about this … before there are more memorials on this deadly path. If you are reading this … call your local representatives to express your concerns.” Well said.

Broad Channel has always been a place where neighbors look out for neighbors. Recently neighbors “sounded the alarm” after noting several young men and women going door to door on W12th Road claiming to be either “home inspectors,” or from the “mortgage company” or “energy company” representatives. Reports were made to the precinct. Neighbors began to keep an eye out for these people. Shortly thereafter these visits stopped.

On another note, someone recently wrote in about their car being vandalized to the tune of hundreds of dollars in damages as it was parked on Noel Road. We have also directly experienced and witnessed tires being slashed.

Broad Channel is a terrific place to live. It stays that way because the people who live here care about it. If you see something, if you hear something, if you know something – call the 100 Precinct 718-318-4200. Let them know.

Thanks for reading.

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