2012-06-15 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Rockaway residents, while not jumping for joy, were pleased this week when it was announced that three of the five libraries would have five-day-a-week service, thanks to a new fiscal plan passed by the City Council. Broad Channel, Far Rockaway and Peninsula libraries will have five day service while Arverne will be open two days a week and Seaside three days a week.

Gateway National Recreation Area beaches are officially open for the season as the park launches its 20th anniversary year.

Al Rizzo, 56, the owner of Autoronics on Beach 19 Street and a Rockaway resident was found guilty last week of insurance fraud. He was due back in court this week, but seems to have disappeared. As the jury was deliberating his fate in Queens Supreme Court, Rizzo suffered a heart attack and was taken to Jamaica Hospital. Court sources say that he has not been seen since he was admitted to the hospital.

The division of Rockaway politically speaking has some people breathing easier, but many more angry. Once again, the Rockaway peninsula has been split along racial lines. While some in the west end say “good riddance” to Floyd Flake, the east end is now the small tail of a very large mainland dog. Those who live in Bayswater will have to suffer along with a mainland assembly person, City Councilperson and Congressperson. That does not bode well for Rockaway.

Bob and Marie Nesbit of Belle Harbor congratulate their son, Bob Jr., upon his commissioning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He will be assigned to Fort Bragg, where he recently received his paratrooper wings.

Congressman Charles Schumer called The Wave this week to say that he would be picking up part of the western end of Rockaway as part of the recent redistricting process. He will now represent Rockaway from the tip of Breezy Point eastward to the Dayton Co-ops and then all along the boardwalk (where nobody lives) to the Roy Reuther Houses in Far Rockaway. His new term will begin on January 1.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer said this week that she would support a bill that would allow for more firepower for New York City police officers. For the past two years, both the mayor and his police commissioner have been playing racial politics with the idea of allowing cops to move to automatic weapons.

30 Years Ago...

There is talk of the TBTA, which runs Riis Park, raising the rates for parking at the beach parking lot. The fee, which is now $3.30, will reportedly rise to $4.

Rockaway residents reacted with plans of civil disobedience this week when it was announced that most of the beaches on the peninsula would be closed this summer because the city’s hiring freeze means that no new lifeguards can be hired. Local residents and organizations are planning “walk-ins” and swim-ins” in response to the ban.

Marion Polichak, president of the 100 Precinct Community Council, and Jay Steingold, assistant administrator of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, joined in a presentation last week on the hospital’s programs for those impacted with drug and alcohol addiction.

40 Years Ago...

Yesterday was the first day of summer, and Rockaway was still feeling some of the fringe effects from Hurricane Agnes, which was also the first of the season.

A Rockaway teacher was seen last week treating her students to lunch at McDonald’s for doing such a fine job this school year.

The Reverend John Bracken has been doing his part to keep youthful mischief away from Beach 129 Street. The Reverend hits the street each night to talk to the teenagers, who are always hanging out on the shopping street in the early evening.

The fireworks program on July 10 is being dedicated to the members of the Rotary Club and many of the club’s members will spend the evening as the guest of Playland.

50 Years Ago...

Wednesday night fireworks will begin next week. That is always a sure sign that summer is here.

Loeb and Mayer’s wholesale meat and poultry business may be growing to great proportions, but its owner, Otto Mayer, is still not above making an emergency delivery to a local client when the need arises. St. Camillus is in the process of buying the old Steeplechase Baths property at Beach 100 Street and Shore Front Parkway. The property will most likely be used as a playground.

Residents of the bayfront area in Seaside, which was under construction as a vest-pocket housing project, wonder now if the project is not a dead issue.

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