2012-06-29 / Columnists


Those who shop in the Dayton Plaza Shopping Center on Rockaway Beach Boulevard should be careful not to leave their car in the lot while going someplace else to run errands or shop elsewhere. The owners of the lot have a policy of towing the automobiles of motorists who walk out of the lot to go elsewhere, leaving their automobile in the lot.

The Federal government has started cracking down on jet ski riders in Jamaica Bay, enforcing a ban that was first put in place in 2001, but was seldom enforced. Lately, jet ski riders have been getting warnings and even tickets for $75 from the federal parks police boats that ply the bay. Opponents of the plan say that the police wait right outside the Brooklyn marinas on the bay and grab jet ski riders as soon as they exit the marina facility. Parks officials say that the ban is necessary to protect the environment and the marine life that lives on and in the bay. The federal take-down on Beach 87 Street last week is another reminder that drugs and guns are still a problem on the Rockaway peninsula. FBI agents and cops from the 100 Precinct raided the shuttered house at 309 Beach 87 Street, just north of the subway el and took several young men and a woman, the mother of one of the arrested men, who protested her son’s arrest and yelled loudly at a Wave reporter that he should take her photo and show how brutal the police are in Rockaway. At the time she was screaming her venom, a female NYPD sergeant was talking quietly to her and even lit a cigarette for her to quiet her down.

A number of local environmental groups have started a push-back against Congressman Bob Turner’s plan to name the visitor’s center at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in honor of former Senator James Buckley. They say that if the center needs to renamed, it should be in honor of some noted local environmentalist rather than a politician who had little interest in environmentalism.

The Department of Transportation has decided that the new flag pole on Beach 128 Street, erected by the family of a long-time resident of the street who died recently, has to go because the proper permits and permission form the city’s Arts Commission were not granted. It seems sad, however, that a beautiful pole that flies the flag of our nation has to be removed because it offended the sensibilities of one or two residents and did not get the proper permits. Only in Rockaway would a resident object to a flagpole because it blocks her sightlines to the beach.

There have been lots of complaints lately that people from Riis Park beaches have been migrating eastward onto Rockaway beaches that have not seen visitors for several decades. There are many in the extreme west end who have always considered the public beaches there to be their private preserve, kept so by the restrictive summer parking regulations. They have little hope that the fence between Riis Beach and Rockaway, which was taken down by Hurricane Irene, will be replaced. Outgoing Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told the Daily News that the city and federal park were taking a “holistic view” of the beaches and were cooperating on lots of projects, that the fence would remain down. The News story focused on nude bathing and sexual antics at Riis Beach, and how those behaviors were coming to Rockaway, which gave a mundane story a little spice.

The mayor and his DOT commissioner continue to crow about bike lanes and shared bikes and all the rest, but the statistics continue to show that riding a bike in the city is a dangerous pastime. Over the last three months of 2011, 755 bikers, including a few in Rockaway, were injured in collisions with automobiles. Three were killed. Experts say that with bike share coming and the great probability that many of those riders will not know the city and not know how to ride a bike in an urban setting, they expect to see a large rise in the number of bike accidents in coming months.

When Hurricane Irene was off our shores the end of last summer, the Department of Sanitation workers took all of the garbage cans from the shopping area around Beach 116 Street because they were worried that they would become flying missiles in the high wind – a good move. The problem is, most of them were never returned and now both the street and the beach that faces it, are strewn with overflowing cans and flying garbage. Both the beach and the shopping area need more attention from the DOS.

A new study shows that the parents of New York City school students like their teachers, but don’t like the chancellor of the school bureaucracy very much. In a Quinnipiac University poll, only 37 percent of those parents questioned believe that chancellor Dennis Walcott is doing a good job. That is down from March, when he got approval from 43 percent of the parents. Walcott brushed off the poll, saying, “I don’t pay attention to ratings.” Don’t tell that to the teachers, because Walcott thinks their ratings are the be all and end all of education.

The 101 Precinct, located at 16-12 Mott Avenue, will be holding a blood drive on Friday, July 6 from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Those wishing to take part should bring an ID with signature or photo, weigh at least 110 pounds, be 16 (with parental permission) to 75 years of age, eat well – meaning low fat foods and drink fluids, and have had no tattoos for the last 12 months. Anyone with questions can contact Officer Maurice Roper at 347-245-1866. Those with questions about medical eligibility can call Long Island Blood Services at 800-688-0900.

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