2012-06-29 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

Three mysterious shootings in less than an hour’s time rocked Rockaway last Saturday night. Shawn Allen, 18, who lives on Far Rockaway Boulevard, was shot in his side as he entered his home at about 10:30 p.m. Terrence Williams, a Brooklyn teen, was shot in his shoulder as he was riding in a van past Beach 54 Street and Beach Channel Drive at about 10:45 p.m., and Johnny Battle, a resident of the Edgemere Houses, was shot once in the abdomen as he was standing in the rear of 57-32 Beach Channel Drive at about 11:45 p.m. Police said they are investigating whether the shootings are related in any way.

A 25-year-old Rockaway man was indicted this week on charges that he shoved the head of a 4-year-old boy in his charge into a pail of scalding water because the child was crying that he was hungry. The boy was burned so badly that he has to wear a medicated mask at all times and continues to receive medical care, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Rudolph Giuliani, a candidate for Mayor of New York City, will speak at the annual meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, which will be held at Pier 92 restaurant at 7:30 p.m. on July 1.

Steve Cooper has thrown his hat in the ring in an attempt to unseat Democratic District Leader Sy Sheldon. Cooper now joins a race that already includes Lew Simon and several others who seek the unpaid job.

There has been a rash of home breakins in the Bayswater community the past few weeks. Most of them are completed when the residents are not home during the workday. Some, however, occur during the overnight, when people are home and asleep. Even some institutions have been hit, with the Bayswater Jewish Center being hit twice in the last three weeks.

Vacation Day Camps will once again be held in several local public schools this summer. The camps open for registration on July 6 and the free program will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.

30 Years Ago...

More than $6.4 million has been placed in the city’s capital budget for sewers, a new bridge and a park in and around Cross Bay Boulevard, according to Queens Borough President Donald Manes.

City Councilman Walter Ward has called for an increase in the number of police officers for the two Rockaway precincts. Citing an “increase in crime,” Ward has asked for a large percentage of the new police officers due to graduate from the academy in two weeks.

Brenda Williams, daughter of Preston and Pearl Williams of Rockaway Beach, was graduated with honors from Brooklyn College this week. She will begin her teaching career in September at PS 183, a school from which she graduated.

Rockaway’s population grew by 172 persons in the past year, according to the Long Island Lighting Company, which conducts an annual survey.

40 Years Ago...

Now that construction is beginning in the urban renewal area, many of those who have been using the vacant land as a parking lot for years will have to make other arrangements.

The last vestiges of the automobile graveyard at the site of the new industrial park on Beach 80 Street are disappearing. There are great things planned for that site.

Mario Russo got his camera out last week and accompanied Sidney Greiff, president of the Seagirt Improvement Association, on a tour of Rockaway. The two came up with graphic evidence that our many flooding streets look more like Venice than like New York City.

The latest telephone book continues to list businesses on the boardwalk that no longer exist. For example, an “Irving’s Waffle Shop” is listed at 69-18 Boardwalk. Perhaps the telephone company knows something that we do not.

50 Years Ago...

Joe Cohen’s one-man campaign to improve the storefronts around his Toby Card Shop is bearing fruit. The Auld Shillelagh Tavern at Beach 87 Street has just put in a new storefront.

The new public parking lot at White Street has become very popular. Many residents are taking advantage of the lot because the parking meters have not yet been installed. The hot weather this weekend brought out lots of traffic, but police managed to keep it moving without undue problems.

Louis Adelman of Hyman’s Shoes likes to recall the days of the famous Columbia Club in Far Rockaway.

One of these days we’ll see an adjustment of all of those “No Parking” signs for the winter months.

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