2012-07-06 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

The demands of 30 residents that former employee Diana Roberts reinstated and that the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation executive director Ed Remsen be fired “for insubordination” led to a quick exit of the executive board at its executive board annual meeting last week. Roberts was terminated by Remsen on June 8. Previously, she had been the head of the organization’s Job Development Division.

Vans riding roughshod on bus routes in Rockaway will face regulation if Governor Mario Cuomo has his way and signs a bill that the State Senate passed 47 to 4 last week. The bill will allow the state to regulate the private vans, which, residents claim, regularly drive in a dangerous manner on local streets.

Parts of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway were closed off earlier this week due to a spill. Officials say that a histology lab technician dropped a bottle of xylene while removing it from a protective cabinet. Administration was advised of the spill immediately and the hazard spill plan was put into effect. The spill was cleaned by experts, officials say and the state soon gave the hospital a clean bill of health.

Far Rockaway resident Kevin Pruitt has thrown his hat into the ring and will run for the new State Assembly seat created in the recent reapportionment plan. Pruitt runs his own real estate business in the east end of Rockaway and Nassau County.

Rockaway’s third annual Rockaway Night Out Against Crime will be held on Tuesday, August 4. Flashlight marches will begin at two points in the community, Beach 116 Street for the 100 Precinct and Beach 59 Street for the 101 Precinct and will end at Beach 86 Street for a joint commemoration of the night. This is the first time that both precincts have joined for one ceremony for the national program.

The annual Irish Festival will be held at Beach 108 Street once again this year. The fair will take place on July 25 and 26 and will feature Irish food, entertainment and wares.

30 Years Ago...

Rockaway’s first annual Irish cultural festival will be held on July 31 at Beach 109 Street and the Old Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Mickey Carton will be the featured musical performer.

Seventy-six police officers and six sergeants will be added to the complement of police officers assigned to Rockaway precincts, according to City Councilman Walter Ward. This constitutes a “summer detail,” to augment the precinct’s patrol on the beach. With the Green Bus Line on strike, local activists are saying that the strike will impact the poor residents of Rockaway disproportionately. “Many locals have been through this so many times, that they are immune to the strike,” says activist Mae Fetscher of CB 14, “but the poor are not.” To fill a special need for local news,

Bernie Blum, president of the Friends of Rockaway, has asked the city to clear Beach 38 Street so that it can be used as a surfing beach in time for the sum- mer months.

40 Years Ago...

There are no mobile homes in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area as yet, but the contractors are planning to place two doublewide trailers as a construction office on the site very shortly.

Dr. Eugene Finkel was the happiest man in town last week. He hosted a party at Shea Stadium for the Rotary Club and the Mets lost 5-4 to the San Francisco Giants.

The bay men who fish Jamaica Bay for a living are saying that the eclipse of the sun on Tuesday kept the fish from biting that day.

Brother Frank Springman of St. John’s Boy’s Home is putting together a youth football squad to take on all-comers at Riis Park. Springman says that he has more boys who want to play, but does not have the funding for a second team.

50 Years Ago...

The first building at Surfside Park is now up to the eighth floor. That leaves only four more stories to be built before the building is complete.

Panhandlers are more in evidence at the Holland Avenue Station this summer. A line they use is to ask for a subway token so that they can get to work. Rockaway residents were disappointed

when Wednesday’s fireworks were cancelled due to a dispute between the barge owner and the Massachusetts fireworks supplier.

Workmen have completed painting the stripes on the White Street parking lot in Far Rockaway. It is expected that the parking meters will be put in place shortly.

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