2012-07-20 / Columnists

Beachcomber

Rockaway resident and Wave columnist Danny Solomon made the big time last week with an oped piece in the New York Post. Solomon, who has just graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan and will go on to Harvard University in the fall, wrote about the cheating scandal at his former school, saying that the “school culture rationalizes and enables [cheating].”

If you are a Rockaway or Broad Channel resident and have an EZ-Pass device on your automobile, you should be getting a free ride over the Cross Bay Bridge. In addition, you should check your account online and insure that you have received all the back money you paid between April 1 and July.

If you were a former patient at Peninsula Hospital Center it would be a good idea for you to get your medical records as soon as possible. The trustee is in the process of shipping them out to a storage facility that will sort them and make them available to patients – at a cost. You can get information about those records at the hospital’s website or on its telephone message, according to court papers supplied by the federal bankruptcy court.

City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who has been in office for more than ten years, is challenging both DA Richard Brown and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on gun violence in Rockaway. He says that one solution to the problem is gun buy-back programs and has chided Brown for not running more buy-back programs. In addition, he has challenged Kelly on his argument that black politicians are not doing enough to stop the gun violence in their communities. Sure, Sanders has been decrying gun violence for ten years, but except for putting a few cameras in the Redfern Houses, he has done nothing but march and pontificate. Kelly is right, holding a rally after a young person is killed by some gun thug is not the way to address the problem. The controversy that arose last week over the Wounded Warriors’ use of what was always a parking lot in Breezy Point is just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. The National Park Service is pricing many Rockaway groups, especially youth sports groups and arts groups, out of the park. The CYO soccer program may be disbanded because officials can’t afford the high rental fee and no other fields are available. The Rockaway Little League has reportedly been told that the rental fees for the fields they maintain at Fort Tilden will be upwards of $120,000 next summer. The RMAC is effectively gone, as are its summer concert series and annual Fall Festival. Some locals are calling for a boycott of the park until the fees come into line with reality.

A poll of television viewers all over the United States reveals that the September 11, 2001 attacks provided television’s most memorable moments over the past 50 years. Second was Hurricane Katrina, third, the OJ Simpson murder verdict. Those stories were followed by the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, the death of Osama bin Laden, the OJ Simpson slow-mo car chase, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Columbine school shooting, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the funeral of Princess Diana.

The mayoral primary elections are set for early September of 2013 and the Board of Elections expects that a September 24 runoff election might be necessary to settle who will run in the November election. The problem is, the board says, due to the new electronic voting system we now use in New York State, there might not be sufficient time to count the ballots in the earlier election to ascertain who will run on September 24. We thought that the digital voting would make it easier and quicker to count the votes, but we were apparently wrong.

Rockaway has been “discovered” once again, this time by the prestigious Huffington

Post. “The boardwalk comes alive during summer months, as surfers, young creative types and oldschool New Yorkers frolic on one of America’s largest urban beaches,” the Post article, by Rockaway resident Berid Baugher, says. “This south shore enclave is in the midst of a renaissance after a few decades of economic decline. The Victorian resort town began catering to the local surfing scene a few years ago and is now riding a wave.” We guess that those of us who have been living here all of our lives are the “old-school New Yorkers” mentioned in the blog, and those who have been surfing here for 50 years just don’t understand that the first 45 years before the hipsters came did not count. Joel Klein (not the former school chancellor) writes regularly for Time Magazine, but it wasn’t until he wrote a story about the death of his parents in a recent issue that we learned that he is an old Rockaway hand. “[My parents] met on the first day of Kindergarten at PS 114 in Rockaway Beach, Queens,” he writes. He says that his mom’s family lived in a house overlooking the bay, “the less fashionable portion” of the peninsula, while his father’s parents lived in a house overlooking the ocean. He writes, “If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s ‘Radio Days’ which takes place in Rockaway Beach, you get the picture.”

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