2012-08-24 / Columnists

Looking Backward

What The Wave Said 20 Years Ago...

An automobile accident left a pedestrian in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital at press time after he was hit by an automobile under the Rockaway Freeway at Beach 51 Street on Tuesday. The injured man was later identified as Louis Tenner, 75, of Ocean Village.

Members of he Rockaway Music and Arts Council moved into high gear this week, getting ready for the organization’s ninth annual Fall Festival, which will be held on September 12 and 13 at Fort Tilden.

The body of the 14-year-old boy who disappeared in the surf at Beach 19 Street last weekend was found floating just off Beach 115 Street in Rockaway Park on Friday.

Gregory Meeks has been endorsed by clergy throughout the Rockaway peninsula this week in his drive for the State Assembly. Rockaway residents gathered at Beach 29 Street and the boardwalk last week to question why the city paid millions for private land to build Public School 43 when it has 180 acres of land in the Urban Renewal Area just four blocks west of the new building site. Some carried signs declaring the new school the “Boondoggle on the Beach.”

The Jewish Community Council and its president Merv Berrin have touched off a controversy by advertising “Partnership Housing,” which is built by the city for all middle-class residents as “East Lawrence Square Homes,” suitable for Jewish residents in the east end of Rockaway. First of all, the homes are not being built specifically for Jewish residents and secondly, they are nowhere near Lawrence, which is over the border in Nassau County.

30 Years Ago...

A near tragedy was averted last week when Charles Milazzo, an alert maintenance man, noticed smoke coming from the rear wall of the gymnasium at St. Camillus RC Church in Rockaway Beach. The gymnasium had been used for a card party the evening prior to the incident and fire officials believe that an errant cigarette was the cause of the small fire.

Public School 183 in Rockaway Beach has been named one of the city’s “most unsafe schools” by the United Federation of Teachers. A number of Rockaway schools, including Beach Channel High School and Junior High School 198, PS 42, PS 105 and PS 104 were also placed on the list for “physical attacks against teachers, assaults and robberies” in the buildings.

The fireworks at Rockaway Family Day last weekend kept thousands of people on the boardwalk to watch the show. The Chamber of Commerce, the organization that sponsored the fireworks, estimated that more than 5,000 people watched the fireworks show.

Heavy rains made local streets impassable and lightening hit in at least four locations on the peninsula when heavy thunderstorms hit Rockaway on August 14.

City Councilman Walter Ward has received the endorsements of the Democratic, Republican and Conservative parties in the upcoming election. The only candidate to face Ward will be Emma C. Rohms, of the Right To Life Party.

40 Years Ago...

When guests arrived at about the same time for a bris at the Fox residence in Neponsit, they caused a minor traffic jam on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 145 Street on Sunday.

Although there’s some question of the funding for interscholastic sports this coming school year, Jack Kershman’s Seahorses football team has been practicing for the season.

Now that there’s been a shooting at Riis Park, the fears of many Neponsit residents when the park was being developed have been revived. Locals thought that the park would create problems for their neighborhood, but nobody could have predicted a murder at the national park site.

The construction of the new firehouse in the urban renewal area has brought two large cranes to Rockaway. The two cranes look more like something to be found at Cape Canaveral for launching spacecraft.

50 Years Ago...

A series of hurricanes recently hit the Florida coast, but the weather here in Rockaway has been relatively balmy. Many locals, however, are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Donna, which hit Rockaway two years ago.

Parents who were formerly part of the Far Rockaway High School Parent Teacher’s Association are now forming an ad-hoc committee to represent the parents of those students who will attend the new bayfront school on Beach 102 Street.

The reference department at the new Peninsula Branch Library has received a set of New York State laws.

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