2013-02-08 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Not long ago I had heard someone say, “The sun is always shining. It may be cloudy or raining where you are. But it’s still up there, above all that, and it shines every day.”

People may look back in a hundred years at the history of our community, Broad Channel.

When they do, I think they will find that this was a time of tremendous devastation, hardship and heartbreak, but also a time of tremendous promise, opportunity and hope.

Certainly if they can hear or read the post Sandy words of Broad Channel people, they will know this was so.

It was good to see so many BC neighbors last month at the Walk A Mile In Our Shoes march and rally on the beach. Many came a fair distance from wherever they’ve been displaced to, to be there.

Often it was like a big, walking reunion. Friends and neighbors hugged, greeted each other and sometimes cried as they ran into sometimes a dozen people they had not seen since the storm.

BC’s Gary Russo, who was displaced out of state, closed out the event, leading the whole crowd in song.

More recently it’s been good seeing so many BC people at so many meetings where people are beginning to talk about rebuilding the Rockaways and our area.

Dan Mundy Sr. in particular was a strong and positive voice at last week’s Friends of Rockaway Beach ideas meeting at the Knight of Columbus. We and our Rockaway neighbors have certainly been hit hard, and there is a lot to complain about. But as he reminded us the real road to keep our eye on is the one ahead of us. That’s the one that leads to the future.

This interesting meeting and Dan’s remarks are on Youtube.

This might be the only meeting I’ve ever attended where someone rose and chanted “Sanitation! Sanitation! Sanitation!”

This was from a man rightly praising the city agency that came most to our aid right after the storm.

Dan Mundy Sr. and the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers were honored at the recent Graybeards annual dinner dance. There’s a nice photo by Brita Helgesen in last week’s Wave of Dan accepting the award.

There’s a nice picture of Dan Sr., Dan Jr. and event guest host, NBC’s Brian Williams on the “You’re Probably From Broad Channel” Facebook page.

The popular Facebook site has almost become a lively BC village square, where people share information, discuss BC happenings and pass along news. I suppose it’s a way, too, for many people far from home to still connect with the place and the people they love.

Recently there was much discussion of an old Mardi Gras photo someone posted. Sure enough, in Broad Channel fashion, many voices weighed in on who was in the picture and who was related to whom. They might just as well have been at a Historical Day or standing in front of St. Virgilius chatting after Sunday services.

This week we mourn the loss of Frances Magoolaghan of West 14th Road on February 1st. According to a posting by her family, “We are still hoping to have the Mass at her beloved St. Virgilius Church that she supported her whole life in Broad Channel.”

Kudos to BC’s Don Riepe and Dan Mundy for presenting a very informative and well run meeting at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last week.

Allying their respective American Littoral Society and the Ecowathers under the Jamaica Bay Task Force banner, they invited top people from the DEP, National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers and DEC to speak to an overflow crowd.

Each detailed what their organization has been doing through the post-Sandy recovery and their rebuilding plans.

As much as there is still a lot of frustration and unsettled issues out there, the gathering was civil, people got to ask questions and people, for the most part, got answers.

It is also very gratifying to see Channel people attending and getting deeply involved in meetings all over the Rockaways about the future course of our entire area and our larger community. As more than one person has said, we really are all in the same boat.

The BCAC comes back swinging! Registration for 2013 baseball is on Saturday and Sunday, February 9th and 10th, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. That will be at the BCAC building off Cross Bay Boulevard, next to the American Legion.

CYO baseball/softball, which is for 3rd grade children and up, is $100 per child. Little League and T-Ball are for kids 3 years and older and is $50 per child. Registration fees have been reduced to help offset the impact of Sandy. There are also discounts for families signing up three or more children.

Make checks or money orders payable to the BCAC. No cash, please.

By the way, The Wave’s ‘happenings’ section is back. They’ll be looking to promote event information, meetings, ‘Sandy’ related events, relief activities and more. Also if you’re a Channel or Rockaway musician, artist, speaker or organization appearing or doing something elsewhere, The Wave would like to let people know about that, too!

Send items to editor@rock awave.com. Thanks!

About that new little red free book ‘mini-library in BC, the following exchange was seen on the Urban Librarians Unite page.

“The box is so popular in our town that it’s now empty! Yep, Broad Channel needs more Books! Stop by when you can...and thanks!!

“Thanks for the heads up, we’ll get more out there asap.”

We’ve noticed the gate has been part way up at Hamberry’s. From a quick peek it looks like shelves are up in there.

Looks like All American Deli is expanding. No solid information on what they’ll offer in that extra space. Someone said they’ll have tables where people can sit down. But we’ll have to wait till the paper comes down off the windows and they re-open the doors.

Ruffle Bar is closing after the Super Bowl to do much needed storm repairs. Don’t panic. Grassy’s is still open!

Got BC news or info? Send e-mail workingstories@aol.com.

Thanks for reading!

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