2014-03-07 / Columnists

Looking Back

The Wave’s archives were largely lost to Hurricane Sandy. But through piecing together online sources, we are once again able to present this feature.

There may be some gaps in the record, some years may be missing, but here’s…

What The Wave Said...


Years Ago…The

$2 million Peninsula

Preparatory Academy will open at Middle School 53 on Nameoke Street with 150 students in Kindergarten through the second grade, with one successive grade being added each school year until the charter school is comprised of Kindergarten to grade eight. The school is being funded through the education management company, Victory Schools, which is run by State Senator Malcolm Smith.

The future of the Rockaway Courthouse is in the hands of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, (EDC) after developers failed to meet the March 9 deadline to hand in their proposal, according to a spokesperson for the Queens Borough President’s office. The spokesperson said the EDC would look for alternative plans to develop the former house of justice.

A grand day for the Irish and the Irish at heart. Despite a downpour only an hour previous to the 1 p.m. Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade in Rockaway, the day brightened as the parade stepped off. While thousands lined the route, the 29th annual parade went off without a hitch last Saturday.

The Department of Sanitation has seized and impounded four vehicles that were involved in incidents of illegal dumping during the month of February in the Rockaways. The DSNY Illegal Dumping Task Force composed of plainclothes Sanitation Police Officers, monitors known dumping locations and seizes the vehicles of illegal dumpers caught in the act of violating the law. Citywide, 19 vehicles were seized in the month long sweep.


Years Ago... New hope for the Arverne

Urban Renewal Area was expressed at the monthly meeting of Community Board 14, Tuesday night. Board members came away with the feeling that there was some hope for the wasteland that has been Rockaway’s albatross for 20 years.

Jay Steingold, president of the Far Rockaway Revitalization Corporation, announced that the organization has received 1984 funding from two new sources, one public and one private. The corporation has been awarded a nine-month, $40,000 contract with the city’s Public Development Corporation’s Neighborhood Economic Development Division to operate a number of programs on Beach 20 Street and Mott Avenue.

Rockaway’s Playland, scheduled to reopen next month, will sport a new look as a result of the investment of well over $1 million in new rides and equipment – part of a structural and cosmetic facelift. That was the word from the new owners, Peter Horowitz and Bob and Eileen Demner, who bought Playland a year ago from Richard Geist. 40 Years

Ago... The concentration of house trailers near the waterfront at Floyd Bennett Field has been growing. The trailers will become the homes for Gateway National Park rangers who will be on duty throughout the big park.

There are reports that a large New York bank, which had been considering opening a branch on Central Avenue, is reconsidering.

It was good to see the asphalt gangs at work here during last week’s balmy weather, but they were gone again too soon. Borough President Manes’ eyes and ears in Rockaway should tell him about the big job still needed to be done here.

Although quite a few fishermen have been trying to rush things from the Cross Bay Bridge, the flounder season in Jamaica Bay doesn’t officially open until March 17.

Members of the Rockaway Rotary Club received Vincent O’Connor, vice president of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce for the Hammel-Holland sections, with enthusiasm last Wednesday as he presented an outline of the chamber’s activities for the community’s benefit.


Years Ago... Some concern is being expressed by some people in the vicinity of the new public school at Seaside that it has been located so it may interfere with the widening of Rockaway Beach Boulevard in the future.

Almost all of the sheathing which was torn from the inner side of the boardwalk during the storms two years ago, has been replaced, but concrete benches in the park area still await the slats which form the seats.

On very rare occasions waterspouts have visited Jamaica Bay. One was reported on Tuesday. Many years ago a spout swept up the bay and was broken up when it struck the Long Island Railroad trestle.

George Herbst, retired local businessman who views Rockaway from the perspective of Florida, says that Rockaway’s biggest mistake was its failure to encourage local industry.

Along the west side of Beach 84 Street, from the boardwalk to Rockaway Beach Boulevard, a system of well points is being laid down in preparation for the future installation of underground utilities. 60 Years Ago...

Dissent and strong protests appear to be in the winds tonight at a meeting of the Rockaway Business and Civic Association in Blarney Castle (Green Roses’) Restaurant, Beach 90 Street. Balky members are objecting to the methods employed by Harry D. O’Connor, chairman of the slum clearance committee, in the association’s drive to prevent construction of a Title 1 project at Seaside.

An Inwood resident was arrested and charged with drunken driving Tuesday night. The man was driving on the wrong side of Rockaway Beach Boulevard, from Beach 82 to Beach 72 Street, and ran a red light, according to the police officers who caught him.

Approval was unanimously given by the City Planning Commission last Tuesday to an application by Belle Harbor property owners to change their area from an E-1 zone, which permits one and two-family homes, to a G-1 zone, which permits the construction of one-family homes in the future.

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