2014-04-04 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

“It is a special time of the year in this little corner of the world- a time when the earth starts to look alive again. Ahh Spring! It is (hopefully) when the colors in nature lose their grayness and start to deepen and become bright once again. Even the birds are a bit perkier-they seem to be singing their songs a little louder, a little stronger.” –Liz Guarino, Broad Channel Bits, April 2, 2004.

These words are very fitting for this new month of April and very appropriate.

April also marks two birthdays. One is my late wife, Liz, on April 27, the other, April 10, that of my best friend, Kellie Stecyk. Both are gone now. But I know both would insist on celebrating this very “special time of year!”

Support A Friend In Need. Saturday, April 5, there will be a benefit for Jimmy O’Reilly at the Bungalow Bar in Rockaway. Jimmy was born and raised in Broad Channel. He had a serious accident in Florida. Starting at 7 p.m. there will be an open bar, light fare and great music from Breezy Grass. Check out BC’s own Steve Hawk on double bass. 100 percent of the proceeds go toward helping Jimmy.

There are a number of worthy projects you can vote for under NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich Participatory Budget program. This is where funds are directly allocated for proposals based on the community’s votes.

Two of these projects directly affect Broad Channel. As BC Civic President Dan Mundy Jr. explained “The first is (for) audio visual equipment for PS 47 and the second is a re-surfacing of the front basketball court at the 17 Road Park to turn it into a hockey rink. These projects need your vote…” Voting will go up to Saturday, April 5 only.

Where and how can you vote? Pull out last week’s Wave (you know it’s still in the recycling)! You’ll find details on page 18. Or call Ulrich’s Rockaway Park office at 718-318-6411. But don’t wait!

Palm Sunday services at St. Virgilius will be held on Saturday, April 12 at 4 p.m. and on Sunday at 10 a.m. Over at St. Camillus the Saturday service will be at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 and 11:30 a.m.

On April 14, Reconciliation Monday, Confession will be heard from 3 to 6 p.m. at St. C and 7 to 9 at St. V.

Sunday, April 13, the VFW is hosting an Easter egg hunt for children age 9 and under. The Easter bunny will be there, too, plus games and prizes. RSVP at 646-344-2640. Don’t forget VFW Bingo on April 27. Door opens 12 noon, games start 1 p.m.

Filmmaker Dan Hendrick is looking for BC footage shot during the storm for possible inclusion in his documentary “Jamaica Bay Lives.” Contact JamaicaBayLives@gmail.com.

The BC Civic Association recently testified at a NYC Council oversight hearing the Build It Back program, and representatives will be attending a Taskforce Meeting new Borough President Melinda Katz is convening on April 15.

They will be letting people know that so far the program has fallen far short of helping those who vitally need this post-Sandy funding help. Apparently not a single resident of Broad Channel has received any assistance to date.

Spring is coming to BC, even if we have to build it. The BC Beautification Committee’s Annual Adopt-A-Tree and Spring Planting will be on Saturday, May 10. Kick off time will be at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to “join in and dig in.”

The Broad Channel NY Rising committee has been researching and developing projects to make our town more resilient in the face of future catastrophic storms.

They will be presenting the finished version of these plans at the April 25 Civic meeting.

Did you know that “2014 is the 100 Anniversary of St. Virgilius?” Thanks for the Facebook post, Father Richie!

The BC Vollies are coming to your door. Volunteers will be going house to house seeking your donations for the annual fund drive. Maybe you also received a letter recently from the BCVFD, asking for your help.

You’ll never know when you’ll need the Vollies. But they will be there for you when you do. Be there for them now.

Congrats to new Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ed Wilmarth III. And thank you, outgoing Chief Dan McIntyre for your dedicated service.

The BC Civic will have a new website, thanks to Natalie Grant. It will be at www.broadchannelcivic.org. To quote Dan Mundy “This will be a great venue to disseminate information of significance such as meeting notices, developments with city programs, links to informational sites etc. I want to thank Natalie, who has done an outstanding job over the last few years in editing and producing our newsletter and who continues to do so…”

The flag at 17 Road Park will be flying in April for Jack Tubridy, U.S. Navy, WWII. In March it flew for my Noel Road neighbor and friend, Al Mc- Carthy, U.S. Army.

Walking along one Saturday morning I came across the Bayview Lounge, still an open shell and the former storm hit Aqua House restaurant. I never noticed the ill-fated Asian eatery’s entrance sign says “Happy Happy Hibachi Grill.” Anybody have any info on what’s happening with the places? Feel free to share.

The Broad Channel Historical Society is looking for a new, secure place to store its collection. If you can provide such a place contact Barbara Toborg or go to www.broadchannelhistoricalsociety.org.

Thanks. Well, the contract is almost in the mail. The new book I’ll be writing, for Fonthill Media, will be “Broad Channel Through Time.” The series pairs vintage, historical photos of a place with modern day shots of the same. Then it talks about the history and what has changed and what has not.

So now is a great time to get your photos, newer and old, to the BC Historical Society, whom I’ll be working closely with. Contact them through www.broadchannelhistoricalsociety.or g to find out how. Got BC news? Send it to me at workingstories@aol.com.

Thanks for reading!

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