Saturday, December 13, 2014

Broad Channel "Busyness"

By Chris Viaggio

The view of Sunset Cove, the former Schmitt’s Marina, which is being restored to a wetlands area with a boardwalk trail. Photo by Chris Viaggo. The view of Sunset Cove, the former Schmitt’s Marina, which is being restored to a wetlands area with a boardwalk trail. Photo by Chris Viaggo.The Broad Channel Civic Association (BCCA) held a meeting Thursday, Dec. 4 at the V.F.W. Prince-Wynn Post 260 on Shad Creek Road. BCCA President Dan Mundy Jr. led the meeting along with the group’s Vice President, James Harper.
As an expected order of business, the previous civic board has been re-elected to continue serving the Broad Channelcommunity. Information regarding airplane noise monitoring, progress on the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) street-raising project, Build it Back, and other matters were covered throughout the session.
Jon Greenfield, from Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder’s office, announced that a noisemonitoring device has been placed atEast 16th Road. The device will be able to determine how much noise airplanes are generating as they fly overhead. The day-night average sound level limit is set at 65 decibels, equivalent to something like a vacuum cleaner. As the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration look into redesigning flight paths, the collected information will be vital for consideringBroad Channel in their decision-making. Activity coming out of John F. Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia Airport will now be accurately read as live data on a real-time map at Specific flights can be identified and even reported in a complaint.
Fern Weinreich, DDC Community Construction Liaison for Broad Channel’s Flood Mitigation Project, which is raising street levels and updating the bulkhead, offered logistical information for progress on construction taking place on West 11th, 12th, and 13th streets.
The contractors are in the process of preparing West 12th Street for the installation of the bulkhead and the outfall "which requires a lot of excavation,” said Weinreich. Trucks moving in these streets means parking will be compromised. A little bit more of this kind of work will take place on West 11th and West 13th streets but those streets are closer to completion. Thus far, with the contractor’s permission, DDC has taken parking away only on one side of each of the streets being worked on, but during days with an increased need for truck maneuvering, both sides will have to be cleared.
Look out for DDC's weekly construction bulletin usually posted on Peter Mahon's
Mundy Jr. ran through plans for Sunset Cove, the former Schmitt’s Marina, which is being restored to a wetlands area with a boardwalk trail. $4.85 million from the Department of the Interior, the largest grant given out among the 11 states that applied for it, is contributing to this project. In January, NYC Parks will present the latest version of the design to the community for official approval.
He also spoke about the vacant lots on streets at the southwestern end of the island. With the help of Councilman Eric Ulrich, the land owned by Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) will soon be turned over to NYC Parks, so that collaboration with the community on their use can take place.
Other forthcoming park improvements include the conversion of one of the basketball courts at Broad Channel Park into a hockey rink.
Dan Mundy Sr. gave a short update on the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers, and spoke of progress on the marsh islands. “Some of the marshes have already grown 2-feet high from the 2013 planting,” he said.
And finally, it seems that Build it Back is gaining momentum. There continues to be some issues with the Department of Buildings (DOB), but work is being done to expedite permits and the allocation of funds to rebuild and/or elevate.
More design firms have been brought on in addition to the Institute for Building Technology and Safety, and more assessment teams from firms like Dewberry, who provide wetland delineations, are being utilized through the program now.
“It’s getting better,” said Mundy Jr., encouraging residents to stay in the program. “The major problems are moving forward.

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Well, December slipped in just over the weekend, right after we were lulled by the comforts of family and turkey dinners. I spent Thanksgiving Day with my dear cousin, Maria, family and friends.
At some point we started talking politics, so you could say we all got both stuffing and fireworks. Or, as I like to think of it, we all enjoyed dinner and a show!
Two days later I was off to Nevada. It was a great trip, but boy it was good to get back. Coming home at night I could see Broad Channel, lit up like a string of lights against the Jamaica Bay. Home.
This Friday, Dec. 12, the VFW’s Men’s Auxiliary is hosting a great night of music by Walker and Friends. If you haven’t met Walker Hornung, he’s a talented musician who has a big heart and is always ready to lend a hand to a good cause. Proceeds from the evening will go to support the Prince-Wynn Post and all the work they do for our vets. The Broad Channel VFW Hall is at 713 Shad Creek Road. The show starts at 8 p.m. Whether you’re coming from in town or coming over a bridge from Rockaway or Howard Beach, everyone is welcome.
On Saturday, Dec. 13, Christ Presbyterian Church by the Sea is holding their Annual Holiday Fair. That will be in the Social Hall just behind the church at Noel and Church Road from 12 to 4 p.m. There will be homemade items, raffles, holiday baskets, 50/50’s and more. Lunch will be available from the newly rebuilt kitchen.
By the way, the fully restored Christ Presbyterian Hall is also available for meetings, gatherings and events. Take a look while you’re there. If interested, call Joyce Adamiszyn at 718-479-3580, leave a message and hold a date for the Hall.
Christ Presbyterian by the Sea Church will be celebrating a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service starting at 8 p.m. All are invited to “please come and join us singing holiday hymns.”
From 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, the American Littoral Society is having their annual fundraiser and holiday party at the American Legion Hall. The Society’s Northeast Chapter is quartered right here in Broad Channel and is headed up by Don Riepe. Tickets for this fundraiser are $75 for adults and $35 for children under 16. There will be a buffet dinner, drinks, entertainment, raffles and a Silent Auction and an Ugly Auction.
Broad Channel brothers Mason and Frank Porretto and their group Poorhouse will be playing the 1st Annual Toys of Hope Jammin’ for the Kids Holiday Benefit at Brendan’s Bar, 112-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, on Saturday, Dec. 13, 4 p.m. No cover charge. Just bring new unwrapped toys, books, clothing, activities and other household items or fund donation. They will be personally delivered to families in need.
Congratulations to Kathleen Reardon Savino on the birth of her beautiful granddaughter, Raelyn. Kathy will be forever known as BC’s own “mail lady.”
Buy January for $5 and get the other 11 months free! That’s right; the 2015 Broad Channel Historical calendars are in now on sale at Rock & Roll Bagel and All American Deli. You can also pick them up at the Broad Channel Civic meetings and from members of the Historical Committee. Want it sent to you or friends elsewhere? E-mail Add $2 postage for each calendar and make check out to Broad Channel Historical Society. You’ll love this year’s pictures and they do make great gifts.
The American Legion Annual Craft Fair was hopping this past weekend. When I stopped in on Saturday, they let me know things were going very well. People poured in the night before, Friday evening, even with the rain and bought entire tables of great holiday stuff. By the way, the kitchen menu had expanded to include not only hot dogs and hamburgers, but also knishes, chili, homemade soup and more. This is the Legion’s 26th annual holiday craft fair and all proceeds are going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
On Sunday, Dec. 14, starting at 1 p.m. the Legion will hold its Annual Children's Christmas Party – at the Legion Hall starting at 1 p.m. This is for kids from infant to 3rd grade and is always a big hit. For grownups, the Legion’s Post Christmas Party will on Friday night, Dec. 19, from 8 p.m. on. If it’s like every other event the Legion throws, it should be a blast!
Take a look at the newest Broad Channel Civic Association newsletter and you catch this interesting glimpse of the past. “The Wave, May 1932: Mayor Walker Promises Gas For Broad Channel Shortly; Survey Now On Six- Year Battle Waged by Civic Association and Others Promises to Come to a Successful Conclusion in the Very Near Future: Engineers Now on Job. At the special hearing of the Sinking Fund Commission at which Mayor James J. Walker presided, held May 18, at which time the Brooklyn Union Gas Company was to have presented its plans for the laying of mains into Broad Channel, Mayor Walker promised the committee of about 20 who represented Broad Channel at the hearing, that gas would be brought to the Channel in a very short time.”
It might even come in at the same time as the FEMA reimbursements!
The recent Tanger Outlets shopping trip was organized by Broad Channel’s Relay for Life Team DOMinators. All proceeds benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
A Relay For Life event is being planned for Broad Channel on May 16 at the BCAC. Says Jamie Pisani, “We are trying to get teams to sign up before January so they can participate in upcoming fundraisers and team events.”
To sign up or find out more, go to Where it says “Sign Up For An Event” type in ‘Broad Channel’. If you click on “Relay For Life of Broad Channel Breezy and Rockaways - Broad Channel, NY,” you should find everything you need. Check them out on Facebook, too.
Got Broad Channel news? Send it to
Thanks for reading!


Credit Where It Is Due: Many thanks to the Rockaway Theatre Company for sponsoring The Theater of War: Soldiers and Citizens Tour as presented by the Outside the Wire Players on Dec. 6.The dramatic reading from Sophocles’ play Ajax led to a moving community discussion on the subjects of service, war and the effects beyond the battlefield. Besides their own full schedule of high quality productions and classes, the RTC hosts, sponsors and supports a variety of other events and programs.
“The Marine Parkway Bridge nightmare exemplified the need for more transportation — and quite frankly, evacuation — options in a community that remains as isolated politically as it is geographically.The incident proved our calls for improved transit are made out of necessity and not desire.” -Mike Scala
The Rockaway Beach Civic Association is warming things up with a Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13. Hot chocolate, s’mores, karaoke holiday music and the lighting of the tree kick off at 4 p.m. in front of the Peninsula Library building on Rockaway Beach Boulevard at Beach 94th Street, across from the 100th Precinct.
Self-described “Longtime Wave’r” Irv Green stopped at the Little North Pole kick off to let one of our staffers know how much he enjoyed the paper.
Broad Channel’s VFW Prince-Wynn Post 260 will be hosting a benefit night of music with Walker and Friends on Friday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. All proceeds go to the hardworking VFW and support all their many programs for vets.
A resident was given a parking ticket on Beach 88th Street off Beach Channel Drive. Presenting photos at a hearing at the NYC Department of Finance, he showed that due to a bend in the road the alternate side sign could not been seen from where he parked. No, the judge ruled, there were signs on the other end of the block and they could be seen- from a certain angle. Pay the full fine. What’s next? Clear plastic signs? After all, they too are visible from a certain angle.
Win $1,500 and support the nonprofit Swim Strong Foundation. Raffle tickets are available at their website: RAFFLE in the note section).Tickets are $10 each. Donations can also be made online or sent direct to P.O. Box 701165, East Elmhurst NY 11369.
The big drawing will be the week of Dec. 15.Winners need not be present.
By far, the most e-commented on item on a Rockaway related Facebook page this week has been this math problem: “0+50x1-60-60x0+10=?”
Despite the chill thousands attended the December block party known as the Little North Pole lighting in Neponsit on Sunday.They enjoyed free hamburgers, hot dogs, ziti, sausage and peppers and more. They were entertained by a variety of talented Rockaway performers and others, which included the debut of the Scholars’ Academy step dancers. The house and lawn, all covered with amazing Christmas decorations, was lit up at 5 p.m. All proceeds, estimated at $2 million so far, go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
From The Wave’s Beachcomber column, Dec. 11, 1999: “Another business has opened up. A new nail salon can be found at Beach 88th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.” Imagine when a nail place opening in Rockaway was a novelty!
The Rockaway Artists Alliance is hosting the Big Squid Band’s free
Pre-Christmas Blast Concert at their T-7 Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 20, starting at 8 p.m.
“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes - goodwill among men and peace on earth.”- Albert Einstein
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will be the special guest speaker at the next 100th Precinct Community Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 15 at the Knights of Columbus.
Editor of the Broad Channel Civic Association newsletter, Natalie Grant, has created a new website for the BC Civic at
Looking for a meaningful gift? How about the children’s book Whalemina, the Rockaway Whale? Written by Rockaway’s Laura Cryan and illustrated by Geoff Rawling, it’s available through Proceeds go toward building a new, “user friendly” whale.
In May of 1932,The Wave reported that a special meeting was held, presided over by Mayor James J. Walker himself, about bringing gas lines to Broad Channel. Residents are still waiting.
Rockaway and Broad Channel need a few good Santas…and elves and Mrs. Claus’s… to deliver gifts to children this year. Suit, toys and routes provided. Go to sign up!
Prepare for the running of the red suits, as opposed to people running around in white coats, in Rockaway. The Rockaway Gliders is once again hosting the annual Santa Shuffle 5k Fun Run on Saturday Dec. 20. Every runner/walker gets a Santa suit and cap before they take off en masse. There’s nothing quite like the sight of it! Only in Rockaway!
The First Annual Breezy Point Cooperative Turkey Trot 5k run drew more than 150 runners and walkers on Thanksgiving morning.
The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation is now hiring lifeguards for summer 2015. Call 311 or go
The Rockaway Theatre Company has been providing great theater productions and theater training for nearly 18 years.The Rockaway Artists Alliance has been embracing and supporting a broad range of the arts for nearly 20 years. Both have been neighbors and partners at Fort Tilden for years and continually strive to lift the arts in Rockaway and beyond. They are sometimes confused with each other, sometimes given credit which is actually due to the other, but RTC and RAA are both one-of-a-kind

Boad Channel Boy Scouts On The Go

By Dan Guarino
On Saturday, Nov. 22, Broad Channel’s Boy Scout / Pack Troop 282 took a trip into Manhattan to visit the American Museum of Natural History.
The trip was not only educational, but the scouts had a great time, too.
The troop meets every Monday at the American Legion Hall at209 Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. There is an open registration at each meeting and youngsters are welcomed from all areas.
Troop 282 has begun its Annual Christmas Wreath Fundraiser. Fully decorated wreaths are available for home delivery at $20 each. All proceeds go to fund camping and other educational trips for the scouts.
If interested, contact Fred at 718- 877-3467

Boyleing Points: Fear of Fads (Rockaway Times)

Last Sunday was December 7th the day of infamy as FDR called it. He’s the guy who years before the Pearl Harbor attack had said we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Which got me to thinking.
I’m already nostalgic for Ebola. Where’d it go? There were rally groups forming in Rockaway to close the bridges. A Facebook group, Stop Ebola Now, started by some guy who nobody knows, had a feverish enthusiasm, so to speak.
The group was demanding the toll booths be used for checkpoints. As part of the E-Zpass program you could just drive up and hold a thermometer to the windshield and then be let through. If you didn’t have the E-Zpass thermometer, you had to go to the cash lane and a Port Authority cop would have to feel your forehead for any signs of a fever.
Some people said they were glad Peninsula Hospital was closed because people flying in to Kennedy might consider going there if they felt a bit warm. But then Ebola became like interest in the Neponsit Home. It was here, there was interest and uproar, then it was gone.
Ebola was like bell bottoms and facial hair. Things come, they go. No laughing matter for the people who contracted it, of course, but in pure numbers ebola was a blip on the what-can-kill-you scale.
Ebola joined a long list of things we’ve been told to freak out about. This column really should have no readers because you should have all been knocked off by bird flue, Y2K, and mad cow. And if not those, poison Tylenol, swine flu, SARS., West Nile and Legionnaires’ Disease should have done the trick.
Somebody is going to tell me that Ebola is still a risk and I shouldn’t be so cavalier. And I’ll probably be the guy who catches it because I said you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning (you do) or eaten by a shark if you live in Nebraska but it’s worth pointing out that we humans are nuts. If I die in some ironic way I want to say in advance: I knew I would! (Which kinda takes the irony out of it).
Anyway, too many of us underestimate common killers (regular flu and heart disease) and overestimate the media-driven, out-of-the-blue killers. A lot of people fret more about a subway terrorist attack or a plane crash than cancer. We all want to croak in our sleep. And anything more exotic than that makes some people fret.
For all the fretters and the safety obsessed go outside and play, shake hands with strangers, eat food from street vendors, and stop worrying that your umbrella will become a lightning rod in a rainstorm.
For safety sake, get out of the house. You know most accidents happen in the home. You won’t get Ebola but you might slip in the tub. It’s only a matter before the media catches on: Deadly Tubs Attack.

High Tide (Rockaway Times)

highTide wood - color
Happy Anniversary to Elegante. The legendary pizzeria on Beach 92nd Street is celebrating its 33rd year in Rockaway Beach. Here’s to 33 more.
* * *
Projects for sale. New York City’s Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) is selling a 50 percent stake in nearly 900 apartments to private developers. One of those developers is L + M, the same group who took over Ocean Village. They’re also part of the triumvirate that was awarded the rights to develop Arverne East. The NYCHA properties in this deal are in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.
* * *
Lifeguards Wanted. NYC Parks is already looking for next summer’s lifeguards. Men and women over the age of 16 are eligible to take the qualifying test. The next test in the area is at Far Rockaway High School on January 6th from 6-9 p.m.
* * *
Silaka Cox wrote a wonderful letter about how great The Rockaway Times is and how we “give impeccable attention to detail.” Well, we were so blown away by her kind words we forgot to be impeccable and didn’t include her name at the end of the letter! Thank you, Silaka!
* * *
Santa will be paying Broad Channel a visit on Christmas Eve. The BCVFD (Volunteer Fire Dept.) will continue its 20 year tradition of helping Santa deliver gifts around Broad Channel. If you’d like to reserve a visit from the Big Guy, call the firehouse weeknights between 8-10 p.m. at 718-474-6888. A $25 donation is requested per family per household.
* * *
Brooklyn is so cool other cities around the world (even Paris) try to copy its hipness. Many places try to lure newcomers by boasting their city or neighborhood is the “new Brooklyn.” Well, Rockaway is so cool Brooklyn comes here, not the other way around. Other parts of Queens aren’t as cool; they want to be known as Quooklyn. No, we didn’t make that up.
* * *
NYPD Helicopters overhead in Neponsit on Sunday night found two reasons to be there. They got a look at Santa’s Little North Pole and were ready to help as Harbor Patrol made a boat rescue on the bay near Beach 141st Street.
* * *
It figures to be a festive Saturday and Sunday. The Taste of Rockaway and the Rockaway Beach Civic tree lighting is on Saturday, December 13. (As for the Taste of Rockaway, The Surf Club won’t be participating this time around, so avoid the trip to Beach 87th). At least two holiday boutiques pop up as well. There’s one Saturday from 1-7 pm at 164 Beach 91st and one Sunday, Mrs. Elaine’s Dance Studio at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive is on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
* * *
At the Beach 116th Street tree lighting event, Sen. Joe Addabbo told the crowd something was spotted in the sky near JFK. We first assumed he meant drones but soon realized he was talking about Santa.
* * *
The Rockaway Citizens Safety Patrol in Far Rockaway helped police nab a burglar who’s been breaking into cars for weeks. Reports say the thief has a criminal record with more than 40 arrests, dating back to 1988. Forty arrests?! How many times wasn’t he caught?
* * *
We are amused by such rollicking headlines: “Schumer, Goldfeder Fight to Bring Post Office Back to Broad Channel.” So began the press release which then went on to say: “U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and New York State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder have written a letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe requesting the U.S. Postal Service immediately approve an application by the Broad Channel Civic Association to open a Contract Postal Unit in Broad Channel.” Written a letter? With fierce handwriting? Fight on, reps, fight on!
* * *
Councilman Donovan Richards introduced legislation that seeks to limit the number of lights kept on at night in commercial buildings. Richards said energy conservation is the goal.
* * *
The Graybeards Annual Dinner Dance is January 24th at El Caribe. Members will making the rounds trying to fill up the dinner journal which goes a long way in helping the organization help others. Email the Graybeards at or call the office 718-634-6812 for space in the journal.
* * *
Tuesday’s Nor’easter was wet and wild. You weren’t alone if you had leaks in places you never saw water before.

Broad Channel Gives Back at Tree Lighting Ceremony (Rockaway Times)

“This is a year of giving, not getting,” a mother explained to her child at the annual Broad Channel Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 4. The Broad Channel Athletic Club used this year’s event to collect toys and pay it forward to those in need.
More than a hundred people came out to the Broad Channel Athletic Club Memorial Field to celebrate the lighting of the BCAC’s Christmas tree. Guests were treated to Christmas carols by the Broad Channel Girl Scouts and the P.S. 47 chorus and dance performances by Thomasina’s Dance Company. Parents also brought baked goods and All American Deli donated hot chocolate for the families to enjoy on the chilly evening.
The residents of Broad Channel were grateful for receiving help and gifts following Sandy, so they took this year’s tree lighting as an opportunity to give back. “One of the girls in the club came up with the idea to pay it forward because we got so much help from others during Sandy,” BCAC member and event organizer Jack Allen said. Resident Debbie O’Connor has a connection with Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Long Island, so the BCAC collected toys at the event to give to the Pediatric Hematology / Oncology department.
“This is the first year we’ve done this. Two years ago, right after the storm, we gave out toys that were donated to us and we were on the receiving end. We had donations from all over, from three different states. This time, we said it’s time for us to pay it forward or return the favor to someone in need and obviously the kids and Cohen’s Medical Center fit that category,” Allen said. T
he BCAC was able to collect more than 80 toys at the tree lighting.
There were a few big winners at the event. Suzanne Arnao and her family won tickets to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Madison Square Garden. Peter Guitteri won the raffle for two round-trip Jet Blue flight tickets. The Jet Blue raffle was held to raise money for the Broad Channel Christmas lights that decorate Cross Bay Boulevard.
With the help of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, Santa arrived by fire truck and paid the Broad Channel kids a visit at the end of the event. Each child received a small teddy bear and candy cane and got to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. “For the Athletic Club, this is a nice tradition. We do this for the kids,” Allen said. “Kids light up like the moon when they see Santa Claus. It was a really nice event.”

Big Hearted Bikers Brighten Christmas (Forum)

Big smiles and big hearts filled the air! Courtesy of NYFAC
Big smiles and big hearts filled the air!
Courtesy of NYFAC
More than 100 bikers turned out on Sunday, December 7, 2014 for the NYFAC Foundation’s 1st Annual Toy Run.
More than 100 toys were dropped off and they and helped raise more than $3,000, all of which will go to making NYFAC’s annual holiday party, set for Sunday, December 14, a success.
“We had a great turnout,” said Frank Scafo, NYFAC Foundation Board member and one of the organizers of the event. “But more than anything, we were able to help the kids – that’s what matters most.”
The NYFAC Foundation would like to thank the following, whose hard work and dedication made the day a success: Angelo Gurino and Family, Ragtime; The 102nd Precinct; the 106th Precinct; State Senator Joseph Addabbo; VFW Post 260 Prince Wynn Men’s Auxiliary; Masons Lessing Lodge #608;  Call Ahead; DJA Catering; Mangone Safety LLC; People’s United Bank; Joe Viola; Angelo D’Ambrosio of Zandra Distributors.