Friday, April 17, 2015

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino
Look up, Broad Channel; you never know when the sun might be coming out. And if it doesn’t, well, we’re just moving ahead anyway.
This weekend marks a big day in the BC year. On Saturday morning, April 18, parents, families, friends, neighbors, siblings and Broad Channel Athletic Club players large and small will begin assembling at17th Road Park for the BCAC Opening Day Parade.
At 9:30 a.m., they will begin, with rows and rows of colorful uniforms, strollers and wagons in tow, with juice boxes and coffee cups very much in evidence, and march en masse northward onto Cross Bay Boulevard.
There is nothing like this good-natured crowd, and nothing like seeing hundreds of people, from Broad Channel and beyond, joining together and being together like this. It feels like the whole town has come out, either to march with these youngsters or cheer them on.
I remember a year or two ago watching workmen up on Sandy damaged roofs stopping, watching and waving!
For this 20th consecutive parade, the grand marshals will be the men and women of the 100th Precinct. Leading BC’s special guests will be their commanding officer Captain Craig Adelman. The procession, which stretches for blocks, end off at the BCAC Memorial Field. There will be Opening Day ceremonies, games for each of the teams and hot dogs and soda. It’s a very happy event.
There will also be a very special guest on hand to throw out the first pitch. ‘Mr. BCAC’ Charlie Ledogar will do just that and officially open the 2015 season.
As the BCAC noted Charlie “has been the foundation of the club since the 1970s. He is the ultimate member of the BCAC. His years of service to our community can never be matched and the BCAC is what it is today because of Charlie. We thank him for all the years and his continued inspiration to the younger members of the club.”
Whether to march, watch or cheer on the players, come on out and enjoy the parade. It’s certainly one of those “only in Broad Channel!” kind of things.
The Relay For Life (RFL) round the clock walking event, to be held in BC, is getting closer and closer. In the meantime, many teams in Rockaway and Broad Channel are doing everything they can to raise more funds for the American Cancer Society. This Sunday, April 19, a lot of the RFL teams are banding together for a great big yard sale at the BCAC Field from 12 to 4 p.m. You probably haven’t been to a yard sale since the last time it was actually warm out, and it’s a good way to help a great cause.
Someone said to me not long ago that almost everyone has been touched by cancer or someone close to them has. If you know my story, you’d know that cancer certainly has touched my life. Twice it has completely and forever changed my world. Go, browse, buy some things, enjoy being in the sun and help others while you are doing it.
Before you go rocketing down Noel Road with bad brakes, bald tires and no seat belt on (you know, they don’t tell just everyone about the concrete wall at the end)... make sure to sign up for the 6-Hour Defensive
Driving Course. Do it now though. It will be given over Tuesday, April 21 and 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Springman Hall across the bridge over at St. Camillus. Completing the course will get you a three year 10 percent discount on your auto insurance and up to a four point reduction on your license. No test, refreshments will be served and your $45 payment now guarantees you a seat. Call Helen 917-553-2409 or 718-945-4648. Proceeds go to help St. Camillus’ religious instructions (CCD) program.
Plan on being at Grassy’s next Saturday night, April 25. Liz McCarthy is organizing a blowout Friend InNeed benefit for her sister. From 7 p.m. on, there will be live music from 100 Proof, Wild Side and Lady Sabbath. Plus raffles and 50/50s and the $10 admission includes your first drink. Drop in!
Coming up Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department is having an open house! There will be activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the firehouse on Noel Road. The schedule for each day will be: 9 a.m. introductions; meet the Volies’ members, 10:00-11:30 a.m. firefighter drill and demonstration, Jaws of Life drill on Saturday and an emergency medical technician drill and demonstration and a car extrication drill on Sunday. At noon there will be BBQ and refreshments served and remaining afternoon events will be basic first aid and BP checks and activities for the kids will include hose games using BCVFD fire hoses from a working fire engine and bouncy rides for the little ones from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. Oh, they’re organizing a magic show, too. Details to be announced. Done in conjunction the FASNY (Fireman’s Association of the State of NY), Recruit NY drive, the Volies open house will also have presentations, demonstrations and information on how you can become a volunteer firefighter, EMT or fire alarm dispatcher right here in your own town. If you have time to spare, you can help. And you don’t even have to live in BC to volunteer here.
Want to really enjoy the outdoors? There’s an Earth Day shoreline clean up on Sunday, April 26, from 11 to 2 p.m. Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Bring gloves and wear boots. Call 718- 474-0896 for more information. RSVP: jamaicabayearthday.event
Oh, make a green mark on your calendar for Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. for the Channel’s annual Spring Planting and Adopt-A-Tree Event. It’s the 25th anniversary of this community event. Watch this space for more info.
Finally, great brunch at the VFW last Sunday.
Got BC news? Send it to me at
Thanks for reading

Thursday, April 16, 2015

BCVFD "Open House" - April 25th and 26th




Schedule of Events

Saturday, April 25th

9:00 am: Introductions - Meet our members

10:00 - 11:30 am:  Firefighter drills and demonstration (jaws of life)

Noon:  Refreshments  and BBQ

Remaining afternoon events will include first aid and blood pressure checks.

There will be ongoing activities for young children from 10:00 am through 4:00 pm including using hoses from a working fire engine and bouncy rides.

Sunday, April 26th

9:00 am: Introductions - Meet our members

10:00 - 11:30 am:  EMT drill and demonstrations and vehicle extrication drill

Noon:  Refreshments  and BBQ

Remaining afternoon events will include basic first aid and blood pressure checks.

There will be ongoing activities for young children from 10:00 am through 4:00 pm including using hoses from a working fire engine and bouncy rides.

Message from the American Littoral Society - Northeast Chapter

Hi West 12th Road Block Association News: 

In a (nut)seashell: American Littoral Society - Northeast Chapter -  is competing for a monetary prize and national promotion in a contest of solutions to reduce risk of extreme weather. We thought maybe you could help us with a PSA.

Our submission was based on the Jamaica Bay Marsh Restoration Initiative, which has restored 40+ acres of badly-degraded marsh islands and is ongoing with the goal to restore 80% of the bay’s marsh islands to reflect the 1974 footprint of the project area. 

Over the course of the past 3 years, over 3,000 volunteers have participated in the restoration, planting over 180,000 plugs of native Jamaica Bay Spartina alterniflora on 2’ centers, and restoring 40+ acres of salt marsh. Following the volunteer events, we continue to plant as needed and monitor the sites.

Our project is unique in that it increases community resiliency to climate change by restoring salt marsh islands in Jamaica Bay through community-based stakeholder collaboration.

The benefit of restoring wetlands is priceless-- restored wetlands increase coastal buffers mitigating waves, wind, tides and floods in the bay and reduce the risk of damages to surrounding neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. 

Voting link: Votes can be cast once a day per device. Voting ends May 15th. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

Theresa Crupi
Restoration Assistant

Between the Bridges [in Broad Channel]

Between The Bridges

If last Sunday’s spectacular spring weather was any indication, it looks as though Old Man Winter has finally packed up his cold and snow and left town for good.  It was great to see dozens of young children and their parents enjoying the warm sunshine at the Gene Gray Playground on 9th Road.  For those of you who may not be aware, this playground is named in honor of Broad Channel community activist Eugene Gray (1927-1973). Gray was born on March 14, 1927 in Park Slope, Brooklyn and later moved to Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan. After attending college, Gray married Lorraine Baker (1929-1977) with whom he had three children: Michael, Gary and Gregory. Gray later moved to Broad Channel and became involved in various neighborhood youth programs, including the Broad Channel Athletic Club, an organization for which he served as president. A community football coach for more than 20 years, Gray also helped to shape and maintain the Broad Channel football league and assisted in the creation of the local Teen Club, which provided safe recreational activities for the area’s youth.
Speaking of the Gene Gray Playground, last week I noticed some very crude graffiti spray-painted on one of the columns of the long unfinished building located at 818 Cross Bay Boulevard directly across from the playground used by our children. Graffiti is not something to be ignored or taken for granted. All of us should be keenly aware that graffiti affects property values, quality of life, and serves to diminish the viability of our community. When graffiti is allowed to remain, it invites more graffiti and can lead to an increase in vandalism and other criminal activity. It must never be tolerated. That said, many thanks to whoever it was that quickly addressed this issue by painting over the crude and offensive graffiti.
This past Sunday’s brunch up at the Broad Channel VFW Post 260 was a great success thanks to the men and women of the post who were busy scurrying around the packed hall taking orders, cooking meals, and delivering them to the many hungry residents who attended the event. The complimentary Bloody Marys were also out of this world!  A special shout out to Billy Bowden whose “garbage omelets” put Bobby Flay to shame!  If you happened to miss Sunday’s brunch, worry not. Things went so well that the VFW is doing it again with another brunch presently scheduled for Sunday, May 17th.
Sadly, two of our neighbors and VFW auxiliary members were unable to attend the brunch. Lauren and Bob Prokopowicz both suffered tremendous personal losses this past week. Lauren lost her mother after a long illness while her husband Rob had to deal with the unexpected passing of his sister. Words cannot express the sadness we feel for their losses but the collective thoughts of their friends and neighbors in Broad Channel are with them in this time of sorrow in the hope that they may both find comfort in the loving memories of their lost family members.
As you are strolling about town this week, keep an eye out for the brand new Rockaway Timesnews rack on the sidewalk outside of the Broad Channel All American Channel Market.
As always, the St. Virgilius Golden Age Club meets every Thursday at the American Legion Hall in Broad Channel at 12:30 pm.
Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?
Contact Information: Email –

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Broad Channel VFW Celebrates the 141st Running of the Kentucky Derby 2015

VFW Prince-Wynn Post #260
705 Shad Creek Road
Broad Channel
is hosting...

May 2, 2014
12 Noon - 7:00 PM

Often considered "the most exciting two minutes in sports", the Kentucky Derby, a thoroughbred race, is held each year in Louisville, Kentucky in early May.

Come on down and make the Broad Channel VFW your "Old Kentucky Home for a Day", Saturday afternoon, May 2nd.  

Ladies, keep in mind, this is the Kentucky Derby we're talking about here, so remember to wear a hat, the more ostentatious the better. If the weather is sunny and warm, a parasol wouldn't be a bad idea either as you stroll the grounds, mint julep in hand. 

Gentlemen, enjoy a cigar while walking through the paddocks (I mean the Post backyard) while studying your tout sheet prior to the race.  

Post time for the running of the 141st Kentucky Derby is 6:24 pm. Place a bet and then enjoy the race on one of several large flat screen televisions in the Post Canteen. 

All proceeds will benefit the VFW's services for our disabled veterans.

Sandy-Ravaged Broad Channel Family Returns To Renovated Home After 2 1/2 Years

Doreen Stack, Broad Channel single mother of two, returns to her home two and half years after Sandy.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens family had been stuck living in their yard since Superstorm Sandy hit two and a half years ago, but with the help of hundreds of volunteers, their home finally has been repaired.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Doreen Stack, a single mother of two, saw her house in Broad Channel, Queens destroyed by Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012.
“All of the sudden, the water started coming through the floors, and two boats hit the back of my house and came straight through the windows, and then the waves just started coming through, and the walls started ripping apart,” Stack said.
Without insurance or the money for repairs, Stack lived in a recreational vehicle on her property with her 18-year-old daughter and 25-year-old son for more than two years.
“All I kept saying is, what are we going to do? Where are we going to live? This is it, we’re done,” Stack said. “We’re never going to be back in this house. I couldn’t afford to rebuild it.”
But volunteers changed everything. Work in Stack’s home began last October, with nearly 300 volunteers with the nonprofit group Friends of Rockaway spending six months drilling, stapling and sawing.
Stack’s damaged home has now been brought back to life, with new walls, paint, floors, windows and finally ready for her to move back in.
“To be home; to be into this house with my children again — that’s the best feeling ever,” Stack said.
The group has helped 74 other families rebuild since Sandy. But group representatives said there is a lot more work to do.
“While we’re celebrating the completion of this home, we are running 15 other job sites for 15 other families that were affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Thomas Corley, director of Friends of Rockaway.
But for Stack and her family, she was just grateful for the long-awaited homecoming.
“I can’t even believe there are people out there that would do something this wonderful,” Stack said.
The organization told CBS2 it still has a waiting list of about 20 families — just like Stack — waiting for help to rebuild and get back into their homes.
Friends of Rockaway is funded by the St. Bernard Project. The nonprofit group helped build 800 homes after natural disasters in New Orleans and Joplin, Missouri.

NWS issues Special Weather Statement

Event:Special Weather Statement
25 MPH.


Target Area:
Kings (Brooklyn)
New York (Manhattan)
Northeast Suffolk
Northern Nassau
Northern Queens
Northern Westchester
Northwest Suffolk
Richmond (Staten Is.)
Southeast Suffolk
Southern Nassau
Southern Queens
Southern Westchester
Southwest Suffolk

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Between the Bridges

Between The Bridges

The N.Y.C. DEP and Water Board are about to soak all of us again in what has become an annual rite of spring for the past 20 years – raising our water/sewer rates.
Effective July 1, 2015, our water rate will be raised by 3.24 percent meaning that owners of single family homes will see their water bill climb another $33 annually from approximately $1,025 to $1,058.
When this year’s increase goes into effect keep in mind that while running for office, our very own Mayor Bil de Blasio stated that “For decades, the water system only charged customers what it needed to cover its costs.  But now, anyone who pays a water bill is sending more and more of their money into the city’s general budget.  It’s wrong and it has to stop.”
Of course now that his campaign is over and de Blasio is actually the perpetually tardy White Rabbit of Wonderland (aka: Mayor of NYC), his views that these annual increases are “wrong” and “have to stop” have been relegated to the dusty archives of political campaign rhetoric and we are faced with yet another rate increase and additional money being diverted to the city’s general fund. Don’t you love politicians, continually keeping their balance by doing the exact opposite of what they say?
I’ll be the first to admit that the term “brunch” confuses me.  It’s not a philosophical conundrum or some type of veiled passive aggressive question.  To put it quite simply, the concept of “brunch” eludes me.
What is it? The name would imply that it is a portmanteau of both breakfast and lunch but wouldn’t that simply make it a late breakfast or perhaps an early lunch?  If I am planning on attending “brunch” does that mean I should avoid breakfast and remain hungry all morning?
In any event, we can all solve this riddle this Sunday, April 12 when the Broad Channel VFW Post 260 on Shad Creek Road serves up heaping plates of eggs, bacon, ham, pancakes, French toast, juice, coffee and more at their brunch between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Meal prices range between $6 and $8. (Hint:  I would forgo an earlier breakfast if I were you!)  Remember, this is a great way to support all the fine work the men and women at the VFW are continually involved with, providing services to our disabled vets.
A six hour, two session, Defensive Driving Class will be offered at St. Camillus Springman Hall located at 185 Beach 99th Street on Tuesday nights, April 21 and 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Registration for this course is $45. To reserve a seat for this class call Helen at 917- 553-2409 or718-945-4648.  Satisfactory completion of the course results in a 10 percent reduction of your insurance premium and, for all you “speed racers” out there, a four point reduction on your license.
As always, the St. Virgilius Golden Age Club meets every Thursday at the American Legion Hall in Broad Channel. At 12:30 pm.
Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?
Contact Information: Email –

"River Monster" fishing in Jamaica Bay

The Daily News goes fishing in Jamaica Bay with 'River Monsters' star Jeremy Wade


Sunday, April 5, 2015,


The “River Monsters” host just has to smile and shake his head. Cause he’s hearing a roar that’s so unlike the ones he’s heard while angling for exotic, man-killing fish in jungles across the globe.
“Now there’s something that’s certainly unique,” says Jeremy Wade, tightly gripping a fishing rod. A massive jet airliner screams slowly over us on a final approach to JFK airport. Water spouts erupt as the jet wash whips across the water’s surface.
Wade, a craggy-faced Englishman, with shock-white hair and glacial blue eyes, is what’s called an extreme angler. He’s fought hundreds of the world’s most feared fish.
On Thailand’s Mekong River, he hooked a 700-pound freshwater stingray. In Africa’s Rift Valley, he took on the dreaded Nile perch. And in India he tackled that massive goonch.
These are just a handful of the scaly terrors Wade has brought to the surface on his Animal Planet show, “River Monsters.” The program kicks off its seventh season on April 5 at 9 p.m..
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiJULIA XANTHOS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Jeremy Wade of “River Monsters” fishes Jamaica Bay, looking for some early stripers.

Filmed in some of the world’s most remote and picturesque locals, “River Monsters” is gorgeous to look at. “We try and make each episode as if it’s a film,” Wade says. He travels with a five-man crew.
Today in New York City, though, Wade pitches lures under a trestle as the A train rumbles overhead. And he hooks... nothing.
“He’s got one of the most honest fishing shows around,” insists Capt. Bryan Goulart of Brooklyn’s Point to Point Charters. We drift, lines in the water, just a few hundred feet off runway 4R, and we’re hunting for striped bass.
“You see him struggling. You see him striking out,” Goulart says. “It makes the catch so much more rewarding at the end.”
Today in New York City, though, Wade pitches lures under a trestle as the A train rumbles overhead. And he hooks... nothing.
Wade agrees. “Fishing is not always about catching,” he says.
Just weeks from now Jamaica Bay will be teeming with schools of stripers, but right now it’s still early. Too early. And at 38 degrees, the water of Jamaica Bay is far too cold for much life to be visiting yet.
Still, we had set out to catch a fish that is usually as abundant in these waters as pigeons in Central Park. For us, though, it’s as elusive and rare as Congo’s Goliath tigerfish.
“I spent about five years chasing that one,” Wade remembers.
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiJULIA XANTHOS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Don Kaplan (left) of the NY Daily News went fishing with “River Monsters” star Jeremy Wade right next JFK Airport.

Later, Wade stands at the edge of the dock as Chet (he doesn’t give his last name), a long-bearded worker at Gateway Marina in Brooklyn, slams on the brakes of his banged-up golf cart. He’s startled to see the famous extreme angler.
“You look a lot like that shark guy!” Chet says, complete with a heavy Brooklyn accent. “No, I mean that ‘River Monsters’ guy. Anyone ever tell you that? I was just watching that show last night.”
Wade smiles. “I’ve heard that before.”