2017-04-21 / Columnists

Looking Back


Ten years ago, The Wave congratulated columnist Emil Lucev on the publication of his first book, “The Rockaways: A Postcard History Series.” Ten years ago, The Wave congratulated columnist Emil Lucev on the publication of his first book, “The Rockaways: A Postcard History Series.” The Wave’s archives were largely lost to Hurricane Sandy. 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…

10 Years Ago…

Two long-time Rockaway women passed from the scene in recent weeks. They were active in the community and in their religious institutions and we would be remiss not to note their passing. Both Sylvia Rogoff and Faye Cohen added to the Rockaway scene in innumerable ways, with their temples, garden clubs, community organizations and with their families. For more than 30 years, Cohen was the chairperson for the local Hadassah’s Heart Luncheon. This year, the luncheon will be renamed the Faye Cohen Heart Luncheon in her honor. They will both be missed.


An obituary notice from a June 1960 issue of The Wave for Constantine “Gus” Cholakis, who operated the Crystal Restaurant on Beach 103rd street for more than 46 years. An obituary notice from a June 1960 issue of The Wave for Constantine “Gus” Cholakis, who operated the Crystal Restaurant on Beach 103rd street for more than 46 years. Everybody at The Wave wants to join in to congratulate columnist Emil Lucev on the publication of his first book, “The Rockaways: A Postcard History Series.” Lucev, who writes the weekly column “Historical Views of the Rockaways” for the paper, has two loves - Rockaway and postcards. He has brought those two passions together in this book, which is published by Arcadia Publishing.

Our two local hospitals often draw criticism in letters and Emails to The Wave. Unfortunately, a Wave editor had to use the services of Peninsula Hospital Center in the past week for a family illness that could have turned life-threatening. What he found was that the hospital staff performed professionally and with courtesy to both the patient and the family. That editor wants to use this space to publicly thank the hospital administration and the entire staff for its help in bringing the patient back to health.

Rockaway dodged the bullet in the Nor’easter that hit the entire east coast last Sunday evening. There was some home flooding in Arverne, Broad Channel and Bayswater as well as along Rockaway Beach Boulevard, but none of the major floods that were promised by weather forecasters.

15 Years Ago…

With the exception of Matthew O’Brien, the father of the child who was killed in a tragic fire at Beach 87th Street two weeks ago, all of those who were injured by the fire have been released by Nassau County Medical Center. Cynthia Maschi, the family’s mother, was released last Saturday. According to hospital sources, O’Brien remains in “critical but stable” condition.

More than 50 demonstrators showed up on Saturday afternoon to show their support for keeping the Beach 59 Street firehouse at the present site. Officials of the Uniformed Firefighter’s Association joined local politicians and residents in the one-hour demonstration. City Councilman Joe Addabbo joined with demonstrators and pledged to help them fight the plan to move the firehouse to Beach 48th Street.

Members from the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department are once again going door to door in the community to raise money for the coming year. The volunteers, who respond to every medical and fire emergency in the community, are asking for $75 from each home in the Broad Channel community. This group does a great job and deserves the support of everybody in Broad Channel.

Those of you who are still fascinated by the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 into Belle Harbor should look at the updated time line that Vic Trombettis has put on his website at www.usread.com. It is a real eye-opener. With this issue, Vic will write a series of updates on a regular basis that will appear in The Wave. We all owe Vic a vote of thanks for all of the hard work he is doing on behalf of all of us who want to know what really happened to Flight 587.

The city has reversed a ruling that it made in the wake of September 11 to ban all fireworks within city limits. Professional fireworks displays will now be allowed, and that gives the Chamber of Commerce some hope that there will be a couple of fireworks displays on Beach 116th Street this summer.

30 Years Ago...

Confidence in Rockaway and visions of a bright future convince Playland condominium developers that Rockawayites will welcome the new housing, and buyers will flock to obtain it, providing a catalyst for business on the peninsula. To say that the condominiums planned will occupy the site of Rockaways’ Playland is far from accurate. The developers have acquired, or will acquire, all the land from Beach 97 Street to Beach 99 Street, and Rockaway Beach Boulevard to Shore Front Parkway, far more than the site of the amusement park.

Congressman Floyd Flake will speak at the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways luncheon on April 27 at Pier 92 restaurant. Flake is expected to comment on the impact that development of Arverne and other urban renewal areas will have on industrial and commercial development of the peninsula.

Staff Sergeant Willie L. Williams, son of Mr. and Mrs. Preston Williams of 84-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, has been assigned to the United States Air Force recruiting office on Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica.

40 Years Ago...

The Federal Aviation Administration is already planning for five Concorde supersonic transport flights a day at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo reported this week.

Governor Carey and State Assembly Speaker Stanley Steingut reportedly endorsed legislation on April 20 that would allow the state to operate full-fledged gambling casinos in “resort” areas such as Rockaway Beach, Coney Island and the Catskills.

After only a three-year wait, trees are being planted on the peninsula. If you wake up and find a tree in front of your home, think back and you may remember ordering it.

No one seems to be doing anything about the situation on the Rockaway Freeway. The only ones profiting from the accidents are the tow-truck operators. You can see them lined up at Edgemere Avenue as if they were vultures waiting for the carcass.

50 Years Ago...

Before cops can question a person they have arrested, they must explain half a dozen ways he can avoid talking. Old persuaders like a nightstick or a gun are out. There’s even talk of arming the cops with water guns.

Quite a few old-time Rockaway residents who have been missing from the local scene in recent years are coming back again. A good many are going to reside in the new Dayton apartments.

While most people expect approval, there is some apprehension that the Board of Estimate may delay action at its meeting today on Arverne I, the first phase of the Arverne Urban Renewal program.

Maurice A. Pompan is full of praise for the fine expression of opposition to the industrial zoning in the Simmis Beach area, which Assemblyman Herb Posner voiced at a City Planning Commission hearing last week.

60 Years Ago...

John Ryan expects to have piles driven next week for small boat slips at his new boatyard at the foot of Beach 75th Street.

“It’s up to Mayor Wagner and the Port Authority to ban jet airliners and low flying planes over the Rockaways,” Oren Harris, chairman of the interstate and foreign commerce committees, told Jules Michaelis, president of the Wavecrest Civic Association, at a meeting held in Washington, D.C. this week.

First of the Seaside eateries to open this year is Gus Cholakis’ New Crystal on the Boulevard near Seaside Avenue.

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