1999-07-17 / Columnists

Simon Says….

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23 A.D. Part B

Last Wednesday there was an emergency meeting of the Concerned Residents of Ocean Park. There were many angry residents who are annoyed with RY Management which left them without proper elevator service for their 27 story building. There is one elevator in service which has to be turned off because the cable gets too hot. We are personally frightened that this elevator might crash and we are constantly on the phone with the New York City Department of Buildings. They sent inspectors down numerous times. We have been doing this as a member of Senator Waldon’s staff.

At this meeting Ed Williams of Rep. Greg Meeks’ staff questioned why he and Lew Simon were the only elected officials present, while the elected officials who represent the area were not there. Many tenants screamed out "Where is Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Councilwoman Juanita Watkins and what happened to Congressman Anthony Weiner who told Lew Simon that he would attend?"

Tenants want to sue for lack of services and the cost of phone calls that they must make to get the elevator to stop on their floors. Alfred Worley of the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation agreed to assist the tenants in getting help in housing court. God bless Mr. Worley for taking time to care where others did not.

On Friday afternoon Robert Backarello, vice president of RY Management, had a lengthy conversation on the phone with me. He discussed what has been going on since the May l5 fire. The number two car was completely destroyed. It must be replaced to fix the others. He said that it will take 12 to 14 weeks for another car to be installed. I questioned how people could live this way where elevator service is turned off for ours at a time.

I told Backarello that 24 hour elevator construction staff should be put on the job. I also asked why bricks for reconstruction of the building were piled unused next to the building for several years. He asked me why I was involved in this problem. I told him that I was not going to be intimidated and we would continue to help the tenants. Look for future good things to happen. Call all your elected officials who are listed on the editorial page of this paper and ask how they are helping the Ocean Park tenants. I will always be available to help.

The crisis at St. John’s Hospital is continuing. A new CEO, Corbett Price, has been selected. Price is known for cost cutting in his job at Brooklyn’s Interfaith Medical Center. Staff members are concerned about layoffs in Far Rockaway. The future of the whole hospital remains in doubt. Former CEO Dr. Lorna McBarnette told the community on June 28, "Unless we get a cash infusion, we’ll be in trouble. The banks will pull the plug. It’s simple as that."

Last Thursday evening we had the event of the year, the 100 Precinct Community Council annual cruise. Proceeds go to the national Night Out Against Crime. Everyone is invited to the festivities which begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday August 3. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m. sharp.

On this cruise I had the pleasure of singing my theme song, "Ain’t No Stopping Us Now." Our group is called Lew Simon and the Lewettes. They were the manager of Wendy’s of Rockaway Park, Evelyn Powell, who looked drop dead gorgeous in her sleek black blouse and long skirt. A sight for sore eyes. Mary Martinez, manager of Waldbaum’s , in her sleek orange dress. Mary’s bright looks sure helped us. Janet Brady, director of the Hammels Senior Center, in her beautiful flowered dress, helped to make this an enjoyable evening.

It was great to see Captain Gary Scirica and former Captain Michael Morley (now at the 101 Precinct) as well as Community Affairs Officer Hector Tello and Crime Prevention Officer Rick Heuther. Hats off to the great community council at the 100 Precinct headed by Barbara Buffalino, Sandee Doremus and President Palmer Doyle.

If you missed this year’s cruise, get ready for next year. It is an event not to be missed.

Last Friday evening was the annual St, Genevieve’s annual card party, It is a great fundraiser and a great event for the church. As usual yours truly won lots of gifts, The church committee once again did a great job. It was great to see Peggy calling the numbers of the winners. Hats off to the great committee for the wonderful job they did.

We still have tickets available for the Atlantic City trip to Trump marina on Saturday July 17 and Saturday August 21. The cost is $23 and $15 returned, Movies are shown and our driver is the best. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m.

The City University has provided a great education for New York City residents for many years. We know how Brooklyn, Queens, Kingsboro and the other campuses have helped so many to reach their goals Many of the faculty feel that the new plans proposed by the Board of Trustees will leave the City University unable to perform its mission.

We have invited Prof. Tibbi Duboys Casillo, a local resident, and vice president of the Professional Staff Congress to our meeting on Thursday July 22 at 7:45 p.m. She will discuss the future of Brooklyn College and the City University, We meet at our headquarters , 112-20 Beach Channel drive (upstairs opposite Waldbaums parking lot.)

If you have any comments or questions about this column, or need help with any community problem call my office. I am listed in the Rockaway phone book.


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