1999-11-27 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

We attended a meeting on Wednesday evening, November 17. One of the guest speakers, Robert Intelisano, spokesman for the MTA-TBTA, was asked a number of questions. I demanded an explanation of the horrendous Marine Park Gil Hodges bridge reconstruction. Why can't they make barriers taller so people would not get nervous and freeze? He tried to push this aside and say we would speak later. We made him respond publicly. Many people agreed. It seems to be a major problem when people look over and see air and water. He said there was netting underneath. Everyone laughed. God, I wonder if my car ever went over would it hold my car or would we sink? The Q35 barely makes it through the barriers.

Once again we reiterate that no one should have to pay a toll while enduring the delays caused by this poorly planned reconstruction. Tolls paid on the EZPASS should be rebated while traffic jams prevent timely use of the bridge during peak periods.

It is time we get real answers from Ed Dunnavant, bridge manager as well as the contractor's resident engineer. We want people who have first hand knowledge, not public relations people. answering the key questions that face our community.

On Thursday evening, December 2, the Good Government Regular Democratic Club will be recruiting workers for the 2000 census. The pay starts from $16.50 to $18.50 per hour. A representative of the U.S. census will be present. In order to schedule an appointment for a test you must sign up. We will be open from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Workers are needed from the tip of Far Rockaway to the end of Breezy Point, as well as Broad Channel. Policy is to place workers in their own zip code. The club is located at 112-20 Beach Channel drive, opposite Waldbaum's. Please do not call. You must be here in person.

On Sunday evening we attended a fundraising dinner for Assemblywoman Pauline R. Cummings. Pauline honored community activists, businessmen and elected officials. The gala banquet was sold out to capacity. It was packed. A number of elected officials who attended were Council member Juanita Watkins, with her mother Floretta, who was also honored, District Leader Bob Simmons, Congressman Greg Meeks, and Assembly members Vivian Cook and William Scarborough. Assembly member Nick Perry joked that he was glad Pauline was elected the first Caribbean assembly member so that he would not be the only one who talks funny in the assembly. The guests laughed and took it in stride.

Also attending were keynote speaker Carl McCall and former District Leader Beatrice Henry Mills. Before the party broke up, Senator Chuck Schumer stopped by to thank everyone and said he will continue to support affirmative action.

Mistress of ceremonies Zandra Myers was superb and fantastic. She took a page out of the Lew M. Simon book on how to be a good politician. Zandra didn't forget to introduce anyone in the room. We both have the same philosophy that everyone counts. I was so proud of Zendra. Her charm, wit, knowledge and appearance were professional at all times. A woman of class.

I had the pleasure of sitting at the Local 1199 Political Action table. They are the people who are fighting to keep St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway open. The group included Organizer Bruce Lane and Shelly Ginis and Vilmarie of the St. John's committee. A good time was had by all.

We are saddened by the loss of a fine lady and outstanding citizen, Beverly Bair. She was a retired nurses' aide from Park Nursing Home who was a great friend, wonderful mother and grandmother. One of her sons, Gerald Bair, is a recording artist whose CD includes a song about his days in Rockaway, Beverly was proud of all her children, her son Thomas and daughter Donna. Tom is very active in St. Camillus and the Knights of Columbus, to name a few.

Beverly instilled great values in her children. She was a lady of class, intelligence and wit. We in this community will deeply miss her beautiful smile.

We have had received hundreds of calls regarding the removal of the Q22 bus stop from the front of the library on Beach 117 street. We have been working very closely with Deputy DOT Commissioner Anthony Fasulo to find an adequate solution to relocate this bus stop. Some of the suggestions include stopping near the subway on Beach 116 street, near the old Beach Drugs, or where the Q35 stops near the Korean market or Rams Horn diner. It is unacceptable not to replace this stop. We agree this was a problem spot, but many people, including seniors and merchants, are up in arms. We agree safety first, but let's find another location. There should be an engineer's report put together to determine where to relocate this bus stop.

Good Government Regular Democratic Club will hold a pre-millennium holiday fundraiser to celebrate Chanukah, Christmas and New Year's on Thursday, December 9 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. We will be at John Baxter's Rockaway Park Theatre, 160 Beach 116 street. The Baxter brothers will entertain. Congressman Anthony Weiner has accepted an invitation. Other elected officials are expected. A contribution of $25 is requested but larger contributions will be accepted. For reservations call my office.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday, December 18. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $23 with $17 returned. Please call for reservations.

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


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