2000-07-08 / Columnists

Simon Says….


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

We are appalled to find out that the Queens Department of Buildings screwed up again. Last week they posted a vacate order on the door of 230 Beach 118 street, owned by the notorious landlord Michael Andrews. Captain Scirica ordered the arrest of people he thought were illegal squatters in an unsafe sealed house.

Surprise! When the legal department of the NYPD reached out to the Department of Buildings they were told that the vacate order was incorrect. The first floor and the basement could be legally inhabited. Does this sound like Neponsit Home over again? Commissioner Leonard signs his name on papers saying that the house is safe, then unsafe. What’s wrong with this picture?

Cathy Dandurand has brought to our attention that rats have been seen rampant from Beach 108 street to Beach 112 street. Two people have been bitten. We have reached out to the Department of Health. We spoke to two deputy commissioners and they have vowed to get rid of this problem.

I would like to congratulate my dear friends Harriet and Norman Winthrop on the birth of their grandson, Ian Craig, born on June 22 and weighing in at six pounds, seven ounces. Ian is the son of Artie and Jennifer Winthrop, who reside in Lynbrook. Harriet and Norman, as well as Artie and Jen, go back a long way. May they have lots of happiness and joy from him.

On Sunday, June 2, the Breezy Point Cooperative, celebrated its 40th anniversary and Founder’s Day. We had the pleasure of being invited to hear the music and see the fireworks. My constituents in Roxbury extended a gracious welcome. Thank you for inviting me.

On Saturday evening the Rockaway Artists Alliance held its annual fundraiser. They are raising money to renovate buildings at Fort Tilden. We would like to congratulate President Geoff Rawling, Vice President Chris Jorge, Marina Callaghan, and Kate Judge, who worked so diligently morning, noon and night to provide youth and adults in our community with great art programs. This worthy program should be supported by all.

For the second straight weekend I have personally witnessed a major traffic jam on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges bridge. I saw so many people headed to Breezy Point make a U-turn and head away when they saw the traffic jam at the bridge. We are urging all of those aware of these traffic jams to let the MTA Bridges and tunnels know about the problem. Robert Intelisano has assured us at many public meetings that the MTA had the problem under control. Call 1-646-252-7409 and let them know that the situation is unacceptable.

We are saddened by the death of Alice M. Jenkusky, mother of Janet Brady, executive director of the Hammels Senior Center. On June 27, Janet held her mom’s hand while her mom passed away. Her mom died in her home in her bed. To Janet, her father, brother, and family, our deepest sympathies.

We received a letter from the Bay Towers Tenant Association (Yvonne Lewis, president, and Lucy Watts, vice president) with a list of concerns. The management has requested that HUD approve a major rent increase although there are many problems in the development.

Elevators are constantly out of order and skipping floors. During winter they suffer without adequate heat, and no heat when the boiler is broken. They suffered from a lack of hot water and scalding hot water at times. Tenants were promised new radiators because many have burst and caused major flooding. Concrete steps are broken in the plaza at the main entrance to the building.

Leaks from the roof have caused damages in numerous apartments. The brick walls need pointing to stop leaks. The garage leaks and stagnant water in many areas provides breeding places for mosquitoes. Two community rooms leak and lack of air conditioning prevent them from being used during the summer. Numerous terraces need replacement of concrete and need caulking. 320 Beach 100 street has gotten new windows, but 319 Beach 98 street has not.

HUD promised they wouldn’t raise rents until all major work was completed. Upon receipt of this letter I contacted Congressman Anthony Weiner and his chief of staff, Ron Friedman. We have a commitment that we will have a meeting with HUD, including Congressman Weiner, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Senator Malcolm Smith, myself, board members of the tenants association, and management.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, July 22 at 5:30 p.m. We return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 with $12.50 returned. Can you join us? Call my office now for reservations.

We are at our office at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-20 Beach Channel drive, on Thursday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Come join us to discuss community issues.


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