2000-07-29 / Columnists

Simon Says

By Lew Simon, Democratic District Leader

On Tuesday evening we attended the fundraiser for the reelection of Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. This gala event was held at Rockaway’s own Beach Club. The dinner was chaired by two great Democrats, Assemblyspeaker Sheldon Silver and Queens County Democratic Chair and former Congressman Tom Manton. Also in attendance were Assemblymembers Peter Abbate and Vito Lopez of Brooklyn, and Jeff Aubry, Marge Markey, and Pauline Cummings of Queens. State Senators Ada Smith and Malcolm Smith were also present.

Sheldon Silver introduced Audrey as a jewel and went on to say how wonderful and successful she was. He thanked her on behalf of 97 other Democratic assemblymembers for the great job she does for the state and her district.

Audrey mentioned the two most important men in her life, the love of her life, Glenn, and the new love of her life, her grandson, Sam Amato. Audrey was blessed to have her aunt, Frances Weinstein, and her daughter, Stacy, with her. She announced that her parents, Alex and Ruth Fagin, were celebrating their 60 anniversary this fall. We wish to congratulate Alex and Ruth on being a loving couple and dedicated parents. God bless you and may you have many more wonderful years together.

Residents of Shore Front parkway have noticed that the newly planted trees are dying or dead. We visited with a number of neighbors in Dayton who complained that the city planted trees without a sprinkler system. The same problem is found on Beach Channel drive from Beach 108 street to Beach 116 street. We were told that the contract for the Beach Channel planting guarantees the plants. If they die they will be replaced free of charge.

Community activist Moe Weinschel has been working diligently to try to obtain sprinklers for Beach Channel drive. We spent some time speaking to Maureen Walsh and Peggy DeMatteis. We congratulate them on the beautiful flower display on the Cronston Triangle at Beach 124 street and at Beach 116 street. These ladies and their group have beautified this peninsula and made a major difference.

I had made mention to them that as you come off the Marine Bridge it would be a good idea to have flowers spelling "Welcome To Rockaway" near the sign erected by the Chamber. I even offered to stand with a can and sell raffles to raise money for this project. We urge all to make a donation to help keep the beauty in the west end and to help expand it to the rest of the peninsula.

I recently spoke to vice president Nadia Murphy. She was quite upset that a group of community youths were destroying sprinkler heads and beautiful plantings at the Cronston triangle. In speaking to some of these young people, I found that they use derogatory language and were disrespectful. I was shocked, appalled, and mortified. We urge residents in the surrounding area to keep an eye on the triangle so that it is not destroyed. With the abundance of space at Riis Park, school playgrounds, and the Shore Front parkway areas, there is enough room for flowers and skateboarding to coexist.

Hats off to Nadia. We love you and respect you. Thanks for all you do.

On Wednesday evening we met with our new head of the 100 Precinct, Captain Miller, and his Executive Officer, Captain Klein. The meeting was set up by Community Relations Officer Hector Tello. We discussed a number of issues of importance to our community.

We spoke of the continuing problems with SRO’s. The New York City Department of Buildings sends copies of stop work and vacate orders to the precinct each week. The file is usually kept at the desk. Unfortunately, with the change in shifts, one arm may not know what the other arm is doing. We suggested that one officer on each platoon be made aware of current Department of Buildings documents. The captain promised to send out a memo immediately.

We discussed the ongoing problems with 230 Beach 118 street, owned by the notorious Michael Andrews. We mentioned numerous problem houses in our community. We discussed the right of hotel owners to evict undesirable tenants without a court order before the 28 day of their residence. This law, which was passed by the City Council in 1982, states that tenants in hotels with less days can be asked to move. John Baxter has explained this law to us and told us that some officers in the 100 Precinct were not aware of the law. Assemblywoman Pheffer has set up a meeting for John Baxter and other hotel owners with the District Attorney’s office.

We brought to the Captain’s attention the problem of panhandlers on Beach 116 street and voiced our concern about loitering around the new Crown Chicken, which will be open 24 hours a day. The captain stated that if a pedestrian’s path is blocked, his officers would issue summonses. We mentioned a pair of women who talk to a victim. While one talks, the other attempts to get the victim’s money. This has occurred near the Chase Bank and Waldbaum’s. We urge all to be careful coming out of banks and ATM machines. Finally we suggested the use of ATV, so police officers could ride on the beach.

We want to thank the 100 Precinct command for taking the time to discuss these problems with us.

Our next trip to Atlantic City will be on Saturday, August 19. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 and $12.50 is returned. Call my office now for reservations.

We continue active during the summer season. We are at our office at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 11 a.m. You don’t have to be a member to drop by to chat and keep up with community events. The club is located at 112-20 Beach channel drive opposite Waldbaum’s parking lot.


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