2000-10-07 / Columnists

Simon Says

Driving over the Gil Hodges Marine Parkway bridge can bring anger and hostility. There is heavy traffic topped off with huge potholes. One would think we were on a dirt road, not a bridge.

We have constantly been calling for the removal of the toll for local residents during construction. To think we should have to pay to break our tires and axles! It’s time for the TBTA to pave these holes properly and not charge residents while construction is underway.

Wednesday afternoon we attended the dedication of Pat A. Brackley Park. Pat (a.k.a. Gardening Angel) was an outstanding volunteer for parks, who did extensive work on the Cronston Triangle.

There is now 70-foot planters with ornamental grasses, perennials and shrubs. The benches are repaired and repainted, so that people can sit and enjoy the city skyline and sunset. The Cronston Triangle is now a park, thanks to Brackley.

Dedicating this park, we recognize the time, work, and energy Pat put into this area. Brackley also spent close to $10,000 of her own money to irrigate, buy plants and for a private contractor to remove the asphalt and concrete to convert this triangle into a lovely green space.

The dedication was made official by Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern.

God Bless the late Pat Brackley and her wonderful family for all they have done to beautify the Rockaway peninsula.

On Wednesday evening, September 27, we attended the 75th Annual Diamond Jubilee Dinner Dance of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways at the beautiful Levine’s Washington Hotel.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer swore in the officers. The president is Liz Sulik; first vice president, John Lepore; vice presidents, Marc Goldfarb and Harold Rochelle; treasurer, Clara Henglein; and secretary, Geraldine Frazer.

Sectional vice presidents are Helene Myland, Breezy Point to Beach 149 street; Barbara J. Morris, Beach 148 to 101 streets; Marie J. Chevalier, Beach 100 to 50 streets; Jay Velasques, Beach 49 to Beach 9 streets; and Daniel Tubridy, Broad Channel. Steven Wolf is the chairperson of the board.

We congratulate all the honorees of the evening: Al Stabile, Steve and Kenny Good, Reverend Wenton Fyne, Father Peter Gillen, Rabbi Joseph Weiss, Harvey Gorden, Harold Rochelle, and Walter Roberts.

I consider John Lepore and Liz Sulik the dynamic duo. We know under their leadership the Rockaways will thrive. Also, we’re glad to see Eric McManus of Jameson’s Pub getting involved on the board of directors. Keep up the work kid.

On Friday, Newsday reported that Queens Buildings Commissioner James Leonard was arrested for allegedly creating a bogus certificate of occupancy and filing false plans showing a house was in compliance with city codes while it had never been inspected. Leonard allegedly agreed to obtain a "blind" inspector who would overlook inconsistencies in the paperwork and arrange for the file to "disappear."

Now, to quote Public Advocate Mark Green, "The Department of Buildings sent inspector Alfred Hasenbein and Queens Borough Commissioner James Leonard to Neponsit (Health Care Center) on the afternoon of October 28 (1998), approximately six hours after HPD staff had begun the demolition bidding process. The inspectors initially called only for HHC to ‘abate the hazard,’ which could presumably be accomplished through inexpensive repairs. Afterwards, however, Leonard acted on his own authority to require full demolition -- a drastic move that may have resulted from political rather than safety considerations…outside experts regard emergency demolition of an evacuated building as unprecedented."

In light of these new allegations against Leonard, we demand a similar investigation into the matters at Neponsit.

On Thursday, October 12 there will be the annual meeting of the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. We will be there with former Neponsit employees and others to demand that HHC reopen the home for its residents. Call me if you want to attend.

Our office is located at 112-20 Beach Channel drive (opposite Waldbaum’s). Thursday, October 19 will be candidates night – Congressman Weiner, Assemblywoman Pheffer and State Senator Smith and representative of the national ticket are expected. We invite everyone to come up to the office that night.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be Saturday, October 21. Call my office for reservations.

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