2001-02-03 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

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

Last Tuesday I spent the evening at the Neponsit Property Owner’s annual post New Year’s party at the West End Temple. Many of the residents spoke of why they moved to Neponsit. Mike O’Connor, the president, is always courteous, kind and makes you feel welcome. It was great to see such a large turnout on a frigid night.

Congressman Anthony Weiner announced the approval of three types of ferry service. A commuter ferry would run twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon to the South Street Seaport. The cost would be $10 each way. Parking will be available at Riis Park with a shuttle van to the ferry. Parking would cost at least $2 per day. The other two services are party boats and nature boats.

One need not be a rocket scientist to realize how expensive it would be to use the ferry daily with a cost of $22. Wow that hurts! If you need to take public transportation from South Street it would be another fare. There is a desperate need for major subsidies to make it affordable for all. We urge everyone to reach out to your city, state and federal elected officials demanding this subsidy and making daily ferry service a permanent reality.

On Tuesday evening at about 6:30 p.m., the new Queens DOT Commissioner, Joe Cannisi, met me to review some of the places that need immediate attention in the community. Our first visit was to a packed business district on Beach 116 street. We showed him how the muni-meters and the famous walkway on which you can break your neck have caused a problem. We also pointed out that with the utility vehicles it is virtually impossible to walk on that sidewalk.

We next took the commissioner to a number of locations that needed street repairs. At 8 p.m. Sara Berger, president of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club, opened the public meeting, introducing the commissioner to members and community activists.

Fawn Poveramo of Belle Harbor spoke up strongly against the muni-meters, demanding the return of our old meters because seniors and handicapped persons could not safely use the muni-meters.

Liz Sulik, president of the Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that parents with several young children face an impossible task when trying to feed the muni-meter.

On a related topic, the commissioner told us that DOT and the police only recognize special stickers issued by the People With Disabilities Unit. To obtain such a sticker, call Felice Morris at 718-433-3229. These stickers permit a handicapped driver to park at a metered spot without paying, and to park in some other restricted locations.

Tony Pollio, P.E., Queens Borough Director of Infrastructure for the Department of Design and Construction, showed us the plans for the extension of the center mall from Beach 140 street to Beach 126 street. The director shocked us by announcing that the malls would be all concrete with no planting. He was mistaken.

After the meeting we reached out to John Walsh of the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association to inform him about Pollio’s confusion. Jack King, president of the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association, along with John McLoughlin, chairman of the Rockaway Park Association, have assured us that the malls will be identical to the ones presently in Neponsit. Both organizations have agreed to pay for the upkeep of the trees, grass and shrubbery along the malls.

Pollio also spoke of the construction planned for the new streets, sidewalks and curbs from Beach 116 street to Beach 125 street on Newport avenue. The project number is HWQ331C.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, February 10. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 with $16 returned. Eleven people can win $10 on the bus. We have eight hours to enjoy the Trump Marina. For reservations call my office.

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