2001-02-17 / Columnists

Simon Says

Simon Says

Copies of the long overdue MTA study of the reopening of the Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR were finally sent to some of us last week. Special thanks to Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, who obtained the study from the MTA and shared them with us. The study, however, invents some foolish ideas and then tries to make our plan look foolish and too expensive.

We have never asked for any interruption of ‘A’ line service. We have made it clear, or so we thought, that the old Rockaway Beach line could be utilized by the ‘A’ train or LIRR. We would accept either to run on the tracks that exist in Rockaway, Broad Channel and Howard Beach and link to the old tracks which begin at 99 street and Rockaway boulevard making stops through to Whitepot Junction on the main line of the LIRR in Forest Hills. This would be the only line from south Queens to central Queens and midtown Manhattan with a transfer to Long Island.

There would be major renovation on the abandoned tracks that have been closed since 1962. The deterioration of the tracks and the garbage, trees, weeds, and encroachments by businesses and homeowners have taken part of the right of way of this line.

The mayor and governor constantly speak of a one-seat ride. This definitely is a win-win for all Queens residents, and Manhattan and Long Island residents who choose to enjoy the free, beautiful, pristine beaches in Rockaway. It is quite obvious that a $90,000 study, which was due in August 1999, and only completed in January 2001, smells rotten.

Who bought who off? Why once again has the Rockaways been duped, fooled, and kicked? My constituency has expressed delight in this line. The future of the Rockaways, Broad Channel, and Ozone Park hangs in the balance. This railroad would bring real estate values even higher making south Queens a desirable area with direct transit service to midtown.

I received a very distressful letter from a great friend, Rabbi Michael Scholar of Temple Israel on Beach 84 street. The temple is in dire need of assistance in paying bills. The rabbi asked for my assistance in helping to obtain funding to keep the shul’s doors open.

We are very proud to announce we got a major donor of $1,000 to help the temple. This good samaritan is Cumberland Packing Corp. (Sweet ‘N’ Low) proprietor, good friend, and neighbor, Marvin Eisenstadt. Marvin and his wonderful wife Barbara have supported the Rockaway Music and Arts Council over the years. Barbara is the president of the RMAC. She is always smiling and giving to our community.

The Eisenstadts are two wonderful, successful people who have made it in life and have not forgotten where they came from. God bless the Eisenstadts.

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

We meet every Thursday evening at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-20 Beach Channel drive. If you have a community problem or just want to keep up with local events you can drop in. Your membership is welcome, but you don’t have to be a member to come up.


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