2001-07-14 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

"I don't know, maybe it's me, but I always noticed in all my years of living in Rockaway that you have to come through either Brooklyn or Queens to get here!" states a bewildered John Baxter as he wonders how the New York City Transit can be so negligent in their decision to close token booths through out the city.

Baxter is also amazed that since so many on the Rockaway peninsula rely on public transportation and would be directly impacted by this decision, that there is little outrage, protest, or coverage in our local paper on the issue. As a result, he has formed the Coalition for Safer Transportation and has been working along with the newly elected officials of the Transit Workers Union.

The union has 37,000 members and their goal is to obtain one million signatures and petition Govenor Pataki to reconsider a decision that would pose a dangerous condition for the millions who rely on the safety of our transportation system. "Put the token clerks back in the token booths!" exclaims Baxter. "Taking the clerks out of the booths is the same as taking cops off the streets!"
  A public hearing was held on Wednesday, July 11 at City Hall by the New York City Council's Transportation Committee on a resolution that calls upon the council to hold formal hearings on the plan to close token booths by the N.Y.C. Transit.

Roger Toussaint, President of the Transit Workers Union, which represents the Station Agents, a.k.a token booth clerks, testified along with representatives from over 65 organizations and civic groups. Baxter, on behalf of the Coalition for Safer Transportation also testified at the hearing.

According to a press release issued by the T.W.U., "Plans for widespread booth closings were initially denied by the Transit Authority." However, documents came to light recently illustrating the fact that the plans in fact had been made over a year ago.

The fact that these plans were kept secret by the TA is yet another example of a callous disregard of the riding public they claim to serve." The million signatures that the TWU hope to obtain will go directly to Governor Pataki, who appoints the majority of members to the board of the MTA, the parent of the New York Transit."

Baxter agrees with TWU President
Roger Toussaint who states, "Riders and workers share a common interest in a safe and successful transit system. At the same time, both these groups also share in the shameful disregard that is shown to them by an arrogant Transit Authority".

By now you've probably heard about "Rockaway City" and have probably thought, "what does it mean?" Well, find out more at a forum to be held on Thursday July 19 at Baxter's Playhouse on Beach 116 Street. Invited guests include Attorneys Terry Flynn; Harry Kretsky, who has reviewed the paper work and is willing to give his opinion; and Gerald Everett, Queens County Chairman of the Independence Party, who is proficient on the subject. It should be a most interesting evening on a subject that could change Rock- away as we know it. All are welcome to attend.

It was nice to see Mrs. Molly Faherty out for a stroll with her daughter MaryEllen, her husband Martin and their three beautiful children, Martin, Kaitlin, and Mary Ellen. It was a beautiful day last Saturday to do and explore so much around our town.

Get well wishes to Patrick Smith who is recuperating from surgery on his arm. Pat was helping someone with a scooter and suffered serious injury to his arm and hand. Get well soon to a Good Samaritan and man about 116 Street!

It was nice to see Councilman Al Stabile recently. Al is definitely running in the Borough Presidency race as the only Republican on the ticket. It was great to see him and I wish him well.
  See you...On the Beach!

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