2002-01-19 / Columnists

Simon Says…. From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Simon Says….
From the Desk of Lew M. Simon,
Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

As many Rockaway residents have noticed, the street lights on Beach Channel Drive from Beach 95th Street to Beach 108th Street have been out for months. During the summer LIPA installed new electrical poles. LIPA and the N.Y.C. Department of Transportation disputed jurisdiction on wiring the poles.

We are very proud to announce that in the next two weeks John Chiesa of Keyspan has made a commitment that these lights will be working. Hats off to and special thanks to John, a man of his word.

It has come to our attention that two students have been hit by cars in the last three months in the vicinity of Beach Channel High School on Beach Channel Drive. The problem is that many students cross Beach Channel Drive between Beach 95th street and Beach 102nd street without waiting for lights and by coming out between parked buses.

We are suggesting that Capt. Talamo of the 100th Precinct put a condition car in the area. We also request that they use the radar gun donated by the precinct council to check for speeding cars. Another suggestion is that School Safety Officers direct traffic and students at dismissal and in the morning hours to make sure students cross in proper areas. B.C.H.S. must assign proper personnel to work with the 100th Precinct.

On Tuesday evening Community board 14 held a public hearing on site selection for a new Fire Department and EMS station at 303 Beach 49th street next to the Peninsula Hospital parking lot. EMS services from Beach 72nd Street and the Beach 59th Street firehouse would be relocated here.

Some residents from surrounding streets asked about flooding on Beach 49th street. FDNY personnel told me before the meeting that they will have retention tanks to hold the water for the gradual release. DEP should work with them to install new storm sewers.

FDNY rejected suggestions for other locations. They said the area on Beach Channel Drive between Beach 48th and Beach 49th streets in front of the Edgemere Landfill was unacceptable, and Beach 60th street was too far west. Dave Hainey of FDNY said changing the proposed location would delay construction for two years.

We would like to remind you that when new city facilities are being proposed under the ULURP process, you are welcome to speak on the proposal at the Borough Board at Borough Hall, at the City Planning Commission and at the City Council. We were quite impressed by the special design and look of the joint building. It will include 28 parking places.

We attended the meeting of the WTC memorial committee on Thursday. The committee is requesting input from the community on selection of a site on which the memorial sculpture will be erected.

One possible site is at Beach 116th street on Jamaica Bay. The Chamber of Commerce has received a $200,000 grant through Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer for a park at this site. The other site at Beach 127th street has a problem with parking during the summer months. District Manager Jonathan Gaska said that they would have to remove the parking restrictions for a few blocks around the memorial. Jonathan requests that family members of victims and neighbors contact him with their comments.

Congratulations to Gerald D’Albora who was reelected as president of Dayton Towers Cooperative for the second time. Gerry’s professional no-nonsense style of fighting on behalf of residents of Dayton helped the board to vote for his reelection. Congratulations to Gerry who had been a personal friend of mine for over 30 years.

On Sunday January 20th there will be a Town Hall meeting on flight paths over Rockaway. At the request of Congressman Anthony Weiner, FAA representatives will listen to our community about this problem. The hearing will be at P.S. 114, Beach 135th street off Cronston Avenue, from three to five p.m.

It is important that Rockaway come out in large numbers and send a clear message to the FAA that we are sick and tired of being JFK’s runway. We are demanding flights over the bay, not over our homes. In light of the recent tragedy, every time we hear planes we worry about the consequences.

We have been fighting on this issue for a long time. We are hoping that the proper FAA people will be here to address us and take our questions and comments. We need to have people in policy-making positions, not low level bureaucrats. It is a must for all Rockaway residents to come together to give the FAA hell.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday February 9th. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25, with $16 returned. Call my office at 945-1216 for reservations.

We meet at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club every Thursday from 7:30 to 11 p.m. It is located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. Come up if you have a problem, an opinion or want to pay for your membership. All local residents are welcome.

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