2002-05-04 / 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 we sit here and write our weekly column I think of how many of my constituents and neighbors ask will the ferry be a reality. One man stated there is a better chance of demolishing the old theatre building on Beach 116 St. than ever getting a ferry.

There have been many stories about a $300,000 subsidy that is needed to make this ferry affordable. In the mayor’s proposed budget there is no funding for a subsidized ferry for Rockaway.

Our local City Council members claim that that they restored the money to the budget. At this time no budget has been agreed upon. Stop believing the rumors until in fact the money is in the budget. We are urging Mayor Bloomberg to do the right thing in providing the needed funding so an affordable Rockaway ferry will become a reality.

We urge all Rockaway residents to reach out to the mayor’s office. Call Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff at (212) 788-01120 and tell him you want this money to be put in this budget.

Tom Paladino of Elsie K Princess has purchased a brand new state of the art catamaran that can be ready to go on May 1 if a subsidy is provided. They can provide round trip service for $5.00. So what are we waiting for?

As the Rockaway community was hit the hardest in the tragedies of 9/11 and 11/12 it is time for our fair share.

On Monday evening we had an open meeting with Alan R. Bell of the Hudson Companies Inc. They are the owners and developers of Bayview Homes, new one family homes on Beach 102St. These modular pre-fab homes range in price from $197,000 to $209,500. They require a minimum income of $61,000 to qualify.

A number of people who attended the meeting were worried about welfare recipients being given these houses. Mr. Bell stated he purchased the land for $1 million. He paid $400,000 and a $600,000 subsidy came from the Port Authority to the parish.

We questioned him why the Port Authority is now in the business of subsidizing housing. Due to the subsidy these houses become affordable. This is not a subsidy for your mortgage or bills. He invited everyone to attend the open house last Saturday.

Several residents of Surfside Houses and Dayton towers made it their business to be there and pay their deposits.

As we are well aware every piece of available property in the Rockaways is being developed. There seems to be a major economic boom in the housing market, but not in retail stores. We have no new schools, infrastructure, transportation improvements, movie theatres, bowling alleys etc. What’s wrong with this picture?

On Tuesday evening Yeshiva Hatorah held its 15th annual dinner. The honorees were Rabbi David and Liz Jenkins, Sandy and Suri Muller and Srully and Shani Neiman. I was given a plaque in recognition of my dedication and efforts on behalf of the yeshiva.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday May 18. We leave at 5:30 P.M. and return at 8 A.M. The cost is $25 with $15 returned. For reservations for the Trump Marina call my office at 945-1216.

On Thursday, May 9, Commissioner Edwin Mendez-Santiago of the NYC Department for the Aging will address the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at an Open Town Hall meeting. He will be joined by the Director of the Far Rockaway Social Security office, James Glasser.

A major topic to be discussed is the budget for the year starting in July. With the budget so tight there is a threat of closing senior centers and reducing Meals on Wheels. It is imperative that we all come together and let the commissioner know that we will help fight in support of keeping all senior centers with no cuts.

For anyone who is planning to retire in the next few years this will be an opportunity to learn about the benefits you can expect. If you have any problem with SSI, SSD or SS you can get a reliable reply.

At this meeting I will be presenting a check to pay for Dancing Under the Stars 2002. All are welcome. Bagels, cream cheese, and coffee are served.

We are located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive opposite Waldbaum’s. The meeting begins at 7:45 P.M.

Have you passed the Irish Circle recently?. The building has been gutted and rehabbed into a new modern state of the art pub restaurant with OTB gambling for patrons only. It is due to open as you are reading my column.

The Sunset Diner, which is owned by Kenny and Steve Good, is one of the best places on the beach. Just Friday evening I tried their prime rib dinner. Par excellence to die for. Remember the Good family supports every charity on the beach, we need to support them.

This year is a very important election year with major primaries for governor, lt. governor, state comptroller and local state officials. If your voter registration is not up to date come up to my office and we will get you registered.

On Saturday evening, we attended the annual St. Rose of Lima card party. This card party usually occurs in the month of November. Because of 9/11, it did not happen until now. This gala event helps raise money for the St. Rose of Lima school. Mrs. Anderson, principal, was so excited to see everyone. We had the pleasure of sitting next to one of Rockaway’s finest women, Charlotte Kulvany, a lady of class who is very charity oriented. She always attends all community functions whether it be church, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, or Temple Israel. She is always giving of herself unselfishly. God bless you Charlotte.

It was also nice to see Cathy and Bill Diffley. Cathy and Mary Finn said I’m always good luck to them at all the card parties. They were all rubbing me for luck. A great time was had by all. We won a beautiful red, white and blue God Bless America cross and a ceiling fan.

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