2003-03-22 / Columnists

Simon Says...

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

Simon Says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

Our next Atlantic City bus trip to Trump Marina will be this Saturday, March 22. The cost is $28 with $17 returned. We leave at 5:30 PM and re­turn at 8 AM. Front door pick up and drop off on Shorefront Parkway available by reservation for this trip only.

If you have an American flag that is no longer fit to display, the Queens unit of the Vietnam Veterans of America will arrange for proper disposal. You can bring the flag to our headquarters any Thursday evening from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. We are located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. Pick up from your home may be arranged if necessary. POW-MIA flags are handled in the same manner as U.S. flags.

As we sit here on this beautiful St. Patrick’s Day, the temperature hit 74 degrees. God’s eyes shined on the Irish for their special day.

Have you looked at the price of gasoline lately? In some places it is over $2.20 a gallon. Why is there such price gouging? It is now time to release some of the national gas and oil reserves. With the war imminent it appears we will pay $3 or $4 per gallon at the rate we are going. It is now time for you to call Senators Charles Schumer and Hil­lary Clinton and Congressmen Anthony Weiner and Gregory Meeks to tell them to release oil reserves so prices can drop drastically. See page 4 of this paper for their telephone numbers.

With the weather being so beautiful, now is the time many people will do concrete repairs around their home. If you have trouble with trees breaking your sidewalk, we have the guy who takes care of permits and gets the job done in two days. Call Two Bro­thers Construction, Tommy and Al Catanese. They are licensed contractors.

During my 2001 City Council campaign I proposed a super A train that would run from Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, 80 Street Hudson Street and straight through to Hoyt Schermerhorn Street saving 30 to 35 minutes. The return trip would skip the same stations. Other A trains would continue to make all express stops.

In light of the fact the MTA is raising the fare on April 1, we deserve a better ride. Time is money and money is time. The average person spends 2-3 hours a day riding public transportation or waiting for the train. It’s time to call our State Assembly members and State Senators. Tell them it’s a goddamn shame the MTA got away with raising the fare without opening their books to show the need. At the same time all of the MTA bridges and tunnels are going up .50. The cost of living has risen dramatically.

You are invited to a special art exhibit created by the children of PS43 and the Beach 131 Street area, who were affected by the 9/11 and Flight 587 tragedies. The exhibit will open on Thursday, March 27 at 7PM in the lobby of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital at 327 Beach 19 Street (entrance on Brookhaven Avenue). The ex­hibit runs from March 25 to March 31.

Over the last year Project Liberty and the Greater New York Hospital Relief Fund provided free confidential counseling to families and groups affected by the tragedies. The exhibit called Wishes and Secrets shows how the children ex­pressed themselves using unique media. Project Relief counsel­ors wish to thank the First Con­gregational Church on Beach 94 Street for the use of their facilities since 9/8/02 for the group sessions, the staff of PS 42 and Luis A. Hernandez, CEO and Penelope Chin, Director of Mar­keting/Public Relations at St. Johns for their support and cooperation.

The biggest joke in Rockaway has become the Rockaway ferry. Both of our City Council Members should bury their heads in the sand for not taking on the mayor and the governor to make sure some of the 9/11 funds were put to use to pay for the ferry. Once again they speak of $3,00,000 in the budget.

For shame on these individuals for not standing up and calling a press con­ference and getting community backing to make a reality of a free Rock­away ferry. In light of the 9/11 tra­gedy when we lost so many dear friends and neighbors in this community as well as the second hit on 11/12 when flight 587 killed our neighbors and friends from Washington Heights, what do we have to do to drum it into people’s heads to make a ferry a reality? Thank God for Joe Hartigan who fought for the ferry from the beginning.

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