2004-02-13 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Simon says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

Wow. What weather the past few weeks. Are you sick of seeing snow as I am? Are you fed up with the cold weather? I keep praying Spring comes sooner rather than later. As a result of the extremely harsh weather my office has been inundated with calls about water main breaks, frozen pipes and huge potholes. We have been busy as a beaver with DEP on a daily basis to make sure water mains are fixed and water is running in everyone’s home. Please note that I never refuse to help you if you don’t live in the district I represent or you are not enrolled as a Democrat. I am an equal opportunity person who is always there for all no matter what. I am proud of the fact that I look forward to getting your calls, returning them and getting to work.

The potholes are growing and growing all over the city of New York. On Saturday evening I landed in a huge sinkhole off Rockaway Beach Blvd. and Beach 84th Street. I was shocked no one called me to report it. As I sit and write my column Sunday evening, we expect DOT to come out late Sun ay evening to repair it. It was quite a surprise to see huge potholes around the Good as New store and neighboring stores across the street from Council man Addabbo’s office. I expect them to be repaired by this evening.

Please feel free to call me to advocate for your rights. Potholes, sewers and running water pipes should be fixed quickly.

How many of you ride over the Cross Bay Bridge as I do? The bridge has been a maze of potholes, which you try to avoid. If you are entering from the Rockaway Park area using Beach Chan nel Drive as you enter on the bridge, you have to watch out for your tires and axle. At the same time God help you if you choose to stay in the right lane re turning to the peninsula. This huge sinkhole has been repaired four or five times but keeps reoccurring. Some times there are cones around it, other times there are not.

Why is such a super entity as the TBTA having such a hard time fixing the potholes properly the first time. After talking to a number of friends at DOT they suggested cutting out a specific part and putting some hot asphalt down and remilling it down. Then come a second time and finish the job.

Do you have cabin fever? Want to go to Atlantic City and win some money? Enjoy eight hours in Trump Marina. We are going on Saturday, March 13. We leave from our office at 112-20 Beach Channel Dr. at 5:30PM and return at 8AM. Movies are shown on the bus. Bagels courtesy of Rockaway Bagels. Reservations are a must. Pay in advance.

I have been doing my homework to make a ferry from Rockaway a reality. We have found that subsidies are a must. Waterways Ferry Co. has hired an outside ferry contractor to use their boat paying $3,500 a day plus fuel and insurance or $4,000 per day. Some companies would charge even more. You have heard about the $300,000 ferry subsidy Councilman Peter Vallone and Borough President Helen Marshall put in the budget.

If you use that subsidy at $4,000 per day, it will last 75 days. Remember Seastreak, Fox Navigation and Waterways laugh ed at this subsidy and walked away from us. But there is someone else, PWFM Ferry Inc. owned by Tom Paladino and Mary Sorrentino who own the Elsie K. Princess. They take you on beautiful tours of NYC, the Statue of Liberty and the Coney Island fireworks leaving from the old Coast Guard base in Fort Tilden.

A number of wonderful vessels are ready to transport Rockaway residents to Wall Street or West 34 Street. The company has offered to run the trip at $5 each way. These Rockaway residents have stepped up to the plate and if they receive the subsidy they are prepared to run the ferry for at least one year. If you think this is a good idea, send a letter to Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall, New York, NY 10007, Borough President Helen Marshall at 120-55 Queens Blvd., Kew Gardens, NY 11434, Council Transportation Chair John Liu at City Hall, DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall at 40 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013 and Congressmen Meeks and Weiner. Their addresses are on the editorial page of this paper. Please send a copy of your letter to my office.

On Friday evening we volunteered our services as we usually do at the St. Camillus Home School Association annual card party. Thank God, God was on our side. The nasty weather of snow in the morning, rain in the afternoon to early evening broke in time to make a successful evening. Thank God it was packed and a good time was had by all.

We are saddened by the loss of a great individual, Louis Nicosia, otherwise known to everyone as Louie. I remember growing up as a young child on my Uncle Kay and Aunt Sophie’s porch. Their famous big, black sheepdog had a tail which went around in a full circle. Their neighbors across the street were Louie and Gladys, one of the nicest couples you could ever ask to meet. Whenever you saw Louie, you would see Gladys. They were a team.

Louie had a great personality. He was always telling jokes and making you laugh. As the years have gone by Louie and Gladys went with me to Atlantic City regularly. His constant shoe breaking routine had to do with cell phones. He would ask a million questions. How did they count the minutes? Do you get charged for in coming calls? He would constantly re peat himself and we’d laugh together.

One night stays imbedded in my mind. He was coming down the down escalator in Trump Marina and he got stuck and fell down headfirst. I ran off the bus to see if he was OK. He was a good sport about it. He was more concerned about picking up the quarters he dropped than about his body ailments. Thank God Poo, poo, poo, he was fine and able to get up.

Talk about your life going before you, Louie would give the shirt off his back to someone who need it. We know in our heart he must be a special angel in heaven. Our heart goes out to his lovely wife Gladys and his children and grandchildren. Louie will be greatly missed.

We are saddened by the death of another fine gentleman, Rudy Wolf As a child I remember Rudy and his wife Norma and beautiful daughter who we grew up with.

We spent time in their house as well as in our house. Rudy was one of the most friendly gentlemen you would ever meet. We do know he will be a special angel in God’s heaven.

Our heart goes out in sympathy to the family.

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