2004-09-24 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon

This week was a major milestone in the Belle Harbor community. After years of benign neglect 130-04 Cronston Avenue was demolished. For the past few years we have been after NYC government agencies to solve this problem. Finally HPD authorized demolition after they found the building unsafe due to shifting bricks and major water damage.

During the last six years we have been trying to encourage the Flinker sisters who inherited the property from their father to clean it up and sell it. Back in the beginning of the summer, Myrna gave me a letter of agreement that I could remove two abandoned cars sitting in the driveway. We made her aware of a long list of people who wanted to purchase the property. She was asking $575,000 to $650,000.

We tried numerous times to have her make an appointment to show the house to prospective buyers. Her constant excuse was lack of time, iclement weather, time needed to take treasures out of the house and all the other bs. In calling her in response to the leveling of the house, she claimed that she has to reimburse the city for the leveling of the house. We question if this is the fact. We also question if she actually paid the real estate tax, which she claims she did.

She now has stated that she is asking $650,000 for the property. My response to her was good luck. I question whether if she really sell if someone was interested.

On 9/11 we attended a beautiful moving mass that reduced you to tears about the loss of lives of residents of our community and others on 9/11. The mass was held in front of the memorial tribute area in the Breezy Point Cooperative.

This wonderful showing of continued support for the loss of all on 9/11 was quite a moving sight. Msgr. Connoly, Father O’Connell and many of the residents of Breezy spoke and engaged in prayer as a group.

It has come to our attention that in order to be able to receive the real estate tax rebate you must be enrolled in the STAR program by 10/15. You can easily enroll by calling 311 for an application. We also understand that you will have to pay income tax on this rebate if you deducted the real estate taxes in the past.

We are saddened by the death of one of the nicest men you could ever ask to meet. John Commorato was a real estate manager who owned a number of properties and loved the Rockaway community. He became a member of the Good Government Regular Democratic club over 17 years ago. For many, many years he never missed a Thursday night meeting. He shared and spoke with us as we are all family. John had a wonderful smile and a great heart.

A number of years ago a stroke caused John to lose his power of speech. Even though he could not speak, he always found a way to communicate to all of us. There is no doubt in our mind that John is a special angel in God’s kingdom in heaven. To his lovely wife Mary and their children we extend our sincere condolences.

On Tuesday night Rev. Les Mullings told Community Board 14 about a health careers charter school in the Rockaways. Through the leadership of Dr. Kathleen Cashin of Region 5  the school will open in January 2005 with 125 students at JHS 198. Charter schools are paid for with public funds.

At graduation the students will be eligible for LPN and other certificates. They will work in close cooperation with Peninsula hospital. We made it clear to Rev. Mullings that with all the health related facilities and two hospitals this program is needed and should be expanded to the west end of the peninsula. With many of our youth a specific educational goal can help students to achieve and excel and make a future career.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday October 23. The cost is $32 with $20 returned. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m.

Don’t miss free slot day.

Simply insert your wild card at any slot machine that day and they will send you a coin coupon for up to $50 in the mail. You can’t lose.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown will be the guest speaker at our Town Hall meeting on Thursday September 30. We are inviting all to attend this meeting to discuss how to combat crime and violence in our community. DA Brown will update us on the fine work of his office in fighting domestic violence and other crime related areas. All are welcome to attend. Bagels and cream cheese and coffee and cake are served. Our headquarters are located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive opposite Waldbaums parking lot. The meeting starts at 7:45 p.m. sharp.

While we are glad that DEC has made some plans to clean up the toxic waste site at Beach 108 Street and Beach Channel Drive, some questions remain. Test borings on Beach Channel Drive and Rockaway Beach Boulevard in the vicinity of the site should be made to determine how far the contaminants have spread. We remember the terrible smells when the site was opened to move the electric substation. We had nausea and burning eyes and throats although the DEP meters found only traces of gaseous contaminents. We have requested this further study since the beginning of the remediation process.

The DEC was not aware that local residents use well water and has not studied the posible damage to water quality in the area. As this contamination extends into Jamaica Bay how much damage has been done to the fish population and to those who catch and eat the fish?

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

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