2004-12-31 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon

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

We’d like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and joyous New Year. May 2005 be the best yet. We’re hoping that this year our Borough President Helen Marshall will find the missing copies of the one seat ride study. This study, made by the M.T.A. at the request of former Borough President Claire Shulman, shows that a convenient and affordable one-seat ride from JFK airport to Manhattan is possible. This study was done under the direction of William M. Wheeler, Director of Planning and Capital Investment of the M.T.A.

We understand that the findings of this study prove our belief that reactivation of the old Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR would provide much improved service for hundreds of thousands of residents in southern Queens. As the M.T.A. gets ready to raise fares they must find ways to improve service for residents of our communities. Some of our older residents remember getting to Penn Station in 32 minutes. We are not asking them to waste funds on a new report, but to release the report that was already done.

We are also wishing for the reality of an affordable ferry to Manhattan. Although at this time Mayor Bloomberg seems to have pulled the plug on supporting ferries, we expect that improved transportation will be one of the key issues in the 2005 election for mayor. If you remember, during Rudy Giuliani’s race for reelection as mayor in 1997, we were very active and lobbied diligently and successfully for the elimination of the Cross Bay Bridge toll for Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point residents.

For years, many people laughed at me when we were doing protest rallies for elimination of the tolls. During elections for mayor or governor, anything can happen. We need to put together our wish list. Adding new schools for Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Ozone Park students would be on my list.

Other goals may include the creation of real jobs, the reality of a major chain store such as Wal Mart, K-Mart or Target etc. in the Arverne area and a real theatre so we can all enjoy a little leisure. We would love to hear your thoughts on what is needed.

We wish to congratulate Robert Sullivan, newly elected board member of the Dayton Towers Cooperative. With reelected board members Ginny Kuhn, Charles Gregory, Frank Dean and Gerald D’Albora, the leadership is in good hands. Gerry D’Albora, who was reelected as president, is a strong leader who cannot be bought off, corrupted or bullied. He is a man of conviction, honesty and is always fighting on behalf of Dayton.       

We attended the annual Bay Towers children’s Christmas party. Under the direction of Ms. Terry Harris and her board, the children of Bay Towers provided Christmas skits and original Christmas raps. As usual, Santa came to greet the children. As Terry, Miriam Camacho and myself assisted Santa with the Christmas gifts for the children of Bay Towers.

This of course always touches my heart because I lived there for many years with my loving mom, God rest her.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday January 15. We leave at 5:30 P.M and return at 8 A.M. The cost is $32 with $25 returned and a 100 minute phone card.

We give you the most money back. We give you bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Beach Bagels. We beat all trips and lines. Call 945-1216 for reservations.

After 33 years the residents of the Seagirt Boulevard area of Far Rockaway are being given a rotten holiday gift by North Fork Bank. After taking over Greenpoint Bank, North Fork announced that the bank at Beach 17 th Street and Seagirt Boulevard would be closed.

This would be a major hardship for many residents who are elderly or handicapped and do not have cars. This branch is usually crowded with local residents who need their services. Banks have a responsibility to serve their communities. Directing them to another branch they cannot get to, will not do.

We are working closely on this matter with my other mother, Flo Altschuler. Flo was one of my mother’s dear friends and a long time supporter of mine. We have also heard from Floyd Smith, community activist, and Marilyn Romar, President of the Ocean Park Tenants Association. We mean business. If North Fork does not listen, then we must bring in another bank. We suggest residents of JASA, Wavecrest, Ocean Park, Roy Reuther and surrounding areas work together to set up a meeting to make plans. One suggestion is for a petition to be signed by local residents demanding a meeting with a bank decision maker. For further information call my office at 945-1216.

Membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic Club is open to all. Send your check for $25 for a family, $18 single or $12 for Seniors or Young Dems to 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park 11694. The office is open on Thursday evenings.

We would like to invite everyone to the fundraising concert for the Beach Channel High School band.

BCHS has been chosen as the leader of the Make-A-Wish parade in Disney World. You are invited to make a donation and attend the concert at 7 P.M. on Saturday January 8 at BCHS, 100-00 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park 11694.

You may send in a check payable to the band at the school if you cannot attend. We must all show our pride in the BCHS band. Please make a tax deductable contribution.

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