2005-07-29 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

It’s been a real hot week. The heat and humidity have made people tired, angry and make them want to stay in their air conditioned home or go to an air conditioned place.

Just this week public hearings were held on the scoping document for

the Lower Manhattan-Jamaica/JFK Transportation Project. The Federal Tansportation Administration (FTA), in cooperation with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will prepare an alternatives analysis to provide improved commuter and airport access connecting Lower Manhattan with the Long Island Railroad Jamaica Station and with JFK Airport.

The plans presented to the public this week ignore the existence of residents of the Rockaway peninsula and such communities as Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Richmond Hill. They do not show the A train, or any connection for residents of southern Queens with the new high speed service along Atlantic Avenue to Flatbush Avenue and through a new tunnel to Lower Manhattan. They do not show the old Rockaway line, which gave southern Queens residents direct access to Manhattan. For all the billions of dollars to be spent, the only way for southern Queens residents to use it would be to get to Jamaica station. If you think we deserve to be included in these plans write a letter to Chris Bastain, Project Manager, Metropolitan Authority, 347 Madison Avenue-10th Floor New York, NY 10017. If you need more information call my office.

Once again, a train to the plane would help commuters from Lower Manhattan get to JFK and Jamaica. Once again we do not exist. A set of proposals put forth by my co-chair of the Rockaway Transit Coalition, Carl Perrera, would use the Atlantic Branch to bring improved transit. We want all of our readers to demand that these proposals be considered seriously. We will continue to fight and lobby for reopening the old Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR. Either one of the three plans could benefit us. If you agree with us you have until September 17 to send your comments to the Project Manager, Chris Bastain. Please send us a copy at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park 11694.

Have you recently taken a walk on the boardwalk? Have you tripped, broke a bone, or had your baby shaken up in the carriage? We would like to know. The boardwalk has become a major hazardous area due to Parks Department trucks, police cars and EMS vehicles constantly riding on the boardwalk. For the last 20 years we have been screaming and hollering that ATV,s and other vehicles should be used on the sand by the police and parks department.

The constant use has destroyed our boardwalk. Protruding nails, broken boards and loose boards have caused many people to get hurt. Just last Friday, July 15, we had an example of the sheer neglect of repair of our bordwalk. When one lady tried to walk from Dayton West to our Dancing Under the Stars, she landed in an ambulance to Peninsula Hospital.

Peninsula was extremely wonderful and accommodating. Dr. Frieda Lozenoff, who has been a doctor for over 50 years is the best of the best. Talk about one loving and caring doctor who travels 3 hours each day  back and forth to work where she has for so many years because of her love of medicine and working with our neighbors.

I witnessed first hand the intubation of a cardiac arrest patient. I observed the fast work of Dr. Frieda to give this man a chance to live, at the same time assisting so many other patients in the Emergency Room including the one who fell on the boardwalk and suffered a broken nose, and an elbow fractured in several places that will need surgery. Dr. Frieda and her staff are professional, loving and caring. The treatment in the PGH emergency room is the best. The staff is wonderful. It is time once again to give credit where credit is due. God bless Dr. Frieda.      

On Thursday evening we attended the first Community Education Council 27 meeting of the new school year. They introduced the new council members and elected new officers. Reelected to a second term as president is Anthony Alia, former president of the Howard Beach Forum, first vice president Matthew Regan, second vice president Andrew Baumann of NY Families for Autistic Children, a hard worker and advocate on behalf of families affected by autism, secretary Inderjeet Hiralal, and treasurer Cynthia Dellitalia. Others on the board are Tatiana Arboleda, Shalom Becker a former elected member of the old Board 27, Lourdes Castillo, Colette Christian, Carolyn Gainey and David Hooks who is on leave.

Also attending the meeting was Michelle Lloyd-Bey, Superintendent of District 27 who spoke about a new program for at risk students who have been suspended. MS 137, 53, 210 and 226 will offer a special program from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the approval of the parent. We were quite impressed by Superintendent Lloyd- Bey’s explanation of their program. I personally felt that a later program and smaller classes should work.

One of the things that made me excited is that the Community Education Council will meet on Monday instead  of Thursday. For the last 18 years, Thursday has been the meeting night of my Democratic club. I look forward to attending their meetings regularly.

Our next trip to Atlantic City Trump Marina will be on Saturday August 20. We leave at 5:30 PM and return at 8 AM. and have 8 hours to enjoy. Bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Beach Bagels. Reservations are a must and must be paid for in advance. Call 945-1316.

We have been asking the Department of Transportation for traffic lights at a number of dangerous intersections on the peninsula. Our priority list includes Reid Avenue in Breezy Point, the following corners on Shorefront Parkway, Beach 74 Street, Beach 77 Street, Beach 81 Street, and Beach 84 Street, Newport Avenue, Beach 135 Street and Beach 140 Street, Cronston Avenue, Beach 141 Street, Beach 129 Street and 123 Street.

Recent fatalities on Shorefront Parkway should provide the proper numbers for swift action by the Department of Transportation to install lights. We urge all to put pen to paper to write to Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall NY 10007, Commissioner Iris Weinshall  at Department of Transportation, 40 Worth Street, NY 10013 and Queens Commissioner Constance Moran at 30-30 Thomson Avenue 5th Floor North, Long Island City NY 11101, Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo and Borough President Helen Marshall.t

A Gifford Miller, Speaker of the City Council, has been asked by a number of residents for assistance, and a list of the required locations has been sent to him. Congressman Anthony Weiner  was asked for assistance at our Town Hall meeting and at other occasions in person. Former Bronx Borough President Freddy Ferrer agreed to help when he was asked at our meeting. Why is Rockaway always the stepchild when things are needed? Why does it take a death to accomplish anything?

We are once again in receipt of a large number of letters and phone calls about our lousy U.S. Post Office service. Many residents of apartment buildings on Shorefront Parkway and other areas are fed up because they are not getting their mail or are getting deliveries at 7 or 8 p.m. Mail has also been put in the wrong boxes in the building or delivered to the wrong building.

We are requesting that Postmaster George Buonocore hold a Town Hall meeting to hear the complaints of the residents. My suggestion is for one to be held in Dayton Towers East, one in Dayton Towers West, one in Dayton Beach Park and one at P.S. 114 so people can speak and let him know how they feel. We also suggest contacting the office of the Consumer Advocate at 142-02 20th Avenue, Flushing NY 11351-9631. The person in charge of customer relations for the Rockaway Post Office is Scott Klein. He can be reached at (718)327-7702. Good luck. We hope the phone is not busy.

We do understand that workers are out because of job injuries, sickness and vacation. Maybe its time that they hire some new staff. It was also brought to our attention that mail sits in boxes and is not sorted or delivered. We also hear that some fill-in workers make no attempt to deliver mail without apartment numbers. Please call the Postmaster via Scott Klein and demand that public meetings be held.

Some recent progress on street repairs, 300 repairs on local streets completed. We expect them to remove road bumps they call pushups in the next week. Thanks to Connie Moran.

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