2005-12-02 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

For the last few weeks we have been busy as a beaver. We were constantly on the go advocating on behalf of all my constituents, friends and neighbors. Last week Senator Malcolm Smith held the last meeting of his listening tour at Rockaway’s own Beach Club. The purpose of the meeting was to find out about our needs and concerns.

We found that there were three major concerns for our community. Priority one is transportation. We made it clear to our Senator that the A train is an abomination. We pushed for something we talked about during our 2001 Council race.

The Super A would run from Rockaway Park to Howard Beach which would be its last stop in Queens. The next stop would be Hoyt-Schermerhorn.

This would definitely shave a number of minutes and make it more convenient for the riders. We reiterated the importance of the old Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR, which would be speedier, safer and more efficient than the A Train.

Another thing we mentioned was the need for additional express busses to Manhattan three or four times a day out of Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Park. Some should be available during the 10:30 –11 a.m. period as well as during the rush hour for the use of those who would like to attend a matinee at the theatre.

We also brought to the Senator’s attention the fact that express buses have been breaking down or running out of gas before entering the tunnel to Manhattan. It is time for the city to release some of the new equipment for the Green Bus Company to use. It is apparent that they will be here for quite a while.

The shortage of lifeguards was the next topic. Hank Iori, Director of Technology for Region 5, is a great, loving and caring individual who has put together a program for training lifeguards at Far Rockaway, John Adams, Richmond Hill and Franklin K. Lane High Schools. Each site costs approximately $5,500 for 35 to 40 people. Two schools are already off the ground. At this time they are looking for additional funding for the rest. We feel that this is a great program for training future lifeguards in cooperation with the Parks Department. Hats off to Hank Iori. God bless you.

The immediate need for additional schools to prevent overcrowding due to the burgeoning growth of population in Rockaway is obvious. We asked the Senator to use his clout with Governor Pataki with whom he is friendly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg whom he helped to reelect. Senator Malcolm Smith said that these three things would be a priority and he would start working on these things.

In attendance were Maureen and Andrew McGee, Barbara Reiche, Sandee and Jate Doremus, Joanne Shapiro, Barbara Larkin, President of the Belle Harbor Property Owners, Hank Iori, Conservative Leader Thomas Long, and Peter Larkin. We were joined by Councilman Joseph Addabbo who has contributed $5,500 of his discretionary funds to one school. Thanks Joe.

We are all getting sick and tired of being price gouged in the Rockaways. The price of regular gas in Rockaway is about $2.54. Just over the border in Nassau County the price is $2.31.9 or $2.33.9. In Ozone Park it is $2.43.9. Why is it that we are being ripped off? Is it because we are on an island and they think they got us? One disabled senior needs help when she fills up. They charge her $2.99 for pumping the gas. This is unfair. It is sad that our local gas stations are treating us so unfairly. It is time that the federal government looks into the high profits the oil companies are making on our gasoline and heating fuel.

On Sunday at Noon we had a rally for a much needed traffic light on Shorefront Parkway.

Lights are needed on Beach 73 or Beach 74 Street, Beach 77 Street and Beach 84 Street. Half a lane on the beach side should be set aside for bicycles and skating.

How many more accidents and fatalities have to occur to obtain needed lights?

As taxpaying citizens this should be a no-brainer.

In light of the housing boom it is now time to pick up the phone to call 311 and the Queens Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Constance Moran at (718) 391-2705 and let them know you agree.

Simon says, “Let there be lights.” The rally was well attended. Our great Assemblywoman, Audrey Pheffer, who has been getting letters signed and a petition circulated, joined us in support of this cause. Joanne Shapiro was also there.

Father Peter Gillen spoke at every mass pushing for his parish to come out in force.

God bless you.

You did a great job.

Mrs. Theresa Anderson, Principal of St. Rose of Lima School, recopied the flyer and sent it home with the children. One of the parishioners made beautiful colored posters. The McManus family including husband, wife, children, aunt and mom were there with Mr. McManus leading us with his bagpipe. The Polish family who were hit by the car during the racing incident joined us. Ed Williams, President of the Far Rockaway Branch of the NAACP came to lend his support. The family of Andre Anderson, the 14 year old, who lost his life on Shorefront Parkway, joined us as well.

Others in attendance were Bruce Jacobs, Vice President of Dayton Beach Park, Patty McCabe, community activist, Lorraine Shiel, President of St. Rose Young at Heart, and Mary and Lou Romas. Mary is Vice President of St. Rose Young at Heart. Along with so many others, we give special thanks to Joie Fade, otherwise known as the Magic Man, who marched with us and took pictures and Nikki James of the Rockaway Beach Civics. 

Special thanks to Miriam Rosenberg of Rockaway’s own WAVE newspaper. This special, loving individual is kind and has a heart of gold. Thanks for covering this important event.      

We’d like to give a special thank you to all those who came out and braved rain and heavy wind to support Rockaway’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Wendy’s Proceeds Night. Any school, church or community organization interested in raising money can contact me to set up a Proceeds Night to make 20% of the take.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday December 10. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. Bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Beach Bagels. The cost is $33 with $25 returned. Reservations a must. Call (718) 945-1216.

If you have a problem and we can be of any help, don’t hesitate to call. We look forward to seeing you at the various tree and menorah lightings and at Waldbaum’s and other local stores.

We, the voters, have spoken loud and clear when it came to term limits for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president and city council. We think its absurd for the City Council to even attempt to give themselves another 4 years. We know it is quite difficult to beat a sitting incumbent. It is time now for Ron Lauder to be prepared to spend again to fight this ridiculous idea. For shame on Council Member Gale Brewer for sponsoring this bill. You can call her office at (212) 873-0282.

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