2006-02-24 / 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

The blizzard of 2006 was one of the worst in quite a long time. Yours truly ran an Atlantic City bus trip and came home Sunday morning in the height of the blizzard. Thank God our bus driver, who owns the bus, drove home in extreme whiteout conditions.

There are no lights or reflectors on the Garden State Parkway. There were at least eight inches of snow and the roads were not cleared. Our bus driver did a fantastic job, although it took two or three hours additional to make it back safely. Our driver brought many of the passengers home to their doors. If you need a great bus company for a trip or family outing call me. Our next Atlantic City bus trip is on Saturday March 18.

The cost is $33 with $25 returned. We leave at 5:30 PM and return at 8 AM.

Call my office at 945-1216 for reservations. Since the snow continued to come down so badly in our community, we were quite blessed by the wonderful work of the Rockaway Department of Sanitation. Their long, tedious hours of hard work ensured the safety and cleanliness of the neighborhood. They did better than in some parts of Manhattan. Hats off for the fine job you did for all of us.

We attended the annual kickoff of Relay for Life, which will be held at Beach Channel High School on June 10 and June 11. This is a major fundraiser for research for the American Cancer Society. Jeannine Stathis, Chairperson, along with her CoChairperson Erin Baumann, spoke about this year’s upcoming fundraiser. The Relay for Life Survivors Lap was discussed at great length by a Rockaway survivor who had just come out of the hospital after extensive surgery, Jay Simon (no relation). We urge everybody to try to form a team and get sponsors for this worthy cause.

For further information call John Link at the American Cancer Society (718) 263-2225 Ext. 38 or E-mail to john. link@cancer.org.

After the Verizon cable disaster, some people were without phone service for over two weeks. Just ask the president of our club, Sara Berger, who was fit to be tied. Her calls were transferred to her cell and her bill must be astronomical. I would like to know where the Mayor’s Office of Emergency management was during this man-made disaster. They claim they will be here to help us in case of a major hurricane. After this it is quite clear we are on our own.

For shame on Verizon, the Mayor’s Office and whomever else for not seeing everyone was safe and OK. On Thursday evening the Queens Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Connie Moran, addressed the members of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club and guests. Connie opened her statement with the comment that this community had a great advocate in Lew Simon who has a pit bull personality. The first thing that we did was to thank Commissioner Moran for getting rid of the bumps on Shorefront Parkway. We had been waiting patiently for over a year.

Members of the club and audience told the Commissioner about particular problems that needed attention. Commissioner Moran recorded these items on her pad. We asked for the removal of bumps on Beach Channel Drive in both directions from the Marine Parkway Bridge. We spoke about much needed traffic lights on Shorefront Parkway at Beach 74 or Beach 73 Street, Beach 77, and Beach 84 Streets. Other traffic lights are needed on Newport Avenue and Beach 135 Street, on Cronston Avenue and at Beach 102 Street near the Irish Circle and Sands Point Medical.

The duo of myself and community activist Catherine Diffley demanded lights, curb repair, potholes filled and painted crosswalks. Cathy had recently fallen and hurt herself very badly.

Fran Stathis representing the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents came with a long laundry list of much needed repairs. Among the other ideas the commissioner agreed to look at were requests to have a left turn from the Rockaway Freeway to Peninsula Hospital and to mark parking spots on Beach 116 Street.

Moran told us that the Sunday meter parking on Beach 116 Street could be only changed by the City Council. We are always available at 945-1216 to help any of the homeowners associations, community groups or individuals. Don’t be a stranger, we return all of our calls personally. You do not have to wait  for the commissioner to come. Our office is open at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 10:30 PM.

Membership of $25 for a family, $18 individual or $12 for Seniors and Young Dems is welcome but you do not have to be a member to come in.

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