2008-09-05 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon Next Tuesday will be Primary Day. Polls will be open only in areas where there are contests. We are urging all enrolled Democratic voters in the Broad Channel community to reelect an outstanding stateswoman, Senator Shirley Huntley. She is a lady of strong character and swift action. She is a strong advocate for education, senior rights, children, veterans and our volunteer fire and ambulance corps. She has done an outstanding job during her first two-year term in the state Senate.

Two years ago Senator Huntley made a commitment to the residents of Broad Channel to fund a number of programs and to be visible and accessible. Senator Huntley has done the right thing delivering for the residents of her district. She obtained $100,000 capital money for construction of the new firehouse. She obtained $1,000 a year for the Channelites, $2,000 for the Broad Channel Athletic Club, $1,000 for the Historical Society and $5,000 for uniforms and equipment for the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Corps.

Senator Huntley made a strong commitment to support rebuilding P.S. 47 as a state-of-the-art school. Shirley Huntley is a breath of fresh air with strong hands on leadership. She is definitely worthy of your vote on Tuesday,

September 9. Please make it your business to go to the polls, although this is the only contest on the ballot. Channel residents needing a ride to the polls may call Eddie O'Hare at 318-5504. Your vote counts. If you stay home and do not vote, do not complain when you do not get what you need. We had a great time on Sunday afternoon marching

in Roxbury's Mardi Gras. We had a great time as we marched around as part of the Catholic Club. I was honored to be asked to march with them. So many hundreds of people shook my hand and thanked me for being there.

During the past 17 years I have never missed a Roxbury Mardi Gras. I look forward to marching and greeting everyone. It is great to see all the hard work and beautiful costumes. It is wonderful to see all the beautiful children waving you on. The residents and their families treat me like I'm part of the family. I'm proud to be the only elected official to ever march and I make my commitment to continue to march.

On Labor Day for the 17th year we proudly marched in the Broad Channel Mardi Gras where many people cheered me and thanked me for the elimination of the Crossbay Bridge toll. Some called "Run for Mayor" to me. We had a great time with our friends from the Broad Channel Athletic Club, the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and my great friend, State Senator Shirley Huntley. With the beautiful weather it made a great end to the summer.

We salute the men and women of organized labor on Labor Day. Labor Day is a day for rest and renewal. I would like to hail all of you for your outstanding service and the labor you perform day in and day out. It is truly your service that makes this country great.

We have verified that George Buonocore is no longer in the Rockaway Post Office. Goodbye and good riddance. Working together as a team we can get rid of the trash in our community.

After a constant battle back and forth with the Department of Transportation, we are happy to have played a big role in obtaining a traffic light near the Scholars' Academy at the corner of Beach 104 Street and Beach Channel Drive. It took working with two Queens DOT commissioners, Constance Moran and Maura McCarthy, and the constant restudy of traffic patterns. We finally achieved our goal and have a much needed traffic light.

Former Parents Association President Lee Ann Carmody worked diligently day and night staying in constant contact with elected officials and the DOT. We are also proud that we took care of a number of problems including ponding on Rockaway Freeway and Beach 104 Street. Working closely with the Parents Association and Principal Brian O'Connell, we will continue to make good things happen.

As the new term begins, Busy Bee Educational Learning Center on Beach 113 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard is offering a 10 percent discount to parents and teachers who are purchasing educational material. If they don't have what you need, owner Adam Funtleyder will order it for you. You can call him at 718-694-2223.

Once again the DOT has socked it to Rockaway, putting a bike lane on narrow Rockaway Beach Boulevard that has only one lane of traffic east and west. When a bus or emergency vehicle stops you are trapped. We would assume they would get rid of traffic on one side of the street and have bicycles riding over broken catch basins, which are the result of buses landing on them. We hope that those who designed this wonderful plan will take responsibility for any accidents or deaths that occur.

It is quite obvious that Rockaway has only two thoroughfares east and west, Beach Channel Drive and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. With all the new housing being built, whose infinite wisdom is it to make one lane of traffic between Beach 125 Street and Beach 149 Street? Those who use Beach Channel Drive from Beach 36 Street to Beach 73 Street know what one lane means. Vehicles, including buses, pass in the bike lane to your right. It increases travel time on these roads as well as Shorefront Parkway. We urge everyone to pick up the phone and call Queens DOT Commissioner Maura McCarthy at 718-286-0886, 311, the Mayor's office, and City Councilman Joe Addabbo's office and let them know we don't want this. We are urging DOT and the Parks Department to create a bicycle lane on Rockaway's boardwalk with limits during summer peak hours. We feel that this would be a great way to relieve the traffic problems.

During this holiday weekend we spent a number of hours visiting many people and enjoying great cuisine catered by Last Stop Gourmet Restaurant on Beach 116 Street. The food was superb. I wasn't aware that they cater. I urge all planning a catered party to call them. We urge everyone to eat in this great restaurant where the food is always fresh, place clean as a pin and the staff is nice and sweet as can be.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, September 20. The cost is $40 with $30 returned. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7:30 a.m. Bagels and cream cheese and soda are from Beach Bagels and Waldbaum's. Come join us. The total cost is $10. Paid reservations in advance are a must. Call 945-1216 now.

We welcome your membership. Send your check to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park 11694. ($25 family, $18 single and $12 senior and Young Democrats). You can register to vote in the presidential election by coming up. Call for an appointment.

The doors at the Rockaway Park (11694) and Rockaway Beach (11693) Post Offices are now accessible by having a button to open the door.

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