2009-09-18 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon With the Democratic primary election behind us, there is still a runoff on Tuesday, September 29 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at your regular voting places. This is due to the fact that no candidate got 40 percent in the race for Comptroller or Public Advocate. It is very important for all registered Democrats to go back out and cast their vote again. You can vote even if you didn't vote on Tuesday.

We are urging everyone to cast his or her vote for John Liu for Comptroller. David Yassky, who was invited numerous times as chair of the Waterfront Committee of the City Council to address the residents of the Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy community, refused to come.

John Liu brought the City Council Transportation Committee to Broad Channel and spoke at our club in Rockaway. The committee hearing led to the establishment of an affordable ferry to Rockaway and promises of better transportation to come.

Mark Green has worked with us as Consumer Affairs Commissioner and created the office of Public Advocate. With a city as large and complex as NYC, we need Mark Green, and the talented staff and volunteers that he assembles, to help speak out for the people whose problems fall through the cracks in city government. Mark will speak out and win the argument on issues others are afraid to tackle like job protection for battered women, cigarette advertising aimed at youngsters and increases in prices for Kosher for Passover food. Stick with Mark and his experience and knowledge.

I would like to give a great thanks to the Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy communities for your outstanding support in helping to fight muscular dystrophy. In the last few weeks, I spent long hours in our local Waldbaum's working in conjunction with Jerry's Kids. Each and every year I donate my time to helping raise money for MD research.

In the last two years Waldbaum's management has asked for my assistance in reaching their goal. We are proud to have played a major role in raising the highest amount in the region. Each and every dollar given was scanned into Waldbaum's computer system like when you purchase groceries. Best of all it is very nice to see your name on the window for helping to find a cure.

I want to thank the many employees who had to endure my loud announcements to remind customers of what was going on and to contribute. It paid off at the end. I also wish to thank two paid employees, Desiree and Brian, who took their own time to hang the many Caring Circles on the window. Without the two of you, we would never have been able to get all those circles on the window. We thank the cashiers who helped in collecting and scanning all the contributions.

In the coming weeks we will be doing fundraising for breast cancer awareness. We will be there selling three year calendar planners, pens and other items. The funds will be used for breast cancer research.

In the last few weeks we saw an announcement from our new councilman in the 32nd C.D. on transportation. It was appalling to me that he just does not get the picture. He says that we need more trains on the A line. We have been told the A line is at full capacity at rush hour and has no more room.

We have spoken many times and advocated for reactivation of the LIRR Rockaway Beach line and a Super A which would bypass various Brooklyn stops as well as bypassing Rockaway Boulevard. Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park trains could go directly to Hoyt Schermerhorn. Some trains from Lefferts Boulevard could serve the bypassed stops.

We also need express buses to Manhattan from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. We need a QM15 that leaves the Rockaway terminal at Beach 49 Street, picks up passengers in Rockaway locations and returns these passengers to Rockaway in the evening. We do not have weekend service.

Residents who use the ferry love the service. We need to make an east end stop, whether it is Norton Basin or the new marina to be built at Beach 80 Street with a park and ride. The ferry should not be stopping in Brooklyn. We must continue the subsidy to keep service alive and we need more runs in the mid- morning and return runs at 11 p.m. after Broadway shows.

Woodhaven Boulevard does not have the room for an HOV lane. Congestion comes from traffic lights that are not in synch. People attempting to speed up to avoid red light cameras cause traffic accidents. Bus drivers should be able to change traffic lights to speed the bus. If we had 4 or 5 lanes we would have room for a dedicated lane. Councilman, do your homework and get specific information and do not use stock answers. Woodhaven Boulevard in Ozone Park needs left turn lanes with signals.

Democratic District Leader Frank Gulluscio, who serves as District Manager of Board 6 and is a candidate for City Council, has been working for the past few years with DOT and came up with major plans to correct these problems. We agree that we are in need of a major traffic study before the opening of the casino at Aqueduct to avoid turning Crossbay Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard and Lefferts Boulevard into parking lots. Gulluscio has a great plan of action and will make a great councilman.

On Sunday afternoon we attended the Beach 98 Street beach block party. The block is a beautiful example of the melting pot of New York City. Residents help each other as neighbors should. The party was organized by Eddie Pastore and Henry Jefferson.

We would like to give special thanks to the Broad Channel VFW for hosting the Dancing Under the Stars in their beautiful air conditioned hall.

We are saddened by the death of Steven Koffer who was an outstanding individual, loving husband and father who worked for the MTA for over 20 years. Love for his family and community was a priority. At his wake they played a CD of his fellow employees who wished him well during his fight for life with cancer. His lovely wife, beautiful children and grandchild have lost their best friend. We know God must have a great plan for this special angel.

We mourn the loss of Sali Orlow, mother of Alex and Steven Orlow, Esq. as well as grandmother of Jodi Orlow Mackoff, Esq. Sali had just celebrated her 99th birthday. She raised her family to be great assets to the Rockaway community. God must have needed a special bubby to be an angel in heaven.

Our next Bally's Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, October 10. The cost is $45 with $30 returned. We need your support to keep our doors open. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7:30 a.m. Membership dues in the Good Government Regular Democratic Club is $25. Send your checks to Good Government Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. With your continued support we can continue to do even more to help all of our community.

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