2013-03-15 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew Simon thanks Sanitation commissioner John Doherty and NYC Sanitation for their great work . Lew Simon thanks Sanitation commissioner John Doherty and NYC Sanitation for their great work . Last week we were so excited and overwhelmed by the great news that the Crossbay Bridge toll rebate program was extended for the next year. Thanks to my partner in crime, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, we, the dynamic duo, work as a team to make sure things get done. Due to such difficult economic times, all of the destruction and construction we are dealing with, this is the time to make the bridge toll free for all Queens residents. The two of us will not sleep easy until it is done. We’d like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his vision and leadership on this issue.

This past weekend it was once again extremely scary to see the waters of the Atlantic Ocean rising past the end of the beach. The waves were going so high that a number of streets actually had water on the roadway. This situation is absolutely unacceptable.

We must stand united and demand that now, not tomorrow, emergency bids on contracts for dredging and filling be awarded. We are demanding twice the quantity of sand offered.

We need to rally and take on Mayor Bloomberg to demand immediate rebuilding of the boardwalk. We are demanding that our two U.S. Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand walk the beach with us. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hegel, the top boss of the Army Corps of Engineers, should walk with us and see the need for immediate help for our beach. We would love to see President Obama and Vice President Biden walk with us (not fly over) to see what we are dealing with on a regular basis.

Each and every day people are panicking when they hear that a snow or rain storm or a high tide is approaching. We have been out speaking to young mothers and fathers whose children are afraid to sleep and constantly look out the window at the ocean, listen to the news and fear another Sandy. Senior citizens whose homes were partly or completely destroyed by Sandy are depressed and living in fear. Some have asked for groups where they can talk with other people who experienced the same feelings of imminent destruction.

At a recent CB 14 meeting I met a man who asked for my assistance in getting Project Hope into our local schools, community groups, churches and synagogues. Since December, I have been waiting to hear from this man. Two weeks ago at the 100th Pct. Council meeting, we met a Project Hope staff member and asked that his boss call me. His boss called and I told him that I had not seen any sign of work by his group. He told me that Project Hope was taking only a small part of Rockaway and Broad Channel and many other groups would be serving the Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy communities. Many residents of our community could use help from these groups. Why isn’t the information being made available?

As a person who talks and communicates with many people, we want to be able to direct them to local service groups. Everyone should be getting the services that they need. Lifenet at (800)-Lifenet (543-3638) may provide some services. The NYS Office of Mental Health at (800) 597-8481 may have some information.

We are happy to see that some of our local businesses are able to reopen and serve us. Alice Barnes of H & R Block could not reopen on the Boulevard. She is now at the 21-07 Mott Avenue office. She is offering to do presentations on taxes to community groups and a “Free Second Look”. Her office number is (718) 337-3431.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of two outstanding individuals.

Shirley Feuerstein was an outstanding lady who I have known my whole life. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother. At one time she was a very active community leader, always making sure our community was taken care of. She was a woman of class, honor and integrity. Timmy Lynch was an outstanding friend and neighbor with a heart of gold. We know God must have needed two special angels in heaven. We also know that Shirley’s husband Milton was outside the gates of heaven to greet her.

My deepest sympathy to the families.

Thank you to those who have anonymously dropped off office supplies at our office. We expect to announce the date of our first meeting shortly. Good Government Regular Democratic Club dues are $25 per year. You may send your dues or contributions of any size to the GGRDC c/o Ocean Promenade Rehab, 140 Beach 113th Street, Rockaway Park 11694. Call (718) 945-1216 to make an appointment to come in to chat or discuss a community problem. I am a notary and can notarize your documents.

We were floored by the Mid and West Rockaway Peninsula Workshop on Monday evening at BCHS. They have paid consultants wasting our tax dollars. There is no need for a study when our study was done on October 29th.

What we need is PROTECTION, PROTECTION, PROTECTION from the ocean and bay. We need to reopen our part of the A-train and the Rockaway Beach line which would give us a direct line into Penn Station.

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