2014-06-20 / Columnists

Simon Says

By Lew Simon

As we go door to door, talking to constituents, everybody you talk to is fed up with Build It Back. They require applicants to pay back any loans or financial aid they received from other sources and keep losing application papers. No one has received one dollar. Where is the accountability? We are 19 months since Hurricane Sandy. It’s still red tape.

During this past weekend, I had the pleasure of talking with Councilman Donovan Richards about the future of the Rockaway ferry. Richards represents Rockaway residents in the eastern portion of the peninsula. We agreed that we need to make the ferry more convenient for residents of Far Rockaway, Bayswater, Arverne and Edgemere. Richards suggests that the Beach 57th Street marina or a pier at Beach 67th Street would make it possible for more Rockaway residents to use the ferry regularly. A $15 million appropriation supported by former Rep. Anthony Weiner is still available for pier construction. We agreed that a JFK pickup for incoming passengers going to Manhattan would be ideal. We thank long time Rockaway ferry advocate Joe Hartigan for that idea.

Now is the time we must get on the phone and bombard Mayor de Blasio’s office, EDC and your city councilman to make sure that the ferry continues to run. NYC must adopt a new city budget by June 30. There is no money for the ferry in the new budget. We have to show that passengers will use the ferry or we will lose it. Use it whenever you can and invite your friends to join you. Ask for weekend service so many more Manhattan and Brooklyn residents and tourists can come out to enjoy our ocean and shop in our stores.

At the same time, the MTA must step up to the plate to provide seven days a week express buses to Manhattan. We will never waver from our support for reopening the Rockaway Beach line to give us the same quick service to Penn Station that residents of Long Beach and Forest Hills have today and Rockaway residents had 120 years ago.

We are very sad to hear of the recent death of Agnes Catanese, matriarch of the Catanese family. She was beautiful, loving, kind and sincere. Agnes was a woman of class and always stylish. She will join her husband Alphonse Sr. in heaven as a special angel. My deepest sympathies to the family.

We congratulate Maria on the opening of Breezy Dog Shakes and Dogs on Beach 129th Street. She always had great food at her truck, but now she has tables and chairs with outside seating. The grand opening is June 27 at 7 p.m.

We welcome many new businesses on the Rockaway peninsula. We urge you to shop locally and support them. We are looking forward to supporting a new family entertainment center which will include a bowling alley.

There will be a primary election for Congress in our 5th congressional district on Tuesday June 24 from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We urge you to reelect Congressman Gregory Meeks. You must be a registered Democrat to vote. If you are not a registered voter or want to change your party enrollment, call my office at 718-945-1216. We will make an appointment to take your application.

Come and join us at the Good Government Regular Democratic club. Send your dues of $25 to the club c/o Beacon Rehab, 140 Beach 113 Street, Rockaway Park 11694.

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