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He is also sponsoring a bill that would force companies that send out junk mail to give citizens the option of returning a postcard asking them to be taken off the list.
"We all know how annoying those phone calls can be," Hevesi told a crowd of about 50 residents at the Sunnyside Senior Center at 43-31 39th St. "You would be able to block any phone calls you get in your home and you would be able to block those calls from coming in."
Hevesi said citizens would be able to register with a national agency that would take phone numbers of citizens off a list if they requested it. If the company does not comply, Hevesi said, the company runs the risk of paying a steep fine.
One member asked Hevesi if residents would be able to register work numbers.
"You will be able to register any phone number," Hevesi said, "or [the companies] will face a stiff financial penalty."
Hevesi also outlined his plans for a bill that would enable New York state residents to pay market value for prescription drugs. He said New Yorkers pay far more for prescription drugs than in other part of the country.
"Where can you go to get cheaper medication?" he asked the crowd.
"Canada," replied many at the meeting.
"That's right," he said. "We pay more here than anywhere else. We have to travel to Canada to get drugs cheaper."
Hevesi said he is hoping the bill that he is co-sponsoring would pass the state Legislature.
In other news, Joseph Conley, chairman of CB 2, discussed the proliferation of billboards throughout the city and along parts of the Long Island expressway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. He held up advertisements from a billboard company and questioned its intentions for advertising in his neighborhood.
For months members of CB 2 have been complaining about the city's practice of plastering the local highways with billboards.
At issue is a stretch of the Long Island Expressway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway which has in recent months been bombarded with illegal billboards, said Catherine Keeshan, co-president of the United 40 Civic Association in Woodside at last month's meeting. She pleaded with the board to take her complaints to the city. Conley, like Keeshan, said the billboards are a public nuisance and bring the retail price of property down.
Conley also complained that the lights from the advertisements keep many apartment owners who live close to the expressways, awake at night.
The next CB 2 meeting was scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 pm.
©2000 Community Newspaper Group
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