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Mayersohn tackles Richmond Hill LIRR eyesore

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After only one month serving in the new 27th Assembly District that now includes Richmond Hill, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) has already addressed a problem plaguing the area for more than two decades.

Mayersohn secured $75,000 from a state Legislature MTA capital improvements fund to remove trash and other debris from the closed Richmond Hill Long Island Rail Road station and install high security fencing, Michael Simanowitz, her chief of staff, said.

The triangle property on Hillside Avenue, Lefferts Boulevard and Babbage Street, just north of Jamaica Avenue, became part of Mayersohn's assembly district Jan. 1 because of state redistricting.

"This time it's going to be taken care of," Mayersohn said. "We're going to be sure it is done properly."

Mayersohn said her first project was to clean up and secure the derelict Richmond Hill LIRR station because funds were available and the time was right. Simanowitz said the assemblywoman had recently been working with the Metropolitan Transit Authority on estimates to clean up the property that has been closed for five years.

The railroad station shut down in 1998, but the property below had been leased by Simonson's Funeral Home and used as a parking lot for customers until 1993.

For more than 20 years, the spot has been an enclave for the area's homeless population, who camped out underneath the railroad arches, and a dumping grounds for broken furniture, Community Board 9 District Manager Mary Ann Carey has said.

Richmond Hill is the newest addition to Mayersohn's long and thin district that now slices down through Queens, covering the communities of Flushing, College Point and Kew Gardens Hills.

Mayersohn was first elected to the Assembly in November 1982, after having been a Democratic district leader for the 27th Assembly District, which used to include more of eastern Flushing, a member of Community Board 8, and executive director of the New York State Crime Victims Board.

She graduated from Queens College in 1978 and has lived in Flushing for more than 45 years. Mayersohn is the chairwoman of the House Operations Committee.

Mayersohn said she plans to do all she can to meet her new constituents and get acquainted with issues important to Richmond Hill residents. She said many of the issues she was fighting for in the old 27th Assembly district reflect the needs of those in the new one.

"First of all, I want to get familiar with the area, attend as many meetings as I can and meet as many people as possible," the assemblywoman said. "The way I see things, the people in Richmond Hill have the same concerns we all have."

Mayersohn said her other priorities for her new constituents include long-term issues she has worked on since first being elected to the Assembly, including having safer schools, decreasing child abuse incidents, and creating stroke centers at hospitals throughout the borough to treat and possibly prevent patient stroke damage.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156

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