1999-12-04 / Columnists

Simon Says….

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Good Government Democratic Club invites all of our friends to a holiday party on Thursday, December 9 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at John Baxter's Rockaway Park Playhouse. We will be celebrating Chanukah, Christmas and New Year's. Refreshments, coffee and cake will be served. A contribution of $25 is suggested, but larger donations are welcome.

Congressmen Anthony Weiner, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Senator Chuck Schumer and other elected officials will attend. For reservations call our office (number under Lew Simon in phone book).

This past week we asked Professor Tibbi Duboys, a local resident and head of the Brooklyn College Elementary Education programs, about her thoughts on the Now York Board of Regents approval of the elimination of remedial courses at the senior colleges of C.U.N.Y.

Dr. Duboys believes that the new rules will be exclusionary. Students who would benefit from senior college education would not be admitted. Forcing applicants needing remediation to attend community colleges will prevent these students from taking the basic core courses at the senior college. Dr. Duboys pointed out that the community colleges do not offer the same courses as the senior colleges.

Instructors have heavier class loads and fewer hold doctorates. Some people may think that the now rules will save money but Professor Duboys says, "If you think education is expensive, consider the cost of ignorance.

As we go to the 21 Century I find it mind boggling for the Board of Regents to actually vote against remedial courses in four year colleges. For years we have heard, "Johnny can't read." We are well aware of horrendous reading and math scores throughout New York. We are also aware of new reading and writing programs being installed in Board of Education and parochial schools. There is a requirement that children read 25 to 50 books each year. Writing journals and reading journals are kept. They are hoping that future generations will be able to write better than those who are facing graduation or have graduated recently.

When I was growing up, you had to take a math test to work a cash register or work in a bank. Through the years many people have gone back to college after years of work. Some were not proficient in reading and math skills. The college offered remedial courses with zero credit. That's right, no credits. This was to help students prepare for college credit courses. I think it is disgraceful that a handful of people called the Board of Regents can play with people's lives.

We urge Governor George Pataki to assure that all Now York colleges are properly funded. We urge Herman Badillo, chairman of the board of trustees of the City University, to stop wearing two faces and stand up for future generations. Stop saying you care about the poor when your actions don't show it. We look forward to working with CUNY students to rally and to give all the help we can.

We would like to congratulate Jimmy and Carmel O'Sullivan on their beautiful new Kerry Hills Pub, which is located on Beach 115 street off Rockaway Beach boulevard. On Saturday evening we stopped by at their grand opening party to wish them great success. Although I personally do not drink, everyone was buying me a Coke. This pub is a family pub like the show Cheers.

Everyone is friendly, kind and wonderful. The bar is a beautiful cherry wood. Their beveled mirror behind the bar is etched with the words "Kerry Hills". There is beautiful artwork by Rockaway Artists Alliance President Geoff Rawling. It adds class to the Rockaway community. Congratulations and beat of luck.

Thanksgiving night we had dinner at the Rams Horn Diner. The food seems to got better as time goes on. Sitting behind me was a wonderful lady who took three residents of a home for a holiday dinner. We would like to say God bless you and thank you. This is what Thanksgiving is all about.

Since Friday evening is the first night of Chanukah and Christmas is around the corner we urge all to try their beat to shop locally. With the stores In Far Rockaway, Dayton Shopping Center, Surfside, Beach 116 street and surrounding areas, and Beach 129 street, you can find a variety of shops.

At this time we would like to wish our Jewish friends, neighbors and constituents a happy Chanukah. May, this festival of lights bring joy to you and your family.

Our next trip to Atlantic City will be on Saturday, December 18. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $23 with $17 returned. Call now for reservations.

We look forward to seeing all of our friends at the holiday party on December 9. We love what we do for all in our community, but we need you now.

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