2000-04-01 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

Congratulations to our new state senator, Malcolm Smith.

We would also like to congratulate our new "official" school superintendent, Matt Bromme. Matt was approved last Wednesday by Chancellor Levy to be superintendent of District 27. Matt is a great educator with a kind heart and the motivation to make a tireless effort, which will make him the best thing that happened in District 27.

At a time when the state expects a three to four billion dollar surplus, Governor Pataki has proposed a drastic $281 million cut in the LADDER program. This is the program that funds the Universal Pre-k program and the Early Grade Register Reduction initiative. This cut will hurt District 27's ability to address the needs of our early childhood students.

We need your participation to demand that the governor and the state legislature pass a budget that does not cut funding for needed programs. We need funds to build new schools and to improve existing schools. We need to provide support programs to help students meet raised standards. We must provide funding to recruit and retain qualified teachers. We mist increase funding for staff development for teachers and administrators. Most importantly, we must provide a fair and equitable state allocation for the children of New York City. New York City does not get its fair share of state education dollars.

We urge you to attend the next quarterly District 27 parents meeting where a course of action on this issue will be determined. It will be held on Monday, April 3, 2000 at 7 p.m. at MS 180, 320 Beach 104 street (in the auditorium). We urge all parents, grandparents, teachers, clergy, community, civic and tenant leaders to attend this crucial meeting. Bring your friends and neighbors. We must work together for the future of our children.

We also urge all to send letter to Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and State Senator Malcolm Smith (Senator Ada Smith for Broad Channel). Samples of letters can be obtained from the District 27 office or my office.

Now that a docking area at the old Coast Guard Station near the Marine Park-Gil Hodges Memorial bridge has been made available, we're hoping ferry operators will be interested. We hope that it will be subsidized service so all residents can take advantage of the service. I have been urging that a subsidy be made available. While it will be nice to bring tourists from Manhattan, we want it to be affordable for people who use to go to work every day.

Our office has received many calls since the removal of the bus stop at Beach 117 street. We have asked for alternative bus stops. Doris Drantch, manager at Green Bus lines, said all decisions on bus stops are made by the NYC Department of Transportaiton. We told the DOT we favor having a stop on Beach 116 street at the old Beach Drugs or near the subway. Many seniors have requested a stop near Waldbaum's or the post office. We are aware of some problems, but an alternate stop on Beach 116 street must be found. We urge DOT to step up to the plate immediately.

Our next trip to Atlantic City will be on Saturday, April 8. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return 8 a.m. The cost is $25 with $15 returned. Call my office for reservations.

Sunday we attended a fundraiser for little Steven Morales, who has brain stem cancer. They are trying to raise funds for an alternative treatment. It was great to see so many people supporting them. Among those attending were my "grandparents" Earl and Mitzi Scholnick; Bernard Gassaway, principal of Beach Channel High School; and Marty Weinstein, deputy superintendent of District 27.

There will be another fundraiser at The Beach Club. Look for information to follow shortly. The family, friends, and neighbors extend sincere thanks to all.

The next event on Sunday was the 89 birthday party for a great man and a pillar of this community, Paul Gordon. Paul gave himself a lavish feast, cooking from soup to nuts for himself. The roast beef was nice and rare--like I love it. Because of our busy schedule making calls for Senator Smith, we had to leave, but Paul bribed me to stay with another slice of roast beef. We enjoyed a very happy birthday with Paul.

We are at the headquarters of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 11 p.m. You don't have to be a member to drop in. We are located at 112-20 Beach Channel drive, opposite Waldbaum's.

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