2003-02-08 / Columnists

Simon Says….

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon,
Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon,
Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

There are still seats available on the Atlantic City bus trip this Saturday, February 8, to Trump Marina. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 p.m. The cost is $28 with $17 returned. We serve bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Rockaway Bagels. Movies are shown. We have 8 1/2 hours to enjoy while others have 6 hours. You have enough time to see a show and dine. Call 945-121 for reservations. The next trip will be Saturday, March 8.

Monday afternoon Chancellor Joel Klein made his 10 appointments of regional superintendents. We will be part of Division 5, which will include 101 elementary, middle and high schools serving over 100,000 students. 83% are Black or Hispanic.

Newly appointed Dr. Kathleen Cashin is now serving as Superintendent of District 23 in Brooklyn. She is no stranger to education. She worked as a classroom teacher, supervisor, principal and superintendent. We understand from staff in District 23 that she is an excellent administrator, with a wonderful personality and a hands-on approach. She is one who likes to reach out to all parents, civic leaders and elected officials.

We understand we have been blessed with someone who really cares about our children. Her dedication and devotion in Ocean Hill Brownsville have made a difference in the reading and math scores in her district. We send out best wishes and congratulations. We will be reaching out to introduce myself in the next couple of days and letting her know we wish to help in any way we can.

We are saddened to lose our current superintendent Matt Bromme, whose last day in the district will be Friday, February 28. Effective March 1, Bromme will be senior manager for the Deputy Chancellor of Operations, a large promotion for a great individual. The main duties of his job will be in charge of zoning for all city schools, variances, high school applications and admissions and carrying out the federal "No Child Left Behind Law". How ironic Mr. Bromme will have something to do with zoning as they are currently rezoning part of District 27.

The loss of our superintendent, Matt Bromme, has upset many of us. His open door policy, prompt responses and his availability to attend all community, civic, political and fraternal organization made him in my words the most accessible school superintendent we've had in a long time. With the exit of Matt Bromme on March 1, someone will be appointed as temporary administrator of District 27 until July 1. We wonder what will happen to Deputy Superintendents Martin Weinstein and Michelle Lloyd-Bey. Will one or both lead the district until July 1? What will happen to them after July 1?

The Bromme administration had a great team together with Weinstein, Lloyd-Bey, Rose Molinelli, Ginay Marks, Martin Barr, Phyllis Greenberg and many others who made a difference to improve our district. What will happen to this great team?

What changes are in store for our district? What will happen to the future education of our children especially in light of the governor's proposed budget cuts? Our children are our most important asset. We urge everyone to send a letter to Governor George Pataki and let him know that education cannot afford another cut. The governor must find a way to increase aid to education. The governor's address is The Executive Chamber, Capitol, Albany, New York 12224.

The consolidation of educational control is expected to make some dollars available for the classrooms. Budget cuts must not be allowed to eat up these gains and further reduce the available funds. The public school system as it now stands is lacking in science, art and music. Our schools must prepare our children for any career they choose, as well as prepare our children to compete with children in the suburbs and even in foreign countries.

Membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic club is one way to play an active role in improving your community. Dues are $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 for seniors. Send your check to the club at 112-20 Beach Channel Dr., Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

We have received numerous calls from concerned residents on Newport Avenue who have frozen pipes and no running water. This is due to the DDC project that is being done by Diamond Asphalt Corp. The streets are below level and the pipes froze. Several families have been hooked up to hydrants for water. It's time for them to cover the pipes properly and pave the streets so the pipes do not freeze over.

Saturday morning we received a phone call from Ginger Smith. She said an abandoned house around the corner, 118-07 Rockaway Beach Blvd., had broken water pipes and water was gushing out of the bricks and windows of the house. This caused a major backup in yards and basements on Beach 118 Street and Beach 119 Street. This house had been seized by the city, but now was privately owned. We immediately reached out to DEP and they responded within a few hours. Many of the neighbors are very upset because of the damage to their property.

We are saddened by the loss of the Columbia astronauts who were killed Saturday morning. Just a week ago many teachers were discussing the loss of the first schoolteacher in space, Christa McAuliffe. My heart goes out to the families.

I would like to invite all of you to give you a chance to meet, greet and
question our new Superintendent, Dr. Kathleen Cashin, right here in
Rockaway!  Find out what's in store for our children, alleviate your fears
and find out what the future holds for our children.  Please come to the
Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-10 Beach Channel Dr. (across from Waldbaum’s Parking Lot) at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 13.

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