2003-06-13 / Columnists

Simon Says...

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

Simon Says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

There is still time to enjoy yourself and win cash. Tickets are available for Saturday, June 21 for the bus trip to Atlantic City Trump Marina. We leave from club headquarters 112-20 Beach Channel Drive opposite Waldbaums’ Shopping Center at 5:30 p.m. and returns at 8 a.m. The cost is $28. You receive $17 in coins back. Bagels, cream cheese and movies are free on the bus.

Please join us. All funds are used to keep the Good Government Regular Democratic club’s doors open. They enable District Leader Lew M. Simon to advocate on your behalf. The job of District Leader is not paid. No money is given for rent or for phone. The trips are the main way we raise funds to keep the office going. If you can’t attend and would like to sponsor someone, you can make a donation. Call (718) 945-1216 for reservations.

This past Wednesday evening the James Conway Sullivan Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Committee installed their officers and Board of Directors. Michael Benn was installed as president, Peggy Neville as vice president, Mary Ann Rooney, as treasurer, Ed Rice as financial secretary, Ilene Jones as Recording secretary and Patrick Hughes as parliamentarian. I am very proud to serve and support all Irish cultural activities and peace in Ireland.

Friday evening, we participated in Queens County American Legion 85th annual parade which was held in the Broad Channel community. The parade marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the end of the Korean War. At this event they honored the memory of the five Broad Channel residents who never returned home from the Korean War. Republic of South Korea Korean War Service medals were presented to each family.

We thank Korean War parade chair Daniel O’Sullivan for providing us with facts about these American heroes. O’Sullivan was a personal friend of Walter Gross who was discharged before the Korean War but was called back to service on December 25, 1950. He was captured on January 1, 1951. He died in a P.O.W. camp and is still listed as missing in action.

The others, all members of the U.S. Army are Joseph De Pietro who was killed on October 10, 1951 in an attack on Heartbreak Ridge, James Farrell who was killed on November 10, 1952 defending Old Baldy, Ralph Ray Mattola who was killed in a night attack on Old Baldy and Thomas August who was killed on November 17, 1952 in North Korea.

I was proud to ride with Private First Class August’s daughter, Margaret August Flohr Rosenberg, who is a long and dear friend of mine. She received medals and a proclamation in memory of her late father. She shared memories of her late father as we rode in an open Cadillac. Margaret was one of my mother’s favorite people. Relatives of all the soldiers honored were present.

I share the anger and outrage expressed by Editor Howard Schwach in his From the Editor’s Desk column in last week’s paper. The new regulations on the signs concerning use of the boardwalk and beach are ridiculous.

We have taken his suggestion to heart and have set a rally for Wednesday evening July 9 at 7:30 p.m. on Beach 116 Street at the Boardwalk. If you are fed up like we are with the fact we cannot even walk on our boardwalk in the late evening and enjoy the beautiful fresh air of Rockaway beaches, if you are fed up with the idea that if you come home from work after 6 PM after a hot day’s work you won’t be allowed to take a dip in the water, join us. If you are afraid that you might be found on the beach without proper ID, and get arrested instead of being issued a ticket, join us.

We live on this peninsula because of its great natural resource of beach and bay. We enjoy the cool breeze on a hot summer night. We enjoy taking a dip in the water at our own risk. It has been done as far back as any of us remember. To add insult to injury, there now rules forbidding fishing, surfing or sitting on the beach.

We have fought diligently through the years to establish a surfing beach on Beach 88 to Beach 90 Streets. A suggestion was made last year to certify surfers who are great swimmers and know how to save themselves and other surfers using their surfboards. An organization such as the Surf riders could assist in the certification process.

Imagine leaving your blanket and going for a swim and getting a ticket when you return. Imagine not being able to walk on the beach or fly a kite with your child when the beach is not crowded. Are we living in a third world country or a dictatorship? Have you ever heard such nonsense?

You just want to have fun where you live. I remember as a child walking with my parents along the boardwalk on many hot nights. We played Frisbees, flew kites, played volleyball and built sand castles during the late evening. What in God’s name do our tax dollars go for? We choose to live here for the advantages of the beach and boardwalk. If you are as fed up as I am, come out and join us on Wednesday, July 9.

Bring your beach chairs, kites, surfboards, fishing rods. Bring your children, family and neighbors. Let’s send a clear message to our City Councilman Joseph Addabbo, who many people think is a nice guy. Let’s remind him he is Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee. Let him make a lot of noise, introduce legislation to get rid of these rules.

Don’t be scared to knock down doors in City Hall. We are assured that many City Council members will vote with you. The beaches are used by visitors from all over the city and state. Together we can make a difference.

Pick up a phone and call Council members Joe Addabbo and James Sanders Jr. who represents the beach areas east of Beach 73 Street. Their addresses and numbers are on the editorial page of this paper. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe can be reached at the Arsenal, Central Park, New York, NY 10021 (212) 360-1305. Don’t be scared or frightened. Let’s take back our beaches and boardwalk.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of former WAVE general manager Harvey Bernstein. I considered Harvey to be a great friend and political scholar. He was involved in political campaign, and knew the ins and outs of many local issues. He advised me many times in my election campaign against the late District Leader Sy Sheldon.

I always enjoyed the conversations with Harvey. I really felt I could learn from him. His wisdom, kindness, honesty and integrity made him a real person. He came up from Florida during my City Council campaign. We spent some time together and he gave me great advice.

We believe that Harvey will serve as a special angel advising God of the goodness of so many people. I am deeply saddened because he was the best of the best. My heart goes out to Shirley, Sandy and Ira. We are all blessed with many years of good memories. May he rest in peace. My deepest condolences.

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