2003-06-20 / 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

Tickets are still available for our Atlantic City Trump Marina bus trip this Saturday, June 21. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $28. You receive $17 in coins back. Bagels, cream cheese courtesy of Rockaway Bagels and movies are available on the bus. Call 718 945 1216 for reservations now.

Sharon Bien often kidded that she was "a jack of all trades and a master of none" but her family and friends KNEW different. Whether it was being a para, a playwright, a student or guitarist, set builder, teacher, friend, sister or daughter—She mastered all.

Sharon started as a reading Para for the second grade in 1988 for Janet Pollack. Janet said the enthusiasm for life, love of children and an enormous raw talent and knowledge that she brought to the classroom was unimaginable for someone with such little experience. Science was her first love. Janet made a deal with Sharon. Janet would cover the 3R’s and Sharon would take over the Science. Janet says that along with her students, she learned about the solar system and the environment and any other cause that happened to be hers that particular week. Sharon’s biggest problem was not having enough time in the day to teach all that she wanted to. There was just no reasoning or accepting that science was just a 45 minute lesson each day.

Janet was concerned that the children were not having enough time to do their Reading and Math. Sharon taught Janet a valuable lesson. Janet remembers her saying that "some of the children might not even make it out of middle school or high school and that when they looked back on their public school days, they would remember with pride their moment as ‘stars’ on stage. Janet remembers that every day Sharon would ask her "How’s everything?" Janet would say "Just Perfect". Last year, Sharon wrote, directed and produced a show in school called "Just Perfect," and it was performed beyond Sharon’s expectations.

She had a phenomenal talent as a playwright. In 1996 she wrote and directed a play which chronicled the history of the United States beginning with our fight for Independence, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the fight for women’s and civil rights to the beginning of the influx of immigrants seeking the rights and privileges they didn’t have. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house because there was something everyone could relate to. A year did not go by without these spectaculars. This year she had to take her "show on the road" to MS 180 because the auditorium was without heat. This was a true example of her determination to introduce her students to the arts.

Sharon’s friendship was unparalleled—on 9/11 she comforted Sharon Lynch until her husband, a fireman, was heard from. She continued to call Sharon’s house until he was heard from late that night. This was very difficult for Sharon because he was also a close friend of HERS (Yes, both are named Sharon).

Amy Wallach believes it was the luckiest day in her life when she met Sharon Bien because she met someone who was kind, giving and creative who shared her love for children and education. Together they shared the joy two teachers could share when they truly loved their students and school. She cherishes the time they had especially the moments with the children.

As we write our column there has been no solution to the new rules that will keep us from using and enjoying our beach and boardwalk. Councilman Addabbo stated that the new park regulations will not be enforced. A lieutenant at the 100th precinct told me on the phone that the regulations would be enforced.

If you are sick and tired of the fact that you cannot walk on the boardwalk late in the evening, swim after work, fish from the beach, surf or leave your chair or blanket unattended be one of the thousands of people to join us on Wednesday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Beach 116 Street and the Boardwalk. Everybody should come and bring your neighbors.

The biggest joke of the week is the announcement by NY Waterways that weekend ferry service from 34 Street to Riis Park at a cost of $13 each way would begin. What’s wrong with this picture? How many people can afford to pay this? For shame on all who think this is wonderful. Staten Island has free ferry service for all. Brooklyn had free ferry service for over a year.

Where are all the federal, state and city subsidy? Where is the free or affordable ferry for the residents of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point? It is great tourists can come and visit. How many will come at this extraordinary price? It is time Rockaway gets its fair share.

On Thursday afternoon we attended the annual luncheon of the Philip Port unit of the American Cancer Society at the Washington Hotel. As usual as part of the fundraising committee of the Philip Port unit we met our goal of funding cancer research to help find a cure for cancer. We all agree that we are looking for a cure in our lifetimes. Hats off to President Alexandria Davis, Nan Knebel, Lydia Mithell, Dorothy Sullivan and the others who made this event successful.

The luncheon was great and Dr. Stuart Rapport provided excellent entertainment.

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