2003-06-27 / 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

It’s been crazy weather with constant heavy rain dampening our days. So many people have been depressed that they can’t enjoy Rockaway’s beauti ful beaches.

Saturday, June 21 was the beginning of summer 2003.  Need I say the
complete weekend was a washout!  This past win ter was a disaster as well.

Every time you turned around it snowed.  We’re hoping that this summer we will not suffer with a major out break of West Nile virus.

The constant rain has caused many ponding conditions and other flooding.  Many people have not drained the items, which are natural breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

With the city and state budget being in such turmoil, what will the city do to combat the infestation of mosquitoes? People in Arverne, Broad Channel and Breezy Point have suffered before.  Are the pellets being put in now?

The city has begun spraying in Staten Island.  We urge them to use
other methods here before spraying is necessary.  Many people with respiratory problems would be better off without the spraying.

This past week Councilman Addabbo hosted a meeting in which one of the main topics was how new rules on Rockaway’s beaches and board walk would be enforced.  Liam Kavanagh, Deputy Commissioner Operations of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said that the new rules would be enforced appropriately.  We don’t want to have to figure out what that means if we are sitting on a bench on the boardwalk or strolling on the beach in the evening.

People have fished from the beach in Rockaway before recorded history and surfing has been in Rockaway since the early 1900’s.  The city has yet to figure out how to make rules to recognize these activities.  We believe ex peri enced surfers can be certified and safely continue their sport without harassment.

We urge everyone to come to Beach 116th Street at the Boardwalk on
Wednesday, July 9th at 7:30 p.m.  We are inviting members of the media.
Bring your family and your neighbors.  The beaches are our best natural resource.  Why should we be off the beach at 9 PM and the Boardwalk at 10 p.m., when Central Park is open until 1 a.m.  When city officials find how we feel, we expect them to change the rules.

We have been made aware of the need for permits from both the Parks
Department and the Police De-
partment.  The cost for the Parks De-
partment permit is $25 with an additional dollar for every participant. The Police Department requires a $45 permit for the use of sound including a bullhorn. The police made it clear I would be arrested if I didn’t have a permit.

I made it clear to the officers they couldn’t arrest everyone who is on the beach.  One of the community affairs officers asked if I would allow Howie Schwach to get me arrested.  I stated I will do whatever it takes to pro tect the rights of each and every resident of this community to be able to use the beaches and boardwalk.

At no time is this political.  I am not seeking any new office at this time.  I am proud of the fact that for the last nine years I’ve served as Democratic District Leader.  As someone born and raised on this peninsula, this is my home.  I believe in my home and community.

I am appealing to my fellow neighbors to come out and support our efforts.  We will need donations to support this rally.  This is a key issue in the Rockaways.  We are the Hamptons of the East Coast.  We must stick together and fight as a team if we want to win this battle. 

United we stand, divided we fall.  Am I being harassed because I am not a candidate for public office?

We would be remiss if we did not congratulate the Trinity Services dinner committee that helped raise much needed funds so that the community van used by seniors and many other community groups can keep serving the public.  Hats off to this committee.

It has come to our attention that after many, many years St. Gertrude’s Senior Center will close.  I find it very appalling that seniors who are in need of compassion, love, friendship, artistic expression, exercise, everyday interaction with people and lunch may be denied these services close to their homes.  We really would like to see all senior centers stay open and that seniors be able to participate on a daily basis.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday, July 19.  The cost is $28 with $14 returned in coins.  We are the only ones to give an 8-hour trip.  Join us for a peaceful, pleasant evening of joy, laughter and a chance to win.  Call my office at 718 945-1216 now for reservations.

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