2003-07-04 / 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

Come join us on Wednesday July 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the foot of Beach 116 Street and the Boardwalk. Let’s take back our right to walk on the boardwalk in the evening. Let’s prove early morning and evening swims can be safe.

Surfing must be allowed on designated beaches on the Rockaway peninsula. The sport of fishing must be allowed on parts of the beach.

We must be able to leave our beach chairs and towels on the beach without getting a summons. Let’s send a clear message to the powers that be. Our community and its many visitors speak with one voice. Our beaches are the jewels of the east coast. New rules restricting our use of the beaches are not needed. We visited Coney Island beach and boardwalk to check the signs there. They have no signs ordering people off the beach at 9 p.m. or the boardwalk at 10 p.m. Why are they picking on Rockaway?

We urge you to bring your beach chair, towels, fishing rod, surfboard and a sign stating, We demand to take back our beaches and boardwalk."

We wish to thank Sweet ‘N Low, Cumberland Packing Company, who, for the past 15 years, has been kind enough to assist me in helping Dancing Under the Stars. While on the subject of the Cimberland Packing Company, they have been the first to respond to my column asking for financial assistance in organizing the beach rally.

It is about time that people who are on Social Security get full coverage for prescription drugs. The prices of many prescriptions are beyond the ability of many to pay. Some members of Congress seemed more interested in helping private health networks than in seeing that all prescriptions are covered. A House Senate conference committee will try to finish the bill this summer. We urge everyone to call our Congressmen and Senators to urge them to continue to fight to get full coverage for all.

We are very saddened that the 2003-2004 city budget passed by the City Council and signed by the mayor did not restore the funds for six fire companies. We cannot reduce fire protection in this time of terrorism.

Education is everyone’s number one priority. How can we make cuts in the education budget and lay off school aides and para-professionals. Paras assist teachers in difficult classes. They work with small groups under the direction of the teacher while the teacher is working with other groups. New York City classes are larger than those outside the city. Without the paras our children will not get the attention they need.

Aides do all the necessary jobs from sorting textbooks, guarding bathrooms to giving out lunch passes that allow the principals and teachers to concentrate on education. It’s a damn shame that they cut the budget when the state was ordered to improve education in NYC. We urge you to call Speaker A. Gifford Miller at (212) 788-7210, our own Council members, Mayor Bloomberg at (212) 788-3000 and Chancellor Klein at (212) 374-6000. Tell them to make sure these people are back on the job in September.

Our next bus trip to Atlantic City will be on Saturday, July 19. The cost is $28 with $14 returned. Call my office now at 718 945-1216 for reservations. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m.

We attended the Sunday evening kickoff of the Rockaway Music and Arts Council’s concert series at Fort Tilden. The Roadhouse Band and country and western music for the entire family was enjoyed by all. It was a lovely, cool night with no rain in sight.

The Sunset Picnic Concert Series is held at 6 p.m. at Fort Tilden. On July 13 the concert will feature the Long Island Pops under the direction of Dean Krahalis. On July 27 there will be a Tribute to Frank Sinatra with Jerry Cardone. On August 10 enjoy Cherish the Ladies, a great Celtic group. On August 24, the featured group will be All in the House with six guys and voices will be presented. We look forward to seeing you at some of these free events.

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