2003-07-25 / 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

Our next trip to Atlantic City Trump Marina will be on Saturday August 16. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $28 with $14 returned. Call my office at 945-1216 for reservations.

We are very upset with NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. He made disparaging comments about people on Beach 130 Street during his appearance on "Inside City Hall" on Channel 1 News. We have requested an opportunity to go on the program to debate the Commissioner or to refute his comments. We also want to challenge the antiquated rules and regulations of the Parks Department. We are waiting for the time and date from NY Channel 1.

It is quite apparent that the Commissioner doesn’t understand the beaches, which are the beauty and jewel of our community. He doesn’t understand the people who live here and use the beaches throughout the day and evening. Benepe was formerly the Commissioner of Parks in Manhattan, the only borough that doesn’t have any beaches. It is obvious he just doesn’t care and doesn’t want to make a difference.

You would think that after almost 2,000 people gathered at a rally two weeks ago the commissioner would have acted. Liam Kavanagh, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, served as his eyes and ears at the rally, but Benepe has the audacity to say he wants letters, not petitions or form letters. To that I say B.S.

We need everyone to take petitions to everyone in your building or block. We must stick together in unity as we have done so far. Call my office now for petitions to help win this great cause. At the same time we need you to call Councilman Joseph Addabbo at (718) 318-6411 and tell him you want the rules changed. The Councilman claims he got only two hundred calls and they all came from Belle Harbor, but when I’m doing petitions people from Far Rockaway, Edgemere, Arverne, Rockaway Park, Breezy Point and Broad Channel have told me they have called his office to voice their opinion to change the rules.

It’s a damn shame that NYC Parks Department trucks with four-wheel drive capacity and police vehicle are riding on the boardwalk. It is time these vehicles are moved off the boardwalk.

I wish to thank once again the financial sponsors of the Take Back the Beach and Boardwalk rally. They include Cumberland Packing Sweet N Low, and Beach 115 Street Hardware which provided the batteries for our bullhorn. We thank those who made phone calls to the community and media; they are Ginger Smith, Barbara Kilfoil, Laura Devoe, Barbara Reiche, Andy McGee, Joseph Gallagher, Sara Berger, Flo Altshuler and Richard Lyman III.

Many people I meet think that I receive a salary from the city for my work. I do not get a salary, staff or office rent. The office at the Good government Regular Democratic club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive runs on membership dues and donations. Since we ran up such a huge phone bill and printing bills as well we hope you can help us by paying your membership dues. Dues are $25 for a family, $18 individual and $12 for seniors and young Dems. Make your check payable to Good Government Regular Democratic club. Your donations are greatly appreciated so we can continue to do what we do.

At no time do I, nor anyone who volunteers, take any money. This is used for rent, phone, lights, air conditioning, heat and insurance. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kind words you have given me. It makes each day go easier.

The harassment of local families using the beach continues. Nancy Herman tells me that a lifeguard lieutenant forced her children to stop using a boogie board in the water. These small light boards help children to practice swimming and are not a danger to anyone. Nancy is writing a letter with the details for our local press.

The Breezy Point Golden Age Club will be presenting the Plaza Theatrical Productions Inc. show "They’re Playing Our Song". The book is by Neil Simon, Music by Marvin Hamlisch, and lyrics by Carol Bayer Sager. It is a funny romantic musical about an established composer and his relationship with an aspiring, zan young female lyricist. It will be presented on Saturday July 26 at St. Thomas More Parish Hall at 6PM. Tickets are $30. Call Renee Lacey at (718) 474-1108.

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