From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B
As we are writing this column we
are on a heightened alert for acts of terrorism which they claim will be worse than 9/11. Whoever would have thought in today’s society the horrific events of 9/11 could occur. We’re wishing for this New Year peace and happiness around the world. Love and kindness for all.
Our bus trip to Mohegan Sun will be on January 17. We leave on Saturday at 5:30 P.M. and return at 8:00 A.M. The cost is $30. It includes a $10 free bet and free food. We have movies, bagels and cream cheese from Rockaway Bagels on the bus. Advance tickets are required. Call 718 945-1216 for reservations.
As we are getting close to the official opening of the Rockaway beach and boardwalk season on Memorial Day, we once again question our right to be able to walk on the boardwalk in the evening, swim at our own risk and have our beaches fully protected by lifeguards.
Let me refresh you about the rally we held on the boardwalk last July 9. We obtained thousands of signatures on a petition calling for the following: 1) Residents be allowed to walk freely on the boardwalk until 2 a.m; 2) Lifeguards be on duty from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 3) We want to keep our blankets and beach chairs unattended while we take a swim or walk along the beachfront; 4) We want to be able to fly a kite, be able to fish on the off hours of lifeguards or while no one is using the area for swimming; 5) We want to be able to walk our dogs along the boardwalk provided we clean up after them immediately; 6) We want designated beaches to be in place for surfing so that surfers can enjoy surfing; 7) Establish on the boardwalk a bike-lane as they do in other areas to ride bicycles at all times.
We have obtained thousands of signatures but it was not enough. Our Councilman, Joe Addabbo formed a committee to look at these rules and regulations but still has not responded to the people. We would like to know why weekly newspaper editor Howard Schwach and myself have not been appointed to the committee.
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe has still not made an apology for the disgusting, disparaging remarks made about Rockaway residents on his NY1 interview. I requested time to debate the commissioner on his attitude toward the residents of Rockaway and the unfair laws enforced on the peninsula. All we got back were form letters from Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. The commissioner said our petitions were from people from Far Rockaway to Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, other parts of Queens and even Long Island. It is now time to form a new committee and to start once again soliciting signatures for our petition. We should also send personal letters to Commissioner Benepe as he requested. Commissioner Adrian Benepe’s address is: The Arsenal, Central Park, New York, NY 10021. Copies should be sent to Councilman Joe Addabbo, 92-03 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach, New York 11694 and District Leader Lew M. Simon at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.
We would like to hear from you. Come up to our office on Thursday, January 8, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. Work with us to prepare for our letter writing and petition drive. We will have rallies if we need them. If you have any further questions or suggestions or want to be on the committee call me at 718 945-1216.
You can join the Good Government Regular Democratic Club by sending in your dues to our office. The dues are $25 family, $18 single and $12 for Seniors and Young Dems.
The cost of living is catching up with everyone. Senior citizens in rental and co-op housing may be helped by SCRIE. If your income is below $20,000 you should be eligible. The limits were raised to $24,000 after October 2003. If you had a rent or carrying charge increase recently contact your management office for information.
We are deeply saddened by the closing of the Washington Hotel, a long time fixture and landmark. The Schneider, Mittman, Ness and Levene families have always supported the Rockaway community. During the late 80s and 90s when I chaired the Crossbay Toll committee the Washington Hotel allowed us to use their hotel for a Town Hall Meeting. They were there for my announcement of candidacy in my 2001 bid for the New York City Council. From the bottom of my heart we thank you. God Bless You.
We would like to wish everyone a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year. This holiday season brings back memories of my childhood. I remember my parents instilling the proper manners in their children. We learned to always say please, thank you and your welcome. Kindness goes a long way.
In this "me" generation, a lot of people are motivated by greed. They don’t re-member to appreciate what they have or to be generous or to share with others. Kindness, courtesy and gratitude go a long way. Remember where you came from. You meet the same people on your way down that you passed on the way up. Kind gestures should always be rewarded.
People who have given charity over the holiday season should be blessed for remembering those in need. Thank God that most of us are loving, kind, sharing, wonderful individuals. It is sad when someone is being used, abused, taken advantage of and not given any respect.
During this holiday season many people have reminded me of stories of loved ones, friends and neighbors who have been treated kindly or unkindly. Some of the kindness we saw after 9/11 and the flight crash on 11/12 has worn off leaving bitterness, anxiety and depression. We have a lot to be thankful for each day. We get up each morning with a roof over our heads, have food and a loving family or neighbors.
In light of the fact that we currently have troops fighting for our freedom against terrorism and for our right survive, it was absolutely fantastic when we turned TV or radio to hear they caught the terrorist Saddam Hussein who terrorized, killed and ethnic cleansed innocent people in Iraq. At the same time we are stilling hunting for Osama bin Laden. It was a major victory for the U.S.A. It was like capturing a fox in a foxhole. It was definitely a political coup for President George Bush and his administration.
Democratic District Leader Lew M. Simon with Congressman Anthony Weiner. Simon received a leadership award from the Good Government Regular Democratic Club presented by the Congressman for 16 years of outstanding service and leadership throughout the 23rd Assembly District that through Lew Simon’s advocacy, residents enjoy a great quality of life.