2004-07-30 / Columnists

Simon says...

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Seen in picture are a group of angry Rockaway residents who want to take back our beach and boardwalk. If you can read the sign, we think you would agree.
Seen in picture are a group of angry Rockaway residents who want to take back our beach and boardwalk. If you can read the sign, we think you would agree.

We would like to start off our column by thanking all of the thousands of Democrats who affixed their signatures to the petition for my reelection as District Leader and Judicial Convention delegate.

Thanks to the day and night hard work of the Good Government Regular Democratic club, Regular Democratic club of Rockaway, South-side Women’s Democratic club, Harry S. Truman and South Queens Democratic clubs we made the ballot. Our organization, the Good Government Regular Democratic club brought in the most signatures in the country of Queens for the 23 A.D. slate, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, State Senator Malcolm Smith, District Leaders Lew M. Simon, Geraldine Chapey, State Committeeman Joseph Addabbo, State Committeewoman Patricia Young O’Connor and Civil Court Judge Lee Mayerson. Once again it goes to show the hard work of the Good Government Regular Democratic club made us number one in the country. Country Leader Tom Manton and the Queens County Democratic Organization Law committee have thanked us for our energetic and careful work on behalf of the Democratic Party candidates.

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon I would like to give special thanks to my right and left hand Johannoa Mazza, who spent the full 35 day petition period stuck to me like glue obtaining over 1,000 good Democratic signatures. The second place prize goes to Joseph Gallagher, a young man in his late 70’s who obtained over 300 signatures. Thanks Pop, we love you. Third place went to another special lady, Ginger Luke, one of the nicest, sweetest, kindest woman you could ever meet, who also obtained 300 signatures. Thanks to our fleet army of men and women who worked day and night in the heat, in the rain, on Father’s Day and even on the Fourth of July. God bless every one of you. The best prize was the good news that came on Thursday July 15 at midnight when it became apparent that we have no primary opponent. This means we have been given another two years to serve as male Assembly District Leader of the 23rd A.D. Part B.

I thank all of you for signing, I thank God for the strength he gives me each day for my chance to help and service those who need me. I serve with pleasure. I don’t know what I would do without being able to help the public at all times. As I always say and believe God has put me here to help all people who need my help, no matter what party, race, religion or sexual orientation etc.

Please do not hesitate to call.

I will always be there for you. There will be no primaries in the 23rd A.D., but there will be in the 31 A.D. and other districts. We are not urging all citizens who will be 18 by Election Day, November 2, or have not voted in the last four years to come register with us. It’s time to be counted, let your voice be heard.

We are saddened by the loss of a great woman, Anne Ward Walsh, Anne owned Ward Deli on Beach 108 Street off old Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Mickey Carton Way. She was a true saint who always donated to all great causes in the community. She was always sharing and caring, never letting anyone go hungry. I personally witnessed her bringing sandwiches to the homeless in the subway station so they wouldn’t starve. She has definitely earned her wings in heaven as a special angel. My sympathy goes out to the family. Rockaway has lost a saint.

On Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m., we had a follow-up meeting to our Take Back the Beach and Boardwalk Rally, with Councilman Addabbo in his office. The Councilman asked me to state the reasons we were there, our basic complaint was our right to use the beach and boardwalk. We should have the right to sunbathe whether or not lifeguards are there. Lifeguards should be there from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Some could work 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and others could work 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Designated fishing and surfing beaches should be put in place. A bicycle lane should be designated on the boardwalk. Children should be able to use boogie boards when beaches are not crowded. We should be able to sit and walk on our boardwalk until 1 a.m. unless we were acting in a disorderly manner. We want to be able to walk along the water line and wet our feet.

Our main goal was to get a public hearing by the Parks and Recreation committee of the City Council so local residents could explain our problems to the members of the Council who make the laws.

It could be held at Beach Channel High School or The Beach Club. The councilman said he would like to take one of our suggestions to do a pilot program. Some lifeguards would work until 7 p.m. next year. We made it clear it needs to be done as of August 1. We also made it clear that it should be to 8 p.m. since a lot of people do not get off the A train until after 7 p.m.

Councilman Addabbo needs to hear from you. Please call his office if you want him to change the antiquated rules. He will be expecting your call because he needs to hear from the people. The phone number to his office (718) 318-6411. We have also requested that training lifeguards be done during the month of December while college students are back in the city. Training and testing should be done at Far Rockaway High School and should be completed before they return to college. They should be available for hire by the Memorial Day Weekend.

We have requested that they work closely with Beach Channel, Far Rockaway, John Adams and Richmond Hill High Schools to start training future lifeguards. Both District Leader Frank Gulluscio and I have made a commitment to reach out to these schools.

Councilman Addabbo took a dig at us saying that we don’t need a rally and it doesn’t get us anything. We gave him a dig back by saying that he took a page out of our book by rallying in front of libraries to stop closings and cut back of hours which have been done in my district for many years. He laughed when I said I rubbed off on him.

It was quite obvious that the only reason he even met with us was because a large number of people came together at two rallies in the last two years. Remember folks, don’t complain if you don’t call his office. We look forward to working united with our councilman to take back our beaches and boardwalk. Last year when Councilman Addabbo was Chairman of the Parks committee, they turned a deaf ear to our community. When asked to hold a public hearing he said he needed the permission of Speaker Gifford Miller. Miller’s Chief of Staff said that it wasn’t so. This time he said he would speak to the new chairman, Helen Foster of the Bronx. Now Councilman Addabbo believes it would be difficult to hold a hearing in the community because of the risks since 9/11. A formal hearing would require stenographers and other committee personnel, but an informal hearing would be easier. The Councilman said that Chairman Helen Foster needs to hear from us. Her Manhattan office is at 250 Broadway, Room 1770, New York NY 10007. Phone (212) 788-6856.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday August 14. We leave at 5:30PM and return at 8AM. The cost is $32 with $20 returned and you get a 100-minute phone card. Bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Beach Bagels are served. Reservations must be made in advance by calling 945-1216.

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