2004-09-10 / Columnists

Simon says...

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon

rd A.D. Part B

As we come to the end of the summer, the weather has been just wonderful. Once again Rockaway gets the shaft with a number of our beaches closed due to no lifeguards. As we all know, most of the lifeguards who work on the beach are college students who return to college during the last week of August.

Keeping that in mind you would think that Deputy Commissioner of Parks Liam Kavanagh would have put together a contingency plan The Parks Department could stagger assignments to keep some beaches open in all areas. Instead he said that the weather is usually bad at the end of the summer and there is no need for lifeguards.

Why is Rockaway considered the dumping ground of the city? Why do we always get the shaft? We urge you to call Councilman Addabbo’s office (318-6411) to remind him that we need lifeguard coverage until 8 P.M. next summer.

This week as school is opening remember to shop locally. The Busy Bee Learning Store has educational supplies for teachers, parents and students. They will welcome you at 113-24 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

We are getting closer to our annual Dinner Dance on Thursday October 21, at the Beach Club on Beach 116 Street from 7:00 to 11:30 p.m. Dinner, live music, raffles and 50/50 will be available We are honoring outstanding community leaders including Dr. Kathleen Cashin, Regional Superintendent of Region 5, James Mahoney, Business Agent of Local 580 Ornamental and Architectural Ironworkers, Charlotte Kulovany, Community Activist, Steven Greenberg, Chairman Breezy Point Cooperative  and outgoing  School Board 27 President, May Hegarty, Community Activist (Miss Rockaway), and Grace D’Agostino, Community Activist. Tickets are $60 per person or $720 for a table of 12. RSVP by October 1.

Our next trip to Atlantic City will be on Saturday September 18.We leave at 5:30 P.M. and return at 8 A.M. The cost is $32 with $20 returned and a free 100 minute phone card. Bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Beach Bagels will be served. A surprise movie will be shown on the bus. Reservations are a must. Call my office at 945-1216 now.

  I would like to give a special thanks to Tom Hart who presented me with a beautiful Rockaway windbreaker. I purchased one of his shirts, the Rockaway Playland shirt, at the Sunset Diner. While you are enjoying a great meal at the Sunset Diner pick up one of Rockaway’s famous shirts, jackets, sweatshirts or sweaters. They are available for men and women. Thank you Tom for the wonderful gift. I will wear it wherever I go.

This weekend was Mardi Gras weekend starting on Friday night. Mardi Gras countdown is held every year on Noel Road by the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. This year all funds raised will help to keep the current firehouse open and to build a new one.

On Sunday afternoon, thank God it was not too hot. I marched once again in the Roxbury Mardi Gras. For the last 6 to 8 years I marched with one particular group, which includes Bill Prichet and former NYC Buildings Commissioner Richard Visconti, who now works as a private registered architect. He has loads of knowledge if you need an architect.

During the week Bill Prichet had called me to say our group would be called the Unconventional Conventioneers. When I got there to march I laughed hysterically. They had Lew Simon for President. The motto was four more beers.

As we marched through the Roxbury community, the wonderful applause and welcome we received makes you feel like you lived in the Roxbury community. They have always welcomed me like one of the family and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

They said I was a very good sport for allowing them to do so. I was very honored that they chose me. Thanks to this wonderful group. I love each and every one of you.

On Sunday we participated in the annual Broad Channel Mardi Gras which I think was one of the biggest and best in a long time. I must give special thanks to John Kearney for his vintage white Cadillac with red interior. As we rode down the Boulevard I felt like a million dollars or a celebrity with this wonderful treatment the residents of Broad Channel always give me. It is absolutely wonderful to represent this community because they are the best of the best.

On Monday evening we attended the West End Temple’s annual Labor Day barbecue. Members of the West End Temple Social club are warm and welcoming. Ed and Florence Spierer, Harold and Marilyn Kramberg and Stan and Elaine Gelda and members of the West End Temple throw a wonderful end of summer bash.

It is always great to see a wonderful woman who I respect and have learned a lot from, Teddy Brooks. She has advised me many times on issues, appearance and behavior. She is a very special person and we love her. Another dear friend is former school board member Ronnie Schwab, who has always been there to advise me on educational issues in our district.

  One special lady, Beatrice Schofield, was my sister’s first grade teacher. She is an absolutely brilliant and amazing woman. God bless her. She should live and be well and live to 120.

It is always great to sit with Sara Berger, president of our Democratic club, and her son Richard and his girlfriend Johanna Mazza, my left and right arm. It is always great to see Dolly Sachs smiling. she is one of the most wonderful people you could ask to meet. 

STAR real estate tax exemptions are available to most residential property owners in New York City. Call 311 or Department of Finance Tax Exemptions at (212) NEW-YORK. Information may also be available from the office of Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin at (718) 762-6575. It is important to have STAR to get the promised tax rebates.

As we come on the third anniversary of 9/11, which is fresh in our hearts, we are saddened by the loss of all the great people, firemen, police officers, EMS, stockbrokers and all of our wonderful neighbors and friends who were killed for no reason on 9/11. My best friend and treasurer, Stephen Lefkowitz, was lost on that day. My heart goes out to Sara and her son Daniel, and to all the many families who have lost a loved one. We must light a candle and pray for all  the people we have lost and say never again.

Please keep these many innocent people and their families in your prayers.

To all my Jewish constituents and readers L’Shana Tova, Happy New Year, to you and your family.

We are looking for volunteers for the election of the Kerry Edwards ticket.

If you are interested, please call my office.

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