2005-05-06 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

On Thursday May 12, we will be holding a blockbuster Town Hall meeting bringing the two highest Democratic citywide elected officials, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Comptroller William Thompson. The meeting is open to all.

Our two speakers are up for reelection. This is your chance to question them about where they stand and what they have done or will do on the issues.

The meeting will be at Good Government Regular Democratic club headquarters, 112-20 Beach Channel Drive opposite Waldbaum’s. District Leader Lew Simon urges all to be seated by 7:30 sharp to obtain a seat.

Bagels and cream cheese, courtesy of Beach Bagels, cake courtesy of Key Food and coffee by Wendy’s will be served.

On Friday April 22 we joined the Parks Commissioner for the official designation of a surfing beach in the Rockaways. It was quite obvious that our rallies and thousands of signatures on petitions had greased the wheels of progress, which moved our Assemblywoman, Audrey Pheffer, to work diligently to change the state health code. 

We were greeted at the event, asked for our name and if we would like to speak. When I went to verify if I could speak, the Parks Department told me that I could not. To say I was outraged would be easy.

Those who took the credit need to learn that nothing can be done without the support of the people. It’s teamwork baby, teamwork. United we stand, divided we fall.

One of the officers from the 100th Pct. said he heard that I was going to cause a disturbance. I stated that I had a right to speak, based on our right of freedom of speech. He then walked away from me. Are we in a communist or third world country?

The arrogance of Mr. Joseph Addabbo is amazing. Instead of realizing that being a team could be an asset, he laughs arrogantly and doesn’t share the reality of the hard work that it takes in coordinating rallies or petitions.

During Commissioner Benepe’s speech about lifeguards, I screamed out that lifeguards should be here until 8 p.m. every day. He said that he would love to, but he doesn’t have enough lifeguards. He asked if anyone was interested in being a lifeguard.

   At the end of the press conference I went over to speak to First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. I asked him what was going on in regards to the meeting we had with Councilman Joseph Addabbo in July when he said he would support a pilot program to have lifeguards until at least 7 p.m. He said that this idea was never brought to his attention.

I asked him why after two years of rallies and thousands of signatures this was falling on deaf ears. I reminded him that I am the Democratic District Leader. He told me that I only represent Democrats and that I should talk to my Councilman.

When we organized the rallies we did it as Lew M. Simon, a resident who was born and raised in the Rockaways. The people who signed the petitions came from one end of the peninsula to the other including Broad Channel. We never asked the people what party they were enrolled in.

Why are we playing politics? You are a public servant supported by the taxpayer’s dollars. After the next election, we hope there will be a housecleaning at the Parks Department and your sorry ass will be out of work. Your lack of concern for the wishes of the people of the Rockaways is despicable.

Commissioner Benepe has been reluctant to change antiquated rules on the beaches. The signs still say people must be off the beach at 9 p.m. and off the boardwalk by 10 p.m. They have added a rule about not feeding birds and squirrels. Will they apply the curfew to them also? Will they open the beaches on Memorial Day with red flags instead of lifeguards on the beaches? 

On Wednesday April 20 we were outside Peninsula Hospital with the Registered Professional Nurses who work there. We are trying to help the nurses obtain a new contract that will protect their jobs and give them a cost of living increase.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday May 21. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $32 with $25 returned.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of community activist Sara Colson who succumbed after a battle with breast cancer. Sara was a community leader who fought diligently for the residents of Arverne to rid the community of the major problem of mosquitoes.

Say what you want about Sara, I am deeply saddened and will miss her feisty in your face style of fighting for what she thought was right. My sympathy to her family. We know God needed a special fighter to be an angel in his kingdom in heaven. On Friday evening we attended a dance presentation by the O’Malley Irish Dance Academy. They provided a wonderful evening of Irish cultural dancing. The children and some of the parents and teachers were on hand to teach us all how to dance. It was a great night at Breezy Point’s Colony Theatre. Once again we were in charge of the 50 50’s and raffle.

Kara Ryan, the beautiful granddaughter of Mary and Christopher Bowles, two of the finest, outstanding community activists gave a beautiful performance and picked the winner of the 50 50’s. The O’Malley Academy is located in Brooklyn and at the Breezy Point Surf Club during the summer months.  

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