2006-05-05 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

It's been a busy, busy time with lots of meetings on the same night and at the same time. Gas prices are through the roof.

The number one issue affecting all those who drive is the exorbitant price of gas. Those who don't drive and use car service have also felt the pain, as well as anyone who tries to raise money by renting a charter bus.

Many proposals are floating around, from cutting back on the taxes on a gallon of gas to a hundred dollar rebate

Senator Charles Schumer has had the right idea for a long time. He wants to release some of the strategic reserves.

It is time now to boycott our local gas stations that attempt to rip us off. Exxon Mobil has reported the highest earnings in U.S. history. I personally have chosen to purchase my gas at Sunoco on Cross Bay Boulevard and Pitkin Avenue.

As I write this on Sunday evening they are charging $3.79 for regular gas. Sun Super Service on Sheridan Boulevard in Inwood is also charging $3.79. They buy gasoline on the spot market and change prices quickly.

We have heard that a website was set up giving prices of gasoline citywide. It is time for someone from Rockaway to set up a website or use their existing website to post daily gasoline prices. We would like to see The Wave accommodate us by using their website to carry these reports.  

We suggest that we pick two days a week, such as Tuesday and Thursday,when we boycott gas stations charging outrageous prices. Let's put the hurting back to the greedy stations. President George Bush has announced a suspension of the storage of additional fuel in theU.S. strategic reserve. It's time for us all to E-mail or write to the lame duck president and tell him to release some of the reserves. The address is www.whitehouse.gov/president, or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 or (202) 456-1414.

As many of you are aware, St. Virgilius School is fighting for their survival. A number of families have visited the school with the potential of at least 35 additional children registering.

On Friday morning a group of parents of St. Virgilius had a meeting with Bishop DiMarzio, who graciously opened his doors to meet with them. They provided him with the fact that neither money nor the number of children would be a problem. They asked him for additional time and to stick to the original business plan for three to five years. They explained some of the kinks and other different things that have occurred. They are looking, hoping and praying for a positive answer.

On Tuesday April 18 we once again called bingo and sold 50-50's for the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department. We look forward to doing another one in July or August.

On Thursday evening Mark Green spoke at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club as part of his campaign for New York State Attorney General. Mark is a long time friend of ours and has visited Rockaway many times. Mark was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and graduated from Great Neck Senior High School, Cornell and Harvard Law School. He was an author of the #1 bestseller, "Who Runs Congress?" He was called the leading public interest lawyer of his generation.

As Commissioner of Consumer Affairs he led a 340-person, $17-million law enforcement agency. He was elected Public Advocate in 1993 with 60% of the vote and reelected in 1997 with 73%, winning more votes than Mayor Giuliani and carrying each of the five boroughs.

Mark's campaign has put together 320 examples of his record as a People's Lawyer in a Green Book. You can get it on line by going to www .markgreen.com. He told us that he was most proud of his work with Mayor Giuliani in getting the mob out of the private carting industry and getting the cigarette industry to stop selling cigarettes to children in vending machines. We could have talked all night about what needs to be done in our community and New York State, but Mark had to leave for another appearance. He promised to return after he is elected to work with us on our problems. We certainly expect him around during the campaign this summer. If you have any questions or are available to help with the Democratic campaign this summer and fall call my office.

The Rockaway Beach Civic Association meeting on rezoning their community was a heated meeting with strong opinions being expressed by local homeowners and real estate developers who own property in the area. Paul Graziano, a community planner who has helped many Queens communities faced with overdevelopment, has been retained by Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. A motion was passed to hold another meeting within three months with a mailing to all residents of the community up to Beach 108 Street. Local real estate broker, D. Brian Heffernan, made a commitment to pay for the cost of the mailing.

It is important that all residents speak their piece on this issue.

Your membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic Club is welcomed. Dues are $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 for Seniors and Young Dems. Send your check payable to the club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park NY 11694.

Spend part of Mother's Day weekend in Atlantic City. We leave at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday May 13 and return at 8 a.m.

The cost is now $35 (due to the high cost of gas) with $25 returned. Bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Beach Bagels are served. Call (718) 945-1216 for reservations now.

Election inspectors are needed for Primary and Election Day. The pay is $200 a day with $35 extra if you work both days and $25 extra for attending a training class. Registered Democrats in the 23 A.D. Part B should call my office now.

On Saturday evening we attended a fantastic talent show put on by students of St. Stans Bishop and Martyr School. Madge Contino and her committee and members did a great job. They include Celeste Muller, Chris Plane, Susan Bertolini, Claudia and Gary Glein, Larry Miller, Julio Rodriguez, Lee Grieco, Michelle Bernarbo, the MC, Jessie Moscattiello and her sister Italia, Mrs. Carrion, Claudia, and Lisa O'Geary and her son Mathew.

This great committee of parents once again outdid themselves. The artistic designs by Celeste Miller and her committee were beautiful. Mike Zabrocki donated his time to DJ the event. Sister Francis was proud as proud can be.

On Sunday May 21 please join us in the basement of St. Stans Church at 88-10 102 Ave. At 1:30 p.m. there will be a super supermarket bingo with great prizes, food electronics, beauty products and gift certificates. Don't miss it.

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