2006-08-25 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

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

Democratic District Leader Lew Simon (center) with State Senator Malcolm Smith and a number of club members.
Democratic District Leader Lew Simon (center) with State Senator Malcolm Smith and a number of club members. We are saddened by a major fire that occurred several weeks ago at the home of Lou and Mary Romas. A major fire completely demolished the house they lived in. Unfortunately they do not own the house and do not have renter's insurance. The house is owned by their son. He is committed to rebuilding, but the parents have lost everything but the clothes on their backs.

We are in the process of confirming a date for a fundraiser to be held at the Msgr. Burke Knights of Columbus in Rockaway Beach. We are in need of volunteers to get food and prizes donated as well as a volunteer DJ to help with the evening.

Lou and Mary Romas have given their lives to the Rockaway community through the American Legion, Rockaway Beach Civics, and St. Rose of Lima where Mary is Vice President of the Young at heart Club and the Hammels Senior Center (now Seaside Adult Center) to name a few.

To volunteer please call me at 945-1216. Checks to help the family may be made out to Lou and Mary Romas and sent to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park 11694.

On Thursday evening August 17, State Senator Malcolm Smith addressed the members of the Good Government Regular Democratic club and other residents of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point.

Smith really shone at this event. When questions were asked he went right up to the questioner and held their hand. He has made commitments to help us improve the quality of transportation, education and many other things. We are truly blessed to have Senator Smith as our representative. His hands on approach, wisdom, charisma and great sense of humor make him the best. He is a real friend and great statesman.

Smith said we had the most active Democratic club in the Rockaways. He said that our club is always in the forefront of helping the community on issues of concern. He was proud to endorse me when I ran for City Council and can't wait for me to serve in public office. He said that we make a great team.

Pat Ruebens, the Senator's Chief of Staff, was in the audience. She is extremely responsive, cooperative and reliable. I am very proud to have a fantastic rapport with the Senator and his Chief of Staff. As they always say, no matter what time of the day or night when Lew wants to talk about an issue he calls our cell phones and speaks his mind.

A personal note of thanks to this great team. Thank you guys. I love you and on behalf of my constituents, God bless you.

In his presentation Smith spoke about some of the things that his office does to improve life in the district he represents. He has challenged business to provide jobs for people who needed them. In 90 days they obtained 90 good jobs. He encouraged a training program where young people were taught to write resumes, dress for business and even how to say good morning. He told of his plans for Family Day in Bayswater Park on Saturday September 9.

Smith was asked about the development going on in the Rockaways. He said that we need affordable housing for the next generation including his 21-year-old son. He believes that housing values will continue to rise and that the city, state and federal governments were studying the transportation needs of the community.

Smith is in favor of the charter schools that have been established in recent years. He spoke of a life skills program for 5 to 7 year olds who were learning to operate a small business. He was hopeful that more commercial development would come to Rockaway because the population and disposable income of local residents had increased and that he and his staff would work to get commissioners to the community. He believes in working with these public officials, not beating up on them.

On Saturday afternoon we fulfilled a dream of one of our constituents. Ruth Wander spoke to me on the phone as well as at the Rockaway Music and Arts Council concert about her need for a wheelchair. Unfortunately her HMO was denying her this needed wheelchair. After writing in my last column that someone needed a wheelchair, a great outstanding Breezy Point resident, Dan Lynch, gave us an old wheelchair he had in his basement for delivery to Ruth.

Many thanks to Dan Lynch. Ruth can now get around. It is quite obvious that we must thank The WAVE and the Rockaway Point News for allowing us to write and help all those who need help.

I would like one day to have a show on a major TV network or radio station where people can call in with their problems. I could be their trouble shooter just as I do every day when my office phone rings. We try to rectify problems and complaints and provide assistance.

We must continue to keep the fight going with the Department of Transportation concerning the horrendous changes they made on Shorefront Parkway, Beach Channel Drive and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Please continue to call to protest the changes they made in local traffic lanes.

Call Commissioner Iris Weinshall at (212) 676-7320, Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy at (718) 391-2705 and 311. Our Borough President, Helen Marshall, has not done anything to help us with this problem. Her office phone is (718) 286-3000. Don't let them get away with this.

On Monday August 14 I met with the members of Rockaway Beach Towers on Beach 96 Street to form a new tenants association. I was called upon by a number of residents including George and Viginia Roundtree, who had just celebrated their 50th anniversary.

They are a great couple who have spent their lives loving and caring for the Rockaways.

We have put together a great group of people who will have been elected by the time you read this. They are eager to start and make a difference in our community.

Thanks to Ellen Connolly for the use of her dance studio for our meeting.

Your dues help to keep this office working for you. Send your dues now for the following year. The cost is $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 for Youth and Seniors.

Send your check to Lew Simon at club headquarters 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

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