2006-09-08 / 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

Where has the summer gone? What's next, Christmas? On a serious note, Tuesday September 12 is primary Day. We urge registered Democrats and Republicans to vote in their primary.

It is quite obvious that our next governor will be Elliot Spitzer who has done a fine job as Attorney General. My endorsement in the Democratic primary for governor is Elliot Spitzer.

For Attorney General I stick with my dear friend, former Public Advocate and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Mark Green. Mark Green has a proven track record of success. He took on the tobacco industry and forced them to stop using the Joe Camel ads which encouraged young people to think Joe Camel was their friend and to start smoking.

Mark Green has spent more time in the Rockaways, Ozone Park and Howard Beach than any candidate for state office. We always had a great relationship with Green. He answers our phone calls and solves the problems. As Attorney General we know he will take on many difficult issues and solve them.

He will work on Medicare fraud, price gouging at gas pumps and helping Senior Citizens get health care reform. He will fight political corruption, to use DNA tests to convict more criminals and to protect the environment.

Green was responsible for proposing the 311 system which Mayor Bloomberg instituted in our city. Bloomberg has thanked Green for this idea. Green was a chief sponsor, along with Council Speaker Peter Vallone, of the campaign finance system that allows people without great personal wealth to run for public office in New York City.

In 1990 Green demanded that fast food chains provide nutrition information about their products and reported how the oil companies were using Middle East problems as a false excuse for raising our gasoline prices. In 1991 he fought against the near-shutdown of the Small Claims Court and against law firms that falsely promised green cards to immigrants. When Green campaigns for Attorney General we know he is ready to do an outstanding job the first day.

As we come upon the 5 th anniversary of 9/11, we are still in fear of terrorism. Our heart and soul goes out to the families of the thousands of people lost during the horrific terrorist attack. We must never forget and keep in our prayers the loved ones we lost and all the heroes of 9/11. We remember all the fire, police, EMS personnel who have now become very ill with respiratory diseases and we must work together to ensure that they and their families are covered for their needs. These heroes and sheroes should be thanked when we see them as well as any fire, police and EMS worker or soldier for giving of their lives to protect us and keep us safe.

On Tuesday August 29, Community Board 14's Parks and Recreation met to discuss the lifeguard fiasco of 2006. This year an outstanding individual named Hank Iori instituted a program in Region 5 to train future lifeguards. This program was indeed successful in obtaining 65 applicants who passed the course but most of them were failed by the NYC Parks Department for various reasons. NYC Parks Department does not allow outside observers. The course was passed by 32 students at Far Rockaway High School and 33 at John Adams High School.

The Lifeguard test at the National Parks Service is open for observers to watch. It was quite interesting to hear committee chair Dan Mundy who demanded a public hearing be held by the City Council Parks and Recreation Committee. I almost fell off the chair since I had been on record since the summer of 2002 asking for our Councilman Joseph Addabbo, who was chair of the committee, to hold that hearing in the Rockaway community. We also asked Helen Foster, the new chair of the committee, for the same.

After holding a rally in 2003 that brought 2,500 people out on the boardwalk, and 700 people in 2004 we were still ignored by those morons, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. Peter Stein, who is head of the Lifeguards union and seems to have too much influence in the Parks Department, blocked my endorsement by District Council 37 in 2001 and will try to stand in my way in the future. Have no fear, he's got to go. We would like thank Janet Fash, one of the chief lifeguards and an educational production artist for Region 5 who spent many hours putting this training program together.

We must continue to fight to get the Transportation Department to restore the traffic lanes on Shorefront Parkway and Beach Channel Drive. Keep calling Commissioner Iris Weinshall at (212) 676-7320, Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy at (718) 391-2705, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall at (718) 286-3000 and 311.

We are saddened by the death of three outstanding individuals. One of our U.S. Marines, Michael Glover, was killed in Fallujah, Iraq. He was raised by his cousin, Chief Peter Hayden FDNY. Thousands of American servicemen and women have lost their lives in Iraq, but Michael is the first from Rockaway. This special angel must not be forgotten. I look forward to hearing from the family about what could be named in his memory.

Anne F. Leahy was a fine, outstanding, charismatic and loving woman. For the last twenty years I've watched her and got to know her and her love of the church, St. Francis Golden Age club. We saw her love for her daughter Barbara who dedicated her life to her mom. This close bond is what families are all about. Mother and daughter were a team in helping our community. We are also saddened by the death of Michael Killmeyer. Our heart goes out to the families.

The annual dinner dance of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club will be held on November 16 at El Caribe, 5945 Strickland Avenue, Brooklyn from 7 PM to 11:30 PM. Tickets are $75.00 per person and $1,200.00 for a table of 16. Please send your check, payable to the club, to 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park 11694. R.S.V. P. by October 10.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday September 16. The cost is $35 with $25 returned. We leave at 5:30 PM and return at 8 AM. We have 81/2 hours to enjoy as well as bagels and cream cheese by Beach bagels and movies on the bus. Call 945-1216 for reservations.

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