2007-05-18 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

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

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon If you missed the opportunity to speak at the public hearing of the City Council Transportation Committee, you can send your comments to the Chairman John C. Liu at 250 Broadway, New York NY 10007. His E-mail is Liu@Council.NYC.NY.US Liu's fax number is 212-788-8964. John Liu worked hard for the people of Queens even before he was elected to the Council. He can help us a great deal now. Please send a copy of your message to me at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

It is important that everyone be heard, not just a handful. We want to remind everyone that we are supporting reactivation of the old Rockaway Beach line as part of the NYC Transit system at the price of a single fare.

We must fight for our right to get into the city in a reasonable time and for one fare. Many non-believers laughed at me when we were fighting to eliminate bridge tolls for residents of Rockaway and Broad Channel. It's quite obvious who got the last laugh and won.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for operators of a private ferry. The only way a ferry can be successful is if the fare is no more than $5 each way. One Rockaway resident asked the mayor if he was aware that Staten Island residents had a free ferry and why couldn't we have a free ferry. The mayor sidestepped the question and decided to go on with other things.

It time now to have our transportation problems solved and not wait to 2011. There have been enough Rockaway studies and it is now time to deliver the service.

Congratulations to school Superintendent, Michelle Lloyd-Bey, who has dedicated her life to the children and parents of District 27. Lloyd-Bey goes above and beyond the call of duty and has made a substantive difference in the education of the children of our district.

This well educated, energetic and tireless worker has made great strides in improving reading and math scores in our district. Hats off to Chancellor Joel Klein for rehiring the best of the best. Keep up the dynamite work Ms. Lloyd-Bey. We appreciate what you have done for our children.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday May 19. The cost is $35 with $25 returned. Bagels and cream cheese by Beach Bagels. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. Call 718-945-1216 for reservations now.

As we go into our 2007 beach season in approximately two weeks, the saga of the lifeguards continues. First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh has not kept his word and has turned a deaf ear to the Rockaways once again.

There was an agreement that a time clock would be placed on the wall so that lifeguard candidates would know how they did. There would be monitors to insure that they would be treated fairly. In case of failure they would receive a score card so that they would know how to improve to pass the test.

It is time now for all our elected officials and Community Board 14's ad hoc committee to hold a press conference and demand the dismissal of Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh. They must hold Commissioner Adrian Benepe's feet to the fire and end the current system of unfair union controlled hiring.

At the same time we are demanding that our beaches be opened and manned until 8 p.m. It is time now to look into the possibility of hiring qualified part-time lifeguards including off duty police and firefighters. Why do we have to keep revisiting the same issues all the time?

Enough is enough. Heads should roll. Our pristine beaches are the jewel of the East Coast. They should be open to all until 8 p.m. Let's stop procrastinating and demand our rights.

We are deeply saddened by the death of a Rockaway matriarch, Sylvia Rogoff. Anyone who grew up on the peninsula had to have known Sylvia. Rogoff's Stationery and Toy store on Beach 116 Street has been an institution in our community. Sylvia, her husband Sam and her brother-in-law Jerry owned the business. They made you feel like part of the family.

If you needed anything at all they accommodated you and ordered it. Sylvia was one of the founding members of the Philip Port Unit of the American Cancer Society helping to raise millions upon millions of dollars to promote cancer research. She was a philanthropist who was down to earth, loving and kind, and one of the most beautiful people you could ever ask to meet. My heart goes out to her family. I'm sure she is a fantastic angel in God's heaven and must be advocating with God to do away with cancer.

I am very glad to hear that Peninsula Hospital has taken a giant step toward a major cancer care upgrade. So many people in our community are afflicted with cancer, it is great to hear that our local community hospital is getting into the 21st century with new radiation equipment.

We urge all to find it in their heart to make a tax free donation, whether it is one dollar or one million, to Peninsula General Hospital for their cancer unit. Hats off to our great friend CEO Robert Levine who is a hands on, loving, kind and compassionate leader. He has made a major difference. We need to continue supporting our local hospital and assist him in building a new state of the art community hospital.

We are seeking individuals who would like to volunteer doing computer work or interns who need high school or college credit. Call my office.

We welcome your membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic Club. Families are $25, individual $18, and Seniors and Young Dems are $12. Send your check to the club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694. If you are not registered you will not be able to vote on Primary Day, September 18, Election Day, November 6 or in the Presidential Primary on February 5, 2007. Call my office at 718-945-1216 to make an appointment to register. It takes only a few minutes.

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