2007-06-01 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

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

Lew M. 
        SimonLew M. Simon

As we sit and write our column on Memorial Day, we reflect on all the many men and women who served our country and gave their lives for our freedom. As we are currently at war my heart goes out to the many families who have a loved one in this unnecessary war. As of today we have lost over 3,800 Americans in the Iraq and Afghanistan war.

I pray every night for peace and an end to this war. Who would have thought that 9/11 would have ever occurred? My thanks to those who have served or are serving. My heart goes out to those who have lost a friend, relative or loved one.

We are not heartless but to hear from many mothers who have lost their young son or daughter of 18, 19 21 or even older. They are proud of their deceased children, but lonely, depressed and heartbroken.

On Friday, May 18, the Seaside School, P.S./M.S. 225Q Performing Arts Department presented the finale of "So You Think You Can Dance," with six remaining couples. It was directed and produced by teacher extraordinaire Adam Funtleyder. I served this evening as one of three judges along with the Dean of the school, Debbie Green and Assistant Principal, Tammy Holloway. On hand for the evening was the principal, Matthew Melchiorre. The show was hosted by one of the students, Daniel Bleau.

I had a splendid evening being one of the judges of the outstanding talent of the youth of our community. Funtleyder has served as a positive role model in training and coaching these children to be dance professionals. Judging from what I saw the children's poise, grace and maturity showed that they had a great mentor in the performing arts. Funtleyder should be recognized for his love, dedication and commitment to the children of District 27. The winning couple was Lakasha Elliot and Shamel Woods. Runner-ups were Joy Poroye and Michael Citelli and Beauna Myrick and Thomas Young.

Later that evening we proceeded to a late dinner at Kennedy's in Breezy Point where Judy, my dear friend of 30 years, enjoyed the fine cuisine. What made me so happy and proud were the many people who came over to thank me for what we do. One young lady who came over to our table was celebrating her birthday. She kissed and hugged me and told me how wonderful I am. She started off by thanking me for always being there whether it is a community, church or civic event where I am usually selling 50-50's or in my favorite spot at Waldbaum's. My dear friend, Judy, started to cry.

People should never feel that they are bothering me when they come over to talk or just say hello. As one man said to me, I hate to bother you on your day off. I don't believe in taking vacation.

On Sunday afternoon at the Broad Channel Memorial Day Parade, City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo told me that he read my column and said I should know where he stands on the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach line. He said that he supports it, but reality is that I should be prepared for a compromise. My reply was that we wanted the use of the right of way for a train, but it does not have to be the LIRR.

I also spoke to him about the situation concerning lack of lifeguards and the unacceptable closing of the beaches at 6 p.m. He gave me a line which he gave me three years ago. Maybe in August the beach could be kept open late. It is quite obvious that the beaches should be open until 8 p.m. at least until mid August due to the longer hours of sunlight earlier in the season.

It is unacceptable to hear Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe constantly finding reasons why Rockaway residents and visitors cannot enjoy our beaches. As a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee, please get a fire in your belly and demand publicly at a hearing that lifeguards remain on duty until 8 p.m. The committee on which you serve reviews the Parks budget. In this time of fiscal stability and a budget surplus, it can be done.

At the same time take a walk with me on the boardwalk. Be careful not to fall and break your neck on the broken and rotted boards and screws protruding from the boards. Don't trip on the spaces where your foot can go through the boards. This weekend as I walked on the boardwalk with three broken toes and my foot strapped, I nearly broke my neck and ripped my pants on a protruding screw. It is time now to bring the bacon home to our district and secure some funding for the Rockaway boardwalk, as the late, great Councilman Walter Ward did for many years. Let's follow in his footsteps.

A special thank you to Waldbaum's of Rockaway Park for allowing us to reach our goal in selling raffles, suns and moons for the American Cancer Society. God bless you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If you are not properly registered you will not be able to vote in the primary on September 18, election on November 6 and Presidential primary on February 7, 2008. You can register by coming to our headquarters at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. It takes only a few minutes. Call 718-945-1216 for an appointment.

On Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon for the RockAway Baby boutique at 115-07 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. It is a store that has all your baby needs with a class and style you wouldn't picture in our community. Shop locally for clothes, gifts, and toys for your child, grandchild or niece or nephew. Let's welcome Rob Leonard and his family and support this fantastic store.

The Relay For Life of the Rockaways will be held on June 9 and 10 at Beach Channel High School. This is a festive event where teams of eight to 15 people take turns walking or running around a track all night long. Team members camp out on the surrounding grounds to enjoy music, food, entertainment and activities with teammates and participants. Money is raised through team commitment fees and helps support American Cancer Society programs in research, education, advocacy and service- locally, statewide, and nationally. For more information or to register, call John Link, Manager of Special Events, at the American Cancer Society at 718-263-2225, ext 38 or e-mail john.link@cancer.org.

We all know someone who has cancer or who has died from it, a loved one, a friend or neighbor. Let's help to find a cure.

to enjoy music, food, entertainment and activities with teammates and participants. Money is raised through team commitment fees and helps support American Cancer Society programs in research, education, advocacy and service- locally, statewide, and nationally. For more information or to register, call John Link, Manager of Special Events, at the American Cancer Society at 718-263-2225, ext 38 or e-mail john.link@cancer.org.

We all know someone who has cancer or who has died from it, a loved one, a friend or neighbor. Let's help to find a cure.

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