2008-02-08 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon I'd like to thank the hundreds of neighbors and constituents who I call my family who called or sent cards and mass cards in memory of my mom, Jenny, You have indeed made me a very happy loved individual. Thank you for loving my column as much as I loved her.

As a long time advocate for Senior citizens and disabled individuals, I have spent numerous hours trying to assist all those who needed my assistance. During the last month I've been working closely with a senior gentleman who needs assistance in advocating for his needs.

This gentleman was moving from one apartment to another in his rental development. After five years in a studio he was given a one-room apartment because of his medical needs. The Visiting Nurse Service, which assists him, had directed him to obtain 3 bids from moving companies. They would pick the lowest qualified bid and pay for the move.

When he was unable to get the bids, I stepped in and tried to get the estimate. Three moving companies came, but only one submitted a bid because the job was too small. He gave the bid for $300 to his social worker.

Democratic District leader Lew M. Simon meets MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander to urge him to review reopening of the Rockaway Beach line as a one fare ride. Democratic District leader Lew M. Simon meets MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander to urge him to review reopening of the Rockaway Beach line as a one fare ride. After a number of weeks I attempted to call the social worker, but did not receive a return call. Finally two weeks ago, I spoke to her supervisor explaining that we were only able to get one bid and that the man had to move in two weeks.

The supervisor stated that she would talk to the social worker and get back to me. I explained to her that the client could not move by himself or with his health aide because he has major damage to his heart. I also explained that this man is headstrong and determined to do it himself if no one helped him.

We were lucky to get two outstanding individuals, Richard Lyman III and Joseph Rivera to assist with the move. Unfortunately the man chose to move a lot of his stuff causing him chest pains, palpitation and aggravation of the phlebitis and cellulites on his legs.

We are very surprised, disgruntled and pissed off at the VNS for not stepping up to the plate knowing the physical and mental condition of their patient. They also stated that they would assist him with some vouchers for furniture. Good luck. Somebody needs to investigate why they allowed this to happen and we plan to reach out to ask Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum to do a study on this problem.

Anyone in the community who is getting rid of decent furniture including a couch, loveseat, chair, end tables, chest of drawers and nightstand may call my office at 718-945-1216 so we can assist this man.

We had a blast on Friday evening working at the St. Camillus annual card party. Once again Mr. 50/50 enjoyed himself selling 50/50's and beating last years number. The team of concerned school parents made this evening a huge success. Even with a torrential rain they had a full house.

We are desperately seeking volunteers to assist in computer work. College and high school seniors may be able to obtain college or community service credit. We are also looking for volunteers with unlimited local phones to help in making calls for various community meetings and events.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be this Saturday, February 9 to Bally's Claridge. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7:30 a.m. We have 8 ½ hours to enjoy. The cost is $35 and we are now able to return $30, which is the most available. Bagels and cream cheese by Beach Bagels and movies are shown. Please call 718-945-1216 now for reservations.

Congratulations to Adam Nussbaum, son of Dr. Morton and Dr. Rila Nussbaum on the opening of his beautiful new Boulevard Furniture store at 114-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, the old home of Rockaway Beach Hardware. We welcome you with open arms. We urge everyone to shop locally and support this wonderful store with reasonable prices. Tell him Lew sent you.

Would it be me without speaking out on congestion pricing? What a joke to attempt to penalize us for the lack of quality transportation to Manhattan. Those who are forced to drive should not be taxed $8 to drive to lower and midtown Manhattan or to pay higher taxes in parking garages. We, in the forgotten land of Rockaway, and other residents of the outer boroughs demand our equal rights. We are expecting MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander to approve the opening of the Rockaway Beach line and let us have a direct route to Manhattan.

As of February 17, 2009 TV stations will be airing only digital broadcasts. They will stop their current analog channel. If you do not have cable, satellite or a TV with a digital tuner purchased since March 2007, you will need to obtain a set top converter box in order to obtain a signal and picture.

A converter box coupon is available between 1/1/2008 and 3/31/2009. All U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons worth up to $40 each to purchase up to two digital to analog converter boxes. More information is available on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration website www.dtv- 2009.gov. You can request a coupon by calling 1-888-DTV-2009 or 1-888-388- 2009.

We had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Queens Civic Congress to get the ear of Elliot Sander, Executive Director of the MTA. I spoke wearing two hats. I am Democratic District Leader representing Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, and Ozone Park. I am also Chair of the Rockaway Subcommittee of the Regional Rail Working Group. We presented our proposal for reopening the Rockaway Beach line and told Mr. Sander he would be a hero and the next mayor of New York city if he could get it done.

We explained that the Rockaway Beach line would allow local commuters to get to Penn Station in 30 minutes and that it would benefit all of Queens. With the opening of Aqueduct for gambling, the line would bring customers from Manhattan. Barbara Larkin, President of the Belle Harbor Property owners spoke of the need to add express busses to Manhattan between the hours of 10 AM and 12N.

Our current Democratic Presidential primary campaign is one of the most interesting in a long time. As we watch the results coming in it looks like the fight will go on. Will one be the Presidential and one the Vice Presidential candidate?

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