2008-04-04 / 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 would like to give my gracious thanks to Rockaway's own newspaper The Wave, for allowing me to have a voice as an advocate for all who need assistance. Many times I utilize The WAVE to assist and solve problems for individuals in our community.

It is quite obvious that our column is widely read. The gracious assistance by Boulevard Furniture on Beach 115 Street for a handicapped individual, giving him a brand new couch, is a good example. Another part of the story was about the Visiting Nurse Service's Lombardi program, which provides for seniors who otherwise might be placed in a nursing home. The senior was moving from a studio to a one-bedroom apartment in the same building. His VNS social worker had promised him moving expenses and money for new furniture.

Unfortunately, they dropped the ball. The man attempted to move his own furniture and wound up with chest pains and phlebitis. After numerous calls to the VNS social worker and her supervisor, I chose to write the story in the newspaper.

Finally on Friday, March 28 I received a call from the office of Carol Raphael, head administrator of VNS. Raphael's assistant, Elena Edison, called and humbly apologized for the social worker dropping the ball. She made a promise to reimburse the patient for the costs of moving. They will also send a physical therapist, a new social worker, and made a commitment to provide financial assistance for the purchase of required furniture, including a much needed lift chair.

It shows that when you stick to something you believe in, you always succeed. When I put my rotten teeth on a problem like a pit bull, I don't stop.

Congratulations to Samantha Mackoff, daughter of Stu and Jodi Orlow Mackoff, Esq., for being accepted in the high school musical theatre arts program at the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan. You have made your grandparents Alex Esq. and Carol Orlow and your parents proud. One day we will see Samantha on Broadway. As for now, she will be appearing at the Rockaway Theatre Company in Annie.

Easter Sunday I was invited to family dinner by Maria, of the Breezy Dog truck, and her husband Richard. They made me feel like part of the family. We would like to remind everyone that Maria has her hot dog truck on Rockaway Point Boulevard and Beach 169 Street, where she has delicious milkshakes, hot dogs, knishes, etc. She is always there donating to our community. On Mother's Day look for her beautiful flowers for sale in the Waldbaum's shopping center.

We are vehemently opposed to Mayor Bloomberg's proposals to cut senior centers and Meals on Wheels. The thought of trying to close down senior centers is unacceptable. The suggestion of doing away with the daily delivery of lunch and dinner and deliver frozen food twice a week is unacceptable. The importance of having a hot cooked meal for many who cannot get up and cook their own meals is clear. Having a daily visitor who will be able to check in and make sure the senior is OK is part of Meals on Wheels. These visits have saved many lives.

Senior centers are a place for social action, communication with others, and group activities like painting, bingo, book clubs, arts and crafts, dancing and trips. Many seniors consider the center their family. We urge everyone to call 311 and file a complaint against this proposal. The City Council has to approve the budget. Call your Council Member, Joseph Addabbo or James Sanders Jr. Their numbers are on the editorial page.

We would like to thank our dear friend Julia of Strand's haircutting, formerly of Mr. Rocco's, who has been cutting my hair for the last 25 years. Thanks for the love and care that you give me. You washed out all my grays and have made me feel 20 years younger. Thanks a million.

We are deeply saddened by the death of Joan Boden, who has worked closely with me for the last umpteen years selling raffles for all the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade fundraisers. Since her illness and death this year, we have been without a partner in crime. Her humor and sometimes abrasiveness toward me felt like my mother was sitting with me. It is quite obvious that Joan must be in heaven as an angel telling my mother about my big mouth. My deepest sympathy to the family.

I would like to give a personal thanks to Sands Point Physical Therapy, Dr. Tim Rohrs, and physical therapist Anetta, who have done a fantastic job in helping me in my rehab since my bus accident. Their hard work, love and kindness sure make a difference. We urge everyone in need of rehabilitation services to go to the professionals who care and can make miracles happen. Sands Point Physical Therapy at 230 Beach 102 Street is the place.

Our next Atlantic City trip to Bally's Claridge will be on Saturday, April 12. The cost is $35 with $30 returned. Bagels and cream cheese are by Beach Bagels. All money must be paid in advance. Call 945-1216. Get involved with the Democratic club that works for the community. Dues are $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 for seniors and young Dems. Send your check to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive.

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