2008-04-18 / 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 Each and every day more and more people question me about whether I'm going to vote for Hillary or Obama. I keep explaining that the NY Democratic primary took place on February 5. Most likely Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama will continue as candidates until the Democratic convention in August.

There are many people suggesting that, since neither of the candidates will have the required majority, the convention can be opened up to another candidate. After the first ballot the delegates would be free to choose another candidate, like former Vice President Al Gore. Many voters also say it is time to bring unity to the Democratic Party and stop the divisions.

On Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m. there will be a special Town Hall meeting at Far Rockaway High School on Post Office problems. It was set up by Congressman Gregory Meeks in cooperation with Congressman Anthony Weiner, Senator Malcolm Smith, Assemblywoman Michelle Titus, Council Member James Sanders Jr., Democratic District Leaders Bob Simmons and Lew M. Simon. I currently serve on the Postal Service Advisory Council formed by Congressman Meeks. Officials from the United States Post Office from Washington, D.C. will be there to address the many issues affecting our mail delivery. We urge all to attend at Far Rockaway High School, 821 Bay 25 Street (off Beach Channel Drive). It is your chance to be heard loud and clear.

Don't just stay home and complain, Show up and show the government you mean business. Please bring signs with slogans about our bad postal service. It's time to find out who is really in charge of our Post Office. We also want to let the Post Office know that our local postal offices are not handicapped accessible.

On Monday, April 7 we had a meeting with the administrator of the Ocean Promenade Rehab and Health Center, Ari Gluck. The home is located on Beach 113th Street at Ocean Promenade. After receiving calls and letters from a number of the neighbors concerning drug dealing, noise, and garbage disposal in an empty lot next to the home, we were very pleased to hear the solution from Ari Gluck. We had suggested proper fencing.

Mr. Gluck stated the nursing home would be renovated inside and outside within nine months, and proper fencing would be installed within four to six weeks. He promised to install garbage receptacles and to send a memo to employees concerning disposal of trash. Mr. Gluck has already proved himself when he took prompt action to repair a cracked sidewalk.

Transit District 23 has a program to reduce the theft of iPods and aid in their recovery if stolen. Transit Police will engrave an ID number on your iPod, computer or cell phone. They will be at the Mott Avenue Station the first Wednesday of every month from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can also go to their headquarters on Beach 116 Street at the entrance to the Waldbaum's parking lot on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We are deeply saddened by the death of Bobby Brown, who worked as one of the front end managers of our Rockaway Park Waldbaum's. When I looked at Mr. Brown, I thought of Sammy Davis Jr. Mr. Brown was a hard worker and loved his job. His sense of humor and wit were fantastic,. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family. We think he and his twin, Sammy Davis Jr., are hanging out in heaven together as angels.

Get well to Herb Gormley of Belle Harbor Property Owners and Rockaway Transit Coalition, where he spent many hours advocating for the Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR. He is currently recuperating from a heart attack and open heart surgery. My prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

On Friday evening we once again assisted in the sale of 50-50 raffles at the St. Francis de Sales card party. I had a great time doing it.

The original plan for Arverne required that the developers build infrastructure and schools for the children of the community. It appears that in the Arverne East development, all HPD is requiring is an empty lot next to the existing P.S. 106. A community benefits agreement must be reached so that the developer would be required to build a much needed state-of-the-art elementary and middle school on the property bordering P.S. 106 during phase one of the development.

It will shortly be the season for hiring election workers to work on the election board. Election inspectors get $200 per day, $25 for attending a training class and $35 additional for working Primary Day, September 9. and Election Day, November 4. We are looking for registered Democrats who are interested, to call us at 945-1216. We are available to help you to register to vote in the coming election. Just call my office to make an appointment.

Our next Atlantic City trip to Bally's Claridge will be on Saturday, May 17. The cost is $38 with $30 returned. Bagels courtesy of Beach Bagels and soda courtesy of Waldbaum's Rockaway Park. Call 945-1216 for reservations.

We were shocked, like most residents of Dayton Beach Park, to read that the co-op owed $1.2 million in water and sewer bills from 2006 to the present. Why weren't these bills paid out of operating expenses? Residents paid a 37 percent increase in their carrying charges and now are facing another 28 percent increase.

Many members of my Democratic club and neighbors who live in Dayton Beach Park invited me to come to the meeting and speak up for them. I questioned HPD on why these bills were not paid. Were these payments listed in their annual report and did the accountants bring this debt to anyone's attention?

Four wannabes in the audience said to throw me out, because I don't live there. They thought they had the clout to throw me out, but many others screamed, "let him stay." I did stay to the end and was thanked by many of the shareholders. At no time will I ever be intimidated in speaking up about what should be done on behalf of what is good for the stockholders.

We demand that a full report be made to the residents of Dayton Beach and any criminal behavior be reported to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

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