2010-07-09 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon As we all probably agree, this heat wave is killing us as we take three showers a day and drink lots of water.

We are annoyed and outraged about the Cross Bay Bridge toll as they attempt once again to reinstate the toll for residents. After years of fighting to make sure the toll stays free for residents of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point, it is a slap in the face to put the toll back in place.

If you are as outraged as I am get ready to join us in a series of protest marches across the Cross Bay Bridge, working closely with the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association and Rick Horan in obtaining permits to march over the bridge to voice our outrage against rescinding the residents’ rebate.

We need to come together and work as a team and take back what belongs to us. We will send a clear message to the governor and MTA Chair Jay Walder that we won’t take it sitting down.

Speaking of Jay Walder, we will have to educate him about the need for the Rockaway Beach line. It is time that Rockaway gets its share of good, safe transportation.

We have been the dumping ground for New York City and we’re not going to take it any more.

We are proud to announce that thanks to a generous grant given to me by Sweet N Low, Marvin Eisenstadt and his wonderful son Steven, we are keeping the quarter century Dancing under the Stars program alive.

Every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Beach 84 Street and Shorefront Parkway, Ellen Connolly will teach you to dance. The program is intergenerational and requests are accepted. Come one come all. Have a good time together.

On Friday evening we attended Breezy Point’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show. This spectacular event was the highlight of the year. It’s wonderful to see people young and old smiling, happy and enjoying themselves. I know I had a dynamite time.

This year I went to see Macy’s 4th of July fireworks for the first time. I was upset and depressed by the loss of my aunt, who was like a mom to me. We spent a hot, hot evening watching the fireworks along the Hudson River. The fireworks were beautiful and superb, but do not hold a candle to the Breezy or Night out Against Crime fireworks in Rockaway. At least we have a breeze.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday, July 17. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7 a.m. The cost is $40 with $30 returned. Bagels are provided by Beach Bagels. Call 718- 945-1216 for reservations.

I want to thank all the people who reached out to me with letters, cards and calls in my time of need.

My good friend Dennis Malone is running for “Mayor of Broad Channel.” This is a fundraiser for the Broad Channel Athletic Club. He has given 10 years to serve with the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and coaching girls’ soccer for the B.C. Athletic Club. Dennis will be cooking dinner every Thursday evening for $10 per person with a free drink. July 7 chicken, broccoli and pasta with butter sauce; July 15 eggplant parmesan with ziti; July 22 spaghetti with meatballs; July 29 chicken parmesan with pasta; August 7 Halloween party with DJ, cash prizes for best costume; August 21 two person horseshoe teams with a $25 entry fee.

There will be prizes and trophies for first, second and third place. Barbecue food for team players.

Please come out to help the BCAC. Sign up now by calling 718-945-1688. Also in the plans are a car wash and a dog wash.

Beach Channel High School isn’t dead. After the court rejected the phony public hearing about the reasons and impact of the closing, the DOE has reversed the closing of 14 schools. This time there is a plan to help improve the schools. Master teachers and turnaround teachers will help current teachers as well as teach. Teachers will be evaluated using student performance data. Existing principals will be replaced.

Eleven schools have been picked for the turnaround. Beach Channel could be one of six schools among the remaining 24 to be given a chance to continue.

We need a good comprehensive high school on the peninsula. Be sure all ninth-graders know that Beach Channel is open for business. We are urging the DOE to give them the help they need.

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