2010-10-01 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon Why have I not heard from you? As I walk and talk in my district, the residents of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy are serious about restoring the rebate program on the Cross Bay Bridge for local residents. But I have still not heard from you. Why have you not called?

We have our big protest rally on Tuesday October 5 at 7 p.m. We are meeting at McDonald’s and marching over the Cross Bay Bridge, Our purpose is to fight to bring back the rebate program and the elimination of the toll for Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy residents.

If you are as angry as I am, you will join yours truly, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Senate President Malcolm Smith and other local leaders at our rally to fight for our rights. Why are we the only community anywhere to pay an intra-borough toll? Why are we charged an unfair tax?

Stop talking about it, get with it and march with us. United we stand, divided we fall. Shortly the toll will be going up for everyone. Don’t bellyache and complain. Let your voice be heard now.

Come with signs that say, “Eliminate the Cross Bay Bridge toll now” or “We’re sick and tired.” Everyone complains elected officials do nothing. Let me show how teamwork makes the difference.

It is quite ironic my female counterpart, you know the do-nothing Geraldine Chapey, has not been seen since her City Council election loss. She and her mother did not even go to vote on Primary Day. Last I remember, our Democratic District Leader had a responsibility for helping Democrats get out to vote in the primary as well as getting Democrats elected in November. We are all aware she likes to play both sides of the aisle.

We are looking forward for everyone who agrees with me to ask for her resignation. We think it is time this donothing retires and goes to Florida. There is no reason she didn’t even send in an absentee ballot. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

During the last few months we have had a difficult time filling the Atlantic City bus. We are planning to go on Saturday October 23. The cost is $40 with $30 returned. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7 a.m. We have eight hours to enjoy and bagels by Beach Bagels. Call 718-945-1216 now for reservations.

We are very proud of Congressman Anthony Weiner who has set up a meeting with Mayor Bloomberg to plan the use of the $15 million of federal money for ferry operation. Congressman Weiner is leading the charge to get the federal government to pay for the medical care for all those who helped on 9/11 and afterward and are suffering from illnesses related to their exposure. It’s really sad that the federal EPA said it was safe to breathe the air.

It is people like Congressman Weiner who rally the troops and speak up for our rights. I’m proud to say that I was the first Rockaway resident to support him and as District Leader did not bow down to pressure to support Melinda Katz.

We look forward to the Attorney General race this year. We feel that Eric Schneider-man has the knowledge, experience and vision to do the right thing for all residents of New York State. Comptroller Tom Di Napoli has proven himself by taking on the MTA and protecting the state pension fund during difficult times.

We are supporting our next governor, Andrew Cuomo. We had the great honor of supporting his father Mario and campaigning for him in his first race in 1982. Mario’s lovely wife Matilda and I have worked together with the Philip Port Memorial Unit of the American Cancer Society. Matilda came to our luncheon for many years and supported us. Matilda also created a successful mentoring program for children. She is a true woman of class. We know that Andrew will do the right thing.

We look forward to the reelection of our great U.S. Senator who has been a great supporter of Democratic principles. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is finishing the term of Hillary Clinton, is young, energetic and dynamic. She is a great spokesperson for our state. We look forward to bringing a number of these candidates out to meet the people of our community.

With the recent approval of the racino at Aqueduct as our next Atlantic City, I will be lobbying these people to join us in fighting for the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach line. Our united voice as a team should be stronger than those few homeowners in Forest Hills who don’t want commuter trains behind their backyards.

If you are not registered to vote on November 2, you have only a few days left. Call my office for an appointment. It takes only a few minutes and there is no charge.

We welcome the new Beach 99 Cents store on Beach 116 Street. We found a lot of good things. They have a good variety.

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