2011-03-04 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

We’re in the process of moving the Good Government Regular Democratic Club to a ground floor level so that we can be accessible to seniors and disabled. You can help by becoming a member and sending your dues of $25 or a donation to the club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park 11694. We keep our doors open to all regardless of current party affiliation or which side of the district you live in. We help all who come to work with us. Anyone interested in sharing the office for your professional or business work should get in touch so we can be partners.

As a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, we take pride and joy in working diligently with the committee on our annual event. This is the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in NY State. Many of the people who participate in or attend the parade have voiced their anger at Mayor Michael Bloomberg for shortening our parade which used to go down to Beach 94 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard and will now end at Beach 102 Street. We urge everyone who feels that the mayor is wrong to cut our parade, to bring a sign telling him not to cut our route.

On Saturday we will start with Mass at St. Francis de Sales at 9 a.m., followed by breakfast to recognize the honorees. The parade will kick off at 1 p.m. on Beach 129 Street and Newport Avenue and proceed to Beach 116 Street, then go along Rockaway Beach Boulevard to the reviewing stand at Beach 105 Street and end at Beach 102 Street and the Boulevard. We’re urging everyone to come out and share in this festivity and be wearing the green. Erin Go Bragh.

Many of you noticed there has been continuing deterioration of the seawall along Beach Channel Drive in Belle Harbor and Neponsit. Once again the walkway has collapsed into a huge sinkhole. Last year after all of us lobbied and met with DOT Commissioner Maura McCarthy, she made a commitment to make repairs. This is the third time that the structure is in imminent danger of collapse. It is very sad that certain public officials take credit for the work that is done and leave others out.

As you are well aware the SHAFT tenants have set up a rent strike to rectify numerous problems that exist in Surfside. They have lost porters, superintendents, security, and regular maintenance of floors, hallways, terraces and the façade of the building. On Thursday evening I facilitated a meeting between the ownership and management and their attorney and the board of SHAFT and Robert Katz, who is the tenants’ attorney. After reviewing current issues, we set up a follow-up meeting on Monday, March 24 at Alma Realty’s Long Island City office to review progress. SHAFT is holding current rent in escrow, but at this time they are urging everyone to pay their March rent directly to ALMA Realty.

NY city streets have become a major capital for potholes. Rockaway roads have many hazardous conditions causing flat tires, and the loss of hubcaps, rims and axles. It is time for the mayor to rehire all those workers laid off from DOT.

We are saddened by the death of two outstanding ladies. I had known Iris Neris for 38 years since she and her husband moved to Bay Towers where she and her husband raised their beautiful family. They later moved to Dayton Beach. She was an outstanding mother, wife and good friend. She had a love for her family and all mankind, a heart of gold and a beautiful smile. She died last week at a very young age.

We are also saddened by the death of my colleague, Wave columnist Liz Guarino who passed away from cancer. She was physically challenged and got around with her walker better than some people who walk. She was a great inspiration for anyone who is physically challenged. She loved her Broad Channel community. Her wisdom, knowledge and wonderful flair for writing will definitely be missed. I remember when she moved to Broad Channel and we instantly took a liking to each other. Liz was an inspiration to me.

My deepest sympathy to both families. These two ladies will be special angels in God’s kingdom in heaven, Our loss is heaven’s gain.

Please God, please stop taking our angels on earth up to heaven.

Waldbaum’s is giving a $5 discount to seniors over 55 who spend at least $50 every Tuesday this March. Find the coupon in their circular.

The governor of the state of Wisconsin is trying to take a big step backward by trying to take away the right of state employees to ask for better benefits and working conditions. The thousands of American unions have brought millions of Americans living wages, vacations, overtime, medical coverage and job security. A number of Republican governors are trying to break unions and do away with full benefits. We need everyone to work together as a team to stop the Republicans from taking benefits from working Americans.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to one of my great friends and outstanding clergyman, Msgr. Curran of Blessed Trinity Parish, St. Thomas More. He is one of the most loving clergymen you could ever meet.

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