2011-03-18 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

As it is getting warmer, we are getting more frustrated in this community. We are in the process of once again planning a rally on the Crossbay Bridge to bring back our toll rebate program for the residents of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point. While others talk, we take action.

We are in the process of picking a date in the spring. We prefer a weekday night at about 7 p.m.. This time should be most convenient for people with a work schedule. We need to unite again and bring five times as many people as we had last time to send a clear message to my dear friend MTA Executive Director Jay Walder.

One of the reasons I am hoping that Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer becomes County Clerk soon is because I want to introduce and help pass legislation to eliminate the Cross Bay Bridge toll. While we had the rebate, people were asleep at the switch. A proposal to eliminate the toll should have been attached to a transportation bill that needed approval. For those who know what a pit bull I am, I wouldn’t stop until I succeed. If you are interested in working with us to end this toll call me at 718-945-1216.

Rockaway’s 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Parade was one of the best. With Mayor Mike Bloomberg being booed for his anti-union tactics, the way he is trying to destroy tenured teachers, as well as taking our ferry away, not helping us to keep our Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate and closing our local Beach Channel High School.

It made our hearts extremely happy to hear the boos. This annual parade is an important day to all those in public office. It is a day to see what the public really thinks of you.

As I went down the Avenue and Boulevard in a beautiful brand new Mercedes Benz thanks to the generosity of my dear friend Joseph Di Cannio who has been gracious enough to drive me in every parade for the last decade, tears came to my eyes because of all the beautiful comments. There were cheers and calls of “Lew, Lew, Lew.” Young and old, you all made me feel like a billion dollars. Your kind words of support showed real appreciation and love. “Thank you for what you do for us.” “You are the only one we can go to and get results.”

In Wisconsin or should we call it the union busting state, they have voted to put an end to collective bargaining for public employee unions. This is a direct start to dictatorship or communism. It is a step toward breaking all union collective bargaining rights. The unions are what made this country great. The benefit packages which include overtime pay, 401K’s, pensions, paid sick days and medical coverage help keep millions of Americans going. Baby boomers were urged to get a job with union protection. We need to unite, stand firm and be ready to support various unions in their fight for survival.

We received calls from residents of Dayton and Surfside that the children’s playground on Shorefront Parkway and Beach 108 Street was locked. Small children had no place to play within walking distance. I was told that Parks Department equipment had deteriorated due to weather conditions and was considered unsafe. I spoke and met with Rockaway Parks Manager Roy Tellason, who told us that necessary repairs would be made by the middle of April.

We are in the process of renting a beautiful, downstairs office that is handicapped accessible. We are looking for any professional or appropriate business to share the office with us and pay half the expenses.

Get involved for the necessary and exciting time ahead. You can start by paying your dues. Send your $25 to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park NY 11694.

I recently visited my neighbor in Peninsula Hospital. She has Alzheimer’s and was treated by Dr. Frieda Lazonoff. Dr. Lazonoff, who has 55 years of practice, is the most senior emergency room doctor in the US. She is a brilliant diagnostician, dynamite personality and speaks from her heart. She shows a lot of love and class. You cannot ask for a better staff. We heard that that Peninsula will soon announce a new cancer center. We all know that we need two good hospitals on this peninsula. I look forward to working with the new cancer center.

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