2011-04-29 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

As we write this column on Sunday night the rain is coming down. I am very depressed over the loss of a great friend, James John Hayes.

Although a royal pain in the butt at times, he was faithful and loyal and always there to help out.

Many people used to say he looked like Ed Koch. He liked to go to all the meetings and give them hell. He took pride in his home in Bay Towers and served on the board for a number of years. He had been suffering recently from cancer which had spread through his body.

He got the best care at Penin-sula Hospital. He and his family were treated like royalty in the hospice.

John always said the devil don’t want him because he’d give him a run for his money in hell. He didn’t think he’d make it to heaven. I told him when he got to heaven, my Aunt Yeddy would be waiting for him and yelling at him for being jealous of her for getting there first. We know John is up there raising hell with God and advocating for all of us on earth.

We received hundreds of calls from shareholders in Dayton Beach Park asking for help in advocating for the 32BJ workers in the building.

Three of the workers were dismissed abruptly in an argument over overtime and then given their jobs back. The union contract has been expired for over one year and effective May 1, they will lose all their benefits. The president of the Dayton Beach board has refused to sign the contract.

Local 32BJ has contacted me to participate in a rally along with the shareholders.

I have always been on record supporting unions. Although Dayton Beach Park is not in my current elected jurisdiction, I have always been there to work for all those who need me. I grew up with many of the shareholders and they are like my family. I went to school with many of the workers and they are my good friends.

I have traveled around the city to support many unions who were on the picket line. These include locals 1, 3, 420, 608, 45, 580, 1100, UFT, TWU 100, 1321 Library Guild, and local 1056 Amalgamated Transit Union.

You name it, I’ve been there, done that and will always been there to support union workers. I have supported the workers at Bay Towers, Surfside, Seaview Towers and Ocean Grande to make sure they got their fair share and were not replaced by scabs. As we are prepared to stand with workers of Local 32BJ in Dayton Beach Park, we expect to be out with 32BJ workers from Surfside Houses.

Here we go again, deja vu. We are proud to have a big mouth and put it to use. Unfortunately, they had forgotten to get a sound permit and I couldn’t use my bullhorn, but my mouth worked just as well. I am always proud to stand with my union brothers and sisters to fight for their rights. We don’t need another Wisconsin in New York. Fight on. We’ll be there in solidarity. United we stand, divided we fall.

We are in the process of moving the office of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club and my own office to 113-24 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. It is a spacious handicapped accessible ground floor, which we are making a home away from home. We expect to be in toward the end of May. We need your continued support by becoming a member. We are looking for help financially to buy the things we need for our new office. We can also use the assistance of a large moving truck and volunteers.

We’d like to wish great success to one of my club members and good friend, Gary Gliboff, on his new position at Bob’s Discount Furniture, 72-25 Woodhaven Boulevard where the old Woodhaven Lanes was. Bob’s discount sells furniture for less.

I would like to thank the owner and administrator of the Ocean Promenade Nursing Center, Norman Rokeach, for always being there to lend the beautiful day room for so many community organizations including the GGRDC. This nursing home and rehab center is state of the art and beautiful. It was remodeled recently like a top hotel. It is immaculately kept with a staff of professionals to care for your needs. They have beautiful private rooms facing the ocean with air conditioning, flat screen TV and telephone. If one was in need of nursing or rehab we would highly recommend this facility which employs many Rockaway residents. Check it out. We are in the process of working closely with this facility on many community programs to come.

We attended a meeting the other night with the FAA and Port Authority having to do with overhead flights. Basically it is the same thing over and over. We are getting bombarded with too many flights over our homes and more to come. Thanks to the brilliance of Congressman Greg Meeks for having this Town Hall meeting for all the residents.

We are still waiting patiently for our Assembly member to get her new job. We can’t wait to run for the State Assembly. One of the first things we want to do is to introduce and pass legislation ending the Cross Bay Bridge toll for local residents, working in conjunction with my legal counsel and our state senators Shirley Huntley and Malcolm Smith.

You’ve asked for it, we’ve done it again. Our non-stop express bus trip to Bally’s Casino will be on Saturday, June 25. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7 a.m. We have 8 hours to enjoy. The cost is $45 with $30 returned. Bagels are courtesy of Beach Bagels. We will leave from our new headquarters. Tickets must be paid in advance, Call 718- 945-1216 for reservations.

We wish a speedy recovery to Flo Altschuler who fell in her apartment and broke her hip. She is taking intensive therapy at this time to get her up and walking, Flo has been like a mother to me.

Shame, shame to Gateway National Recreational Area for the treatment they have given to various community organizations like the Rockaway Music and Arts Council and the Little League. Their rules and regulations are not made to keep these thriving programs alive. We must take affirmative action to assist them. We want our summer picnic concerts at Fort Tilden as well as the Rockaway Music and Arts Festival in September. These programs are the heart and soul of the Rockaways and attract guests from many areas.

Shame on Gateway for not finding a location for the Fort Tilden Post Office to keep serving the community. It has been a major convenience for Breezy Point and West End residents.

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