2012-04-27 / Columnists

Simon Says...

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


Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon We will keep hope alive. We understand that Peninsula Hospital is closed, but not dead.

A Request for Proposal was issued for the takeover of the Peninsula Hospital and Peninsula Rehabilitation property. Applicants may bid for one facility or both. Bids were due on Monday April 23.

State Senator Shirley Huntley, who currently represents Broad Channel and eastern Queens, showed her continued efforts to help her constituents get quality health care. Under reapportionment her district would include much of the eastern part of the Rockaway peninsula.

Sen. Huntley encouraged Dr. Robert Evans, CEO/President of the Community Wellness Centers of America, a Jamaica, Queens based company, to enter the bidding. CWCOA plans the reopening of Peninsula working closely with the State of New York’s DOH. They would make alliances with top hospitals, private practicing physicians and community medical services. CWCOA is represented by a former labor union director and supports unionization. Questions or comments may be sent to Dr. Evans through his website www.cwcoa.com Additional information may be found at www.RochdaleVillage Health.com

We praise Senator Huntley for stepping up to the plate. Senator Malcolm Smith has been doing a yeoman’s job setting up conference calls with concerned parties, reaching out to elected officials and making efforts to get a meeting with the governor.

The RFP was issued by Loeb and Troper LLP on April 18, 2012. On a conference call on Thursday, April 19 I questioned how this RFP was advertised. I was told that it was not. I said, “People believe that Peninsula is dead with no chance of resuscitation yet there is a solicitation for a bid, but yet we do not understand why this was not publicized through all major TV, newspapers and social media.” We understood that an RFP must be publicly advertised. We do not know if this is an exception.

A few weeks ago Penny Chin, public relations director at St. Johns Hospital in Far Rockaway, complained about an article in the Queens Courier about diversion of emergency ambulances from St. Johns due to overcrowding. We asked that St. John’s tell us how they can serve the whole community and deal with overcrowding and possible death. To this day we have not heard a word whether it be a presentation to community groups or even a press release. We question how they plan to handle the major influx of patients. Where is my answer?

At no time am I knocking St. John’s. When they faced closure due to bankruptcy I worked with the employees and community to save the hospital. We do need to hear from them.

We shall continue to work diligently to reopen Peninsula Hospital. At no time do we intend to give up.

We assisted the Volunteer Firefighters

Association of NY (VFA) which includes all the volunteer fire departments in NYC, which include Roxbury, Point Breeze, Rockaway Point, Broad Channel, West Hamilton Beach as well as Gerritsen Beach and the Bronx. We are very proud of working closely with President Ed Wilmart. As usual I did the 50-50s to raise money for all the groups. Also working with me was Teri Haubrick, a member of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club who collected tickets at the door. We have worked diligently through the years to get payment for Workers Compensation for the volunteers to cover them if they are hurt on the job. It was a great event for an excellent cause.

We are saddened by the death of Catherine McGoorty. Catherine was a loving mother and grandmother, outstanding lady with a heart of gold and lots of love. She was always there to lend a hand in so many community organizations including the Women’s Ancient Order of Hibernians, Holy Trinity Church (St. Thomas More) and many others. Her smile could light up any room.

Catherine instilled the proper values in her children and grandchildren as well as being there for all the children of Breezy Point. She shared all the love she had at all times. God must have needed that special angel to run the kindness department. My deepest sympathy to the family.

On a personal note I had the distinct honor and pleasure to nominate Catherine for Deputy Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Parade in 2012. She asked if she could decline until next year. As a member of the Board of Directors, I will make a motion at our next Parade meeting that a trophy be given out each year in her name at our parade.

Please help us keep our doors open at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club. We use the office as the room where we help solve problems and assist all the community friends, neighbors and even enemies. Some people promise to send membership dues, but do not. Please take the time now to send your dues of $25. You may call it a donation to help us to continue if you choose not to be a member. If you cannot afford $25 send what you can afford.

As Assembly District Leader, I get paid a goose egg which means zero. I do not get any money for staffing or phones. I serve with pleasure. We do not ask what party you support, or where you live. If we had $1 for everyone who said they were sending in a check, we’d be in good shape. Between rent, phone, lights, water bills and insurance it has been harder and harder to survive. Please help us continue to help the community. Send your checks to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 114-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Park, NY 11604 or bring it any Thursday evening after 7:30 p.m..

We are very proud that we return all calls personally. I am available at 718- 945-1216.

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