2012-09-28 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

We’d like to wish all of our Jewish family, neighbors and constituents a happy and sweet New Year.

It’s amazing just how far our support comes from. Karin Smiley, former auxiliary officer in the 100 Preinct, who has moved to Germany, read my appeal on Facebook to help keep our doors open and send in a donation. Talk about true friendship and camaraderie. When she comes in to see our family we usually thank each other for the great work we each have done. Thank you and God bless you.

We are still in desperate need for your assistance in meeting our rent, light, phone and insurance. It’s a large amount to keep going but we keep doing it because we love our community. Please step up to the plate to help us. For the last 25 years the Good Government Regular Democratic Club and yours truly have been in the forefront of every fight to keep our community together. At no time will I ever be bought or paid for or in anyone’s pocket. Send your dues ($25) or donation to the GGDRC, 114-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

Martin De Porres High School and yours truly have created a daily relationship. For the first two weeks after the school’s opening, I spent every afternoon at the school dismissal. I am trying to help and assist with a better system so that the 26 buses wouldn’t block up traffic. We have been listening to numerous complaints from adjacent neighbors of traffic nightmares and other conditions which were occurring. Principal Jo’Anne Brancato and psychologist Frank Brancato have been out being hands on. We have brought every issue brought to us to their attention. Thank you for your cooperation.

On Wednesday, September 12 we attended what we thought was a public meeting to speak out on Gateway National Park’s attempt to commercialize it and stick it to the various groups that utilize it as well as an attempt to seize the beach in the Breezy community. When we got there we were told it was an information session without public speaking, but two of us changed the rules. Joe Lynch, chairman of the Board of the Breezy Point Coop, read his speech out loud in front of the hundreds of people who attended. Yours truly followed up and to quote The Wave, hijacked the meeting by asserting my right and took them to task for (1) not making this a public hearing with recording devices (2) letting them know how we felt about the commercialization of our own national park.

We stated loud and clear that the Rockaway Little League, Rockaway Theatre Company, Rockaway Artists Alliance, Rockaway Music and Arts Council which used to present free summer concerts and an outstanding Fall Festival, volleyball and soccer groups should pay a $1.00 yearly donation and not be subject to fees that will kill their programs. We felt it is some sort of extortion to demand such exorbitant fees. Our community national park should be community friendly and do the right thing and not harass the great local groups. We also demanded that they cancel any proposal to take any of the beach in Breezy Point.

After speaking we were introduced to Park Superintendent Linda Canzanelli. She stated to Joe Lynch, Marty Ingram and me that she doesn’t want to take any of the beach or do a land exchange for parking spaces used twice a year. We made it clear that we didn’t want this and she removed the proposal from the table. I’m extremely proud of all the people who took time off from work or their busy schedule to show up and speak out against this horrendous proposal. There were also a number of people who were very much upset with the proposal for the gas pipeline. We also got the ear of Maria Brooks who is the Commissioner of National Parks for NY Harbor and Dave Taft, Unit Coordinator for the Jamaica Bay Unit at Floyd Bennett Field. We will stand steadfast and steady in our fight for our rights.

This year many Americans will have to fight for the right to vote. We can make voter registration easy for you. We have the forms and can assist you in filling them out. Just call my office at 718-945- 1216 during the first week of October and make an appointment. You must register if you have moved or did not vote in recent elections.

Congratulations to Stacy Amato, the newly appointed Democratic District leader of the 23 A. D. Part A who replaced Jo Ann Shapiro who had replaced former Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer who was also Democratic Leader. We wish Stacy good luck, congratulations and success. One day we may see you following your mom, Audrey, as Assemblywoman.

A very happy birthday to my great friend Grace Addabbo, mother of State Senator Joe Addabbo. God bless you and we love you.

We are saddened by the death of Robert “Rocky” Martin of Roxbury who passed away on September 20 after a heart attack. Oh my God. Oh too young and only my age, God must have needed another special angel. My deepest sympathy to his wife, Linda, and his mother-in-law, Marilyn Griffin, who is absolutely wonderful and the former ‘mayor’ of Roxbury.

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