2012-10-26 / Columnists

Simon Says . . .

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

We must again ask everyone to help. For over 25 years the Good Government Regular Democratic Club under my leadership as club President and later as District Leader, has been in the forefront of every battle for the quality of life in the Rockaways, Broad Channel and Breezy Point.

Unfortunately things are so bad we have had to turn off our lighted sign due to exorbitant electric bills.

We would like to thank the four people who were kind enough to send us a $25 check and to my home landlord for sending a $200 check. At this point I feel like I’m begging for your help to be able to continue to help all.

We are deeply saddened by the fact that no reputable hospital group was able to submit a bid to reopen Peninsula Hospital. It will now be under the control of Rabbi Michael Melnicke and his partners.

Those active in Rockaway civic matters in the 1990’s know that Rabbi Melnicke was a slumlord who destroyed parts of our community by bringing in the trash of the day and violating NYC housing laws. We picketed and fought Melnicke in court and got rid of his SRO’s.

After recently gaining financial control of the Bishop MacLean rehab facility next to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Melnicke got rid of union staff, social workers and department heads. With the help of the bankruptcy court, Melnicke now controls the Peninsula Rehab. We have been told by a reliable, prominent local doctor that Melnicke plans to sell the Peninsula Hospital building to a developer. Good luck. I wish the best to my dear friends in Peninsula Nursing Home, the staff that I call my family. I pray your jobs will be secure. If not, we are prepared to join you in a major rally to kick gigabutt.

It was indeed very sad a few weeks ago when an outstanding employee with 35 years at Peninsula Rehab, in her early 50’s, who I know my entire life, was let go and told that they had no use for her. She was a rehabilitation assistant who took excellent care of my mom and dad through the years. Her husband was a nurse in PGH and became very ill. She was the sole breadwinner keeping the family together. An outstanding, loving, sweet and dedicated worker is now unemployed. How many hundreds of people have lost their jobs and still are not placed since the closing of PGH last spring?

We are annoyed and outraged by the MTA’s announcement of fare and toll hikes across the board in such troubled economic times.

With so many unemployed and many employed people not getting raises how can they afford to pay these increases? Seniors can expect only a 1% increase in COLA on their Social Security. We must remember that that the rebate of the Cross Bay Bridge toll was granted for only one year. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder states to me that he felt pretty secure it would be put in the budget again.

We have made it clear that we are ready to hold another rally and march across the Cross Bay Bridge if the state legislature and the MTA do not continue the rebate. I ask my family, friends, constituents and enemies to stick together as a team and be be prepared to fight if anyone attempts bring back the toll. We will not vote on Election Day Tuesday November 6 for any candidate who does not give us a written commitment that they will support the continuation of the toll rebate program.

We are extremely saddened to have lost a great friend of the Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point community, Rev. Gary Patrylo Sr., pastor and founder of the House on the Rock church. He was a total saint who fed, helped clothe and gave money to youth, seniors, the disabled and all in need. He gave his life never asking for anything in return. Unfortunately God has chosen an extra special angel in heaven. He will have no more pain and suffering from cancer. Through his pain he smiled and continued to help all; my deepest sympathy to his lovely wife, children, brother and sister and grandchildren.

We urge everyone to get out and vote on Tuesday November 6. Every vote is counted. You still have time to get an absentee ballot. This house votes Democratic. The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

We remember the pride that South Africans showed when they trudged many miles and stood in line for hours to cast their first vote for Nelson Mandela; immigrants who have just received their citizenship and who will proudly vote for the first time. In New York most of us will not have trouble voting. Remember your one vote can make the difference.

Our hats are off to the YMCA as their new building is finally making progress. We hope that it will be affordable so that all can use it.

Our office is available for use by your community organization or business for day or evening use. Please call 718-945- 1216 if you are interested.

For anyone in need of a wheelchair, we have two available.

We urge everybody to attend the State Senate candidate debate on Tuesday 0ctober 30 at the West End Temple, 147-02 Newport Avenue at 7:30 p.m. It is sponsored by The Wave.

Drivers must beware of parking in the Dayton and Far Rockaway shopping plazas.

Management has hired tow trucks which tow cars that have been left for just a few minutes. I went in to Capital One on Mott Avenue and parked in the lot. I used my bank card and spoke to the manager. When I came out within 10 minutes, my car had disappeared. The manager of the branch had to call the towing company to tell them that I had been doing banking. The tow driver claimed I went somewhere else.

We have been a little late in wishing our great friend John Patrick Larkin Vice President of the Community Education Council District 27, who has been in St. John’s Hospital fighting for his life after a battle with sepsis and flesh eating disease.

He has lost his left leg above the knee and has been unable to speak due to intubation. He has been a great asset to our children and community.

He will be rehabilitating at Resort Nursing Home 430 Beach 68 Street. Our prayers are for John and his family.

I wish a speedy get well to one of my best friends, Shelly Ginis, who is like my sister. She has been struggling for over a month with an extremely bad case of bronchitis, laryngitis, and the worst cough in history. Get well and a speedy recovery, we love you and thank you for always being there to listen, assist and help out. We worked as a team to keep St. John’s Hospital from closing during its financial crisis.

Welcome to our new Transit Bureau District 23 Captain Roberto Cruz. We know that you will do an outstanding job.

Happy 1st Anniversary to Resorts World Casino in Ozone Park. They made more money than the casinos in Atlantic City.

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