2012-12-28 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

We’d like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, blessed and peaceful New Year. As we go through the rough times of rebuilding our community, it is very important that we help and look out for each other. Hug your neighbor, hug your family and even hug your enemy. We all need to be together in this.

It is time now for Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bloomberg and even President Obama and Speaker John Boehner and his crew to bail out all the small businesses in our community. They all took a major hit and many were destroyed. Now is the time to step up to the plate before we have a ghost town. Our small mom and pop businesses make our community the wonderful place it is.

As our nation benefited from the bailout of Chrysler and General Motors, we will benefit from saving our small businesses. SBA is asking people to take loans after they lost their storefronts and major inventory. This is not acceptable. All of our local 501C3 notfor profits which include many of our synagogues and churches have been devastated. One does not have to be Jewish, Catholic, Protestant or agnostic to see the value of these groups. We must all assist each other. Once again hats off to the Graybeards for doing the right thing with the money.

We would like to recognize as heroes Marty Ingram and his crew at the Point Breeze firehouse. When the evacuation order came, 25 volunteers decided to stay and help residents. They evacuated the firehouse when water came above their chests. They helped more than three dozen residents get to the Breezy Point clubhouse which has a higher elevation. The bridge was closed and the FDNY had pulled out. God bless each and every one of you for all the lives you’ve saved.

Our very special angel, Barry Grodenchik, who works at the Queens Borough President’s office, has been responding as fast as we give him heat, light, shelter needs and medical issues. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder has definitely earned his angel’s wings. Laurie Paladino, Executive Director of the Ocean Promenade Rehab and her staff worked around the clock to serve their patients and the community as well. Just when you think that’s all, she started a big fund to assist those on her staff who lost everything. The staff at the Ocean Promenade are true angels. Queens DOT Commissioner Maura McCarthy kept her word and got quick action in installing emergency generators and lights on Shorefront Parkway, You sure kept your word. Thanks so much. We continue to thank Kathy Mallon who is working to get Ready Repair to get help where it is needed for people with medical conditions. We have been working with members of the Broad Channel community to get Ready Repair and other help.

One of the biggest problems that came this year was the building of a hotel in a residential area on Beach 44 Street. Neighboring homes were flooded. A hotel at this location would have been flooded. The hotel could have made the flooding even worse. What a joke. We must come together again to stop this hotel.

We are deeply saddened by the death of another special angel, Jim Higgins, who was Chief Fire Alarm Dispatcher for the FDNY and worked in O’Connor’s Funeral Home. He was one of the finest people you could ask to meet. Deepest sympathy to the family.

Now is the time we need your help more than ever. We are in desperate need of setting up a small office to help all who need help, to be able to make calls on everyone’s behalf, fax out letters, and use our computer to type letters. Please open your door. We want to be located west of Beach 102 Street. We know so many have lost all. We are not attempting to be greedy. We want to help the needy. Donations to the Good Government Regular Democratic may be sent to GGRDC c/o Ocean Promenade Rehabilitation Center, 140 Beach 113 Street, Rockaway Park NY 11694. Dues are $25 per year. We are still in need of office supplies including pens, staplers, scissors, rolling plastic supply carts as well as a printer who can print stationary and membership applications. We want to be here to help anyone who wants us. Don’t hesitate to call 718-945-1216.

It has been my sheer pleasure to help all. It’s been helping me to keep my sanity. When I’m alone, I sit and think and start to cry. My heart is broken for all. Give me a call or friend me on Facebook as Lew M. Simon. I will attend all the meetings and events I can and snap into action with my old I-phone.

Special note to Governor. Cuomo. We should not be sold out by any study to build a High Line Park on the railroad right of way. We know it is possible to have mass transit and hiking trails and bike paths on this right of way. The study should include ways of providing for all these needs. We are hoping that the drivers and school bus companies come to a fair settlement without a strike. Any disruption of transportation during this transit emergency would cause students to lose more school days and hours they cannot afford to lose. Free bus passes won’t do it. We are concerned that the funds for beach replenishment may be held up in the House of Representatives. Calls to Rep. Peter King’s New York (516-514-4225) and Washington offices (202-225-7896 could help push the House majority to join in helping. Congressman King’s district includes many flooded beach areas on Long Island.

Citibank on Beach 113 Street is back. Lisa G., the Queen of Zumba, is a sweetheart. I wish you would run for City Council in the 31 Council District. You have a level head, stamina and a love for helping people. We are searching for anyone who has pictures of our activities in recent years. We have lost all. Butchy Monahan, where are you?

A super hero who saved so many during the hurricane, Dylan Smith died a hero while he was surfing in Puerto Rico. He was only 23. God must have needed a really special angel. Deepest sympathy to the family.

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