2013-01-18 / Columnists

Simon says...

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


Lew Simon Speaks At the “Walk A Mile In Our Shows” Rally Lew Simon Speaks At the “Walk A Mile In Our Shows” Rally We love doing what we do.

We do it with pride and pleasure. Now we are asking for your assistance.

It is extremely difficult to work without an office, paying a huge phone bill to help out those who need help. Since Hurricane Sandy all we have been able to raise is $250. We are not greedy. We are needy. If I had $1 from everyone who tells me thank you for all you do we'd be OK.

You can help by sending your donations to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club c/o Ocean Promenade Rehab Center, 140 Beach 113th Street, Rockaway Park NY 11694. You may send $25 for membership for 2013 or any contribution you can afford.

It would be nice to see one hundred people step up to the plate with $250 each. So much money is going around, but we haven't been able to find it. We are not eligible for FEMA or any other government grants, only contributions from our community.

First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh estimated that we lost one million cubic feet of sand. Things are so bad that they are sifting sand to remove debris on the streets and at Riis Park.

Saturday's Walk A Mile in Our Shoes Rally was a success. The name of the rally came from Rep. Gregory Meeks' impassioned speech on the House floor urging Speaker John Boehner to allow the House to vote for the Sandy aid bill.

Many of our elected officials joined in the rally and march. Along with Rep. Meeks were State Senators Addabbo and Smith, Deputy Queens Borough President Barry Grodenchik, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, a Sabbath observer, sent a rep. We did not see newly elected State Senator James Sanders, Councilman Eric Ulrich or Assemblywoman Michelle Titus. We need all of our public officials working together.

It was quite horrifying to see many homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the boardwalk gone and no beach wall to protect us from the next storm.

We commend newly elected Rep. Grace Meng for introducing legislation to allow FEMA to assist religious institutions. Bravo and well done.

During the past several weeks there have been several water main breaks around Beach 136th Street near the beach. Flowing water comes out brown and sticky. We have asked DEP to clean and inspect their water mains and sewers in the area before the next failure occurs.

We are hoping that the House of Representatives will do the right thing this week and approve the emergency spending for Sandy and other disasters. While NY and NJ had the most damage this time, Congress has always helped when a natural disaster strikes. It is time that Rockaway, Breezy and Broad Channel not be forgotten.

Queens DOT Commissioner Maura McCarthy told us that they are waiting for the FEMA funds to be approved so that will be able to begin the road repairs we need. We were sorry to hear that Maura McCarthy is retiring. We wish her a long and healthy retirement. We expect to work with her successor.

There is a large outcry asking the Queens DOT to close off the east bound (ocean side) lanes of Shorefront Parkway to provide bicycle, skateboard, walking lanes and play areas as the boardwalk is not available. Temporary Jersey barriers should be installed.

The Hurricane Sandy Relief Kitchen is a Park Slope based grassroots relief effort. They prepare hot food and deliver the food and cleaning and personal supplies to areas gravely affected by the storm. You can send checks to Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll Street, Brooklyn NY 11215.

To volunteer call Angela (631) 525-1728 or Lina (917)783-0941.

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