2013-07-12 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew Simon, picketing with 1199 workers at St John’s hospital, stands with Executive Vice President Steve Kramer. Lew Simon, picketing with 1199 workers at St John’s hospital, stands with Executive Vice President Steve Kramer. As we enjoy this beautiful, hot weather at the beach, we again call on the Parks Department to keep our beaches open for swimming until 8 p.m.

Several ways have been suggested. Pay overtime to lifeguards who volunteer to remain on duty until 8 p.m. on days when the temperature is over 90 degrees. Retrain and certify former lifeguards, especially police officers, firefighters and teachers, to work short shifts to supplement full time workers. Stagger the hours of a few beaches so that the lifeguards work from noon to 8 p.m. We need more lifeguards now.

Give comp time on rainy days to lifeguards who volunteer to remain on duty. An early evening swim should be one of the pleasures available to those who work a full day and get home at 6:30 or 7 p.m.

Can Parks bureaucrats find a way to help our local swimmers and the clueless visitors who come down in the early evening and let their children run into unprotected water?

We were promised sand by the end of June. Where is our much needed sand? Why are beaches still closed? Let’s get sand now.

When the boardwalk was lost from Beach 116th Street to Beach 126th Street the boardwalk lights were lost as well. Why haven’t emergency lights been placed at the end of each street for safety and security? The lights used on Shorefront Parkway would do the job.

The newly passed city budget has avoided some of the worst cuts threatened by the mayor. We should never have our fire companies or senior centers threatened with closing and good teachers threatened with unemployment. All our senior centers should have a fair allocation of city funds.

This budget does not provide enough funds to help many of our neighbors rebuild, or our commercial strips on Beach 129th Street, Beach 116th Street, Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Beach Channel Drive, the Dayton shopping mall and smaller malls to rebuild and revitalize. We are in definite need of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing stores, shoe stores and family style diners. Neighborhood schools should not be closed with children forced to ride buses to other communities and experienced teachers taken out of the classroom. Bullying must be ended, but it does not mean closing our local schools.

We are pleased to hear that the Seaside Senior Center is reopening at the First Congregational Church, 320 Beach 94th Street. We expect the seniors to enjoy this new location and help the First Congregational continue their long mission of serving the Rockaway community.

We want to thank the thousands of Democratic voters who signed the petition to put my name on the ballot for City Council. You are invited to join with us on Thursday, August 8th from 7-11 p.m. at the Irish Circle. We will celebrate my birthday and have a fundraiser for the campaign. We will have a buffet dinner, wine, soda and a DJ. Call 718-945-1216 so that we can send you the required form so that your $50 contribution will qualify for matching funds. We are visiting block parties and community functions all over the district. If you would like to drive or come with us let us know. Spanish speakers needed. You can also contact me at Lew for 32 on Facebook @LewMSimon2013 on Twitter.

We have openings for election inspectors for Primary Day, Tuesday, September 10th, Runoff on Tuesday, October 1st and Election Day, Tuesday, November 5th. The pay is $200 a day with $100 for a required training class.

If you are a registered Democrat in the 23 A.D. Part B call my office.

On Wednesday, June 26th, we stood proudly with Local 1199 staff members fighting to stop St. John’s Hospital management from cutting and closing the dialysis and detox units. Staff members are concerned with the risks involved with mixing detox patients with medical patients. I believe this is the writing on the wall leading to the closing of the much needed and only hospital on the peninsula.

What’s next? The closing of the hospital? How many employees will lose their jobs? We must stand united against closing of programs or services.

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