2013-10-18 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

After feeling a little chest discomfort, my medical doctor advised me to go to St. John’s Hospital. I was treated with full dignity and respect. Immediately they did an EKG and blood work was done. It was amazing to see my good friend Dr. Khan, formerly of Peninsula Hospital. After the test came in he suggested I go for cardiac catheterization. I agreed to go to LIJ Hospital where I was admitted immediately and given a bed. Two days later I was given two stents. After resting for a day or two they got me up and walking.

It is very important that all men and women who have heart disease in their family get a stress test. Prevention is the key to long life. Thanks to both of the hospitals for making a difference, if we did not have St. John’s in our community, what would happen in any emergency? The staff is loving, caring and they are community residents. I have made my commitment to make sure to continue to fight against hospital closings or health care cuts. Priority, priority, priority.

We attended a Community Board 14 follow up meeting regarding the future of Rockaway’s boardwalk. I once again had to prove that we are not being given the whole story. There was a grandiose presentation that promised baffle walls at the back of the boardwalk, but that we would not get the seawalls at this time. Well, knowing the pit bull that I am, I dared to put the question to my dear friend NYC Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. I asked if the contract was signed and sealed. He said no. If they blame the delay on the closing of the federal government, why can’t the city sign off on its part?

It’s quite obvious that the new mayor and yours truly as the new councilman will have to deal with this problem. My main priority is that the contract be issued by the end of January for work to begin in February and be completed by Memorial Day 2014. It can be done, it will be done.

As most of us are aware when a new mayor is elected, most commissioners and deputy commissioners are replaced. We are looking forward to the change of guard at the Parks Department. Kavanagh doesn’t answer or says no when we ask for a change in lifeguard hours. He has been in top management in the Parks Department since the Dinkins administration. A change of guard is long overdue. Protection, protection, protection is our priority.

We are so honored that our campaign headquarters at 114-03 Beach Channel Drive, the old One Hour Photo Shop, is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Stop by to volunteer, make phone calls, take posters and lawn signs or to make a donation. It is next to the Rockaway Park Post Office.

I have issued a four part Public Safety Platform to help keep residents safe in Southwest Queens. We must expand community policing to enable police officers to develop stronger relationships with residents and neighborhoods, leading to a more effective fight against crime. We must improve street lighting under elevated trains and in other lowlight high-crime areas.

We will work to establish and support a dedicated Burglary Task Force to resolve an uptick in burglaries after Hurricane Sandy. We already work with the fine volunteer fire and ambulance corps that are based in our district. We will continue to support their work in any way we can.

Bullying of school children is an old problem. We support zero tolerance for bullying in schools. School authorities must make every effort to see that all their students are safe and secure at and around school. Schools must have the authority to remove those students who continue to harass, threaten or injure their school mates. Parents must observe their child’s on line activity as cyber bullying has caused some suicides by young people. Parents must talk to their children to help them decide when to turn off their device, and when the help of the school or police is required. Our phones and computers are wonderful, but we must teach children how to be careful.

I continued to keep in touch with the community even while in the hospital. I used my cell phone to get in touch with residents, commissioners and elected officials. At this time you can get in touch with me by dropping in at the campaign headquarters or by calling (718) 945- 1216. Each and every day, I get more done than the current councilman does with three offices and a big paycheck.

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