February 22, 2013 Edition

Simon says...

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

As we continue to work on rebuilding the Rockaway, Broad Channel, Breezy Point community we attended the Tuesday meeting of Community Board 14. The guest speaker was Dan Falt, project manager of the Army Corps of Engineers. It made my heart proud and happy to see the full auditorium with more people standing along the sides and back. I wish we would get such a great turnout at every community meeting.

As Dan went through his presentation, I noticed people's heads shaking like bobbleheads. Dan is a great man and a resident of Rockaway Beach, but unfortunately we did not get the top people who make the decisions. We had so many unanswered questions and got no commitment that the sand would be on the beach by June. When yours truly got to speak, I stated that it was obvious that October 29th was the study we needed to prove that we needed jetties and T groins. Every few years we have to replenish sand, wasting taxpayer dollars. We questioned why sand was not being replenished already.

One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that we have been in need of new seawalls on the bay and jetties and T groins on the beach for many decades. We do not see the need for getting expensive rain forest wood for a boardwalk that wasn't properly fastened down. We have asked for floodgates to protect Broad Channel from constant flooding from storms, high tides and full moons.

We are an 11 mile barrier peninsula from Atlantic Beach to the tip of Breezy Point. We live here because we love our beautiful ocean and bay views. We put up with abominable transportation, lack of local employment, overcrowded schools, the closing of a needed community hospital. And to add insult to injury, almost all have suffered the loss of personal property, A train transportation, terrible bus schedules and not enough ferry service. A key employer, Madelaine Chocolates, which employs hundreds of workers, was flooded and its workers are out of work. Many small businesses were destroyed and are fighting for survival. Our local churches and synagogues were decimated. Now thank God our Congress and City Council are stepping up to the plate. Many of our local schools have lost everything including computers.

Now is the time we must come together and act as one. United we stand. Divided we fall. Come get involved in your community. Join your local civic association, attend the monthly Community Board and police meetings and join the Good Government Regular Democratic Club. The GGDRC has an office at the Ocean Promenade Rehab, 140 Beach 113th Street, Rockaway Park NY 11694. Call 718-945-1216 for an appointment to come in to chat, ask for help or volunteer your services to help us help our community. Send your dues of $25 or a contribution of any size to our club. We will be hosting community meetings to meet the Democratic candidates for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Queens Borough President and City Council.

On Monday evening it was wonderful to see my constituents, family and neighbors at the Breezy Point Town Hall which filled the Bishop Ford High School auditorium in Brooklyn to capacity. Over 135 families in Breezy and Roxbury lost their homes, while every other house had major damage. They had warm greetings and hugs for each other and for me. We saw the hurt and anguish in so many eyes, but they were sharing whatever they have. May God bless each and every one.

We have the good news that Leon the shoemaker who lost his store to storm and fire on Rockaway Beach Boulevard will be reopening across the street at 114-11 RBB diagonally across from his old store. We're glad to have you back.

On Saturday night we attended the annual Queens County St. Patrick's Parade Ball at Antun's. Among those to be honored is Deputy Grand Marshal Timmy Fox, who as a NYC Sanitation supervisor did such an excellent job of managing the Hurricane Sandy cleanup in Rockaway, Broad Channel, Breezy Point and Howard Beach.

2013-02-22 / Columnists

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