1999-12-25 / Columnists

Simon Says….

by Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

We would like to wish everyone a joyous and Merry Christmas. We hope that Santa has delivered nice gifts to those who deserved them. We hope those who received coal will do better next year.

We congratulate former state senator, now justice of the Court of Claims, Al Waldon, who to a great statesman, great leader, gentleman and scholar, He strived for the betterment of the 10th Senatorial District. We wish the senator and his family the best. We know he will make us proud in the court.

Now that Al Waldon has become a judge, the seat is now vacant. Governor Pataki will soon call a special election. In a special election all registered voters in the 10th S.D. (includes all of Rockaway, Breezy Point, but not Broad Channel) will have the opportunity to vote no matter what party they are registered in. We believe the election will to called for the second Tuesday in February. The candidate we are backing is Malcolm Smith, who was formerly district manager for Rep. Floyd Flake. Malcolm is currently a developer, community activist and entrepreneur.

We asked Malcolm to comment on a number of issues facing our community. Malcolm feels that reopening the Rockaway Beach line is an absolute necessity for the economic development of the peninsula. With the population of the peninsula growing by leaps and bounds a local college is needed as part of a plan to improve the educational, recreational and commercial level in this community. When asked about Technodome, Malcolm said that he would bring Governor Pataki to a town hall meeting in this community. After seeing the community and hearing from its residents, we could expect the governor to actively support the needed improvements.

Malcolm has already been involved in the efforts to save St. John's Episcopal Hospital. He called the State Health Department to urge them to continue support of the alcoholism clinic. He will continue to work with the staff and community to keep all necessary programs in operation. Malcolm deplored the cloning of the Neponsit Health Care facility.

After working in Rockaway for many years Malcolm knows the frustration of seeing some problems go unsolved for many years. He suggested that the city could use the right of eminent domain to take over the Far Rockaway shopping Center where the owner Rita Stark has refused to improve, market or even rent stores to anxious tenants. He would bring together the three levels of government; city, state and federal to find a solution to problems on our peninsula.

We are looking for volunteers to come up to our office to help Malcolm when he begins his election campaign. You may call my office for details.

We would like to wish a happy 43 anniversary to a fine couple, Andy and Maureen McGee. It's amazing how after 43 years they still act like honeymooners. Their happiness and togetherness always shines in their wonderful and great big hearts.

On Saturday evening we attended the annual Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department Christmas party. When I walked into the room everyone was screaming welcome to our next city councilman, Lew Simon. I was pleasantly shocked and surprised. When they handed me the mike I wished everyone a happy holiday and stated I'm just little ol' me, Lew M. Simon, district leader.

The party was fantasy A good time was had by all. It was great to see someone who I consider like my brother, Ed Wilmarth, who is our bus driver for all our trips to Atlantic City. He is going through a major crisis. His lovely bride Dorothy is terminal with cancer. My heart goes out to Ed and his children. I know what he is going through because I personally saw my mom go this route.

I hate cancer so much I curse it each day, That's why I continually raise money so we can find a cure and no one should suffer like this again. We ask everyone to please keep Ed, his family and wife Dorothy in their prayers.

We would like to make two corrections on the new board members of the BCVFD. Brian Williams is supervising dispatcher, Denise Horan is assistant supervising dispatcher and Ed Wilmarth, jr. is sergeant at arms.

We invite you to start the new year as a member of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club. Our office is located at 112-20 Beach Channel drive.

Our next trip to Atlantic City Trump Marina will be Saturday, January 15. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return 8 a.m. Join us on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Reservations are a must.

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