2000-01-08 / Columnists

Simon Says….


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

We wish all of our constituents, friends and neighbors a healthy and happy New Year. As we go into the 21 Century we look back at last year's winners and losers.

The big loser last year was Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who tried to block Public Advocate Mark Green from becoming mayor if he is elected U.S. Senator. The mayor tried to have a Charter Revision Commission do in one summer what it usually takes 18 months to 3 years.

The winner of the year is Acting Interim Superintendent Matt Bromme, who has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is available to the whole district morning, noon and night, striving for quality education for the children in District 27.

A major winner was Public Advocate Mark Green who helped mobilize a large army to defeat the Mayor's Charter Revision plan.

Another winner was Congressman Anthony Weiner, who in his first term managed to secure funding for improvements in Riis Park and Charles Park. The congressman is definitely worthy of a second term.

A big loser was the Health and Hospitals Corporation, as well as Mayor Giuliani, as the State Court decided they had no right to close the Neponsit Home as they did. The court also ruled that the Health and Hospitals Corporation would have to pay a fine of $3,000 a day. Shame, shame on Dr. Luis Marcos, president of the Health and Hospitals Corporation, and his city henchmen.

Another winner is Governor Pataki who signed a bill to give probation officers increased pay. Now we hope he will help our police and firefighters.

Another winner is Zandra Myers, community liaison for Assembly- woman Pauline Cummings. Zandra is a religious woman of conviction who makes herself available to all who need her assistance. She always helps with her kind heart and beautiful smile.

A definite loser is our absent city councilman who does not have an office in Rookeway, calls us hallucinating wackos and constantly expresses disdain for Rockaway residents.

Among the winners are the Rockaway Artists Alliance under the great leadership of Geoff Rawling, Marina Callaghan and Chris Jorge for reaching out to the children of District 27 with their great arts and crafts program. The Rockaway Music and Arts Council, under the direction of John Musomei and Barbara Eisenstadt, present their great culturally and musically diverse events that our community and visitors from all over New York can enjoy. Fern Lieberman, who chaired the annual Fall Festival, and her volunteers are real winners.

South Shore and Belle Harbor Garden Clubs are winners for beautifying Rockaway and keeping the legacy of the late Pat Brackley alive. God bless you.

We are saddened by the loss of Dorothy Wilmarth, wife of Ed Wilmarth, mother of John Schmitt and Rosie and Ed Wilmarth. We ask everyone to keep her in their prayers. May she rest in peace.

We are saddened to hear of the loss of Ann Heller, mother of Barbara Spolin. Barbara took very good care of her late mother even with her own illness. We ask everyone to keep Ann Heller in their prayers.

Our first Atlantic City trip of the millennium will be on Saturday, January 15. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost of the Trump Marina trip is $23 with $17 returned. Come join us. Monday is a holiday. Reservations are a must.

We urge interested local residents to attend a sign-up session with the U.S. Census. The pay range is $18 to $22 per hour. Applicants are tested and then called when needed. The sign-up session will be hold at the Lutheran Church Center, 85-15 101 avenue, Ozone Park, at 7:30 p.m. on January 10. Applicants are usually assigned to work in their own zip code.

We enjoyed New Year's Eve by having dinner with Andy and Maureen McGee and their two daughters, son-in-law and two grandsons. There was enough food to feed an army and great decorations for the season.

We followed up by being invited by people I call my parents, Bill and Cathy Diffley to the American Legion Hall to usher in the New Year. This party was superb with over 150 attending. Among the notables were Commander William Condelayo and his wife Rita, American Legion caterer Lou Romas and his lovely wife Mary, Mr. Rockaway Mario Russo and his lovely wife Diane. Others included Elaine Castas of the borough president's office and her husband. Elaine has always made herself available to help her community. Friends I saw enjoying the party included Jack and Phyllis Donfort, Charlotte Kulvany, Rae Tatora, Lilly Davis, Bernice Teller, Diane Sussman, Ellis and Ettie Golden, Linda King and her husband, Sandra Schwartz, Lou and Mary Edwards, Bert and Lucy Metzger and Irene Malvito, just to name a few.

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