2000-01-15 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

This week we had the honor of participating in two major political events in our county. On Sunday Vies President Al Gore met with town supervisors, legislative leaders, union leaders and other activists to thank us for helping to collect the petitions which put his name on the ballet for the March 7 Democratic primary election in New York. The vice president welcomed us aboard Air Force II and told us he was proud of the hard work and effort that gave him a margin of 2-1 in petitions over former Senator Bill Bradley who will be his primary opponent.

Al Gore 'kvelled' when I called him Mr. President as I asked him about his thoughts about the residents who suffer from aircraft noise because they live near major airports. He agreed that the introduction of stage three aircraft would help reduce the problem we face. I was proud to be one of the chosen people who worked diligently to secure his name on the ballot.

I felt like I was a kid back in high schools when the vice president took time to pose with me and put his arm on my shoulder. I was proud that I was the only one to have chutzpah to ask a question.

Accompanying me to this event was my great friend, Andy McGee. Andy to very faithful and available to help our community.

Our neighbors in Ocean Park, 125 Beach 17 street, have again had a fire. In 27 years there have been three fires in the building. Now there have been two fires in seven months. We urge RY Management not only to clean up the entire hallway, which was covered with soot, but also to adopt tenant screening procedures to keep out persons who may cause danger to the hundreds of families in the building.

Get well and a speedy recovery to our program and entertainment chair, Marie Mazza, who is recovering from cellulitis. We wish a speedy recovery to Philip Boggiano, son of Kerry Selkow. We wish a speedy recovery to Rosemary Murray, chair of Community Board 14, who had back surgery. We wish them home soon.

The swearing in of former State Senator Alton Waldon, jr. as a Court of Claims justice took place at the Sacred Heart Church in Cambria Heights. The greeting and invocation were given by Father Joseph Nolan. Reverend Dorothy Carrington Benjamin read from the Scripture. Malcolm Dunn spoke about the justice's family. Evelyn Johnson spoke of Waldon's days in P.S. 70 and Boys High School. Evelyn spoke from the heart and told it like it is. She was a moving, intelligent speaker who made you realize it was real.

James D. Ross spoke of the former senator's years as a police officer. First Deputy Comptroller Steve Newman spoke of Al Waldon's role as a public servant. Waldon served as a Democratic district leader, assemblyman, state senator and congressman. The swearing in was by Justice Randolph Jackson. Among the elected officials present were Tom Long, the Conservative Party leader, and his lovely, charming wife, Anke. Others included State Assemblyman Al Vann, City Council members Una Clarke, Sheldon Leffler, Archie Spigner, and Helen Marshall, District Leaders Henry McCoy and Geraldine Chapey and Community Board 14 member Eugene Pasternack. Malcolm Smith, a candidate to succeed Senator Waldon, was present. I was accompanied by Sara S. Berger, president of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club and Andy and Maureen McGee.

In an effort to have more trained personnel available for medical emergencies, firefighters were trained to assist victims. They were given $1500 as a bonus for learning to take on these additional duties. Now police officers have been given these additional duties, but have not been given the bonus payment. The people who put their lives on the line each day while dealing with the mentally ill and major disasters should be paid properly for their efforts. The city government must respect its police officers.

It's about time that EMS workers receive a fair and adequate wage since they receive less than other emergency workers. God bless the police, firefighters and EMS for the good things they do.

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