Chatting With Chapey
On Thursday, May 8, 2000, Melinda Katz, the Queens Borough Director of the Queens Planning Boards, addressed the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways. Melinda is an outstanding corporate attorney who specialized in mergers and acquisitions. She served as a member of the New York State Assembly for five years. She is an energetic, intelligent and industrious professional.
She was specifically selected for her position by Borough President Claire
Shulman because of her involvement with and commitment to the community, her record of public service and her knowledge and experience. In her
position Melinda works with civic associations, police precinct councils,
block associations, community planning boards and other community groups.
At the meeting, Melinda addressed the issue of illegal conversions. Under
the current situation, people who receive violations are not paying them.
There must be something put in place which would serve as an immediate
deterrent for the owner of the property. Melinda advised us that they are working in Albany to pass legislation which will turn the violation into a tax lien.
On the educational front, Melinda noted that there are 30,000 students in Queens who are attending class in facilities which are not suited to being classrooms - for example, trailers, closets, etc. Last year’s budget gave
extra funds to Queens to build new schools. This is a top priority with
Claire Schulman. At least once a month she has a meeting with the various parties involved in building the schools such as superintendents and professionals in the School Construction Authority in order to move the process along as quickly as possible.
Best wishes to Rabbi Joseph Weiss on his being honored by Hadassah. Rabbi Weiss has been a life long supporter of the excellent work of Hadassah. Valerie Van Leer Greenberg presented Rabbi Weiss with his plaque. She noted that the Rabbi serves as a moral compass for all of us. He has a willingness of heart. He is constant and unfailing in his commitment to serve his congregation and the community. Dr. John Shure, the president of the West End Temple, joined the celebration.
Congratulations to John McLoughlin, the editor of the Wave, on his
receiving an award from Hadassah. Republican District Leader Joann Ariola presented John with his plaque. She noted his close ties to his family. His grandmother, his mother, his father and his aunt were there to
celebrate this wonderful occasion. They have served as positive role
models in his life. John McLoughlin grew up at the West End Temple and
was Bar Mitzvahed there. It was a double celebration because John was
honored with Rabbi Weiss, who has been so influential in molding his
religious foundation. John has always admired Rabbi Weiss and the work of
The Hadassah luncheon also paid a special tribute to two outstanding women who have selflessly enhanced this chapter. Regina Kriegel and Bobbie Seiden have a strong commitment to the charitable and philanthropic activities of Hadassah. They are to be complimented for devoting their enthusiasm, energy and time to help their fellow man. They exude a special caring for others. Their altruistic activities are exceptional.
Congratulations to Virginia Lee Shea McKeon. On May 10, Virginia McKeon, the assistant administrator of Rockaway Care, was honored with a plaque commemorating her years of service and devotion to the residents and staff. Virginia always extends herself for others. She has long roots in our community. Her great-grandmother, her grandmother and her mother and father lived in Belle Harbor. In fact, her aunt, Kay Colton and her mother, Virginia Shea, are leaders in the Seabreeze Seniors. The apples don't fall far from the tree.
Virginia McKeon's husband Joe also has extended family roots in Belle Harbor including his grandmother, his mother and his father. When Joe married Virginia he practically married the girl next door. They lived around the corner from each other. They have raised their children and grandchildren to appreciate the value of having sand in his shoes.