2000-09-02 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

It’s been a great week and the rain seems to be gone for a while, but the mosquitoes eat you alive. After fighting back and forth with the New York City Department of Health, finally this past Monday the Department of Health sprayed–west of Beach 95 street including Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor, Neponsit, Roxbury, Rockaway Point and Breezy Point.

After the American Kestrel was found dead in Neponsit, we got their attention. Since the beginning of June, numerous dead birds have been found in the Rockaways. The Health Department has been very stubborn in only testing certain birds, leaving out sparrows and pigeons.

Residents of Arverne are outraged and disgusted that once again they have been left out. Mrs. Russell of Bayfield avenue had contacted me after reading my article in the newspaper. Now we reach the Labor Day weekend which was the peak of the West Nile Virus problem last year. We question why all of Rockaway and Broad Channel was not sprayed.

Cathy Diffley, a registered nurse, has collected information on the mosquito problem and passed it on to members of the Neponsit Property Owners Association last week. The mosquitoes can lay eggs in small quantities of water including birdbaths, canvas covers and pet food dishes. In some parts of Rockaway such as Dubos Point, the city has allowed ditches which fill with water to remain for years.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include high fever, headache, skin rash, swollen lymph glands, stiff neck, and convulsions. The symptoms may come five to 15 days after the insect bite. Diffley advised using a repellent containing 30 percent DEET for adults and 10 percent for children and following label directions carefully.

Some useful numbers are (212) POISONS, 1-877-WNV-4NYC to report standing water and get other useful information about the efforts to control the virus. WCBS 880 provides updates about planned spraying at 6:56 a.m. and 6:56 p.m. We urge the city to notify elected officials, community boards and the E.M.S. about planned spraying. Persons suffering from asthma and allergies should avoid the spraying.

We want to thank Catherine Diffley, a retired nurse supervisor, for providing the community with this information.

On Saturday evening Al Catanese sr., Al Catanese jr., and Tommy Catanese, Rockaway’s own Donald Trump, invited us to a block party on the 200 block of Beach 134 street. We had a wonderful time at the block party. Al sr. and his wife Agnes were wonderful hosts.

On Sunday afternoon we attended a friend in need gathering for Paul Reilly who has cancer. There was such a large flow of support for a great outstanding individual who has been operated on for cancer and is still fighting for his life.

There was plenty of food and entertainment by the County Tyrone bagpipes. Jimmy and Carmel O’Sullivan were great hosts. They donated the food and refreshments. God bless all who showed and God bless the O’Sullivans for always being there for all in need.

We ask everyone to keep Paul in their prayers. God bless you, Paul.

We are saddened by the loss of a great man, Stuart Sachs, a neighbor in our community. Stuart always brightened my day or night when I saw him in our local Waldbaum’s or walking in our community. Stuart would always take long walks because he had poor circulation due to diabetes.

Stuart never had a bad word for anyone. He had a heart of gold. He was married to Dolores for 51 years. Unfortunately Stuart was hit by a car as he was crossing to go to his house on Beach 136 street and Newport.

This unfortunate accident breaks my heart. We know God must have a special space in heaven for Stuart. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family. We loved you. We miss you. Rest in peace.

On Monday evening we attended the Roxbury People’s Association meeting. The newly elected officers for 2000-2001 are Richard Thornhill, President, Vice President Pat Ross, Recording Secretary Flo MacEnroe, Treasurer Maureen Lennon, Financial Secretary Dolores Lehner, and Joe Ferrandino Sgt. At Arms. Elected to the Board of Directors for a three year term were John Conroy jr., Glen Thornhill and Frank Katen. We wish to give a hearty congratulations to all these fine individuals who volunteer their time and efforts on behalf of the community.

On Saturday the Rockaway Theatre Company held a fundraiser for the renovation of the old Post Theatre in Fort Tilden. It badly needs a bathroom, new roofing, insulation, an extra floor, heating and air conditioning. Donations may be sent to the Rockaway Theatre Company at P.O. Box 398 Rockaway New York 11695-0398.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday September 16. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. For reservations call my office.

If you are not registered to vote you will not be able to participate in the presidential and senate elections this year. Registration forms are available at my office. The Good Government Regular Democratic Club is at 112-20 Beach Channel drive, opposite Waldbaum’s. We meet every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Come up to register and to catch up on community issues.


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