2001-11-24 / Columnists

Simon Says…. From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Simon Says….
From the Desk of Lew M. Simon,
Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

This past week has been a nightmare for residents of Rockaway as well as residents of Washington Heights and other neighborhoods. The average person who doesn’t have a degree in engineering design may have some questions. Why didn’t the FAA require regular, detailed inspections of a tail fin, which was damaged in manufacture 13 years ago? What did the FAA know about air turbulence when it reduced the headway between planes on take-off? American Airlines and the FAA must answer to the National Transportation Safety Board and to the people who live along Kennedy Airport’s runways.

For at least 25 years we have been screaming, yelling and fighting to stop the flights over our homes. In 1975 there was a horrendous accident near Rockaway Boulevard. In 1996 we had a near fatal mishap when an airplane wing broke off and fell on 156th Avenue in Howard Beach.

On Sunday, a British Airways SST aborted its flight because of engine trouble. Imagine if the SST engines failed over our community. What if the American Airlines plane did not fall almost vertically, but instead demolished many more homes and started much larger fires?

We will continue to take on the FAA to assure our safety. If any of my readers have other questions or answers to my questions, I would hope that they call my office. We cannot trust the FAA to keep us safe.

We would like to thank some of the people who assisted at the November 12 disaster. Special thanks to Bernie Herron, owner of the Harbor Light Pub who lost his own son in the horrendous tragedy on 9/11. Bernie, who works for the FDNY, jumped into action to help out, as well as opening his restaurant to feed all those who needed assistance.

Special thanks to Rockaway Park Waldbaum’s, which provided food, supplies and water on 9/11 and again during this horrific crisis. Hats off to George Fox, General Manager, John White, Assistant Manager, and Mary Martinez, Manager, for always being there for our community.

Thanks to Barbara Larkin, President of the Belle Harbor Property Owners who gave of herself at P.S. 114 on 11/12. Thanks to Wendy’s of Rockaway Park for providing food for both crises.

Special thanks to one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the Rockaways, Msgr. Martin Geraghty, who has been our rock in this community and held so many of us together in this time of crisis.

Congratulations and best wishes to Thomas Larkin and his lovely wife, Amy Schwach, on their marriage on Sunday, November 18th. Tom and Amy are members of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. Good luck and best wishes.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, December 15th. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 and $14 returned. Eleven people will win $10 on the bus. For reservations call my office at (718) 945-1216.

On Wednesday November 7th the St. Francis Seabreeze Golden Age Club celebrated their 30th anniversary at a gala event at the Beach Club. "Mother" Maureen McGee as we and many of the seniors refer to her and her board put together a great day of enjoyment and entertainment. There was live music and a number of hidden talents.

Yours truly sang his signature duet "You made me love you" with Barbara Leahy. Everyone received a little token of appreciation and a Statue of Liberty pen and a chocolate lollipop. Maureen McGee was celebrating her birthday and the members of the Golden Age club presented her with a gold necklace and earrings. A great time was had by all.

Community charitable organizations can benefit from Proceeds Nights at Wendy’s. The organization receives 20% of the sales from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you are a part a group with 50103 status contact me or Selwyn, Wendy’s manager.


Democratic District Leader Lew Simon and community activist Barbara Leahy sang a duet to entertain the St. Francis de Sales Seabreeze seniors at their 30th anniversary party.

SENIORS CELEBRATE 30 Years at St. Francis

Left to right Lew M. Simon, Josephine McPartland, Maureen McGee (President), Virginia Shea, Eileen Whalen (Secretary), Kay Donohue, Alma Korgan, Catherine Moran (Vice President) and Ellen Tolan (Treasurer)

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