2002-02-09 / 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

As I had written in last week’s paper, the 31st of January was the anniversary of my late mom. My mom had enjoyed bingo, selling Avon, and going with her son to all the community meetings. Sometimes we were threatened with being thrown out for speaking for our rights and beliefs.

Mom made it her business to go to numerous rallies and bus trips to City Hall to speak before the City Planning Commission and the old Board of the Estimate.

Mom also enjoyed her volunteer duties of calling bingo for the HILI Yeshiva and Yeshiva of Belle Harbor, while my sister Fran was going to HILI.

My mom and dad become great friends with Al and Fro Altshuler. Flo was one of mom’s closest friends and they spoke on a daily basis. Flo has almost been like a mother to me. Flo and I have been through many escapades and adventures together.

One of my moms other friends, Louis Bernstein, worked for Yeshiva of Belle Harbor bingo. Mom always loved Louis and said she and her family were very special.

On Tuesday afternoon we received a panic phone call from Charlotte Kulvany who lives on the beach block of Beach 97 Street. As many of you are aware new houses are being built there by Prestige, not by Jonathan Miller.

While digging up property to put in foundations, they destroyed a big chunk of the foundation of Charlotte’s house. The NYC Department of Buildings responded promptly. Community board 14 building inspector Liberatore was dispatched and responded immediately to make sure Charlotte’s house was made safe. We spoke to Mr. Toledano of Prestige who made it clear he would take care and fix Charlotte’s property.

Inspector Liberatore stopped the work of the site and said he never saw a job done so poorly. We also noticed that all the workers digging in the ditch were day workers who were not union members.

We have since reached out to John Greaney, president of local 608, of the Carpenter’s Union. We are looking forward to picketing this site with a rat.

Charlotte recently had a stroke and we didn’t want her to get her more upset. Charlotte, who has spent all of her life in Rockaway, is a pillar of the community and is a lady of class. We will stay on top of this one.

On Wednesday evening we attended a memorial mass for a special angel, the late Pauline Grace Monica Rhodd-Cummings. Pauline passed away at the young age of 56. She was God’s blessing to the 31st A.D.

We had the pleasure of knowing Pauline and working with her for over 20 years. Pauline started out as the president of the Deerfield Area Block Association.

At this wake there were a large number of public officials. They included Congressman Greg Meeks, State Senator Ada Smith, Assembly members Nick Perry, Jeff Aubry, Roger Green, and Keith Wright; former Council members Juanita Watkins Archie Spigner and Una Clarke; newly elected Council members James Senders and Leroy Comrie and Pauline’s local staff, Chief of Staff Valerie West, Hilda Gross and Johnny Joyner.

Queens activist Dorothy Williams Pee Pereira and best friend, Barbra Smith were present. Other persons noted were Linwood Smith of the City’s Comptrollers office, Rev. Evan Gray, Rev. Henrietta Fullard And new School Board 27 member David Hooks. Others included Maizel Morris, who grew up with and went to school with Pauline, community activist Delcita Smith. 101 precinct Captain Lindhal, and Steve Cromartie of Board 14.

Sorry if I missed your name, there were so many hundreds of others and the Presbyterian Church was packed with no standing room left. The eulogy by Dr. Benjamin J. Patterson moved the audience to cheering, clapping and praising the Lord. Scripture was read by Brian Block, who is said to be Pauline’s chosen successor.

In the open casket it was quite apparent that Pauline had shrunk to nothing. That disease I call a four letter word ate her alive. The 31st A.D. now has a guardian angel in heaven. If it is an example of what she did on Earth, she will be up there urging God to do the right for her constituency. This extra special angel has gone home to heaven.

On Thursday evening a hostage crisis occurred on Beach 121 Street and Newport Avenue. After a family dispute, an 18 year old shot a police officer. The bullet entered the leg of the Emergency Service Unit officer Kevin Boyle and exited from the other side. Police officials and SWAT team officers managed to get the 18 year old out without further incident after several hours.

We responded to the source and followed up by going to Jamaica Hospital to see P.O. Boyle in the emergency room. We were briefed by police personnel. D.A. Brown, 102 Pct. Captain Cea, Inspector Abbott (formerly of the 106 Pct.) were there. Assemblywoman Pheffer and I spoke to P.O. Boyle. Soon Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly P.B.A. president Pat Lynch and Michael Looney DCPI).

Within a matter of moments, Mayor Bloomberg came into the room. This is the first time I met the mayor. He bent over and shook P.O. Boyles hand and made a number of jokes that helped cheer up the officer and all in the room. It was so impressive to see this newly elected mayor dealing with an important event, the first officer shot in 2002. He was calm, collected, and absolutely wonderful. When D.A. Brown introduced him to me with my title, he said, "another one who voted for me." The mayor spoke to Officer Boyle’s wife when she arrived. The mayor’s heart was full of love and compassion. We should be proud at how professional this mayor is.

We also greeted Anthony Nardi, a great friend of Rockaway, who has been involved in the Boy Scouts and the American Legion. Nardi had been injured in an auto accident, on Monday. After we spoke to an administrator, Nardi was taken to a room in 15 minutes.

There are still tickets available for our trip to Atlantic City on Saturday February 9. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 with $16 returned. Call my office at 945-1216 for reservations.


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