2002-03-09 / 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

Saturday evening, the late James Conway Sullivan smiled upon Rockaway. The sun was shining and the James Conway Sullivan Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade was wonderful. The parade ran for over three hours, one of the longest ever. The event was cheered on by thousands of onlookers. Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Chuck Schumer cut the ribbon for the start of the march.

Mayor Bloomberg said that for all the tragedy that hit the Rockaways from 9/11 and flight 587 on 11/12 Rockaway finally has a chance to celebrate with this beautiful parade. He was honored and looked forward to being with us every year.

We would like to thank the Green Bus Lines for donating a bus which took us from a mass at St. Francis to the beautiful breakfast that was donated by the Beach Club in their beautiful Ocean Room.

At the closing event awards were given for the third year in a row to the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department for best fire department. The trophy I gave in memory of my late mother, Jennie Simon, was presented for the best Catholic school. The winner this year was St. Rose of Lima. Mrs. Anderson and her staff and the children and parents of St. Rose couldn't be happier.

On February 28, Comptroller William Thompson was the guest speaker at our Good Government Democratic Club. Thompson, who is our second highest elected official in the city, described his job, explained the city budget crisis and responded to a number of questions from our members and guests.

Thompson praised the attitude of the new city administration. The mayor, the comptroller, the public advocate and the speaker of the city council should meet on a regular basis. The next two years will be tough for all. The budget deficit will be tough to close.

I asked the comptroller about three local issues. He will need more information about the sudden closing of the Neponsit Health Center. He said that it would be hard to get MTA funds for reopening the Rockaway line. He thought that a ferry would be a good idea, but commuters would have to pay a large portion of the cost.

In response to a question about our local franchised buses, he said that he had pulled the past audits of the bus lines that day. This information will help the City Council make a decision on bus franchises by 2003.

I was flabbergasted and annoyed about an article that appeared in last week's Wave about the Martinez family. On Christmas evening the family had a fire and lost the second floor of their home. After reading The Wave, I immediately reached out to Cathy Martinez and her mother Margaret Nerney and asked how I could assist. They explained that they had no insurance on the house and had lost all of their clothes and bedding.

I immediately put pen to paper and wrote in my column what they needed and how the community could help. Immediately after my column appeared a number of checks arrived in care of Margaret Nerney. Although it was not a major amount, every little bit helps. We collected a lot of clothes from members of the Democratic Club. We reached out to the BCVFD to ask for their assistance in rebuilding the Martinez home. Thomas Larkin, one of their captains, stated that once the Martinez family got the building materials, the BCVFD would work closely with them to rebuild.

At no time was there a mention of SSI or housing issues. Since the SSI issue came to my attention I reached out to the Director of Social Security in Far Rockaway. James Glasser said that he would be meeting with the family to rectify the problem.

I am still appealing on behalf of the family for assistance. If you are able to help, please call me.

We have heard that Tom Murphy has been promoted to Deputy Chief in Staten Island. Staten Island's gain is our loss. We are going to fight to get him back into the 13th Division.

Our next Atlantic City trip to Trump Marina will be on Saturday, March 16. The cost is $25 with $16 returned. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. Call my office at 945-1216 for reservations.


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