2002-06-29 / 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

Who says 13 is unlucky? On Thursday, June 13th we had a wonderful conversation with Harold Rochelle, president of Rockaway Action Committee. As many of you remember we spoke about a member’s item grant, which was given to me by State Senator Malcolm A. Smith for the purpose of providing funding for three golden age clubs in our district.

The three groups are Breezy Point Golden Age, Seabreeze (St Francis) Golden Age Club and St. Camillus Golden Age Club. We had a written grant with the assistance of Barbara Leahy to receive $2,500 to be divided equally by the three groups.

In order to obtain a grant from the state you need 501(c)(3) status. When Senator Smith agreed to give us the grant we immediately reached out to the RAC Mary Leahy, Harold Rochelle, Cathy Danzuranz, Nancy Woods, Debbie Horan, Bernadette Rochelle and their board asking for their assistance in accepting the grant and writing the disbursement checks. Thanks to their outstanding reputation and immediate approval, we were able to begin the process of obtaining and distributing the grant.

On Tuesday afternoon at the Breezy Point Golden Age Closing Party I presented the check for $833 to help their continuing program. President Renae Lacey and her board were appreciative and couldn’t thank us enough.

On Wednesday afternoon I went to the Seabreeze (St. Francis) Golden Age Club and presented President Maureen McGee and her board with a check for $833. Maureen McGee was ecstatic that she received the check. She said that for my own good, in the future I shouldn’t say anything about a grant until we have a check in our hands. This refers to last June when I got the approval of the grant Barbara Leahy and I had written. We were not yet aware of the reimbursement voucher process. We have now learned the process.

On the same afternoon we presented the St. Camillus Golden Age Club with a check for $833. Accepting the check was their President, Betty O’Shea and her Treasurer, Dorothy Brown who were also very happy to receive these funds. We look forward to receiving additional grants for these groups in the future.

Congressman Anthony Weiner stated effective June 13 the airplanes would be on automatic pilot and not go over the western end of the peninsula. Once again we have been barraged with flights every few minutes during the hours of 11 pm to 7 a.m. It is quite apparent that nothing has been done and we’re dreaming if we think the FAA cares about us.

On Saturday, one of the volunteers of the Roxbury Firehouse asked me if I heard about plane that almost hit the Marine Park Bridge the previous week. They told me to read the story in last week’s wave. They thought the plane was about to crash; possibly because of terrorism. I was appalled and mortified when I read the article.

In soliciting signatures on our democratic petition, so many people have voiced their anger and hostility toward the FAA for lying to us and making empty promises. I told them all that I would provide Congressman Anthony Weiner’s phone number in this column: 718-333-9001. The FAA’s eastern region office of public affairs is Arlene Salac and Manager and Regional Administrator is Arlene D. Feldman: 718-553-3015. Call them up at the FAA and give them hell. Aggravate them as they aggravate us. And let them know as many of you have told us that you fear another catastrophe in our community. It is time to take back our air rights and to fly over the bay and no other way -- even if this means fewer flights leaving JFK.

On Saturday afternoon we attended the WTC Steel Parade. The Breezy Point Coop lost 24 members in the dastardly and gruesome attack of September 11th. A memorial parade was put together to bring several steel girders down State Road. We stopped in Roxbury and received a blessing from Father Jack Cullinane and refreshments at the Roxbury Firehouse. We then marched to Beach 207 Street and the Breezy Point Ballfield where Father O’Connell and other clergy gave a blessing. One of the steel girders found at the site resembles a cross.

Roxbury, Point Breeze and Rockaway Point volunteers were on hand to march and join the parade with their emergency vehicles. Chief of Battalion 47 FDNY Thomas Jordan was on hand. The bagpipers played. John G. McLaughlin Post 8540 VFW, led by Commander Tom Mitchell marched as well along with the Ladies Auxlliary Kay Kirnard President and Vice President Catherine Hibbits. This event brought all that watched on the road and street to tears. It was quite a moving dedication to our heroes and loved ones lost on 9/11.

A permanent memorial will be in the Breezy community. God Bless all of you and God Bless America.

As you are reading this column you can sign a petition for the upcoming September 10 election. As of Tuesday or Wednesday the 25 and 26, you should be able to sign for candidates for congress.

We are saddened by the loss of Helen Lupo of Belle Harbor who passed away this weekend. Helen was a fine individual who had worked with us through the years at the American Cancer Society Bingo Games. My heart goes out to the family, her daughter Rosemary and her grandchildren. We know that Helen is certainly an angel in God’s kingdom because she certainly was one on earth.

A special note to all of the people who are not enrolled democrats and have stated their hatred for the Clintons. Please do no take out your hostility on me or the many volunteer democrats who are obtaining signatures on the petition. I like to remind you that I did not support Hilary Clinton. I would like to thank those who are democrats or those who have changed their status to democrat because of me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To all those who would like to register or change their party enrollment, call me at 945-1216.

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