2002-09-28 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

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

This has been a very rough week for all of us between memories of 9/11 and the spread of bad colds from the change in weather. Everywhere you turn people are suffering from head colds and congestion.

Have we heard from you yet? Tickets are going very fast for our 15th Annual Dinner Dance. One does not have to be a member of the Democratic club or even a member of the Democratic party to attend.

Dinner and live music will be presented at The Beach Club, 129 Beach 116 Street from 7 p.m. to 11p.m. We are honoring Harolyn Fritz, UFT, Alphonse and Thomas Catanese, Two Brothers Construction, Timothy Keenan, BCVFD and Daniel O'Brien, 100 Pct. The cost is $50 per person. Please make checks payable to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694. RSVP by October 1.

On Thursday evening we attended the Judicial Convention as an elected delegate. I was pleased to see that good candidates were nominated to serve Queens County as Supreme Court Justices. Among these selected were Civil Court Justice Marguerite Grays and Peter Kelly. Kelly had the pleasure of being nominated by his mother who had been active in Queen's politics. Seymour Rotker, now the supervising judge of the Criminal Court and Acting Supreme Court Justice was nominated for promotion.

Justice Charles Thomas of Neponsit was nominated for a second term. He came from the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways. He has served on the bench since he was elected to the local civil court seat in 1982. Congratulations Charlie. We're proud of you.

Saturday night was our monthly bus trip to Atlantic City Trump Marina. We enjoyed over nine hours in Atlantic City. If you like to go, you should join us.

To all who are not registered voters, you have only two weeks to register to be able to vote in November. You can come up to my office any Thursday from 7:30 to 11 PM to complete the voter form.

As many people noted this past summer, lights were out on Rockaway Beach Blvd. from Beach 102 Street to Beach 108 Street, as well as Beach 105 St. from the boulevard to Shorefront Parkway. We have been working diligently to solve this problem with LIPA, Keyspan and Welsbach which has the DOT contract to maintain lights. After DOT and LIPA shuffled the excuses that it was the other's domain, thanks to my great friend John Chiesa of Keyspan, we were able to get a consensus and the lights are on as of last week.

As everyone knows in this community, if you have a problem, I'm here to help and I don't stop until I rectify the problem.

On Tuesday evening the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce and Community Board 14 had a groundbreaking ceremony for the waterfront park at Beach 116 St. and the bay. The groups working on this project include the USDA Forest Service, Empire State Development, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, CB 14, the Belle Harbor and Shore Garden clubs and Assemblywoman Pheffer.

Audrey Pheffer graciously obtained a $200,000 grant and has proven herself time after time to the residents of Rockaway that she cares about us all. State Senator Malcolm Smth announced that an additional grant of $250,000 would be forthcoming in conjunction with Audrey.

There are committees currently working for at least 9 to 10 months. A design, fundraising and our overall committee continue to meet. We are very proud to have been involved with them from its inception.

In appreciation of your donation of $75 your name will be engraved on a 4"x8" brick and for $100 on a 8"x8" brick. For an additional $5.00 you will receive a commemorative mini-brick acknowledging your donation. For further information contact my office or the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce at 253 Beach 116 St.

On Saturday, October 5 there will be a benefit concert to raise money for the park. The concert will be at 7 PM at Beach Channel High School. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Contact the Chamber for tickets. I will be there as usually selling 50 – 50’s.

Some of the outstanding youth of Rockaway has held bake sales last year and this year to raise money. Kelly Magee, who I personally watched grow up to be a fine upstanding young lady was president of the student council at P.S. 114 a few years ago. I heard her speak on various topics and indeed was quite impressed. She may be a future politician or a lawyer in the making. We are very proud of our community and these 3 fine young ladies for a job well done.

At the P.S. 114 Parents Association meeting the guest speaker was Mr. Frank Lofasa, District 27 director of special education. He talked about inclusion, but the real highlight of the evening was the principal's report.

After Mrs. Vicchione finished her report, questions were asked. An irate, angry audience was ready for blood. The questions concerned a child who was put on the wrong bus. A parent who said she was a NYC Board of Education teacher said she didn't like the treatment she was given after her kindergarten son was put on the wrong bus.

After sitting all night through this meeting it was apparent the parents were looking for apologies, but there were none. One of the first things you learn in life is the buck stops here and we can all make a mistake. It would have been nice if Mrs. Viccione would have expressed her remorse for any complication during the first week of school.

As many of us know the first week of the school year can start off with major kinks. It is quite obvious that personal relations skills need to be taught to the principal. We hope that reactions between the administration and the parents will improve so all will feel comfortable.

Hats off to the co-president Helen Kilgallen and Jerry Magee and the executive board members and standing committee members for their professionalism and true commitment to the children of PS 114.

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