2002-10-05 / 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 past weekend was the 18th Annual Fall Festival of the Rockaway Music and Arts Council. It was a great hit and a huge success with literally thousands of people from all over the U.S. The crafts, beautiful flower show, children's events, face-painting, great music, retired greyhounds for adoption, and beautiful weather made for two great days. Among the groups participating was the North Shore Animal League, NYC Fire and Police, Rockaway Artist Alliance and Queens District Attorney.

Among the visitors to the fair was a smiling U.S. Senator Charles Schumer who greeted and spoke with all, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer along with her grandchildren. She always has the Rockaway community in her heart, and Councilman Joe Addabbo. Hats off to Barbara Eisenstadt, John Musumeci, Sharon Gabriel, Shirley Golub, Myrna Berger, Judy and Steve Yeager and Fern Liberman who spent tireless hours putting this together.

Thanks to all those who volunteered, Toni Gerace and her husband, who worked all weekend collecting donations in the parking lot and the hundreds of others who gave time in one capacity or another to support our summer concerts. It was my privilege to again sell raffles to assist them. Special thanks to Grace McClosky, even with her leg in a brace she took the two days to work and support this great cause.

On Saturday evening I attended the Oheb Zedek Simchas Torah service. Rabbi Berkowitz and President Stanley Liker spoke from the pulpit and thanked me on behalf of the shul and its members for helping put back the eruv, which was temporarily out due to a new configuration of the lights on the boardwalk.

As they both stated, after one phone call we immediately got to work reaching out to DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall and got two additional light poles to reconstruct the eruv. They both thanked me for my continued support for the Jewish community, my long time support for Israel and for always being available to respond to the people's needs.

On the holiday of Simchas Torah, the men march around with the Torah and dance with it. The children march with flags. We received the honor of dancing with the Torah, the holiest scroll in the synagogue.

This week we had a horrible accident on the JFK Airtrain. A life of a young man was lost senselessly on a railroad to nowhere. $600 million was spent to go down the Van Wyck Expressway to provide a quick and economical ride to JFK airport. Although they are spending millions more, passengers carrying luggage will still have to change trains at Jamaica.

As a strong proponent of the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR, we continue to urge the MTA and the Port Authority to use the old Rockaway Beach right of way to provide direct service to Penn Station for passengers from JFK, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Rockaway.

It is quite apparent that due to this accident, the opening of the light rail will be delayed. We wish that the Port Authority would scrap the plan to use the Van Wyck portion of the light rail. We urge all to get on the phones to urge our legislators to reactivate the Rockaway Beach line. It will be safer and easier to travel.

On Thursday, October 10, we will hold our 15th Annual Dinner Dance. Dinner and live music will be presented at The Beach Club, 129 Beach 116th Street from 7p.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, 2002. For information call my office. If you cannot attend, a donation will be gratefully accepted.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday October 19. The cost is $28 with $16 returned. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. You have 8 1/2 hours to enjoy and lots of fun on the bus. Come and join with us. Call my office for reservations.

If you have not yet sent in your membership, please do it now. Dues are $25 for family, $18 for a single and $12 for Seniors and Young Dems. They should be mailed to the club.


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