2002-10-19 / 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

We are ready for our monthly Atlantic City bus trip to Trump Marina on Saturday, October 19. We leave at 5:30 P.M. and return 8 A.M. There are 8 1/2 hours to enjoy. The cost is $28 with $16 returned. We leave from the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. There is ample parking in Waldbaum's parking lot. Don't procrastinate. Join us on the bus.

The 15th annual dinner dance of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club was a complete success.

We owe thanks to our honorees, Harolyn Fritz, Timothy Keenan, Al and Thomas Catanese, and Daniel O'Brien. The dinner could not have been a success without the help and assistance of the dinner committee led by our chairperson Sarah S. Berger, who is also president of the club. The committee consisted of our treasurer, Scott Winik, Ginger Smith, Shelly Ginis, Sharon Feldman, Terry Harris, Susan Smith, Leslie Butera, Chris Sartory, Johanna Mazza and Andy McGee. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the members and volunteers of our club and on behalf of the people in the community who we help with quality of life problems, we thank you all.

We encourage membership in our organization. Dues are a small price to pay and make a difference. Prices are single $18, family $25 and senior and disabled $12.

The Good Government Regular Democratic Club was founded by yours truly in August 1987. We started off with such issues as fighting against 10,000 units of high-rise housing in Arverne. We fought against a shelter for 200 homeless men in the middle of nowhere in Arverne. We constantly spoke and fought to keep our libraries open, to keep our school personnel, to get new schools built and to stand united with the UFT to make sure that teachers got a fair contract. We stood united to stop illegal SRO conversions, to make sure our streets are paved and our streetlights are working.

We are currently working on bringing back the old Rockaway Beach line, getting our fair share of the 9/11 disaster funds and a free ferry from Rockaway to Manhattan. We will be at the public hearing on redistricting our City council districts on Tuesday, November 26. We will continue to support the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and all the volunteer departments. We will continue to hold weekly town hall meetings and invite guests so that your voice will be heard.

We support our heroes in the FDNY. The starting salary for a NYC firefighter is $32,724, in Yonkers probationary firefighters get $54,211. After 20 years NYC firefighters get $49,023 while the Yonkers firefighters get $60,111. Newark firefighters receive $63,376. We will continue to support our firefighters in their efforts to get a fair contract. We need new firefighters to join the department and have applications in our office.

Many people who are leaders in our community attended. District Attorney Richard A. Brown, School Superintendent Matt Bromme, Erline Nelson representing Congressman Gregory Meeks were public officials attending. John Socha, president of the Library Guild Local 1321, John Lepore, president of the Chamber of Commerce, FDNY Chief Thomas Murphy and his wife Nadia, our angel of horticultural beauty, Mary Rooney our executive Vice President and John and Helene Flaherty were among them.

We wish to give a very special thanks to DJ Tommy Healy who donated his time to spin the sound. We also recognize the owners of the Beach Club, Kenny and Steven Good who have always been a friend to our organization and have the best food on the peninsula and a great place to have a party. Special thank you to Ed Deacy, world renowned singer who did a magnificent job singing some of the great old favorites. Special thanks to Maria of Ciro's Bakery for donating a huge delicious cake that was able to accommodate all of our guests. A and J Jewelry for donating 14K gold and diamond earrings, Maureen McGee for donating a beautiful basket of cheer, and the Catanese brothers who donated a color TV as a raffle prize. A special award was given to Lt. Robert Mussburger of the BCVFD who sustained major injuring responding to the WTC on 9/11.

We were proud to present our honorees to the community. Timothy Keenan is the Chief of the Broad Channel Fire Department. Some of chief Keenan's accomplishments include securing formal fire training at the fire academy to certify all firefighters to NYS standards, upgrading the department's ambulance services to include cardiac defibrillation and NYS certification and securing a no interest loan from N.Y.S. Office of Fire Prevention to build a new firehouse on Crossbay Blvd.

Currently Alphonse and Thomas Catanese are developing Rockaway Commons, an 11-store mall at Beach 106 St. and Rockaway Beach Blvd. They felt Rockaway was in need of more commerce and in order to keep money on the peninsula decided to develop this commercial project.

Harolyn Fritz began her teaching career in 1965. She taught all grades from K-6 at P.S. 100 and then at P.S. 100 and then at P.S. 62. Harolyn was elected Chapter Leader and Delegate and took on the additional role of editing the District 27 UFT newsletter for over 3,000 UFT members.

Police Officer Daniel O'Brien was well known for his service as community beat Officer from Beach 106 Street to Beach 123 Street. His task was to clean the beat that was controlled by gangs, drug dealers, prostitution and illegal S.R.O.'s.

Chief Murphy gave us a very graphic description of the outstanding efforts to bring a van with first responders to the WTC on 9/11 where they were able to assist numerous people.


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