2002-11-16 / 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

Tickets are still available for our trip to Atlantic City on Saturday, November 16. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $28 with $16 returned. We leave from the club headquarters at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, across from Waldbaum’s. Movies are shown and bagels are served on the bus.

We wish to thank Rockaway Bagels, who donate all the refreshments for our meetings. Thank you for everything.

As we sit back and reflect on Veteran's Day last year, we remember 11/12/01 when Flight 587 crashed into the Belle Harbor community. 260 people on the plane and five of our neighbors were killed. My heart goes out to all the families, loved ones and friends of those lost.

Since the plane crash people in Rockaway, Howard Beach and Ozone Park communities have been fearing for their lives when planes go overhead. It has caused a great deal of fear and depression. Many children have been frightened so severely that when they hear a plane they head for cover. Thank God the people in our community are strong and consider each other's family, not just neighbors. We hope that this never happens again.

As many of you are aware we held a rally last year to stop the SST Concorde from resuming their flights to JFK. They had been stopped after a horrible crash on the edge of Paris. Several times there have been aborted flights when the planes had engine trouble. We who live under the flight pattern wouldn't want to think what devastation a crash of the SST Concorde could cause here.

We must aggressively step to the plate by calling and writing our local federal officials, Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton and our Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner. Their addresses and phone numbers appear on the editorial page of the newspaper. United we stand, divided we fall. Lets show the FAA and our elected officials we mean business.

On Saturday while I was visiting my aunt in New Jersey, I checked my answering machine and got an urgent message from Jill Orniston. Her father, Mickey Cincotta, had been rushed to Peninsula Hospital. I know Mickey for almost 20 years and refer to him as Papa Mickey because he was like a father to me.

Jill stated Mickey and Dorothy were eating out when he complained of pain in his stomach. He passed out and the ambulance took him to the hospital. A CAT scan found an aneurysm had burst in his stomach. How ridiculous. Mickey had been to a doctor two days before and got a clean bill of health.

Mickey had recovered from a stroke a few years ago and was very health conscious. His spirit for life helped many stroke victims recover as he did.

The doctors suggested emergency surgery, which would have meant loss of his legs and kidneys. The family knew Papa Mickey could never live this way. Peninsula Hospital was above and beyond. Dorothy, the children, the grandchildren and friends took turns at his bedside. He passed away at 3:30 A.M.

Mickey Cincotta was a great father and grandfather. He always shared everything he had. He was a man who believed in me and urged me to run for political office. He and Dorothy held me together during my mom's illness and after. You learned a lot about family from them. His wife, children and grandchildren and the Rockaway community were his life. Rabbi Hagar and Alphonse Catanese Sr. were his best friends.

If there was anyone you would think of making a saint, it would be Mickey Cincotta. We know in our heart that God only takes the good. He must have needed Mickey for a major special assignment. He is definitely an angel with strong wings and a kind heart. He will be our guardian angel and guide us and shine on us. He was my best friend, my family. We will never forget you.

It is an absolute landmine to drive in Rockaway Park and Belle Harbor, Rockaway Beach Blvd., Newport Ave. and parts of Cronston Ave. are deplorable and disgraceful. How does the Department of Design and Construction allow us to live with these conditions? For shame on them. Let's get our streets paved. So many people have broken a wheel, transmission or oil pan.

As we get into the heating season, some of us find we cannot pay the bills. HEAP grants are available for homeowners and tenants to help pay for their utilities or oil supply used for heating. The HEAP number gives detailed instructions at 800 692-0557. For heating emergencies call 212 331-3150. In some cases you have to go to the HEAP office. In Queens they are located at 90-75 Sutphin Blvd., 89-67 162 St. and 33-28 Northern Blvd. If you have no heat for other reasons, you can call HPD at 212-824-4328.

Seniors over 60 who have a need for winterization of their home may get assistance from WRAP at 212 442-1100. If you are a Senior with an income of under $20,000 the Department for the Aging may be able to freeze your rent or carrying charges at the current level. Contact them at 212 442-1100.

If you have any questions or problems or would like to invite us to your meeting to speak or debate issues, call us. We will promptly return your call.

What is the purpose of taking our Community School Superintendent Matt Bromme out of our local schools at least twice a week and requiring him to be at the Tweed Building, the home of the new New York City Department of Education behind City Hall? God forbid, an emergency happens in our district. How long would it take for Mr. Bromme to return to our local schools?

We feel that going in for a cabinet meeting once a month would be sufficient, except in an emergency. We are looking forward to our question being answered by Chancellor Joel Klein and Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott.

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