2002-11-23 / 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

We wish to congratulate our great friend Adam Funtleyder for taking the initiative to open a great educational supply store in our community. They have musical instruments, arts and crafts supplies, and teaching supplies for the teachers, parents and youth of the community. They would like to see and hear from you with your ideas of what they should carry.

The Busy Bee Learning Store Inc. will open at 111-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Saturday, November 23. They will have activities for children including face painting. All are welcome to attend. We congratulate Adam and Diana on this great addition to our community. We should all remember to shop locally and support our local businesses whenever we can.

This has been one of the most trying weeks since the death of my mother seven years ago in January. I lost one of my best friends in the world, a man who was like a father to me, a man who many times gave me the strength and courage to go on. Mickey Cincotta has always personally been there for me supporting every escapade and adventure. He has been the strength of us all. He was always giving and never taking back. During the time he had his stroke, he made it back and did wonderful. He encouraged other stroke victims to carry on and not to give up.

Mickey loved going in to his office each day and spending time on the phone with his children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends. He loved talking and sharing. Mickey loved going out and socializing at various events with his best friend Al Cantonese Sr. and his wife.

Mickey cherished his wife Dorothy. When you think of the finest you think of Mickey. If there was ever a man who would be a Saint, it would be Mickey. He has an important job in God's Kingdom of Heaven. We know we now have a guardian angel looking over us.

My heartfelt condolences to Dorothy Cincotta, my dear friend who was with us at so many events for the betterment of the Rockaways from marching over the Crossbay bridge to eliminate the toll to spending numerous days picketing to close the Lawrence Hotel.

Although Mickey had success and wealth he wore casual clothes. He treated rich and poor equally and made everyone feel welcomed and loved.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of a Rockaway icon, Leonard Cutler. Leonard was a lifelong resident of the Rockaways who liked to talk about the good old days. Leonard and his lovely wife Bernice spent many nights and weekends trying to make a difference in the Rockaways. His support for a major revitalization of Rockaway made him a true hero. We know he will be one of God's chosen angels. My deepest sympathy to Bernice and the family.

On Sunday evening we attended the Brooklyn Board of Rabbis installation at West End Temple in Neponsit. Our beloved rabbi of West End, Rabbi Melvyn May, was sworn in as president. Although the rabbi has been with us for only one year, he made a great impact by getting involved in all the organization and projects in the community. We wish him great success in his new position.

The master of ceremonies was Rabbi Myron Rakowitz of the Sephardic Jewish Center who is the past president of the Brooklyn Board of Rabbis. He was charming, witty and personable and had us laughing on many occasions. Msgr. Martin Geraghty addressed the many members of the community, making a wonderful speech congratulating Rabbi May and calling for peace in Israel.

Rev. Jan Powell of the First Congregational Church and the Rockaway-Five Towns Interfaith Clergy made a wonderful moving speech which we all enjoyed. She is definitely a strong, moving speaker, Robert Mayer, Co-President of West End Temple, congratulated the rabbi and made a great speech.

Rabbi Herbert Horowitz gave the invocation. In addition to Rabbi May, the new officers ae Rabbi Seymour Freedman Vice President, Rabbi Herbert Horowitz Vice President, Rabbi Shae Kane Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary, Rabbi Gerald Kaplan Recording Secretary and Rabbi Abraham I. Feldbin, chairman of the Board. Rabbi Freedman gave the benediction. L'Shir, the University of Hartford's Jewish A Cappella Group provided the musical program.

The collation was sponsored by Stanley and Elaine Gelda.

Mayor Bloomberg has proposed an income tax on all persons who are employed in New York City. It is similar to the commuter tax we once had. Many City Council members and Comptroller William Thompson urged the mayor to take this action last year. The mayor did not want to raise this issue during the state election campaign.

Many state legislators from New York City voted to repeal the old commuter tax because Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wanted to help a candidate for the State Senate in a special election in Rockland and Orange counties.

It was quite a big mistake to give up the commuter tax especially in light of our current financial situation. We hope the state legislators and the governor pass legislation to bring back the revenue we need so badly.

The mayor has proposed major budget cuts which will cut city services for all of us. They include reductions in the number of firefighters and police officers and the closing of some firehouses. In addition there will be a reduction in funds for the public schools and the closing of many senior centers.

We question the rationality of closing senior centers that feed thousands of NYC seniors. They provide a warm, friendly and safe environment for socialization. They offer arts and crafts, dancing, aerobics, nutrition and a chance to speak to a social worker. It is extremely important to avoid cuts or the closing of these centers.

It is important that the quality of education is not compromised in any way. We are aware that many schools are in disrepair, most are overcrowded and there is an immediate need for additional schools now.

In light of 9/11, all New Yorkers will always appreciate the NYPD and NYFD for saving our lives and continuing to protect the quality of life here. We urge the Mayor to lobby Washington to once again add funding from our homeland security to keep all firehouses open. We need to be able to hire more fire and police personnel to replace those who are retiring as well as to settle with fair and equitable contracts for them.

If they attempt to close any of our firehouses or senior centers expect to hear from me with major rallies and protests.

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