2002-12-28 / 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

We wish everyone a joyous and wonderful holiday season. We would like to congratulate TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint and Secretary Treasurer Ed Watt for the fantastic job they did in settling their contract dispute. Ed Watt, who is one of my Rockaway constituents, and the bargaining team spent long, tireless hours and days before an agreement was reached. They were able to obtain a fair and equitable contract and alleviate some of the problems facing transit workers in NYC.

We agree with the TWU and City Comptroller Bill Thompson that the MTA should allow a complete audit of their finances. The TWU noted that after 9/11 people didn't stop using public transportation. Because of rules imposed by Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg requiring at least two passengers in cars entering Manhattan, public transportation was essential. Comptrollers Thompson and Alan Hevesi should determine what the MTA did with the funds it gets from fares, bridge and tunnel tolls, the MTA surcharge on phone bills and city and state subsidies.

On Thursday evening we attended Congressman Joseph Crowley's Christmas party. Joe really knows how to throw a party. The Crowley family is very musically inclined. It is impressive to hear Joe and his lovely mom sing.

Our first meeting of the Year will be on Thursday, January 2. The speaker will be Matt Bromme, Superintendent of Community School District 27. This has been a hectic year in public education, with the end of the Board of Education and Mayor Bloomberg taking control. The schools are facing continuing budget cuts and local school boards may be on their way out.

The Good Government Regular Democratic club meets at 112-20 Beach Channel drive at 7:45 P.M. All local residents are welcome. Refreshments are served. This should prove to be an enlightening evening. It is a chance for parents to come out to meet and greet our great superintendent.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, January 11. The cost is $28 with $17 returned. We leave at 5:30 PM and return at 8AM. Reservations are required Call 945-1216 now.

We were very upset to hear Mayor Bloomberg's plan to take the fifth firefighter off the engines. It is extremely important to have a five-person crew in case of a major fire or any unusual problem. These heroes of 9/11 should not be threatened with redeployment or the closing of any firehouses in NYC. We are urging all to write to Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall, New York, NY 10007.

First Deputy Mayor Marc Shaw is the so-called fire expert who tends to say stupid things about our great firemen. It is important we write urging the blue ribbon commission that all firehouses must stay open for the safety of all New Yorkers. We cannot balance the budget with the blood or death of any innocent people.

On Friday evening we attended Bay Towers annual children's Christmas party where we assisted the Board of the Bay Towers Tenants Association headed by President Terry Harris in giving out Christmas gifts to all the children.

It is great to see the wonderful smiling faces of all the adorable children. Among those who worked on the committee are Terry Harris, Sandra Wilson, Yvonne Lewis, Georgia Christie, Miriam Camaco, Margaret Staten, Vera Donatien, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rivera, Lucie Wilson and Frank Whyte.

After this beautiful party, I was chosen to judge a contest for the best floor in the 14-story building at 319 Beach 98 Street. The building was turned into a winter wonderland with a beautiful light show.

For those who have gone to New Jersey, Penn, or Rockefeller Center to see a light show, try going to Bay Towers. As I visited each floor the words could not come out to describe the hard work, the unity and the pride of the tenants of Bay Towers. There was absolutely no vandalism. We were indeed impressed to say the least.

The 11th floor was chosen to be the best. If there was to be a runner up it would have to be the 14th floor. All I could say is that Bay Tower residents should be proud of the outstanding job of teamwork, togetherness and holiday spirit.

The 11th floor tenants participated financially, spiritually, morally and physically in a week of hard work. I was so excited because I had lived in that building for years. Among the members of the committee are Edna Perez, Deshaun Thomas, Larry Lebron, Larry Lebron, Jr., Xiomara Perez, Priscilla Perez, Davanne Thomas, Monique Carty, Marcus, Deynean Armstrong, Elijah Dalton, Louisa Perez.

Many people have made disparaging comments about Bay towers. I have been personally angered. After all I spent my teenage years and my late mom spent over 25 years in the building. This week we saw that the residents have the ability to work together for the betterment of Bay towers. Keep up the great unity. Lets make a difference.

What happened to our two local City Council members? Why are they not securing a free ferry for the residents of Rockaway? What does Bay Ridge have that we don't? What cloud does Marty Golden have that our Council members don't have?

We urge everyone who reads this column to pick up the phone and/or write to the City Council member who represents you. The addresses and phone numbers are on the editorial page of this newspaper.

On Monday evening we attended the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce Christmas party and the 100 and 101 Precinct Explorers Christmas party. The Explorers are a program that prepares teenagers for their future. We have always worked closely with P.O. Danny O'Brien of the 100 Pct. provided busses for various trips. We look forward to continuing to support endeavors of this fine organization.

On Tuesday evening we attended the Breezy Point Golden Age club annual Chistmas party at the Silver Gull. As usual President Renee Lacey and her board made this an extra special night. Ann Heselin was the MC for the entertainment. Many of the Golden Age members told stories and sang. Tim Tubridy was DJ.

Yes, of course we sang our theme song, "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" and got the people on the floor to join us as Lewettes and join in the song. Renee Lacey and her sister Eileen are the best. We ate, laughed, told jokes and had a good time. We even helped sell the 50-50s.

After leaving Breezy Point, we went to the James Conway Sullivan St. Patrick's Day parade and Cultural Committee party. We had a great time singing Christmas Carols at The Beach Club. A great time was had by all.

On Wednesday afternoon we stopped by Assemblywoman Pheffer's annual holiday party. We had a great time talking to Audrey's parents Alex and Ruth Fagin, her sister Gail Rosenberg, and Rite Freese. Audrey's parents are the nicest people you could ask to meet. They are real heimishe people. We also had a great time talking to Nancy Rasmussen who is an extremely hard worker on behalf of the residents of Breezy Point.

We proceeded to the 100 Precinct Council meeting where they had their election of officers. Congratulations to reelected President John McLaughlin, Vice President Jate Doremus and the board.

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