2003-02-22 / Columnists

Simon Says...

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Simon Says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

As I write our column, the first blizzard of the twenty-first century has hit. It seems to be a very wicked one as the snow freezes making very slippery hazardous conditions.

At the next meeting of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club on Thursday, February 27, we will have an opportunity to hear from and question Jonathan Greenspun, Commissioner of the Community Assistance Unit of the mayor’s office. He is the liaison between community and civic groups, public and private agencies and the mayor.

We will be able to ask questions about the services provided by all mayoral agencies and bring our concerns to Mayor Bloomberg’s attention. The meeting will be held at our office at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive opposite Waldbaum’s at 7:45 p.m. Bagels, cream cheese and coffee (courtesy of Rockaway Bagels) are served.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, March 8. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $28 with $17 returned. Call (718) 945-1216 for reservations

On Thursday evening the Good Government Regular Democratic Club had the honor of hosting the first meeting with our new Division 5 school superintendent, Dr. Kathleen Cashin. Dr. Cashin recalled the Marine Bridge before it was named for Gil Hodges and the old Pizza City in Howard Beach. She served as principal of P.S. 193 before becoming superintendent of Ocean Hill Brownsville.

After stating her belief that every child can learn, Dr. Cashin pledged to do an excellent job and give all of our children an excellent education. Speaking to a room filled with educators, parents and community leaders, she said she needed to make their support to make the region 5 most successful.

Among the points made by Dr. Cashin were:

She takes pride in the students from District 23 who were accepted in Brooklyn Tech and Poly Prep on full scholarship.

District 23 was tops in growth in attendance.

Dr. Cashin favors alternatives to suspension in which children are placed in another school instead of being at home or on the street.

She supports involving students in sports like lacrosse, gymnastics and fencing because college scholarships are available for these students.

Among the questions Dr. Cashin could not answer immediately were the location of the new district office and how a child new to the community would be placed if the neighborhood school had already been filled to capacity. She promised to find out the answers. Dr. Kathleen Cashin lit up the room with her wonderful smile, vast knowledge of education and academic credentials that are impeccable. Her personality and disposition was charming, personable and down to earth. When she addressed our group, which was standing room only, she chose to walk over to each individual who asked a question.

It is quite apparent this fine lady is a person of the people, not stuck up or pretentious, but class personified.

Saturday evening we attended the Annual James Conway Sullivan Memorial St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Cultural Committee’s Twenty-Eighth Annual Ball, which was held at Antun’s in Queens Village, under the leadership of President Michael Benn, Vice President Owen Baxter, Dance Co-Chairperson Peggy & William Neville and Dinner Co-Chairlady Christina Benn.

This year our female Grand Marshall is Treasa Smyth. Treasa teams up with her husband Tommy on the Ireland Calls radio show in N.Y.

The male Grand Marshall is James W. Cahill, a leader of the Steamfitters Union Local 638. The female Honorary Grand Marshal is a former Democratic District Leader in Brooklyn, Frances Abbriacciamento, a lady of class with a heart of gold and a tireless worker. The Honorary Grand Marshal (male) is Martin Kelly, one of Verizon’s best managers.

Gael of the Year is James P. Supple, a great friend and neighbor, who is always there to support all Irish and community causes. At 91 years young, he puts many young people to shame with all he does for our community.

Deputy Grand Marshals are as follows: Edwars O’Grady, a great friend whose Newmark Mgt. Agency manages many great buildings in the New York City area, and a great activist for all good causes. Patrick Russell, administrator for Park Nursing Home and Barney Cassidy.

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