2003-04-12 / Columnists

Simon Says...

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

Simon Says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

It’s about time that finally Newport Avenue has been repaved. We hope it will soon be completed and they will move on to Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The Department of Design and Construction should be embarrassed and ashamed for the abandonment of service for our community. It is important that they complete sewer, gas and street repair on time.

On Saturday while walking on the boardwalk to the rally on Beach 116 Street it became quite obvious that many of the wooden boards are protruding because of missing screws or screws which are standing up.

It is important that service and emergency vehicles stay off the boardwalk. They should use ATV’s on the sand, because they are doing major damage to the boardwalk. We urge everyone to watch carefully when they walk on the boardwalk.

Congratulations and best wishes to Arthur C. Lighthall, newly appointed General Manager of the Breezy Point Cooperative. Arthur began his career in Breezy Point Coop in 1964 as a summer intern employee while attending high school and college. Upon graduation from Manhattan College in 1971, he stayed with the Field Department as a maintenance mechanic. From 1973 to 1976 Artie worked for the New York City Police Department as a crime lab technician.

When Artie was caught in the city’s budget crises in April 1976, he decided to return to the coop as administrative assistant to the general manager. He became assistant general manager in 1986 and now his tireless hard work and devotion has paid off. Congratulations to one of the best people who has given so much to the Breezy Point community, which includes being part and former chief of the volunteer fire department. We look forward to continuing our great working relationship for the benefit of the people of Breezy Point.

Since the Operation Iraqi Freedom began many people’s nerves are on edge. Children especially fear another act of terrorism. As I had written in last week’s column, George Bush had told New York City to drop dead. President George W. Bush asked Congress for $74.7 billion for the Iraq war, the largest emergency spending bill in history. The White House lobbied hard to turn aside Democratic amendments to boost homeland security.

One after another, most Democratic amendments were defeated in the House and Senate. They included Senate efforts to add a billion dollars to beef up port security and to spend $30 million to equip commercial aircraft with anti-missile technology. Our New York Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton met resistance to their amendment to boost by $4.3 billion funding for police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel to combat terrorism. In a compromise, Senator Arlen Spector got the Senate to approve $600 million for first responders in high threat areas such as New York. We hope to see some of this money actually reach out city.

As we walked the streets of our community we met many, many people who have a son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild or best friend fighting for our country. We are urging everyone to adopt a soldier and send them a package of toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo, razor blades, deodorant or other personal items. It is important that we show our appreciation for those fighting for our freedom and Iraqi freedom. If you reach me we will help you to adopt a soldier.

There are some organized efforts to help morale. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Queens Chapter #32, will open its doors on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to provide comfort, e-mail capabilities and support. They are located at 88-61 76 Avenue, Glendale. Their number is (718) 830-0037. They are also accepting used American, POW/MIA and all Armed Forces flags. These flags will be retired during a future ceremony.

The Sons of the American Legion is collecting funds to mount full size American flags on light poles. It costs $20 to sponsor a flag. For information contact Eddie O’Hare at 318-5505 or Pat or Gene O’Sullivan at 474-6290.

On Saturday afternoon a couple of our community neighbors held a rally in support of our troops. Margie Romanski, Maureen (Mo) Sammon and Jimmy Miles put together this well-attended rally. There were representatives from Rockaway, Broad Channel, Breezy Point, Ozone Park and Howard Beach. Congressman Anthony Weiner, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, our Councilman, Joe Addabbo, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Community School Board 27 President Steve Greenberg and Board member Dolores Bevilaqua whose son is on the front lines. Our prayers are with her.

Mary Martinez, one of the managers of Waldbaums was draped in an American flag. Her son who is in the Coast Guard is one of the finest young men raised by wonderful parents, Anthony Sr. and Mary. He is presently stationed in Florida.

Many others were there to support our troops. Our country is the greatest. The American flag is a symbol of peace that our ancestors fought for so we can live in peace and harmony. God bless each and every one of them. May we succeed in bringing down Saddam Hussein and his regime and bring home the men and women who fought for our country.

Special thanks to Jimmy O’Sullivan and the Kerry Hills Club who also coordinated the event and Kenny and Steve Good who provided the sound system.

Our next trip to Atlantic City Trump Marina will be on Saturday May 17. We leave at 5:30PM and return at 8AM. The cost is $28 with $17 returned. Call my office at 945-1216 for reservations.

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