2004-01-16 / 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

The New Year started off with a major blessed event. We attended the wedding of two of my very close friends. After 11 years of courtship Clifford Miller and Anacelis Claudio were married on Friday, January 2 at Nativity Church in Ozone Park. The groom, Cliff Miller is assistant vice president in charge of the emergency department at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. The bride, Anna, is a dental assistant. The groom’s grandparents are Salvatore Composto and Frances Ferrara, the bride’s parents are Venancio and Rosa Claudio. The groom’s parents, Clifford and Marie Miller are the former owners of the TCBY in Howard Beach. They are great friends and contribute to all causes in the Howard Beach, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven communities. The best man was Christian Miller and Matron of Honor was Iris Karwacki. The Ushers were Craig Miller, Frank Voli, Mike Daab, Sean Broderick, Joseph Composto, Ryan Gorecki, and Junior Usher was Joseph Composto, Jr. The Bridesmaids were Sharon Bueno, Rocio Noboa, Edna Roman, Jessina Zapata, and Junior Bridesmaids were Jasmine Cruz and Samantha Claudio. The couple honeymooned in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Cliff and Anna are the nicest couple you could ask to meet. There is an old saying that the bride is beautiful. This saying definitely was the truth. Anna is one of the most beautiful, sweetest, loving individuals you’ve ever met. Cliff was beet red and very nervous. He is extremely intelligent, with excellent administrative skills. We know he will probably wind up in city or state government as a commissioner or deputy mayor. He and his bride have great personalities and get along well with others. The reception was held that evening at The Westbury Manor where the couple showed their love for each other and all in the room. We all danced and had a great time. Cliff Miller’s parents instilled the right values in their son and it really rubbed off. The Claudios, two very hard working workers at Madeline Chocolate raised Anna with the right qualities and values that make her a fine, outstanding young lady. We wish them continued love and happiness, prosperity, good fortune, lots of wonderful children and continued success. Mazel Tov.

Two days after New Years we received a letter from Barry Domfort, music coordinator at Beach Channel H.S. Their marching band was chosen to lead the Share a Dream Parade at Disney World in Florida during President’s Week around February 16th. They would lead off. They passed a stringent videotape audition. This band has given a lot back to the community. They marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Rockaway, The Memorial Day parade and at major events affecting the Rockaway community. They need to raise $30,000 to pay for bus coach transportation for at least 40 students and 5 chaperones, as well as hotel or motel accommodations and food. After receiving the letter asking me to sell tickets for their fundraising concert, we immediately took to the phones. We were able to obtain sizable donations from Cumberland Packing Corp., Sweet-N-Low Cumberland, Mar-vin Eisenstadt owner, Arverne by the Sea Vice President Peter Florey as well as selling many tickets. Approximately one night before the concert, I reached out to Barry Domfort to speak to him about a raffle. He said that one parent committed to make two beautiful ottomans and another promised to help. Unfortunately they did not fulfill their duties. A bulb went off in my head and I immediately got on the phone and called a number of local merchants from Far Rockaway and across the peninsula. Roberg Krines of Rockaway Beach Hardware made the first major gift. I have watched Robert grow up from childhood. He has never said no to community causes. Pickle N Pies owner Joe gave us a nice gift certificate. Belle Harbor Liquor donated a basket. Shore Car Service owner Joe D’Angelo gave us a nice gift certificate. Jimmy and Carmel O’Sullivan of Kerry Hills Pub and Rogoff’s also contributed. We also got commitments from the Sunset Diner and A&J Jewelers. We decided to hold off on the raffle and will be planning a March or April date selling the raffle 6 for $5. All money will be for the benefit of the BCHS marching band.

Anyone who would like to contribute to this great cause can sent it to the BCHS Marching Band, 100-00 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694. Contributions are tax deductible. On Saturday evening we got to present our checks at the Winter Concert.


Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer obtained $5,000 check from the Port Authority of NY and NJ.

Democratic District Leader Bob Simmons presented a $540 check from both himself and Congressman Meeks. Walsh Properties Inc., made a nice donation. Eddie Hazel and Barry Domfort’s parents Jack and Phyllis Domfort contributed and Jack helped the parents sell food at the snack bar. This was a most impressive night. We wish to thank the hundreds of people who braved the freezing weather to enjoy this concert. The gospel choir and dancers also performed. The talent and positive showing of BCHS this evening showcased the positive educational qualities of BCHS under the new leadership of Dr. David Morris, Principal, Barry Domfort Music Coordinator and Chorus Coordinator Ronald Kornegay.

The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program provides exemption from rent increases to New York City tenants: who are 62 years or older; who live in a rent-regulated apartment or hotel; whose annual household income is $24,000 or less; whose rent has been increased and represents more than one-third (1/3) of the total household income.

If you think you may be eligible for this program, call my office at (718) 945-1216. We are in the office on Thursday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Please call to make an appointment. We will assist you in filling out the application when necessary.

Last Thursday night we held a meeting to discuss the rules for the boardwalk and beach access for the coming season. Despite the frigid weather a lot of enthusiastic and angry people have joined us in an effort to avoid the disastrous rules that spoiled the summer season for many of us in 2003. We want to extend lifeguard coverage and hours, allow responsible use of the beach and surf at other times, allow people to leave their chairs and towels on the beach when walking on the beach or swimming in the water, walking leashed dogs on the boardwalk and allowing bicycles to use designated parts of the boardwalk as is done on many other boardwalks.

We are asking for your assistance in helping to circulate a massive petition to show the Parks Commissioner that responsible people in Rockaway want to enjoy our beach and boardwalk as we have for many years. We are requesting petition captains for each apartment building and each block for each area from Far Rockaway to Breezy Point and Broad Channel. Call us if you can help.

Thanks to the new owners of Rockaway Bagels for continuing the tradition of providing the bagels for our public meetings and bus trips. We urge our readers to continue your patronage of this local business.

We congratulate Ed Otton his reelection as Secretary-Treasurer of TWU Local 100 and continuing the militant union tradition of going back to Mike Quill. Ed is a proud local resident.

Your membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic club is welcome. The dues are $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 for Seniors and Young Dems. You may send your check to us at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

We are planning our bus trip for a Saturday evening in March. Call us to tell us if you would prefer Trump Marina or Mohegan Sun.


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