2004-01-30 / 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 you are reading this newspaper on January 31, it is eight years since the death of my mom, Jennie Simon. My mom was a tough, feisty lady who instilled the proper family values, love for mankind, persistence a nd courage in my heart.

Many of you who have lost a loved one know that there are times you want to pick up a phone or sit and talk or ask questions or just reminisce. Just recently I read an article in a local newspapers showing one of the managers of Key Food. I read that his name was Jerry Nierenberg and a thought went through my mind. I al ways knew him as Jerry, but never knew his last name.

A light bulb went off in my mind. One of my mother’s best friends, who lived in our building in the Arverne Houses was Shirley Nierenberg. I re member that she had a son named Jerry. Shirley and my mom kept their friendship up until my mom passed away.

A day after reading the article I went into the Key Food and asked Jerry if his mother’s name was Shirley. When he said yes my face lit up like a Christmas tree. I couldn’t wait to tell him who his mother’s friend was and that I was Jennie’s son. Jerry had grown up in my building but we lost contact. It was like my mom was stand ing next to me. Of course there were 20 questions. How’s mom? How old is mama? It was wonderful to hear that his mom is doing wonderful. She is still independent and constantly on the go at a young 82. This made me so happy that I immediately went home and called my aunt in NJ and we reminisced for two hours. During our conversation my aunt asked me how Johanna Mazza, Rich ard Berger, Florence Alt schuler, Alick Duck, Dor othy Jack son, Nivea Mar shall, members of Ham mels Senior Center and others were.

My aunt remembers how EMT Richard Berger was always available when my mom needed oxygen or to be rushed to the hospital. At one time when he was in the communications division, I had called for an ambulance because my mom fell in the house during her five-year battle with caner. Richard was the operator on the phone, which meant I didn’t have to explain anything and he knew just what to do.

His wonderful girlfriend, Johanna Mazza, was always there to help his mom. It was hard, as a man, to clean my mom after she soiled or bled in her clothes. Many late nights she came over to help my mom.

Alice Duck, Dorothy Jackson and Florence Altschuler were some of my mom’s closest friends. They were
in constant communication with each other and went everywhere together, Nivea used to come and help mom put cream on her arms and legs and help her shower. All of these people are some of the finest people on earth.

My sister Fran and I constantly argue about what we would do if we had one more hour with my mom. My sister said she would have mom make rare roast beef and potato latkes. I said I would take her wherever she wanted to go for her prime rib.

I have no regrets for the treatment or the way I handled my mom or my relationship with her. As any of the staff of Peninsula Hospital or Rehab can tell you, I was near mom’s bedside morning, noon and night. Mom would tell me after dinner to go to your meetings and then come back to the hospital. I sure missed my mom because there will never be a better woman than my mom. For all those who have lost a loved one, I’m sure you can identify with me. Remember I am human too.

We read this week that City Council man Joseph Addabbo Jr. resigned from his position as Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee to chair another committee. What is quite obvious is that Rockaway, which has one of the city’s biggest Parklands, the Rock away’s beach and boardwalk has no solution yet to the inadequate, outdated rules and regulations which gave us a terrible summer 2003.

It makes us sad there has been no resolution by someone who knows our plight. We wish to extend our con gratulations to Bronx City Coun cil member Helen Foster, daughter of former Council member Wendell Foster, who has now taken over as chair of the committee. We look forward to having an open dialogue and are requesting a public hearing to be held on the outdated rules and regulations and their arbitrary enforcement. At the same time we need your continued support to come up and take some petitions to change these rules.

Our office is located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. We are open on Thurs day evening from 7:30 to 10:30 P.M. You can make an appointment by calling (718) 945-1216. If you have not yet paid for your membership for 2004 send a check for $25 for a family, $18 single or $12 for Seniors and Young Dems to our office. United we stand, divided we fall.

The Port Authority’s Van Wyck Air train was a real waste of over $2 billion with $600 million for the Van Wyck Line alone. They have had stalled trains, lateness, accidents, low ridership and high-priced tickets and no discounted links with Metrocard. The Port Authority clearly made a mistake. We could have linked the old Rock away Beach line of the LIRR to JFK which would not have impacted the Van Wyck. They also could have im proved travel to midtown Manhattan for residents of Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Woodhaven. Who is really benefiting from this spending?

One of the purposes of the Van Wyck line was to relieve traffic congestion on the Van Wyck. Have you been there recently? It is just as bad, if not worse.

Several weeks ago the Port Author ity spoke at Community Board 14. I questioned Patty Clark, Senior Ad visor to the Director of External Affairs about the new proposal for trains to go through Atlantic Avenue to Brooklyn. She made it clear that the Port Authority had no plans to help local residents.

For shame on the Port Authority. They throw our own taxpayer dollars back to various communities and community organizations. Millions were promised to Queens but we have not yet seen what is coming into our communities around the airport. We should not sell ourselves short.

This Saturday, January 31 will be the 11th Anniversary "Doo Wop" Con cert at Beach Channel High School at 7 PM hosted by Harry G with partial proceeds to the Susan G. Memorial Scholarship Fund. It features the Legends of Doo Wop, Kenny Vance and the Planotones, Frankie Ford, Emil Stucchio and the Classics, Devotions, Lenny Cocco and the Chimes, The Four Pops, The Encounters, Sweet heart, the Rocketones. The Gold Seats $37.50 and Reserved Seating $30.00. Call (516) 377-0357 or (718) 891-5692 for reservations. See you there.

The Democratic Presidential primary will be on Tuesday, March 2 in New York State. If you are not registered to vote, your applications must be in by February 6. If you will be 18 before November 2, 2004 you may vote in the primary.

We have voter registration forms in the office and will help you fill them out. They are very easy. If you have not voted in 4 years we will check if you are still registered. Call for an appointment. If you are interested in working at the polls on primary day and are a registered Democrat, call my office.

The pay is $200. The hours are 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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