2005-04-08 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

As we are sitting writing our column we just got the news that Pope John Paul passed. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this great saint to be. The pope touched everyone’s life regardless of race or religion. We all loved him.

This is the only pope who apologized for the Holocaust and reached out and worked closely with the Jews. He was a man with a heart of gold. Even in death our pope showed us that he was a man of great conviction and belief. His strength has helped us all.

This year during the Holy Week before Easter when the Jewish people celebrated Purim, the custom is to give something sweet. This week I got something really sweet and wonderful, the announcement from the Brooklyn Queens diocese that St. Virgilius would stay open.

We worked as a united group under the direction of Stacy Spataro, the president of the St. Virgilius Home and School Association and Pete Mahon, Chairman of the Business Plan Committee along with parents and community members.

I organized Proceeds Nights at Wendy’s and can collections for donations at Rockaway Park Waldbaum’s. We want to thank Waldbaum’s for allowing us to collect and the people of all ethnic and religious groups who contributed.

Special thanks to Congressman Anthony Weiner, who had the fortitude, courage, vision and balls to bring the vicar, Msgr. Hardiman to a public summit for all of the 23 schools slated to close in the Brooklyn Queens diocese.

Weiner was the only other elected official besides myself to step up to the plate and make a difference. For all those who are now saying he is running for mayor and is grandstanding, I say right on and thank you.

The summit brought together people who began networking with good ideas as well as speak with the vicar of education. We do not agree with the elected official who chose to speak, but not act. In order to make a difference, you must get out and work with the people. We were out on our feet for long hours on a daily basis, as well as locked in meetings with the Business Committee till the wee hours.

Most of all we must thank the children of St. Virgilius. Their beautiful faces, cute smiles, warm friendship and their love for their school made a difference. You could not pass them by when they asked for a donation.

Now you can make a difference. Come join and become part of the future. St. Virgilius provides you and your children with classes from Pre-K thru 8th grade.

They offer small class sizes, individual instruction, a dedicated faculty and an open door policy with the school administration. They have hands on science, Spanish, art, computer lab classes and educational field trips. They implement New York State learning standards with superior student results. If you are interested contact them at (718) 634-6237.

Now is the time to send a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg to tell him to just say yes to the ferry. Congressman Anthony Weiner was able to get the Congress to put up the federal share. The address is City Hall, New York NY 10007.

We could not believe it when we read The Wave of March 25. City Councilman Joseph P Addabbo Jr. is requiring more letters before he helps us get access to the public beach and ocean.

He knows that there were large rallies in the summer of 2003 and 2004 demanding free access to our beach and boardwalk.

He received petitions with thousands of signatures as well.

We met with him during the summer of 2004 to bring the message from thousands of local residents that we want to be allowed to swim with lifeguard protection until 8 p.m. to accommodate the working people who do not get home until after 6 p.m.

If we must write again, please do so. Send a copy to my office at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive so we can continue to prove that we want to use our beaches and boardwalk.

We’d like to congratulate our good friend, Paul Piekarski who was promoted to the rank of Deputy Inspector from the 100 Pct. This is the first time a 100 Pct. Captain has been promoted while in the precinct. Paul has been a great friend to the residents of the 100 Precinct.

His honesty, fairness and demeanor definitely make him one of the best captains we have ever had. Congratulations.

Last Friday afternoon we met with our new community relations officer P.O. Griffiths. P.O. Griffiths has worked in our precinct for a number of years. His personality, charisma, and wonderful smile will make everyone who lives in the 100 th precinct area very happy.

Good luck and best wishes.

My heart goes out to the family of Terry Schiavo.  

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday April 16. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m.              

The cost is $32 with $25 and a gift returned. Prepaid reservations are a must. Call 945-1216.

Membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic Club is a good way to make good things happen in our community.

Send your dues, $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 for Seniors and Young Dems to my office.

We get no government money.

Without your support we cannot continue to do what we do.

We are saddened by the loss of J.R. McDermott, a young man in the Roxbury community. J.R. was a volunteer at the Roxbury Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Sadly this occurred near the Reid avenue booth where a traffic light is desperately needed.               

For many years residents of Breezy Point asked for assistance in obtaining a traffic light at Reid Avenue. Unfortunately the amount of traffic didn’t meet with DOT’s requirements. Now once again, we are trying our best to obtain a light.

During the past week, Chairman of the Board Steve Greenberg called to ask for my assistance in obtaining a light on Reid Avenue.

It feels like deja vu.

Those who remember in 1997, on the first night of Passover, I remember attending a wake for the two beautiful angels killed in Roxbury.

  We did everything in our power to organize a rally, taking on the DOT to obtain a Roxbury light. It seems to be a pattern that a fatality is needed to obtain a light.

We are committed to once again taking on the DOT. Several times this week we reached out to Queens DOT Commissioner Connie Moran who assured me a study will be done.

Proceeds Nights at Wendy’s will resume on Wednesday April 13. 20% of the proceeds from 5 to 9 p.m. will be donated to St. Virgilius School. Music and a magic show will be presented. If you use the drive-in mention St. Virgilius. Stop by and say hello to me.

Show your support.

We are deeply saddened and shocked by news of the passing of Robert Krinis owner of the 115th Street Hardware store. He was one of the nicest and kindest gentlemen you could ask to meet. He was always there to contribute to a worthy cause. He loved the Rockaways where he grew up as a child in the family business. We really believe God must have needed another angel, because Robert surely was one.

On Thursday evening, we were proud to welcome our good friend, mayoral candidate Fred Ferrer, to our community. One of the boldest things I’ve done in a long time was to present the proposal for the reactivation of the old Rockaway Beach line to Ferrer. Mayor Ferrer gave his committment, as he gave it in the past, that this line will become a reality when he becomes mayor.

Ferrer tied his support for better transportation to his opposition to the mayor’s plan to use precious MTA funds to build a stadium for the Jets. If the Jets want a stadium they should pay for it themselves.

Ferrer responded to questions about the threatened closing of St. Stans by the diocese, ferry service to the Rockaways, and more hours of lifeguard protection. He was outraged by Governor Pataki’s efforts to cut the budget for Family Health Plus , Child Care Plus and Medicaid. 

In the next few months other candidates for city wide office will appear.

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