2006-04-21 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

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

We are holding a meeting at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club on Thursday April 27 at 7:45 PM. Mark Green will speak on his campaign to win the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of New York State. As Commissioner of Consumer Affairs and Public Advocate in New York City, Green helped many local residents and people around the city. He will tell us how he expects to help New York State residents as their Attorney General. A question and answer session will follow.

The club is located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive opposite Waldbaum's. Bagels and cream cheese from Beach Bagels and cake from Key Food will be served. All are welcome.

We are still working on removing the additional stops on the Q53. I spoke to Norman Silverman, the MTA official who plans bus routes, about 3 or 4 weeks ago. At that time I invited him to address issues about the Q53, Q35 and Q22 service. He said that we had to get approval from Joe Raskin of MTA public relations.

We were told it was a go. I next got a baloney excuse that he needed someone else's permission. At approximately 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, he said that he was told that if I wanted to do anything like this I would have to go through the Community Board. I stated that this was unacceptable because I wanted an open forum for the community. I reminded them that Joe Raskin as well as several commissioners from this administration and previous administrations had spoken at the club. This seems to be another way the MTA slaps our community in the face.   

Norman Silverman, Chief of Operations of the MTA bus division, can be called at (718) 528-4290, fax (718) 528-4898. We urge everyone interested in getting better bus service to call. You are also invited to come up on Thursday evening so we can work on plans to make the MTA provide better bus service.

It is always very difficult to lose a neighbor, a friend or loved one. This time we lost three fantastic individuals who I considered family.

First it was someone who knew me all my life and watched me grow up and eventually helped me get elected and then worked on the Election Board. Kay Casey, who died on April 4, was involved in Democratic clubs for over 50 years. She was active in the Church, Columbiettes, American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, and 3 Golden Age clubs. She was a loving mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother. Kay was a special person, full of life and a heart of gold.

On Palm Sunday, I received two very disturbing calls. The first came at 8 a.m. from Thomas Catanese, son of Alphonse Catanese (Bobo). Unfortunately he gave me the bad news that his dad passed after 3 AM that morning.

Al was a great man. He showed love for his family, people and the Catholic church. He was a man who never said no. He put his money where his mouth and heart were by doing the right thing in Rockaway. He built the beautiful Sands Point Medical Center on Beach 102 nd Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. He assisted me by providing an adequate space for the Neponsit Adult Day Care Center to survive.

Al's love of his two sons, Tommy and Al Jr., his wife Agnes, his two sisters-in -law and brother-in-law and his grandchildren made him shine as a golden star, with a love of life , food and compassion for all.

At approximately 4 p.m. that afternoon when you thought you had enough and you're already heartbroken, the knife went into my chest even further. Terry Flynn Jr. called to tell me that his father, Terry Flynn Sr. had passed away a few hours before.

For those of you who know me, Terry Flynn Sr. and I had a great relationship. He was like a father to me. He was always available to give me political advice even though he was the ex- Republican leader. His advice or legal assistance was extremely important to me. If you went to see Terry or called him you knew you would spend at least two hours discussing the past and future of the Rockaways.

During Terry's bid for the Civil Court we worked closely together. This was the time my mom Jenny was dying. He spent many long hours helping me and comforting me. His wife Mary and daughter Mary were also exceptional during this time.

Terry was my mentor, my advisor, my best friend and my second dad. His love, compassion and persistence made him one in a million. No matter who needed help and advice, Terry was always there. If someone called for legal advice and had no money, he helped them. He was always there to help the underdog. He loved and worshiped his wife Mary.

He lived for and instilled the right values in his children Terrence Jr., Mary, Timmy, Edie and Kerry. His 18 grandchildren lit up his life. I never heard him say anything that was untrue or unreasonable. He spoke from his heart and gut. He would have made a dynamite judge. His judicial temperament, love for mankind, and fairness for all made him the best in the world.

Because these three fine angels died during Holy Week, the holy time of the year, two dying on Palm Sunday, and being buried on Holy Thursday as well as Passover, God must have needed these special angelsfor a major assignment in heaven. No more pain, no more suffering. God has chosen these three fine individuals.

On Wednesday April 5 we attended a meeting with the new Queens Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Maura McCarthy. We welcomed her and discussed a number of issues including the need for traffic lights on Shorefront Parkway, Cronston Avenue and Newport Avenue and the need for repair of numerous locations especially Beach 116 Street near Duane Reades where you can bottom out. (She had this fixed immediately.)

On Saturday April 8 we attended the 85th anniversary of P.S. 47. We once again became the 50-50 king of the night. The school principal, Pat Tubridy is one of the finest, soft spoken individuals. She is well educated with love and compassion. You would say she resembles a young Elizabeth Montgomery. She and her Assistant Principal and a number of staff members were on hand to share many good stories.P.S. 47 has a commitment from me that I will do anything I can to help or assist them to add additional classrooms to this overcrowded school.

On Thursday evening after being ripped apart by attending two funerals, Carol Orlow invited me to attend a family seder with Alex and Carol Orlow, parents of Jodi Orlow Mackoffand, her in-laws, Bobbi and Peter Mackoff, whose son is married to prominent attorney Jodi Orlow Mackoff. She and her dad Alex are in partnership in Orlow and Orlow. Her sister Sue attended.

The seder opened with Alex leading us. Then the most amazing thing happened, Stu and Jodi's son, Jake Mackoff, four years old, a pre-K student at Yeshiva of Belle Harbor stole the show and my heart. He used his own seder notebook which he made in school and told us what to do in each part and why it was done. You would have thought it was an adult speaking. It was absolutely adorable. His sisters Samantha and Jenna who attend Yeshiva of Belle Harbor along with their cousins and invited guests made me kvell with happiness because of their understanding of Jewish heritage, the language and songs.

Now is the time to register to vote in the upcoming election for Governor, U.S. Senator, Attorney General, Comptroller, Congress, State Senator and Assembly. You can come up to register on Thursday evening or call 945-1216 for an appointment. Registered Democratic voters are needed as Election Inspectors in the 23 A.d. Part B. If you are interested call my office. 

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