2007-04-06 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon

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

We'd like to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Passover and Joyous Easter. Whichever holiday you celebrate, may it be happy, healthy and bring you only good things.

On Thursday March 22, Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) required Dayton Towers Cooperative to take a new vote on First Sale, a plan to raise money for capital improvements without raising maintenance charges. Part of the increased value of the apartments would be used by the co-op when an apartment is sold. The only people who will not benefit are those who move to a larger apartment.

A total of 584 votes were needed for a quorum to make the vote valid. 684 votes were cast. There were 637 yes and 47 no. I sat in the room at 102-00 Shorefront Parkway while Donna Mantin, Richard Nardo and staff verified and tabulated the votes. They did a great job with an excellent idea.

We are deeply saddened by the death of a very active board member at Dayton Towers, Chuck Gregory. He was a kind, loving gentleman who worked diligently on behalf of the shareholders. We know he will be a special angel up in heaven.

On Friday March 23 we attended the 78th annual Ohab Zedek shul dinner. Audrey and Israel Weinstock, this year's honorees, are a great choice. These two loving and devoted pillars of our community have helped to make a difference in the quality of life in the Rockaways.

Israel is a fantastic attorney who serves as pro bono counsel for the shul and has provided pro bono counsel to help mend fences between community groups when necessary. Audrey is an educator who has always been loving and generous to all those who need assistance.

Rabbi Tomsky and Rabbi Emeritus Reiner put together a fantastic sermon. The dinner committee led by President Ira Lawrence and the journal committee chaired by our dear great friend Sara Lefkowitz honored a great couple and raised a nice sum of money to keep the shul running.

A great part of the evening was the entertainment by Amar and other singers. They were dynamic and energetic. Others who helped make this program a success were Lester and Joyce Ness, former owners of the Washington Hotel, Abe and Denise Waldman, Mendy and Sharon Bauman, Barbara and Alan Berg, Sandy Farrell, Adele Lawrence and Co-President Bruce and Eileen Bernfeld.

We are saddened by the death of Richard (Dick) Thornhill, past President of the Roxbury People's Association. He was an outstanding community civic leader and a tireless, energetic worker on behalf of the residents of Roxbury and Breezy Point. He was a great friend and a wonderful human being. We believe God must have needed a special angel to assist on major projects in heaven. My deepest sympathy to his family.

On Thursday, March 29 all "el" broke loose at 7 a.m. when the NYC's Department of Transportation (DOT) came to mill the roadway on Beach Channel Drive from Beach Channel High School going east into the Beach 90's. Traffic was so backed up that the Crossbay Bridge was closed until at least 8:30 a.m. The 100th Precinct knew nothing of the closing until it happened. Once again there was poor planning by the permit office of the DOT which didn't tell the community what it was doing. We hope it didn't cause any major hardship. This traffic jam made me think what would happen if the Office of Emergency Management ordered an evacuation before a hurricane.

We are still seeking student interns to learn how local, city and state government work. We will help you get school credit. If you are computer literate and available on one evening or weekend day, call my office for details. No political affiliation is required.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday April 21. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. The cost is $35 with $25 returned. Bagels by Beach Bagels. Call 718-945-1216 for reservations.

On Tuesday, April 24 all local residents will get a chance to tell the City Council about our need for better transportation. We have been waiting for this meeting since Thursday November 30 when City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was a guest at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club. As Democratic Leader, I asked for a meeting convenient for local residents and Speaker Quinn promised to arrange it.

This will be a public hearing at the American Legion Hall on Crossbay Boulevard in Broad Channel to accommodate all of the residents of the 32nd Council District as requested by our Councilman Joe Addabbo.

We are urging our community to come together and let their voices be heard for the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach line of the LIRR, and the Super A that I have spoken about many times. We need an affordable ferry and to reopen lanes on Shorefront Parkway and parts of Beach Channel Drive that have been closed by striped lines and other reasons. We need all day and weekend express bus service to Manhattan. We will continue to be the poor stepchildren of the city if we are not there to speak up. Be there at 7 p.m. with your family, friends, neighbors and signs.

On Friday evening March 30, we attended the St. Francis Home School Association card party. As usual Mr. 50-50 worked himself to exhaustion from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. nonstop raising a record number for the school. The women there had a ball with me, making me dance with them and sing for the money.

It was the best card party on the peninsula thanks to DJ Teddy Rauert, who missed his calling and should have been a comedian. Congratulations to the great committee that works diligently to raise funds for St. Francis de Sales school.

We'd like to give a special thank you to Dr. Tim Rohrs of the Sands Point Physical Therapy. We asked for his assistance in selling Stars and Moons for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life that will be held at Beach Channel High School on June 9 and June 10.

For a $1 donation your name will be put on his wall.

He is always there to do the right thing.

His Therapy Group performs miracles.

We highly recommend them.

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