2007-09-07 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon As I sit here on Labor Day I say, "Oh my God. What happened to the summer? Where did it go?" It seemed like the fastest summer on record. As we come to the sixth anniversary of 9/11, I extend my deepest sympathy to all of those who lost a loved one on that horrific day that will go down in history as the worst terrorist act ever.

We must never forget and keep our eyes open at all times and question anything and everything that looks suspect. We must keep one step ahead of the terrorists and at the same time, we must keep in our prayers all the men and women who continue to fight each day for our freedom. We pray for their safe and speedy return.

L'Shana Tova, happy and healthy New Year to all our Jewish family out there. It has come to our attention that this year's Department of Education calendar is unfair to those of the Catholic faith. We urge our readers to call 311 to complain that Holy Thursday and Easter Monday were eliminated as days schools are closed. The Easter holiday was totally ignored. Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein were contacted but would not change the dates.

A few years back Jewish teachers had a problem when Eruv Pesach, the day before Passover, was a school day, interfering with preparation of the Passover dinner. We suggest that somehow there would be a happy medium for all, by working out the problem with religious leaders.

Those who were around during the argument over the Arverne development plan in 1987 remember that Community Board 14 gave conditional approval to the housing plan. They required that a youth center with a state-of-theart swimming pool for instruction, training and competition be part of the plans.

At this time, we are being told that we are getting a four-lane pool. All the swimming experts tell us that an eight-lane pool is required. This would cost an additional three million dollars. It is also unacceptable that the Y should be building a basketball court that would not be available in inclement weather.

Developer Gerry Romski says that eventually a bubble dome would be put over the courts. There is a need to make this project correct from the beginning. We have many, many outdoor basketball courts provided by the Parks Department. We have a major need for an indoor basketball court, where many leagues and private and religious schools-which do not have basketball courts of their own-can compete.

We urge everyone to come to Community Board 14 on Monday, September 10. Note the change of date. The meeting will be held at the Knights of Columbus, 333 Beach 90 Street at 7:30 p.m. Speak out in favor of an 8-lane pool and an enclosed gym. We urge everyone to call our federal, state and city elected officials to obtain additional funds to make this state-of-the-art recreation and training center a reality.

Please note that the report on the Y will be the first item on the agenda and public speaking will follow immediately after the report.

Important note to all registered Democrats and Republicans. There is no Democratic primary on September 18 and Democrats will not vote. In the Republican Party, you must come out to vote for State Committee and County committee.

Do your civic duty and vote.

The annual dinner dance of the Good Government Regular Democratic club will be held on Thursday, November 15, at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin, behind Kings Plaza. Tickets are $75, with tables of 16 for $1,200. Congratulatory and business ads are available. There will be a sit-down dinner and a DJ. Call 718-945-1216 for reservations.

Two weeks ago, we attended the first Bayview Homeowners' Association block party held on Seaview Avenue (103 St.), right next to Scholars' Academy. This block party was a big hit, thanks to President Jose Morales Jr., his wife Teresa and Joanie McGrath, who went door-to- door collecting money; they worked as a team getting entertainment.

This group of 46 houses from Beach 102 Street to Seaside Avenue and the Rockaway Freeway to Beach Channel Drive is home to a very diverse group of wonderful, outstanding individuals, including cops, firefighters, educators, electricians, lawyers and businessmen etc. A great time was had by all. The New York Times had a beautiful story on September 2.

On Monday, August 27, we attended the Rockaway Point Association meeting. That night they voted for eight members of the Board of Directors. Elected for two years were Pat Adams, Kevin Haring, Richie Ryan, Mary Sweeney, Catherine Tennyson and Hugh White. Elected for one year were Ann Marie Horgan and Jim King. Congratulations and thanks for stepping up to the plate to volunteer. Congratulations to Terri Cassidy for doing a fantastic job with her board.

On Sunday afternoon, we marched again with the Roxbury Mardi Gras. Many people shook my hand and thanked me for coming. A great, warm welcome was expressed toward me, as well as kindness and gratitude. Thank you, you were the best.

On Monday afternoon, I was picked up at my house by my great friend Dennis Malone in his beautiful new, cherry-red Corvette. He drove me through the whole Mardi Gras, where we received thunderous cheers and thumbs up. Dennis originally brought me in 1992 to get involved in the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, which we assisted through the years in obtaining three used FDNY fire trucks.

Dennis Malone has been a great friend for over 24 years. Dennis is a kind, caring individual, who knows that whenever he calls for any assistance for the BC community, we will be there.

Our next Atlantic City trip will be on Saturday, September 15, to Bally's Claridge.We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m..

We are deeply saddened by the death of Doris Klarberg. She was an outstanding, loving and compassionate woman. Her involvement in the West End Temple and her super bond with her daughter, Jean Kaplan and her son-in-law, Jay, was fantastic. Doris and Jean had a great relationship. To Jean and Jay, my heart and tears go to you. Doris must have been chosen to be a special angel in heaven. You now have a wonderful guardian angel to watch over you and bless you for all you did for mom. You have my deepest sympathy, respect and admiration for your true eternal love for your mom.

We are saddened by the loss of local attorney Israel Weinstock. He was a great man who gave back to his community and a deeply religious man who was super active in Ohab Zedek. He was a very charitable man and an outstanding lawyer, a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a gentleman who always stepped up to the plate when called upon in Rockaway Jewish Catholic relations. He was a true mensch. God must have had a need for a special angel in charge of mitzvahs. To Audrey and the family, my deepest sympathy.

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