2007-11-02 / 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 Gee, how time flies. We're reminding everyone to get out and vote this Tuesday, November 6 for the reelection of District Attorney Richard A. Brown, the best D.A. Queens County has ever seen. Other candidates are Rudy Greco for Civil Court Judge and Denis Butler, Ken Holder and Steve Paynter for three vacancies on the State Supreme Court.

Each of the candidates spoke to a large and attentive crowd at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club on Thursday, October 18. Rudy Greco arrived first and had time to tell much of his life story. A Democratic District Leader from Jackson Heights, Greco moved to Flushing from Brooklyn when he was ten. He was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph and at Flushing High School.

After his parents' divorce, Rudy had to work as a water boy, lunch counterman, and steamfitter. He attended St. John's Law School, but flunked out after one term. With the encouragement of Vincent McCarthy of Belle Harbor and Jim Roe, the Democratic County Leader, he studied law privately for four years and passed his bar exam.

During the Vietnam War period, Greco said that he took a job as a social studies teacher in a junior high school in the South Bronx. He said that he is as patriotic as anyone, but there are some wars that we shouldn't be involved in. Although he had no training as a gym teacher, he was assigned to the gym. He said that he got respect from the kids.

Greco has been in private law practice for 33 years. He represented Golden Gloves boxers in a case against the Daily News and Don King, and paid the rent on his office every month.

Greco is proud to be a Democrat and promised to treat all who came before him with dignity and respect.

We remembered Ken Holder, who is currently a Civil Court Judge, from his time as head of the Narcotics Bureau for Queens D.A. Brown. Holder was always responsive when we asked him for help in dealing with narcotics problems in Rockaway.

Holder told us he has been in Queens for 35 years. His mother was Director of Nursing at Jamaica Hospital. He is most proud of having the lowest recidivism rate for those narcotics offenders he prosecuted.

His best known case involved Arjune, a Queens resident, who reported narcotics dealers on his block to the police. After his home was firebombed, P.O. Eddie Byrne was assigned to a patrol car outside Arjune's home. Officer Byrne was shot to death in the car. Holder asked all Democrats to be sure to vote in this election, because there are three Republicans running for the court against them.

Denis Butler Jr., son of long time Queens Assemblyman Denis Butler, got enthusiastic support from Queens Democrats who know his father. The elder Butler, who has been ill, proudly introduced his son. Butler Jr., a graduate of Fordham Law, clerked for four judges and has been sitting in Civil Court for four and one-half years.

All of the Democratic candidates received the highest rating from the screening group.

The Queens District Attorney comes out to our club every year, even when he is not up for re-election. He is justly proud of the reduction in crime since he became D.A. in 1991, and his fifty years in public service in the city administration, state legislature and as a judge, before being elected D.A.

Although Brown is unopposed this year, we urge everyone to vote for him on the Democratic line.

It is not too late to register to vote for the February 5, 2008 presidential primary. Call my office to make an appointment to come up to register. The Queens Democratic organization has unanimously endorsed Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the U.S. Anyone interested in carrying petitions for Hillary, or signing a petition themselves, can call 718-945-1216 to make an appointment.

Tickets for our 20th anniversary, annual dinner-dance are still available. We will honor Andrew Baumann, President of CEC District 27; Kyle Bragg, VP Local 32BJ; Terri Cassidy, President Rockaway Point Association; Edward Figueroa, President Amalgamated Transit 1056; Sheila & Michael Finnegan, Peninsula Performing Arts; Martin Ingram, Breezy Point Co-op Board; Staff Sergeant William Rahilly, Iraq War hero; Mary Romski, community leader; David J Rosenzweig, Fire Alarm Dispatchers; Daniel Ruscillo, President 100 Precinct Community Council; Senator Malcolm A. Smith, Senate Democratic Leader; and Rabbi Boaz Tomsky, Principal, Yeshiva of Belle Harbor.

The dinner will be on Thursday, November 15 at El Caribe in Mill Basin, Brooklyn.

Tickets are $75 per person and $1,200 for a table of 16. Glatt kosher food available.

Live DJ. Call 718-945-1216 for reservations.

We are super annoyed at DEP for their lousy response in the Rockaways and Ozone Park.

the last several months, Beach 88 Street and Beach Channel Drive has had a major cave-in that was paved umpteen times. DEP checked out the condition and verified a pipe was broken.

They are waiting for an emergency contract. Hard to believe - they didn't even put a metal plate to cover it.

The same goes for Beach 105 Street at Shorefront Parkway, near the traffic light. It's so bad, people have been putting sand from the beach in the hole. Neither of the two places has been made safe for pedestrians or cars. Both of these locations should have been covered with a metal plate.

We urge everyone to call 311 and DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd, at 718-595-6565.

Etching of I-Pods and Sidekick cell phones will be available on the second Wednesday of each month at the Rockaway Park subway station at Beach 116 Street. Captain Phyllis Byrnes of District 23 Transit instituted the program, in light of a rash of robberies of the cell phones on the trains and streets.

We urge everyone to have an ID # etched on them to deter a criminal from reselling them. We look forward to working closely with Capt. Byrne. Etching of cars will be available at the 100 Precinct by making an appointment with P.O. Darcy at 718-318-4233. We urge everyone to take advantage of this great program.

Our next Atlantic City trip to Bally's Claridge will be on Saturday, November 17. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7 a.m. Bagels and cream cheese by Beach Bagel (and a movie) are served. Call now to pay for tickets in advance.

We'd like to congratulate the best hair stylist on the Rockaway peninsula, our one and only Julia, formerly of Mr. Rocco's, who has joined the friendly staff of the Strands salon at 115-10 Beach Channel Drive. She has personally cut my hair for over 20 years. Prices and service will stay the same. Rumor has it that we will soon see a column "From the Barber's Chair" by Julia in The Wave.

We have heard grumbling to the effect that a new 12-story building will be built in the parking lot between Beach 106 Street and Beach 107 Street. We question the parking situation, which is already over capacity. We are currently waiting for additional details.

Watch for our Democratic presidential debate, with all candidates invited, in early December.

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