2007-11-30 / Columnists

Simon says...

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

Democratic District Leader Lew M. Simon and Neponsit residents meeting with representatives of the HHC to express their concern over the fence around the old Neponsit Home. HHC promised a more appropriate fence. Democratic District Leader Lew M. Simon and Neponsit residents meeting with representatives of the HHC to express their concern over the fence around the old Neponsit Home. HHC promised a more appropriate fence. We would like to personally thank all of our great supporters in the 23 A.D., over 1000 people, who made our 20th anniversary dinner-dance a great success. It sure makes a difference when you are struggling to keep your office going with no funding.

We would like to thank the dinnerdance committee, chaired by Barbara Reiche, which included Annie Connor, Virginia Minardi and Judy Smith, our dinner journal chair John Socha, Andy McGee, who once again designed our cover and took photos, and Patti McCabe, who is one of the best 50-50 sales people I have ever met.

Can you imagine how much could be brought in if we ever teamed up at other charity events?

Other hard-working committee members are Leo Fahy, Dolly Sachs, Bill Gelhaus, Patricia Reid, Johanna Mazza, Irving and Harriet Fiebert, Linda Coyne, Terry Haubert, Mary Murphy and Anne Heslin.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to these outstanding individuals who put in countless hours to make this event a success. For those who have done it before, you know it is very difficult to choose people before the dinner and to go back and forth to many merchants for ads and gifts. It feels like a revolving door that never stops.

I'd like to personally thank two great merchants who have always stepped to the plate. Adam Funtleyder of Busy Bee Learning Store donated his time as DJ, once again. We urge everyone to visit his store and shop locally. To my dear friend Christine of the 99 cent store next to Rogoff's, thanks for all your beautiful stuff that made over seven baskets.

Thanks to our wonderful and distinguished honorees: Kyle Bragg, Vice President, Local 32BJ; Terri Cassidy, President, Rockaway Point Association; Ed Figueroa, President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056; Sheila and Michael Finnegan, Directors of Peninsula Performing Arts Conservatory; Martin Ingram, member of the Breezy Point Co-op Board; our war hero, Second Lieutenant William Rahilly, who served in Qatar and Kuwait; long-time community advocate, Mary Romski; David Rosenzweig, President, NY Fire Dispatchers Union; Daniel Ruscillo, President, 100 Precinct Community Council; our own State Senator and Senate Democratic Leader, Malcolm Smith; and Dr. Boaz Tomsky, Rabbi of Congregation Ohab Zedek and Principal of the Yeshiva of Belle Harbor.

The day after our fantastic dinner, we attended the Rockaway Point Association's Thanksgiving dinner for seniors. It was founded by Frances De Rosa and Barney Cassidy, a great class act, along with the members of the RPA, Tom O'Keefe and RPA President, Terri Cassidy.

There was plenty of good food, wonderful music and a lot of love.

It was great to see all of my fine friends who I consider family. It is wonderful to get together, since so many are widows or their family does not live close by. It is a way of showing and caring and it's beautiful.

Last Monday evening, I was able to set up an extraordinary meeting with the Vice President of the Health and Hospitals Corporation, Larae Brown, and her staff, at the home of Joe and Arlene Fernandez. The purpose was to discuss and remedy the problem of an oversized and ugly barbed wire fence around the Neponsit Home, that reminds neighbors on Beach 149 Street whose backyards abut the property, of Nazi concentration camps.

Where have you seen erection of a fence over eight feet tall, topped with barbed wire? HHC had made an agreement to seal the buildings and to fence the property. We never expected what we got. After one phone call to Brown, she responded promptly and set up this meeting with her staff and engineers. After a dialogue, we agreed that some parts of the fence would be eight feet, and some parts would be six feet in height, with evergreen hedge slats. They agreed to remove the barbed wire on the Rockaway Beach Boulevard side of the Home. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and Peter Sammon, President of the Neponsit Property Owners Association, also attended. Thanks to Brown and her wonderful staff, everyone left the meeting pleased and impressed.

We are deeply saddened by the death of Claire Barbosa, an extremely wonderful, beautiful and kind person. Her red hair and smile always lit up the room. She was always involved and ready to lend a hand, a true lady of class and dignity. The surprise of her untimely death tells us that God must have needed a special angel to work alongside his angels in heaven. We send our deepest sympathies to the family.

Come join us Saturday, December 8, for our next monthly Atlantic City trip to Bally Claridge Casino. The cost is $35, with $20 returned. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7:30 a.m., with eight hours to enjoy in AC. Bagels and cream cheese provided by Beach Bagel. Call 718-945-1216 for reservations.

Congratulations to Patti Mc- Cabe, her Fire Department coworkers, and the other volunteers who put together a Thanksgiving Dinner for seven needy Rockaway families.

On Thursday, December 13, the Good Government Regular Democratic Club will keep up with its tradition of inviting representatives of the Democratic candidates for President of the U.S. to our community, so we can hear their platforms and ask questions. This is your chance to get involved with your desired candidate, or to register to vote.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of a saint, Msgr. Connelly of St. Thomas More. You couldn't ask for a more loving, kind and charitable individual. His smile and greeting when you met him made you feel very special. He must definitely be eligible to become a saint.

The love and kindness he shared with everyone was very special. We know God must have a special job for him in heaven as an important angel to become a saint. Our loss can never be replaced. He was the best of the best.

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