2007-12-14 / 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 We would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and most of all, a blessed New Year. May the next year bring peace on earth and health and prosperity to all.

We at the Good Government Regular Democratic Club would like to personally thank El Caribe and the owner, Philip Kelly Jr., for the wonderful, spectacular annual dinner-dance, which was our best ever, thanks to their professionalism and expertise, as well as the fine gourmet cooking of the El Caribe kitchen staff.

The service staff, ambience of the beautiful hall and the elegant atmosphere make this the best choice for anyone to have a wedding, bar mitzvah, anniversary, sweet 16, family event, or a union, fraternal or religious event. We highly recommend El Caribe.

You definitely get your money's worth and your guests will rave about it.

We would like to thank Johnny Nash, for the second time, for donating his time and expertise in bringing the great oxygen bar, which added a wild factor to our party. The aromatherapy bar can be located at www.O2Bar NY.com. The oxygen bar was the hit of the evening, as usual. Everyone had a great time, thanks to our great friend, Nash. May I personally congratulate him and his lovely wife Yolanda, who are expecting their first child. Mazel tov.

To my dear friend who is like a mother to me, Maureen McGee, thank you for making beautiful baskets and always doing as much as you do. God bless you.

With the Presidential Primary coming on Tuesday February 5, 2008, you still have time to register to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. If you have moved or have recently reached 18, you should do your civic duty by contacting us to register to vote.

Don't complain about the state of our country if you do not vote. If you are unable to be at the polls on February 5, an absentee ballot can be obtained by calling Inga at the Queens Board of Elections at 718-730-6766 and let them know that Lew Simon gave you the number. It does not matter whether you are a Democrat or Republican, as long as you get out and cast your vote.

Our next trip to Bally's Claridge in Atlantic City will be on Saturday, January 12. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7:30 a.m. We have eight hours to enjoy. The cost is $35, with $20 returned. There will be movies and bagels by Beach Bagel on the bus. Call 718-945-1216 for reservations.

During this holiday season, we spent every night helping to light the menorah on Beach 116 Street. The first night was one of the coldest and windiest of the year, but it still brought together a large crowd to share in the kindling. Our three local rabbis participated - Rabbi Marjorie Slome of West End Temple, Rabbi Alan Blaine of Temple Beth-El, and Rabbi Boaz Tomsky of Congregation Ohab Zedek. On the second night, the wonderful Hebrew School Choir of the West End Temple did a magnificent job with the beautiful songs they sang. Thanks to the graciousness of Madelaine Chocolates on Beach 95 Street, owned by Dr. Jorge Farber and his lovely wife, Vivian, for donating all the Hanukkah gelt. We look forward to the lighting of the Christmas tree and lighting of the crib.

We had a blast Friday night at The Wave's annual Christmas party. Susan Locke, owner and publisher of Rockaway's own newspaper, sure knows how to throw a classy party. The venue was Pier 92, which is just special with the fireplace and wonderful view of Jamaica Bay. The music was superb, with dancing and merriment galore. Boy, can Locke dance!

News exclusive- To all those seniors as well as young people who are struggling with high energy costs, now is the time to apply for HEAP, a federally funded assistance program to help pay energy bills. You do not have to pay them back. To qualify, you have to have an energy bill in your name or have heat included in your rent. You could qualify if your monthly income is below a specified amount, which is $1876 for a single person. Other maximum monthly income amounts to qualify for HEAP, for different-sized family units (in parentheses) are: $2454 (2); $3031 (3); $3609 (4); $4186 (5); $4763 (6); $4871

(7); $4980 (8); $5088 (9); $5196 (10); $5625 (11); and for larger families, add $435 per person to find the maximum amount of income. More information is available through the HEAP info line, 1-800-692-0557, and at the Queens HEAP office, 161- 10 Jamaica Ave. Seniors can call 311, or visit www.nyc. gov/aging to receive a HEAP application and review eligibility requirements.

There are also free weatherization benefits, such as new windows, for those who reside in 1- to 4-family houses, through WRAP.

We are deeply saddened by the deaths of three outstanding women, Teresa McCloskey, Moreen Chee-a-nam and Gloria Lunde. These three outstanding ladies passed away during the holiday season. God must have needed the assistance of special, qualified, wonderful angels to assist with many important projects in heaven. God rest their souls and my deepest sympathies to the families.

I met Chee-a-nam in about 1990, when she started to go on our monthly Atlantic City bus trips with her family. She was one of the most beautiful people you could ever ask to meet. Her knowledge, wisdom and personality made her one of the classisest people you could ever meet. Her love for life and her family made her special.

We are saddened by the loss of Lunde, who I knew all of my life, While growing up in Arverne, our parents used to sit on the benches in front of our building while the children would play. Gloria's daughter, Laura, and I used to jump rope together, play tag and other games. Gloria and my mom would sit together and talk about many different things.

Throughout my life, Gloria Lunde was very special to me. Her daughters, Laura, Ileane, and Patricia, and her son, Steven, have always stayed close. Lunde's smile and her heart and the perfect appearance of her hair and nails made her special. Her smile lit up the room.

Teresa McCloskey was a sweet, kind and outstanding woman. Her beautiful smile and outgoing charisma made her very special. Her smile could light up a room. She loved her daughter, Grace, dearly. Teresa and her daughter were truly a team.

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