2010-02-05 / Columnists

Simon Says...

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

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon One of the most important issues to come up again is our fight for our continued Crossbay Bridge toll rebate. This rebate allows residents of Rock-away, Broad Channel and Breezy Point to travel within our own community without paying additional tolls. We have brought back the Rockaway Broad Channel Bridge Toll Committee.

The MTA will hold a public hearing on their proposed service cutbacks, which include the bridge toll, on Tuesday, March 2 at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton La- Guardia, 135-20 39 Avenue, Flushing.

We will be holding a planning and strategy session on Thursday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. sharp at the Ocean Promenade Nursing and Rehab on Beach 113 Street at the Boardwalk. This beautiful facility is handicapped accessible and has a parking lot.

We are now in the process of trying to obtain several buses that will leave from our peninsula and bring us back after the hearing. If you plan to go to the hearing directly from work, call us so that you can return with us after the hearing.

The MTA is proposing the end of Access-A-Ride and transit passes for students as well. We must stand together. Please call us if you can volunteer time to help call civic leaders to work with us. Bring your friends and neighbors and poster paper and markers. Call 718-945-1216 for information.

Each and every year for the last 14 years (I missed last year due to the suspension of my column during the special election), I devote part of my column to the anni-versary of my mother’s death. My mom, Jennie Simon, passed away on January 31, 1996 and was buried on February 2. It feels like only yesterday.

Those of you who have lost a parent or are in the process of seeing a parent face a catastrophic illness know what it feels like. It is never easy and never gets better. I often would like to pick up a phone and call my mom and talk about someone I met whom she knew, or discuss some community issue or life itself.

When you speak about a real mother who loved, cared and advocated for her children, my mom fills the bill. My mom taught me how to fight for my rights and what I be-lieve in. She taught me how to stand up and do the great things I do for our community.

Through the years of my political career, mom and I worked as a team, going to meetings, events, protest rallies, etc. We even got thrown out of meetings and making the front page of The Wave. We stood up to those who were trying to humiliate us. As my mother said, “A knock is a boost.” My mom loved to advocate for, and raise money for the Philip Port unit of the American Cancer Society which was her favorite charity.

Each and every day I talk to my Aunt Yetta, mom’s sister, and we reminisce about the good memories we share. My sister Fran and I go back and forth each and every week saying we wish we had one hour with our mom. My sister wanted her to cook her favorite dinner of roast beef and potato latkes. I said I would take mom out for her favorite prime rib and remind her how much I loved her. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.

One of my mom’s neighbors from Bay Towers, whom I knew since I was seven and to whom I delivered the Long Island Press, Yolande Geisler, succumbed to cancer. She was one of the finest, sweetest neighbors you could ever ask to have. She, and her late husband Walter, were saints. They were always happy, smiling and welcoming you in to visit. Her daughter Michelle and I have been lifetime friends. She even worked for me on the election board in Howard Beach.

Michelle is an outstanding mother, loving wife and great individual. It is very clear her parents instilled the right values in her. Her brother Wally works for Harrah’s in Las Vegas. Yolanda was a class act whom we will surely miss. She was buried in her wedding dress, as she requested, and looked as beautiful as ever. Now she will serve as a special angel in God’s Kingdom. She definitely earned her wings. My deepest sympathy to the family.

We need you on the bus with us on Saturday, February 13 (Valentine’s Day weekend). We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7 p.m. with eight hours to enjoy Bally’s Hotel in Atlantic City. The price rollback for this month is $40 with a $30 voucher returned. Get on the bus with us. Enjoy your weekend and help keep our office going.

We have added Richard Feuerstein, vice president of the Dayton Towers Coop, to our list of honorees at the 22nd Annual Dinner Dance of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club to be held on Thursday, April 15 at El Caribe in Mill Basin. Other honorees include Joseph Lynch, chair of the Board of Directors of the Breezy Point Coop; Tom McClellan, president of the Rockaway Point Association; Maria Thompson, Woodhaven Development Association; Mary Ellen Barnes, Breezy Point Teen and Parish Show director; Dermott Tuohy, postmaster of the Rockaway Post Office; Marva Hanlin, neighborhood community activist; Nancy Vardakis, community leader who will receive the Barbara Eisenstadt Memorial Award; James Morton Sr., chief Roxbury Fire House; Jack Allen, president Broad Channel Athletic As-sociation; Sean A. Brennan, director of the Mason Tend-ers Training Fund; Sister Agnes White, principal of St. Camillus School; Lawrence Kelly, Knights of Columbus; and Cliff Miller, a Howard Beach resident who is assistant VP and director of Emer-gency Services at Wycoff Hospital. Honoree list is in formation.

We are looking forward to a wonderful evening of pleasure and enjoyment honoring the base of the best. We need your support. We hope you will consider an ad. This is the gala event of the year. All funds raised help keep our doors open to help you. I use the office as my living room to help all those who need assistance. The money pays for office rent, insurance, telephone and supplies. There are no salaries or hidden perks. I never ask someone where they live or what party they belong to. My motto is “How can I help?”

We are very proud and happy to serve all. We are a club which honors people for what they do, not just for being a Democrat. Not all honorees are Democrats. We are proud to say we honor the best. We work on local issues to improve the quality of life in our community. Without your continued support, it would be very difficult to keep an office going to assist all. For reservations call 718-945-1216 now.

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