’Tis the season to enjoy Thanksgiving. I was invited to the home of Danny and Patricia Reid, who are the son-in-law and daughter of Patrick Nee. His other daughter, Nula, and her boyfriend, Eddie, and their children and grandchildren were there.
I was a surprise guest at the holiday event. They made me feel like part of the family. The meal was exquisite, the company great and I enjoyed the conversation about Rockaway politics. Thanks for inviting me. I had a great time.
On Wednesday evening, the first night of Chanukah, the rain was coming down with heavy winds until one of my friends, who is a rabbi, lit the candles and the sun came out. What a miracle.
Thursday evening the Christmas tree was lighted on Beach 116 Street. There was entertainment by the beautiful children of our community. Hot cocoa and snacks were provided by Belle Harbor Steakhouse, the tree was provided by Brown’s Hardware and entertainment was provided by the Rockaway Theatre for Kids. The event was supported by Mike Walsh, Rich Keane and the Department of Parks and Recreation. It was great to see the beautiful children of our community enjoying the lighting of the Christmas tree as well as the arrival of Santa.
We then proceeded on to the Christmas tree lighting in the Breezy Point community. We were entertained by the beautiful children of the Breezy Point Tiny Tots program. Chairman of the Board Joe Lynch, Manager Artie Lighthall led the event. Msgr. Curran was present to bless the tree. As I walked through the crowd and said Merry Christmas, many people thanked me for coming.
I bumped into Steve Greenberg and his lovely wife, Lucia, Jim Adams and his lovely wife, Joann, and Jim Egan and his lovely wife. These three gentlemen served on Community School Board 27 with distinction. I stopped to speak to Jim Egan and said I was sorry I never listened when he warned me about the Chapeys. Geraldine, the elder, who served as president of Community School Board 27 became known as Ms. Abstention because she was always abstaining from casting a vote. My club and I were stupid enough to endorse her as a candidate because we were fooled by her credentials.
She was not helpful when we called on her for help when we tried to place qualified teachers in the district or get qualified applicants into graduate programs. She did not respond to these people. You had a better time talking to a hand. Her daughter, my so called coleader, is a do-nothing who spends more time out of the district than in it. It is time that we in this community have a real female leader who will fight for the issues that plague this community. It was also great to see Renee Lacey and her beautiful sisters who never fail to send a beautiful holiday card to cheer me up.
We have to be honest and say our donothing Councilman showed up at both events. He is a man who angers me for his lack of support for the community by not attending the public hearing or the rally to stop the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge. He even failed to send a rep to the hearing or make any public statement. He did not save our only ferry. We have the worst transportation in New York City with our train line being constantly repaired and replaced by shuttle buses.
Our Councilman has not spoken up about the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach line, the need for 20-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week express buses, a Q35 constantly leaving people out in the cold at Breezy Circle, a Q22 passing people by because they are overcrowded as well as passing by school students when the buses are not full. Who is talking about the high price of gas, the high cost of parking at public meters or the unfair $3.00 parking costs at Kings Plaza.
Our two local hospitals are in major need of a cash transfusion to stay alive. If you have to visit a loved one at St. John’s you have paid for parking for at least 10 years. Now Peninsula has recently started charging for parking. The Republicans in Congress are threatening to stop unemployment benefits for millions of unemployed. I wish there was a plan like WPA where we put people to work rebuilding our infrastructure with better streets, roads and railroads, etc. We can learn something from the days of old.
We have been made aware that some new developer has approached several of the hotel owners and is interested in building condos to replace them. We will have to keep an eye on this. Just look at the Rockaway Park Hotel that has once again brought in people who are unable to help our community.
We urge everyone to shop locally this holiday season. We look forward to seeing wonderful stores like the new Stop N Shop in Arverne by the Sea.
Membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic Club is a good way to have a voice in helping your community. Send your dues of $25 to the club at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park NY 11694. We will be resuming our Atlantic City bus trips as soon as the weather breaks. We are planning our 24th annual dinner dance in May at El Caribe. You can call me at 945-1216 for the exact date. The list of honorees is in formation. You can also keep up with me in this column every other week and on Facebook under Lew M. Simon. Get in touch if you have a question, comment or want to pass along some information to my loyal family.
Sunday night we attended the Dayton Towers annual meeting. It was one of the most professional meetings you could ever see. Wentworth Management once again helped shareholders to show a surplus. Congratulations to President Joe Hallstein and the board on the outstanding work they do every day on behalf of their stockholders at no salary. I tip my hat to you.
We have been informed that the city has again decided to close Beach Channel High School. You can be sure that we will be in there fighting to save what once was a great school before city policies started to try to bring it down. There should be more details in another story in this paper.
We ask everyone to keep Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Sen. John Edwards, in their prayers. Her cancer has spread to her liver and bones. She has gone through many trials and tribulations including loss of her son and the infidelity of her husband. After her brilliance and resilience fighting for others, she is now fighting for her own life. For those like me who watched a loved one die as cancer spread through their body, this cuts me like a knife and breaks my heart. My prayers are with the Edwards family.