2011-07-22 / 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 The grand opening party of the Good Government Regular Democratic Club on July 7 and July 8 was a huge success. A million thank yous to our committee chair, Barbara Reiche, who is an absolute blessing through thick and thin. Others who were always there when needed were Terri Haubrick, Monica Jones and Richard Berger. Special thanks to Judy Cobrin who not only came from Staten Island and gave her time but also purchased and donated all the decorations and paper goods and a lot of food. Flo Literman came with Judy and served food and cleaned up.

My dear friend Julia of Strands keeps my three hairs looking good. She is the best hair stylist on the beach. She is always smiling and happy. Her husband Lazlo is an outstanding pianist and singer who provided entertainment for 10 hours over two days. He got everyone up on their feet to dance. Anyone who is building or renovating a house may find that Lazlo is an excellent expediter who can get Building Department permits and cut through red tape. If you need him call my office.

We would like to thank the following local people and businesses who donated food. The Irish Circle provided a hot buffet, Chris Connolly of Deidre Maeve’s in Breezy Point gave us delicious 6-foot heroes, Waldbaum’s also provided 6-foot heroes, NSA Market gave us macaroni salad and potato salad, Beach Bagels, where bagels are best, gave us bagels and cream cheese. My dear friend Walter Amezquita donated Wise potato chips and pretzels. Thank you to Carmel of Kerry Hills Pub and Danny Curran for ice.

It was great to see so many of our friends and family including some of our founding members including Flo Tova, Barbara De Pinto, our own Sara Berger and her grandson Daniel Barnett, who grew up in Bayswater. Special thanks to County Clerk Audrey Pheffer, District Leader Jo Ann Shapiro and Philip Goldfeder, candidate for the Assembly.

It was a sheer honor to have our own District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey, her beautiful sister and a large number of local principals in the district. John Patrick Larkin, first vice chair of the District 27 Community Education Council, Dr. Frank Gerace, Barbara Buffalino, president of SHAFT (Surfside Tenants) and Karen Nevirs, SHAFT vice president. Owen Baxter and his wonderful sisters were among our guests. Denean Ferguson, first vice chair of the 101 Precinct Community Council, one of our best community and civic leaders, joined us.

It was great to see our treasurer, Scott Winick, who almost lost his life waiting for years for a kidney, looking so good after a successful transplant. He came with his daughter Summer, who is a beautiful, sweet young lady.

These evenings were a great way to start in our new home. The GGRDC is on a roll. During this summer we expect to see David Weprin, our candidate for Congress, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and District Attorney Richard A. Brown. We expect to invite other major public officials to meet our community at our new handicapped accessible office this fall.

If you believe in what we do we need your help. Become a member of the only active Democratic club on the peninsula.

Membership is $25 a year. We are open every Thursday from 7:30 to 11 p.m., but we are always available by phone at 718-945-1216. Send your dues to GGRDC at 114-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Rockaway Park 11694.

We do not get paid or receive government funding. We need your support to keep our doors open. We are currently looking for volunteers to serve on committees to work on solutions to the problems we face. We are planning our next rally to get rid of the Crossbay Bridge toll.

Beach 116 Street has become a major hot spot. We see aggressive panhandling, fights, cursing and a lack of supervision of the residents of the Rockaway Park Hotel. Our local police have had to make arrests. Special thanks to our new 100 Precinct Captain Alexa who personally gave his time patrolling from Beach 113 Street to Beach 116 Street.

Jay Deutchman spent millions buying the hotel and made it the Slug Inn. Through the years under the leadership of the late Councilman Walter Ward, Rockaway was listed as an impacted area due to our nursing homes, health related facilities, drug treatment facilities, the St. Johns Home for Boys, and seven housing projects. We have high unemployment and many low income families.

One of the reasons I wanted to go to Albany was to introduce legislation to declare that Rockaway is an impacted area so that we would never get another program like this. We have above and beyond our fair share. We’re the end of the A line. For the last 50 years we have been the dumping ground for the City of New York. We have a lack of good transportation, no jobs, programs with no services to back them or make them successful. We have had more than our fair share. We hope that whoever wins the Assembly race will pre- pare legislation for this.

On Thursday evening at 5 p.m, I marched with Dayton Beach shareholders and Local 32BJ members who are maintenance workers at Dayton Beach. We are proud to stand with them. I am prepared for nasty remarks from the current president of the Dayton Beach board. They cannot vote for me. I shall continue to work with those people who are fighting for their rights and a decent way of life.

For those who did not see the story of what happened to my efforts to become the assemblyman from the 23rd A.D.: On Wednesday, July 6 we attended the Queens County Democratic Organization designating meeting. There are four leaders in the 23rd A.D. Frank Gulluscio is the male leader in Part A. Jo Ann Shapiro was recently selected as the female leader. Yours truly and Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey are the leaders in Part B. I have been working diligently to try to win Dr. Chapey’s vote. Some would even say that I was selling my soul. I felt that the worst that could happen was that she would vote for herself.

When I got there I was quite excited because Frank Gulluscio, who I knew was going to support my opponent, was a no-show. We opened nominations and I officially nominated myself. I was seconded by our outstanding county leader, Joe Crowley, which was quite a compliment and accomplishment in my book. Jo Ann Shapiro nominated Phil and it was seconded by Geraldine Chapey. Her remark to me was, “not in this realm, maybe in another one and that we should start over from scratch.” Once again I was left out in the cold.

John Baxter, the local leader of the Independence party, offered to assist me in obtaining the Independence line. The only bad part of this was that if I accepted their line, but was not on the Democratic line, I would have to give up my leadership to run. All those who know me know how important it is to me to be Democratic leader and how I had to fight tooth and nail to be where I am. It would have been nice to be elected a legislator where I could have introduced bills for the elimination of the Crossbay Bridge toll and declaring Rockaway an impacted area so that undesirable programs are not placed in the Rockaway Beach Hotel on Beach 116 Street.

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