This past Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day in the Rockaways, the 38th anniversary of the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors and involved since 1986. This year was the biggest and best parade ever, with the most organizations, bands and politicals and wannabes.
As we marched in front of the parade, I was overwhelmed by the love and support given to me by all. Never did I expect all those who care to shake my hand and hug and kiss me. So many people screamed, “We love you.” and “Thank you for all your hard work.” I even heard a bunch of people scream out that I should run for president. School Chancellor Dennis Walcott was one of the first people to meet and greet me as we were lining up for the parade. He thanked me for the heroic job of being there for the parents, children and teachers of District 27.
During our breakfast we had the honor and pleasure of walking around with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is a candidate for Comptroller. He is the nephew of the late, great Congresswoman Bella Abzug. We also had the honor and pleasure of thanking our good friend Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty for the outstanding job he and all the Sanitation men and women did in our community after the hurricane. We were also happy to see another great friend of the Rockaways, City Councilwoman Liz Crowley, who delivered so many truckloads of food, clothing, and much needed supplies to the Rockaways.
Our beloved County Clerk, Audrey Pheffer, who never misses a parade, was joined by her other half, Glenn Riddell. During the parade we saw a who’s who of politics including Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Councilman Sal Albanese who are candidates for mayor. Queens Borough President candidates including Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, State Senator Tony Avella, and Councilman Leroy Comrie were with us. Councilwoman Leticia James, who is a Public Advocate candidate, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, Assemblyman Mike Den- Dekker and Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa were there. Other notables were District Leaders Frank Galluscio and Geraldine Chapey, her mother State Regent Geraldine Chapey and Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton.
The biggest boos were for Mayor Michael Bloom**** who totally ignored and left us to die after the storm. I was proud that no one in our community did anything foolish. The signs people carried spoke volumes. His face showed much unhappiness and fear. He had the chutzpah to march with NYC Sanitation and Commissioner John Doherty. The parade was led by Grand Marshal John Ahern, President of Local 30 Operating Engineers. The crowds along the route were never better, this parade brought smiles and hope to all who were there. We in the Rockaways, Broad Channel and Breezy Point will not allow anyone to forget us. We are resilient and we will rebuild bigger and stronger than before.
On Wednesday night newly appointed Captain Craig Adelman was introduced to the 100th Precinct Community Council. He seems real and sincere. He will have an open door policy. We believe that he will do an excellent job.
We congratulate Elegante Restaurant and Pizzeria at 92-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard on reopening. The food is excellent and the place is beautiful. Curran’s Meat Market, a family owned community institution with excellent meat, is reopening at a new location, 239 Beach 116th Street next to Rockapulco Car Service.
The Good Government Regular Democratic Club is planning our grand reopening at the beginning of April. As this is the start of the citywide 2013 election we will invite all the citywide and Queens candidates for public Town Hall meetings. Please leave your Thursday evenings in April open. We need your dues of $25 and contributions of any amount to help us get started. You may send your dues with your name, address, phone and email to GGRDC c/o Ocean Promenade Rehab, 140 Beach 113th Street, Rockaway Park 11694. You may call me at 718-945-1216 at any time if we can help you with any community problem. You can make an appointment to see us for a chat or for help by calling us.
We are saddened by the death of Bea Koeppel who I have known all my life. When I was growing up she was the school nurse at JHS 198. She was a very dear friend of my aunt Sophie. Bea, a class act, was professional, loving and kind. God must have needed a special angel in heaven. Deepest sympathy to Emily and the family.
The Point Breeze Volunteers were among the heroes and victims of Hurricane Sandy. A number of the volunteers lost their own homes to the storm and are living in the firehouse. Donations of food, money and clothing are accepted. They are located at 29 Point Breeze Avenue, Rockaway Point, NY 11697.