|July 4th, Leftys, A Council Race,
Campaign Mailings, Worms
& More Baseball
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
JULY 4th: As we watch the tall ships
on television and plan our trip to Flushing transplants Ganga and Gopis Manhattan
apartment on the 27th floor overlooking the East River to watch the fireworks, we wonder
if George and Tom and company ever imagined what we were going to do with their political
An historical item of appropriate trivia:
John Adams at home in Quincy, Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson at his beloved Monticello
both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of
Happy Independence Day!
Thanx Ganga and Gopi!
OUT OF LEFT FIELD: Last week a Council
hearing was held which called for an investigation and possible legislation to prevent any
more alleged acts of discrimination towards a minority group. No, its not what
youre thinking. This conference did not focus on discrimination against homosexuals.
Or blacks. Or women. No, this discussion centered on unfair treatment towards New York
Citys vast left-handed community.
And this writer is a member!
Discrimination towards lefties, you say?
Thats ridiculous! But, according to one legislator, the bias does exist. Queens
Councilman Morty Povman has done some research on the subject, and has found what might be
considered biased treatment towards lefties in our military and in our schools.
And take it from this oppressed southpaw,
It started for Morty, when a couple of
students from Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside came to visit his office. These
left-handed students claim they must endure a number of handicaps in their learning
environment, including no computer mouses (or is it mice?), scissors, or even golf clubs
or baseball gloves that cater to the left-handed. The students explained how the lack of
lefty resources in their school has impaired them in one way or another, and got the
attention of the veteran Councilman. And they have my attention, too!
Besides apparent discrimination in schools,
said Povman, it is also evident in the military where all guns and gas masks are made for
the right-handed. And thats besides the difficulties lefties must face in everyday
life, from opening doors to operating machinery.
Povman says he will do everything he can to
prevent lefties from being singled out and discriminated against by the right-handed
majority of our City. The councilman, who is not left-handed, claims he is not the only
one in favor of legislation to stop such practices.
New York, Povman says, does not even have a
left-handed advocacy group like other cities. "To treat someone unfairly because they
are different is discrimination," said Povman. "And whos in favor of
Right on, Morty!
SIEGAL: Although the 2001 Council
Election is more than a year away, surprises have begun to appear. In what was once
considered by Queens pundits as one of the two easiest elections to replace a term-limited
Councilmem-ber, there appears to be the making of a race.
Although, we have yet to write extensively
on the 2001 Council melee which will test potentially large fields of candidates for each
of Queens then-to-be-vacant Council seats, weve made reference to likely winners.
In Forest Hills, former Assemblywoman and
present Borough Hall Hoohah Melinda Katz is a certainty to be successor to Karen Koslowitz
unless Melinda listens to whispers down the hall which are suggesting a Beep race.
Unlikely, as we see it. Katz is the surest Council bet youll find.
All pundits once assumed that David Weprin
the Dem District Leader, brother of Assemblyman Mark and son of the late Assembly
Speaker Saul with the backing of his formidable club and the Dem County blessing
would win the vacant Sheldon Leffler seat with ease. Dont count your hens, says
Bernice Siegal. The hard-working attorney and Counsel to Leffler has parlayed her hours of
toil in many organizations and her husbands (machinist union official Kevin Lynch)
union connections to raise some bucks and make a clear statement.
Last week, Siegel had a Manhattan
fundraiser chaired by among others NY State AFL-CIO Prez Denis Hughes a
power in anyones camp.
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan was another
chair, emphasizing her split with the Dem County organization which can be counted as
Weprins. Nolan faces a primary of her own this year from Patrick OMalley as
she throws her support to insurgent Walter McCaffreys effort to challenge incumbent
Congressman Joe Crowley.
Taking a deep breath from the craziness out
west and viewing the 2001 east Queens Council race may be a case of frying pan to fire.
David Weprin, still the clear frontrunner,
is in store for a long hard summer.
PUBLIC LITERATURE: This is not aimed at
any candidate. They all do it.
And this is not a shot at Councilman Walter
McCaffrey, whose bulk mailing piece just given to us, was paid for (postage and printing)
by the NY City Council. It looks an awful lot like an "Oh wow, look what
Walters done" piece you know, an intro campaign mailer. Now Walter is a
fine Councilman and is entitled to a postage and printing budget. However, he is also a
declared candidate for public office Congressman and he is involved in
campaigning and fundraising for that office.
Walter is clearly not the only one that
effectively uses public mail for political ends. Were sure his opponent, Congressman
Joe Crowley does too. It is the norm, not the exception.
We believe that campaign reform must also
regulate the use of public funds and staff. However, the guys and gals that make the rules
are the guys and gals that benefit from not having any.
We will endeavor to point out those who
stretch the unacceptable in regard to using public funds to promote their own political
career. Feel free to send us samples of such legal abuses.
Walters piece is according to rules,
acceptable, and would be done by most. We do not condemn him for using the system.
We would however, applaud the candidate who
didnt do it if he or she existed.
QUEENS KINGS: Received a number of
e-mails reacting to our piece on the Mets minor league team, the Queens Kings, and the
marvelous time had by my daughter Allison and me at their new St. Johns stadium.
We were there this past Sunday with cousin
Jeff and his 5 yr-old son Sam, to see the Kings fall to the Staten Island Yankees. It was
Ball Day and we each received a baseball with the Kings logo. There are lots of giveaways
coming up look elsewhere in the paper for schedule and promo days.
Trust me. Its the best and most
reasonably priced family entertainment in Queens. We had a blast. You will too. Try it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. BALL: E-mail from Jedd
Moskowitz, chief of staff to Congressman Gary Ackerman: Lovely column this week.
Ive taken my kids to a nearby Single A ballpark, home of the Frederick (MD) Keys (as
in Francis Scott, who wrote his famous lyrics in MD). Fredericks about 20 minutes
from our home in the suburbs NW of DC. The stadium is small and cozy; there are carnival
rides in the right-field stands, and the kids can wander around the park, because nearly
every place they can go is in view of the seats.
The Keys play in the Carolina League,
against equally obscure teams, very few of which seem to be from the Carolinas.
Theyre an affiliate of the Orioles, who also have a Double A team even closer to DC,
the Bowie BaySox.
They play in Prince Georges Stadium, a
larger but equally friendly venue just off the Beltway. The ballpark is also host to the
annual Congressional Baseball Game, which is sponsored by a semi-weekly newspaper, the
name of which escapes me at the moment. -Jedd
AN ATTORNEY WITH FEELING? Attorney
Howard Krebs e-mail: Loved the column. Your comments about Allison enjoying the game
take me back to my days when my big sister used to accompany me (the word babysit did not
exist in our house) to see Mantle and Maris and Seaver and Stottlemeyer play. Not only was
she an avid fan, but she would buy a program and keep track of runs, hits, errors, etc.
Unfortunately, the trip to the stadium
doesnt happen for us any more. Maybe with the Kings in town I can coax her back to
see baseball where it is fun again.
Thanks for the story. -Howard
WORMS: No, its not politics;
its gardening. We got a kick out of the press release from the Queens Botanical
Garden announcing a "WormWare" Party.
Get this, "Ms. Naomi Dagen Bloom,
environmental artist and urban compost propagandist" thats what they
call her "has modeled this unique forum of worm compost education after the
popular home parties of the 1950s and 60s."
Funded by the Dept. of Sanitation,
participants learn how to recycle kitchen scraps into nutrient rich compost and can take
home a mini-composter wrapped in decorative cloth and stocked with a small quantity of Red
To reserve your spot for the July 11th,
Tuesday evening (7-9PM) "WormWare" Party, call 539-5296.
And check it all out online at:
Sounds like politics to me!
York and Georgia Colleague:
YOUVE BEEN WAITING FOR
THE METS VS. THE BRAVES
JOHN ROCKERS RETURN TO SHEA
7 PM TONIGHT
Watch it with your colleagues from
New York and Georgia.
Enjoy pizza and ballpark snacks.
(Batteries not included.)
Rep. Ackermans office
RSVP: to Jedd or Ben x52601
It was a free-for-all
without press at the Washington, DC Congressional office of Gary Ackeman as the Mets and
Braves hooked up for a series at Shea. The Congressional delegations from the two states
thats New York and, is it Georgia? were invited to join Gary in
rooting on their favorite team.
Richard Schack contributed to this column.
Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com
Click Here For The Not 4 Publication