Common Sense: Week of November 22


As New York City celebrates Thanksgiving during this time of great suffering due to the super storm, it is easy to forget that we have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the volunteer efforts and donations in support of the victims of super storm Sandy which have been incredible.

Literally thousands of volunteers have been on site in the Rockaways and Staten Island helping with every aspect of clean-up. And these thousands have been backed up by many thousands more who have been working to collect and distribute food, clothing, clean-up supplies and other items to those in need.

Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights are two communities that were spared the destruction from the storm beyond the loss of trees and power for a number of hours. The residents of these communities have welcomed hundreds of affected families particularly from the Rockaways and Breezy Point.

Their children are now in local schools and soon our vacant apartments will be filled with these new, albeit temporary residents as they go about putting their lives back in order. These communities, like so many in the city, are doing their best to help shoulder the burdens of the many who have lost so much. And for this we should be thankful.

We should be thankful that we have first responders who, even though in many cases they were directly impacted by devastating personal property losses, worked double shifts to take care of others.

And then there are the many health care professionals assigned to hospitals and nursing homes that needed to do emergency evacuations who came in when called and stayed for days on end aiding the ill and infirm. We certainly have reason to be thankful.

There are the elected officials and their staffs so many of whom rose to the task and have worked tirelessly to help get us through. For their efforts, I am thankful.

Most of all, I am thankful that I live in a city and community that has all of these fine people. Yes, this Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful.

The Brooklyn Conservative Party held its storm-postponed annual dinner at Sirico’s catering hall last week. The successful event was upbeat, with the return of all the party’s incumbents plus newly elected Senator Simcha Felder.

Mary Roth received the Jim Gay Memorial Award, named after longtime party and Dyker Heights community activist Jim Gay. And Ron Rice received the Jim Ryan Award for his service to the party.

Many elected officials were present and spoke. Among them were Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, State Senator-elect Simcha Felder, Councilmember David Greenfield, State Senator David Storobin, District Attorney Charles Hynes, New York State Supreme Court Judge Barry Kamins and newly elected Civil Court Judge Steven Mostofsky.

I suspect, for Nicole, it was the first time she had been off Staten Island since the storm She had been working 16-hour days, seven days a week, doing everything from delivering meals and leading gigantic clean-ups to coordinating services with FEMA and OEM.

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