Dishing with Dee: Senator makes food shopping for seniors a priority

By Dee Richard

At the Little Neck Douglaston Parade Committee luncheon in the beautiful Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy last Sunday we ran into a face from the past, Jonathan Ridgeway, former president of the Westmorland Association.

He drove down from Clintondale, N.Y., where he now lives. He told us he is running as a candidate for the Ulster County Legislature. Good luck, Jonathan. In the past he was very active in the Little Neck Douglaston Parade Committee.

On the human-interest side, I ran into state Sen. Toby Stavisky at the Bayside Jewish Center, where the Queens Jewish Community Council had its annual breakfast. She said, “Dee, I have to run, are you coming to the FDR Club’s dinner tonight? If so, I will talk to you then.”

Since I covered six events that day it was rather late when I got there. Toby said, “The reason I was in a hurry was I had to get home for my next door neighbor, who is in her 80s, and her husband, who is 90. From time to time they invite me for a potluck dinner at their home, and they pick up my mail and newspapers while I am in Albany.

“In exchange, I do their grocery shopping for them every Saturday but couldn’t do it this Saturday,” she continued. “So I had to rush out of the breakfast, go do their shopping and make preparations to host the JFK Club’s annual dinner at the Douglaston Manor, which didn’t leave me much time to chat.”

What nice neighbors Toby has! How many senior citizens can say their state senator does their grocery shopping for them? Kudos to Toby and her neighbors.

Incidentally, the honorees at the JFK Club were City Council Speaker Giff Miller, Thomas Chen, CEO of Crystal Windows and Doors, and Joseph Bechtold, recording secretary of IBEW Local 3.

At Henry McCoy’s United for Progress Democratic Club’s ninth annual dinner dance at O’Lavrador in Richmond Hill, the honorees were Lenora Dunton, Shirley Huntly and Albert Thompson. U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner stopped in. He was also running all day to different events.

While there, Inderjit Singh announced he is going to run against City Councilman Allan Jennings for the 28th Councilmatic seat. Not only is it official that Yvonne Reddick is also running, but she apparently has the Democratic Party endorsement.

Who said this was going to be a dull political season?

The Independence Party held a luncheon at Telly’s Taverna in Astoria. According to Queens County Independence Party Chairman Gerald Everett, they are going to start screening candidates in the next few weeks to help them decide whom they will endorse.

The Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club honored Joseph Goldbloom, a longtime associate of former Councilman Archie Spigner. A well-deserved honor, Joe.

The sophisticated, elegant Percy Sutton came by Antun’s in Queens Village to show support for Archie and his club, as he always does. Not to be overlooked was Clarence Norman, powerful legal eagle of Brooklyn, and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi. Not too shabby, Archie!

The Bayside Little League held its 50th anniversary dinner dance at the Diamond Club at Shea Stadium. “Mr. Met” was the hit of the party, although he must have been blind by the end of the evening as everyone wanted a photo with him. Those flashes can get to you after a while.

The aforementioned Queens Jewish Community Council held its seventh annual breakfast at the Bayside Jewish Center. Both Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Miller were there. Borough President Helen Marshall installed the board and officers.

State Sen. Frank Padavan was honored. The presenter was Assemblyman Mark Weprin. Somehow or other when the TimesLedger laid out the page, they cut the senator out of the photo and only printed the half with Mark on it.

The good senator did not hesitate to point this out to me Thursday at the Northeast Republican Club’s cocktail party. More about that party next week. Senator, I’m innocent, honestly! You were in the photo when I left it at the paper, along with the cutlines stating you were an honoree. I hope this makes up for it.

Speaking of complaints, Phil Ragusa called the editor to point out that he was not mentioned last week in my column as an honoree at state Sen. Serf Maltese’s Spring GOP party at Roma View in Howard Beach. The names mentioned in my column were those of the people in the photos on my photo page.

Since Phil was not in any of the photos, he was not mentioned. It’s nice to know, it seems everyone reads the Dishing with Dee column and apparently scrutinizes my new Focus on Queens photo page. But lighten up, guys. Neither incident was intentional. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

If you care to share information and invitations, call me at 718-767-6484, or fax me at 718-746-0066.

Till next week,


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