By Dee Richard
The cold weather is still with us and does not seem to show any signs of going away; however, life, events and politics go on just the same, cold weather or no.
Congratulations to Josh Blank on his Jan. 10 bar mitzvah. Josh is the son of Holly and Steven Blank. Steve, of course, is the publisher of the TimesLedger Newspapers. Josh had a lovely party at the Coles House Restaurant in Glen Cove, a rather interesting place. It was built in 1810, and most of the dining rooms have working fireplaces and wide-plank floors. The food was exceptionally good. If you are in the area, give it a try. I understand their Sunday brunches are spectacular.
I had lunch on Jan. 9 with Joyce Shepherd, the former Queens Alternative publisher, at Napoleon’s in Bay Terrace. Prior to lunch we visited Weight Watchers in Bay Terrace, but we must confess that neither of us was watching what we ate very carefully.
I also sat at the table with Joyce Jan. 13 at the Eastern Queens Democratic Club’s holiday party in the Fame Diner. We had considerable time at both events to have rather lengthy chats and I found her and her unique points of view quite interesting. I still cannot believe she gave up her paper, as she so obviously enjoyed producing it.
The Greater Jamaica Development Corp. held a gala Jan. 14 at the AirTrain Terminal in Jamaica. Just about everyone was there. The honorees were former Ambassador Charles Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and chairman and CEO of the Empire State Development Corp.; Martin Glynn, president and CEO of HSBC Bank; and Joseph Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Some of the other attendees were the Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake; Greater Jamaica Development Corp. President Carlisle Towery; Queens Borough President Helen Marshall; former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman; David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue Airlines; Dominic, Joseph and Douglas Ciampa of the Ciampa Organization; and Diana Taylor, the superintendent of banks for the state of New York.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith also showed up, as did Morris Lee; Archie and Christine Spigner; Robert Hampton, president of York College; Terry Thompson; Eileen Auld; Councilman Allan Jennings; Mark O’Luck of the Black Spectrum Theater; April Dubison; Sam Samuels; and good buddy Greg Murphy. At least 300 other guests dropped by during the course of the evening’s event.
Greg Murphy and Rocco Alfano of Slattery/Skansky accompanied by Councilwoman Helen Sears presented a $1,000 check to the Elmhurst Senior Citizens Center. The staff and the senior citizens at the center were most appreciative of the donation. The center itself is a very impressive state-of-the-art facility and a great model for other senior citizen centers to follow.
Slattery/Skansky is developing a transportation hub on Roosevelt Avenue. It has all the earmarks of a very innovative and efficient work-in-progress. It is also a necessary project that is long overdue.
On Jan. 21 state Sen. Frank Padavan swore in the new officers of the Northeast Queens Republican Club at the Reception House in Flushing. President Janet Malone and the same slate as last year were re-elected for a second term.
Last Thursday the Saul Weprin Democratic Club had its monthly meeting at the Hollis Hills Jewish Center. The guest speakers were Capt. Charles Talamo, commanding officer of the 107th Precinct, accompanied by Detective Louis Mango, also of the 107th. They were pleased with the general decline in crime in the area and advocated using 311 for quality-of-life complaints and saving 911 for police, fire and medical emergencies.
The Weprin brothers are endorsing different presidential candidates. Councilman David Weprin likes former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean while Assemblyman Mark Weprin likes Sen. Joe Lieberman. Both were enthusiastic about their respective candidates.
David announced he was reappointed as chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee. Councilman Jim Genarro arrived late, as he had been at another meeting. Jim was pleased to announce that he was also appointed to the Finance Committee. David said he thought it was a smart political move on Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s part to return $400 to all the property owners who had such large real estate tax increases last year.
The Queens County Women’s Republican Organization had its annual holiday dinner last Thursday at Niederstein’s Restaurant. About 80 women from all over Queens attended. While I was there, the only elected official present was City Councilman Dennis Gallagher, who said former Councilman Tom Ognibene has filed the necessary papers to run for mayor.
The question is, is Tom really serious about running for mayor, or is he hoping someone may offer him a judgeship he has sought in the past in exchange for dropping out of the race? Only time will tell.
The e-mails are starting to come in, slowly. It may be a good venue, after all, but I still can be reached through voice mail at 718-767-6484 and by fax at 718-746-0066. Incidentally, the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till next week,