Dishing with Dee: Flushing NAACP chapter holds dinner at Sheraton

By Dee Richard

As predicted, the hot, hazy days of summer have begun, and the geraniums are all wearing smiles of appreciation as they languish in their pots well decked out in their red, pink or white finery. In retrospect, those cool, damp days weren’t quite that bad, after all. I guess it’s true that no one is ever satisfied with the weather, whatever it might happen to be.

Get well, Claire, and hurry back. We miss you. For those who do not know, former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman just completed a stint in the hospital having a hip replacement.

At long last Joyce Shepard and I made plans to get together. She had to come back to Queens on some personal business, having reluctantly left her New Jersey summer home. You can be sure I will let you know all the details next week, especially what the all-new Joyce looks like. We’re meeting at the Bayside Diner.

Now, for a Queens trivia quiz. What was the original name of that restaurant? It was, of course, The Copper Penny. That must have been at least 30 years ago.

The Flushing chapter of the NAACP had its annual dinner at the Sheraton LaGuardia East. While there, we ran into Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik, who informed us that he will have a primary in this year’s election. It seems that he has two opponents, Jimmy Meng and another fellow whose name I believe it is Singer. I will fill you in on more details next week. Barry says it is his understanding that both men are circulating petitions. If true, this should be an interesting race to watch.

Speaking of the NAACP dinner, former Bronx Borough President Freddy Ferrer and U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner were guest speakers. Freddy spoke and then Weiner, who commented that Freddy was doing such a good job at the Drum Major Corp. that he should stay there. Meow, congressman! For those of you who do not know, both of the aforementioned men have their eye on the mayoral seat. At least according to the current political rumor mill.

It does, however, seem that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be a most formidable candidate to beat. While it’s true that Mayor Mike has his disgruntled constituents, he also has his cheerleaders. No matter who is elected mayor there will always be some complainers; you just can’t win them all.

Being mayor of the city of New York is a thankless job at best. I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would voluntarily seek that job. The pomp and circumstance of the ceremonial part might be fun, but dealing with all the city’s problems morning, noon and night doesn’t sound like all that much fun. Then again I guess the mayor isn’t supposed to have any fun if you listen to the naysayers. Apparently he is supposed to be hip-deep in everyone’s problems 24 hours a day.

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky invited us to the FDR Democratic Association’s annual dinner dance at the Douglaston Manor. This year’s honorees were Michael Lee, president of the TDC Development Corp., and labor leader Arthur Cheliotes.

Lee was in Hong Kong on business, but his daughter excepted his award for him. Cheliotes is looking good and says he feels the same. The group held a touching moment of silence in remembrance of Phyllis Zucker, a Democratic district leader who died this past year. She will be missed.

On a brighter note, it was also Honey Miller’s birthday, which was duly noted with a cake and candles to say nothing of the accompanying happy birthday chorus. Happy birthday, Honey! May there be many more years to come.

Ann-Margaret Carrozza was there with her husband, Dr. William Duke. (Note, guys, it is William Duke not David Duke). Dr. Bill was showing off his new hairstyle, and I must admit I like his old one better. I guess the reason for the new hairstyle is he’s getting ready to host his own QPTV show. When I asked her opinion about the new haircut, Carrozza said we will have to wait and see. Once a politician always a politician, it seems.

Dr. Duke is quite an interesting person to speak with; he was telling me that he, like former first lady Nancy Reagan, is very much interested in stem cell research. He also said he thought President George Bush was making a big mistake by opposing it.

Bush has a large constituency opposed to the usage of fetuses for stem cell research on moral and religious grounds. There would appear to be an equitable alternative solution to everyone’s concerns. While I was driving around the other day and listening to talk show radio, a member of the medical profession called in to say that umbilical cords would be equally effective for scientific research.

If that were true, it would solve everyone’s problem, as umbilical cords are discarded by the hospitals immediately after birth. So why not recycle them for stem cell research if that is a possibility? I hope that what I heard is true.

My apologies to the Queens Botanical Gardens, as a caption on its Rose Ball photo spread somehow or other became the Queens Democratic Organization cocktail party. Though it was not my fault, I do sincerely apologize. Please guys, let’s be a little more careful with the details. Thank you.

It’s that time again, so call me at 718-767-6484, fax me at 718-746-0066 or e-mail me at deerrichard@aol.com.

Until next week,


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