Dishing With Dee: Sadness, controversy speckle month for boro

By Dee Richard

So make sure if you have to go out that you bundle up appropriately. Experts say dressing in layers is the best and wearing a hat is a must. You apparently lose a lot of heat out of the top of your head.With all the coughing and sneezing and wheezing going around it's also a good idea to cut back on the kissy-poo routines. Hand shaking is also not a good bet this time of year when meeting and greeting friends. The best bet is a verbal greeting with a little distance in between. Sounds trite and trivial, but it helps. There is nothing that makes you feel more miserable this time of year than a nasty debilitating cold. A daily teaspoon of powdered vitamin C in a cup of tea with honey and lemon helps as a preventative, to say nothing of the old standby, homemade chicken soup.Happenings wise, another slow week, so perhaps it's a good time to catch up on gossip and chit chat.On a sad note, we attended a wake for Rosemarie Galioto Ottulich Saturday evening. Rosemarie was the wife of John Ottulich who, you may remember, ran against Ann-Margaret Carrozza for the 26th Assembly seat a few years ago. Rosemarie had a wonderful career with a New York City publishing company as their art director. It was a job that she was not only good at but that she truly loved. Her husband, John, has a successful career with York Ladder. Between them they raised a great daughter, 13-year-old Lauren. They have a lovely home in Douglaston and enjoyed an active role in the Douglaston community. She visited a doctor 3 1/2 months ago, saying she didn't feel well. It was an inoperable cancer. And in that short period of time she was gone. She was 46. To John and Lauren, my deepest sympathy for your loss.A number of years ago the New York City Publicity Club held a luncheon sponsored by one of their members for a new client in the entertainment industry. The party favor was a paperweight in the form of a miniature tombstone. On the face of it was engraved “Enjoy yourself – It's later than you think.” That plaster of Paris paperweight still sits on my desk. Once in a while it catches my eye; I can't help but think how true.Sunday morning over our coffee we opened up the New York Post and to our dismay found almost a full page expose on Bayside Sacred Heart parish's Father Coleman Costello, head of the Queens-based Walk the Walk, an outreach program for seniors. Apparently, the good father unwisely used the American Express credit card issued to his charitable organization for personal dinners at the Pontichello Restaurant in Astoria and at a garage in Southampton for repairs on his own personal car.The total of all the charges added up to $22,000. Having known Father Costello for a number of years, we feel it was more of using the credit card with the intention of replacing the monies later. Not that that is an excuse. Nor was it the right thing to do. Everyone who knows Father Costello is aware that he can be somewhat disorganized and not exactly an astute businessman.Phyllis Shaffran (Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin's chief of staff) and I tried to help Father Costello with his golf outings for three consecutive years. Every year, somehow or other, he managed to lose money, usually by listening to the well-meaning advice of his friends and associates. Obviously, their advice wasn't very sound.As often happens, people's lives go off in different directions. Phyllis was hired by Brian as his chief of staff, my work became much more demanding and time-consuming and I was also involved with a lot of other organizations that required a great deal of time, too. As a result, we sort of lost contact with Father Costello. But we do wish him good luck and do sincerely hope all his troubles get sorted out.In last week's column we gave you a rundown on who is contemplating running or rerunning for office on the local level. We did not include former Councilman Thomas Ognibene as a potential mayoral candidate. He had announced his intentions of doing so late last spring or early summer. At that time we asked why. Our sources told us it was probably a political ploy to secure a judgeship for himself, which is something he has always wanted.He probably felt if he got the nod, he would automatically drop out of the race and there would be one less contender for the throne. He subsequently went to work for a politician in Staten Island. As we have not heard another word about his potential candidacy we assumed he had changed his mind. In fact, he has been absent from the Queens political scene for quite some time.Meanwhile, the rumor mill has it that there was a rift between Ognibene, Councilman Dennis Gallagher and state Sen. Serphin Maltese. Now the same rumor mill has it that they have all kissed and made up. Gallagher was rumored to be the peacemaker. Now we understand that Ognibene has filed officially to run for mayor with less than $2,000 in his war chest. What motivates him to run against billionaire Michael Bloomberg? We pose the same question we asked before: Why? It just doesn't make any sense any way you look at it. Or am I missing something?State Sen. Frank Padavan swore in the officers and board members of the Northeast Queens Republican Club at the Reception House in Flushing Sunday. Janet Malone was elected president for the third year in a row. Congratulations to all the current officers.The Queens County Line Democratic Association held its installation of officers at Temple Sholom Thursday. The person performing the honors was newly elected Civil Court Judge Lee Mayersohn. A bit of Queens trivia, did you know that club president Corey Bearak and Judge Mayersohn were classmates (1981) at Hofstra University School of Law? Small world, isn't it?We appreciate your voice mails to 718-767-6484, your faxes to 718-746-0066 and your e-mails to deerrichard@aol.com.Till next week,Dee.

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