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Dishing With Dee: NYPD captain honored at Douglaston Manor

By Dee Richard

On Friday night at the Douglaston Manor they had a retirement dinner for NYPD Lieutenant Donald Costello who served as the NYPD's Chief Intelligence officer at Gracie Mansion. Among the special guests attending the event were Donna Hanover, Rudy Giuliani's wife when he was mayor of New York City. Chief Michaelf Scagnelli also made an appearance. Apparently Costello was very well liked, judging from the roasting they gave him. Most of the jokes were lost on me, not being a Gracie Mansion police insider.We really don't know what Donna Hanover is doing to herself as she looks younger and prettier then she did when we first met her 12 years ago. In fact, she looked positively radiant. Her new life must be agreeing with her. She was her usual charming, gracious self and you could see she had a great deal of sincere affection for Costello.Also on Friday evening over at Antun's in Queens Village the “Friends of Assemblyman Bill Scarborough,” held a fund-raiser for him. Some of his supporters present were Borough President Helen Marshall, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, Archie and Christine Spigner, Dora Young, Bill Briggs, Harbachan Singh, Donna Clopton and City Councilman Leroy Comrie among others.On Sunday afternoon the Bayside Historical Society held one of its monthly teas at the Officer's Club in Ft. Totten We had never been to one before, but we found it to be a most charming way to spend an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon. The charge is $15 per person for which fee they serve you a pot of tea and a three tiered tray of finger sandwiches, grapes and cheese, cookies and other assorted sweets. Lots of goodies for all. Some Sunday afternoon when you are free, you should call, make a reservation and check it out. We think you would really enjoy it, if for no reason other than a change of pace.Last Thursday was, as usual, the busiest day of the week. Our first stop was the Juniper Valley Civic Association. The first half of the meeting was dedicated to honoring City Councilman Dennis Gallagher. They awarded him with a plaque designating him as their Man of the Year. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was last year's Man of the Year.In addition, Monsignor Nicholas Sivillo of our Lady of Hope Church secured a papal blessing for Gallagher, which was quite impressive. It would seem the Pope himself could benefit from a blessing at this particular time. The evenings events took place in the auditorium of our Lady of Hope Church.The other half of the program was a town hall meeting conducted by the mayor along with more than a dozen of his commissioners representing various city agencies. The mayor gave them a State of the City update. This was followed by a question-and-answer period. The Mayor answered whatever questions he could and referred the really technical ones to the individual commissioners having jurisdiction over those areas. At the end of the evening Bloomberg congratulated Gallagher on his award. He also said, ” I understand Tom Ognibene is in the audience and further understand that Tom is interested in running for mayor. I think it's an excellent idea, and Tom should definitely (do so) in 2009 at which time he may even get my vote.”From our “now ponder this” department, a thought about all the brouhaha this past week over removing the Sunday meter collection policy regarding the claim that you have to pay to pray.We don't know what kind of church you attend, but all the ones we have ever attended definitely have a pay to pray program: It's called the collection plate.Why only eliminate the Sunday meter charges? What about our Jewish brethren and all the various other religious groups for whom Saturday is their sabbath? Are you going to also eliminate Saturday meter charges?Most of the metered parking is located around the local shopping/professional areas. The purpose of metering in these areas is to allow the local merchants to provide parking for their customers and to keep the traffic flowing. You know as well as we do if you remove the Sunday meter requirements the local residents will park their cars Saturday night and will not move them until Monday morning.Apartment dwellers will have hogged up all available parking spaces, leaving none for church attendees at which point they will wish they had a meter to drop coins in. This whole idea sounds rather self-serving on the part of our local politicians. What better way to endear yourself to your constituents than to provide them with free weekend parking?What ever happened to all the proponents who insist upon separating government and religion? It would seem the city would be favoring a religion and a particular one at that. Think over very carefully what you wish for, as you just may get it. What a Pandora's box that would be.That's it for this week. Keep the calls coming at 718-767-6484, the faxes at 718-746-0066 and the e-mails at [email protected].Till next week,Dee.

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