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Dishing With Dee: Spring begins filtering into Queens’ landscape

By Dee Richard

Thursday as usual was the busiest night of the week. We started out at a dinner jointly sponsored by the Brandeis Association and the Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association.The topic of discussion was the current status of black-Jewish relations. The guest speaker was William Thompson, comptroller of the City of New York. It was quite a lively and informative discussion.Thompson is the one to watch. We predict he could quite possibly be your next mayor in 2009. He was thinking about making a run for it this year. His dad is a judge and a very astute man as far as political savvy is concerned. Undoubtedly, after discussing the issue the two men decided that this was not the time to run. A smart decision when the playing field is so large. They know all the candidates will most likely cancel each other out, thereby aiding the incumbent, which is what usually happens in such circumstances.If Thompson were to run, he would have to relinquish his comptroller's seat. If he lost the race, he would be out of sight and out of mind as far as the public would be concerned. Four years is a long time to be invisible in the political world. By remaining in the comptroller's spot he has four years of continuous media coverage. To reiterate our previous assessment, it seems like a smart, well thought-out plan on Thompson's part. After that we stopped by the Self-Help Senior Center on Kissena Boulevard in Flushing to catch the inaugural meeting of the New Democratic Organization of Flushing. Lots of local political heavyweights were on hand to wish them well. Included in the group were U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, Assemblymen Jose Peralta and Mark Weprin, former Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik, New York City Councilman John Liu and District Leaders Ellen Young and Terence Park.Assemblyman Jimmy Meng was supposed to attend but did not arrive by the time we had to leave for another function. Mike Reich and Frank Bolls were also present, representing the Queens County Democratic Organization and bringing well wishes from County Chairman Tom Manton. The new club should be a success if the large turnout of their first meeting was any indication.After that we headed over to the Reception House in Flushing for our last stop.The occasion was the Annual GOP Pasta Party. The dinner co-chairs were Phil Ragusa and Joe Papillo with a little help from Gloria Piekarski. They had a total of four honorees, who all received the Grass Roots Award. The honorees were Leroy Carmichael, Jereline Hunter, Rose Marie Iacovone and Joan Vogt. State Sens. Serphin Maltese and Frank Padavan assisted in the presentation of the awards. Since this dinner was a countywide event, it was very well attended with each local club taking a table and filling it with their members, friends and guests.Saturday and Sunday were slow. Monday we were back in the saddle again with a board meeting of the Queens Theater in the Park. They are planning a super gala for Tuesday, May 24, to be held in Queens Theater in the Park. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar. As we get more details we will pass them on to you. It should be a stellar affair. Many of Queens' most prominent supporters of the arts serve on various committees. Start deciding what you are going to wear as you don't want to miss this one.On Tuesday we attended the St. Patrick's Society Annual “Men Only” black tie affair. It seems everyone wants to be Irish and to help celebrate all the many St. Patrick's Day events. There were so many important guests, Irish and otherwise, it would be impossible to list them all. An interesting group was the Wrynn family, three generations in all. Grandfather Jim Sr., Father Jim Jr. and son___________. It looks like the start and continuance of a family tradition.We have to express our admiration for former U.S. Rep. Mario Biaggi's determination not to miss this dinner, which he has managed to attend for many years. In spite of poor health reducing his ability to get around easily, he insisted upon attending, which is his usual custom.The Irish National Anthem, “A Soldiers Song,” was sung by City Council Speaker Gifford Miller. The American National Anthem was sung by retired Judge John Milano. There were more than 400 guests, all out to enjoy themselves and each other's company while celebrating St. Patrick's Day. It was lots of fun and we are looking forward to attending next year.Wednesday was the Annual Queens Chamber of Commerce St. Patrick's Day luncheon at Terrace on the Park. This year's keynote speaker was New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. He spoke about how proud he was that crime in New York City has dropped dramatically in all categories. Kelly also said that he appreciated what a great help Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and his staff were in keeping the Queens crime rate down with many successful prosecutions.That's it for this week. We will repeat our usual mantra. Leave voice mail at 718-767-6484, fax at 718-746-0066 or e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.Till next week,Dee.

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