By Dee Richard
Congratulations to John Messer, who celebrated his 40 birthday July 10 with a combination party and fund-raiser boat ride on the Cabana, a 100-foot-long yacht belonging to Marco Polo Cruises. What a great idea for a hot summer evening. The boat left the Worlds Yacht Marina from Pier 81 in New York City at 7:30 p.m. and returned around 10:30 p.m. The trip included a dinner buffet, two bars, a DJ and live music on two different levels. Everyone felt it was a pleasure to donate to your 16th Senate District race campaign. Way to go, John!
Last Thursday, I had a lemonade with John Duane at the Scobee Diner in Little Neck. John is one of the Democrats running for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s 26th District seat.
Duane held that same seat in 1983 and 1984. He secured the seat by beating Republican Doug Prescott, who then took it back until he lost to Ann-Margaret in 1999. John has decided to give it another shot as it is now an open seat, which is generally easier to win than going up against a popular incumbent.
At this time in his life, he and his wife are experiencing the empty nest syndrome, which translates into his having a lot of non-committed family time. He also said he thought he would do an excellent job representing the community which he served before as well as having lived there his entire life and also raised his family in that community.
While he was an assemblyman, he was the prime sponsor of bills benefiting Vietnam veterans. According to Duane, 54,000 young American service members died in the Vietnam War and our federal government did not give them the same benefits that were given to the veterans of World War II and the Korean War. Duane is proud of the fact the Vietnam veterans now have the same benefits as the other veterans.
John said he is also working on laws to protect our citizens from unscrupulous credit repair organizations. The nature of the proposed bill is that the credit repair organization must give full disclosure, as apparently some people are now being victimized and ripped off without any measurable help. John further said he has the support of his entire family, including the support of his brother, state Sen. Thomas Duane of the 29th Senate District.
The other evening, Steve Behar held a fund-raiser at Bayside’s Monahan & Fitzgerald’s. Steve is a Democratic Bayside attorney who is also running for Carrozza’s seat.
Steve claims Ed Braunstein, the official candidate of the Queens Democratic Party, has deep tentacles in Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s organization, where he has worked since 2003 as a legislative aide. In Behar’s opinion, Ed is part of the same old dysfunctional Albany problems and therefore not part of the solutions for change.
The remaining Democrat for the 26th Assembly District seat is Whitestone attorney Elio Forcina, whom we had written about in a former column. But for those of you who may not have read the article, Elio is pretty much interested in safe streets, continuing senior benefits and maintaining our public school system in this district as well as keeping our way of life in this community.
Those are all of your Democratic candidates that we are aware of. There are also two Republicans vying for the same seat. They are Vinny Tabone, a Bayside attorney, and Rob Speranza, a retired city police officer. Good luck to all you fine young men — both Democrat and Republican alike.
College Point has had its share of the local news media this weekend. On Saturday, the Poppenhusen Institute had a Harp Beat Concert in its garden. On Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., there was a Family Fun Day in McNeil Park. It was followed by a 6 p.m. concert.
Whoever said summer is slow in Queens? Queens is an active, fun borough! Check out your local listings so you can be informed as well as participate in numerous and diversified events.
That’s it for this week.
I look forward to hearing from you directly with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.
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Till next week, Dee.