By Dee Richard
This is the week that was. In fact, it was a week to end all weeks.
Last Sunday, Oct. 24, there was a town hall meeting on the Obama health-care program. The question was should it be retooled or replaced. It was held in the VFW Hall on Braddock Avenue in Bellerose. Congressional candidates for the 5th District were invited. They were Dr. James Milano (confirmed), Gary Ackerman (declined) and the guest speaker Dr. Betsey McCaughey. I think she’s the only person who has actually read every word of the thousands of pages of the health care plan, unlike Nancy Pelosi, who said, “Let’s pass it, then we will have time to read it and see what it’s all about.” You decide what’s in your and your family’s best interest and vote accordingly.
Wednesday evening was Transitional Services’ annual dinner. This year it was held at Valentino’s in Bayside. A lovely new place, or a rather a newly renovated old place. This year’s honorees were Dr. Diane Call, Educator of the Year Award; Dr. Martin Maurer, Physician of the Year Award; Giorgio Kolag, Business Developer of the Year Award; and the Queens Library, which was presented the Alfred Cahn Community Service Award. It turned out to be a great evening and we now have a new venue for fund-raising parties as well as all other social events.
On Thursday afternoon, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsed state Sen. Frank Padavan at his campaign headquarters in Bayside. A large number of Padavan supporters as well as Giuliani supporters turned out for the event.
Early Thursday evening, the Democratic Organization of Queens held its pre-election cocktail party at Antun’s in Queens Village. Proprietor Joe King’s buffet is always sumptuous, and this party was no exception. The gathering itself was a who’s who in the Democratic hierarchy of Queens.
It included, but was not limited to, U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, Borough President Helen Marshall, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who thought it was important enough to show up. The fantastic mother-daughter team of Mary Lu and Jamie Plunkett were at their usual best in providing a great evening. Thank you, ladies, for your hard work. It is appreciated by all. What a turnout and what a great rally! You Dems know how to produce a great party, and being one of Queens’ premier party animals, I will attest to that.
On Thursday evening, the Queens Republican Party held its annual GOP night at the Reception House in Flushing, which was a showcase for its candidates. It held an equally fired-up rally of its own featuring Padavan, Milano, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, Harry Wilson, Joe Dio Guardi, Bob Turner, Anthony Como, etc.
This past Thursday worked out rather well, since both parties had events and were equally covered. Usually, if you cover a Democratic event, the Republicans complain and vice versa. I try to explain to them it’s nothing personal — it’s my job to cover every event I am invited to, but there are days when you get the impression that no matter what you do, you just can’t win.
Friday and Saturday were spent at the Javits Center in Manhattan for the annual Photo Expo. There was a mind-boggling array of electronic media devices. The small digital cameras we now use are more minicomputers than cameras. Those plus the BlackBerries, Droids and iPods make it a different and remarkable world.
Sunday was the second-annual Halloween party in Bowne Park in Flushing. It supported St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. Sal Bacarella and crew are to be congratulated on producing another successful party. Everyone had good old-fashioned family/community type fun and is looking forward to next year’s party. This year’s theme was “The Wizard of Oz,” and this year’s costumes were great.
There was something for everyone. In the food department, there were hot dogs, pizza, cookies and candy. In the entertainment department, there was face-painting, pumpkin-painting, pony rides and a live band that played practically non-stop. There was a contest for the best costumes in four different categories. If you missed it this year, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year.
Don’t forget the legislative review Nov. 20 at Queens Theater in the Park.
That’s it for this week.
I look forward to your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at [email protected].
Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.
Till next week, Dee.