Bill Thompson throws his hat into 2013 race for mayor

By Dee Richard

On Sunday evening, the Eastern Military Academy held its Queens Chapter Alumni Association’s annual dinner at the Riviera Restaurant in Whitestone. It had a good attendance, allowing for the fact that some members were on vacation, some were still in their winter homes and some have moved away and have other interests. Unfortunately, some have died and some just didn’t feel up to it.

For those who were there, it was lots of fun reminiscing. EMA, during the time of its existence, was located in OHEKA, the former Otto Kahn estate, and what a magnificent structure it is. Current owner Gary Melius restored the estate and made it a luxury hotel and catering establishment providing the glamour and opulence that existed in Long Island’s Gold Coast Era.

One of the subjects under discussion by EMA was the possibility of joining its association with La Salle University’s alumni association. Both associations find themselves in similar situations: dwindling memberships and increasing costs. Sounds like a good workable plan if they can get it together.

Queens associations and organizations never let you down. They always manage to come up with interesting events, speakers and honorees for you to write about.

On April 18, the Clinton Democratic Club had its April meeting. The guest speaker was Bill Thompson, former city comptroller and current chairman of the Battery Park City Authority. Thompson had a lot of interesting things to say, including his announcing his intention to run for mayor in, 2013. Good luck, Bill!

Also on that day, the Queens Republican Party held its annual spring dinner and awards reception at Terrace on the Park.

This year’s honorees were Serf Maltese, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Yong Sang Yoon received the Businessman of the Year Award; Joseph Ferramosca was the recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award; and Corey Ribotsky received the Abraham Lincoln Leadership Award.

Dan Halloran and George Maragos were busy as bees working the room. As you know, they are running for office — Halloran for Gary Ackerman’s congressional seat and Maragos for Kirsten Gillibrand’s U.S. Senate seat. Good luck, Dan and George!

Although Wendy Long and Bob Turner were invited to the GOP dinner, apparently they both had scheduling conflicts and neither was able to attend. All in all, it was a well-attended, fun party.

On Friday afternoon the Long Island City Chamber of Commerce held its April meeting at the Crab House Restaurant in Long Island City. That luncheon, as Yogi Berra would say, “was deja vu all over again.”

I’ve attended many a luncheon, dinner and other events at the Crab House over the years. If you had no other place to go to to view Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks, you could drive over to the parking lot across the street from the Crab House, pack a picnic basket of food and beverages, bring a few folding chairs and you had a front row waterfront view of the show.

Guess what’s going to happen to that parking lot now? It’s going to be the site of a 25-story apartment building. Where will the Crab House patrons park? Long Island City is now an up-and-coming neighborhood and changing the landscape of the entire area.

Crab House owner Tony Mazzarella is also president of the state Boxing Hall of Fame. He is on the board of the Long Island City Chamber of Commerce. Tony is an interesting man who cares about his community.

The Boxing Hall of Fame held its inaugural induction ceremonies April 1 at Russo’s on the Bay. I am sorry I missed it, but I was still in Saratoga at the end of the New York Press Association’s spring convention. There are just too many things happening at the same time, but please invite me to your next event.

Till next week, Dee.

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