Dishing with Dee: Term limits ruling rocks City Council leadership

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It has been another busy week for Queens with most local events overshadowed by two biggies: First, State Supreme Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg’s decision overturning the New York City Council’s “tweaks” to its term limits law.

There was an instant response by several council members who vowed they would appeal the judge’s decision, which affects six members who were elected in the middle of a term and limits their length in office to six years rather than the standard eight years.

Among those affected is Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan), who would be out in nine months were the ruling upheld as well as five other council members, none of whom is a member of the Queens delegation.

An interesting sidebar created would be former city council members who would now be eligible to run again. An event that would certainly give some new council members a few sleepless nights.

Second is the start of the war in the Middle East. The winds of war blow icy cold on one’s spine. Let us all hope it will be over sooner rather than later.

To get back to local events, Eduardo Marti, president of Queensborough Community College and the Holocaust Resource Center there, and Focus Features sponsored a private screening of Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist” at the American Museum of the Moving Image. A reception immediately followed. If you haven’t seen this movie, don’t miss it.

All of Queens seemed to be or wanted to be Irish these past two weeks, starting with Flushing’s Saint Andrew Avalino’s St. Patrick’s corned beef and cabbage dinner-dance fund-raiser to help support its athletic association, Brendan Fay’s gay Irish all-inclusive parade in Woodside and the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Sophia Genosis and Bill Eagen said more than 400 attended.

The keynote speaker, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, addressed the chamber. Former New York state Gov. Hugh Carey was the keynote speaker to address the 91st annual St. Patrick’s Society for the Borough of Queens dinner at Antuns in Queens Village. Tom Manton hosted his annual breakfast at TGIFs prior to the start of the parade.

The place was packed like a can of sardines; you literally could not move. The Bayside Historical Society combined the officials’ swearing-in of officers with an Irish heritage program.

Young women out there, pay attention: Geraldine Spinella, executive director of the Bayside Historical Society, has a gorgeous hunk of a son named John. He was serving up Harps beer at the event. I don’t know if he is single, married or spoken for, but it might be worth your while to join the society just to check it out. He is awful nice, too.

Sen. Frank Padavan’s daughter Allison accompanied him to the program. She’s in from Spain for a short visit.

Helen Sears held a public forum on education with special guest speaker Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and the new Region 4 superintendent of schools, Reyes Irizarry. If Mayor Mike is successful at implementing his “Children First” and “No Child Left Behind” visions for our children and schools, only good should come of them.

The friends of Councilman James Sanders of southeast Queens held a fund-raiser at the JFK Sheraton. The musical part was billed as “All That Jazz,” performed by Frank Dell and the New York Connection. Sanders honored 14 women of distinction from his district.

All in all it was an enjoyable evening. Sanders’ Chief of Staff Andrea Duncan is a competent, dedicated young woman and beautiful as well. You are one lucky young man, James Sanders.

On a personal note, longtime Civic Activist (East Flushing Civic Association president) Mary Anderson’s daughter Joann and son-in-law Tim are the proud parents of a baby boy. Ryan Christopher Dorn weighed in at 9 pounds, 7 ounces. This is Mary’s first grandchild. Congratulations to all.

Longtime civic activist Janet Malone’s husband, Tim, is hospitalized in the Flushing hospital — no visitors, please. Cards would be nice.

Dr. John Farrell’s (Queens Flag Day Committee) son-in-law David would love to receive some mail. Spare a few moments to drop a line to young man who has placed himself in harm’s way serving his country and us. Please send any cards or letters to 1st Class Petty Officer David L. Quesenberry, PSC 816 Box 295 FPO A6 09612. Thank you.

The final count is in and Rosemary O’Keefe lost by 31 votes. One can see how important it is to get out and exercise the right to vote. Just a small amount of votes can decide an election.

The Associated Press recently reported that the Campaign Finance Board fined Queen’s Councilman Allan Jennings more than $8,000. By a strange coincidence, Jennings is having a fund-raiser at Terrace on the Park on March 28. It seems like a clever, innovative and painless way to pay the fine.

We will be repeating our mantra every week. To paraphrase Alice Roosevelt Longworth, if you have anything interesting to say, call me at 718-787-6484 or fax me at 718-746-0066.

Till next week.

Dee Richard

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