Today’s news:

Dishing with Dee: Padavan receives 2003 Humane Legislator award

Here’s hoping everyone enjoyed a happy New Year’s Eve as well as an equally joyous New Year’s Day. Whether you were partying or spending quiet time at home with family or friends, it gave you some time for a change of pace and the chance to recharge your batteries and perhaps even to do a little reflecting. Now that we are off with the old and on with the new, it seems that the new year promises to be an interesting one.

This year we have lots of issues to deal with, and the proposed 8-1 campaign finance reform is certainly one of them, but more about that later.

We also have many important elections coming up, which entail all the grass-roots projects, fund-raisers, dinners, special events and campaign speeches. And don’t forget the primaries — that is, if we have any this year. I hope so. When the campaigns are competitive, they are much more interesting and people like to think they have a choice; otherwise, their attitude is: “What’s the point in voting?” The recent dismal voter turnout certainly reflects that opinion.

Why not join one of the many political clubs out there? You could start by calling your local elected official’s office to find out where the clubs are and when they meet. While their board meetings are private, their general meetings are usually open to the public. You can go to one of the meetings, introduce yourself and ask if you can attend since you are thinking about joining a club.

If you do that with several clubs in your area, you are bound to find one whose members you share the same goals with and like.

Some of the notices we received pertaining to our local readers were College Point’s community activist Joan Vogt, who is in the Flushing hospital with a respiratory illness. Get well, Joan.

Myra Baird Herce of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce recently had shoulder replacement surgery from which she is recuperating. She said it is very painful. To quote someone we all know, Myra, get better as we all “feel your pain.”

Good buddy Officer Tommy Brophy of the 109th Precinct in Flushing is due to check in to North Shore Hospital for surgery next week. Tommy, hurry up and get well. We will miss you.

Roy and Barbara Tabita of Bellerose had a holiday party at their home. Former Assemblyman Doug Prescott was there. He must be doing something right, as he did not look one day older than he did 15 years ago when we first met him — not a single gray hair on his head, not a single wrinkle in his face and not even an extra pound of weight. Doug, what is your secret? We would all like to know.

Doug is with the Jamaica Hospital, something to do with vendors. It was good seeing him and his wife with their son Andrew. They all looked great.

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, move over; there are two contenders for your throne: Jun Policarpio of Douglaston and also Robert Cornicelli from Nassau County. Things are beginning to look interesting, after all.

Congratulations to state Sen. Frank Padavan for receiving the annual 2003 Humane Legislator of the Year award from the League of Humane Voters of New York State.

Good friend Janet Malone had a New Year’s Day dinner in her Flushing home. Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin was there, accompanied by his lovely wife, Eva. Padavan and his daughter Allison, who is in from Spain for the holidays, were supposed to stop in for coffee and cake later in the evening, but they never made it. I guess they were having too much fun wherever they had stopped earlier. Janet’s son Larry gave his fiancée, Maggie, a gorgeous diamond ring for Christmas. Now that was a super nice visit from Santa.

Peter Boudouvas was one of the other dinner guests. He is a very charming, bright young man and good-looking, too. And, ladies, guess what? He is single — my idea of a very eligible bachelor. Catch him if you can. Now tell me, who is always scouting around for you girls? Greek mothers out there, pay attention. He would make a very fine son-in-law. I hope I am not embarrassing him.

This is it for now, a rather slow week at best. Maybe next week will be a bit livelier.

Keep the voice mails coming at 718-767-6484 and the faxes coming at 718-746-0066, as well as the notices and invitations to your events. I love hearing from you.

Till next week,

Dee

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