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Dishing With Dee: State of the Borough kick-starts active week

Next year, Marshall plans on converting an abandoned courthouse in the Rockaways into a CUNY by the sea. There are more details on her address elsewhere in the paper. Check it out!On Thursday, TimesLedger newspapers Publisher Steve Blank treated all the newspapers' columnists to a luncheon at Papazzio's in Bayside. While enjoying the great food, Blank brought everyone up to date on the expected changes to the papers due to the purchase by News Corporation. The plans sound both progressive and productive. It was a fun get-together. The columnists are all freelancers and rarely get to see each other because most of their columns are sent in electronically. Thank you, Steve, for an interesting break in everyone's routine.On Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Democratic District Leader Michael Den Dekker held a fund-raiser at Dante's in Jackson Heights. It was a cordial cocktail party with both district leaders and various elected officials in attendance. Some of the more notables were U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), District Attorney Richard Brown and Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth).The Thursday windup was the 7 p.m. Winter Awards Gala given by The Women's Republican Club of Queen at Villa Russo at Richmond Hill. This year's honorees were state Sen. Serf Maltese (R-Glendale) and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). It was also the birthday of Serf's wife, Constance DelVeccio-Maltese. Happy birthday, Constance! They had a fine turnout despite the bitter cold weather.Friday evening was the biggest night of the week. It was the 25th anniversary dinner dance of the Flushing Chinese Business Association at Terrace on the Park in Corona Flushing Meadows Park. The new president is Peter Koo of Starside Drugs. Approximately 750 people attended. Almost anyone who was anyone during the course of the evening managed to drop by to congratulate them and wish them well. During the course of the dinner and festivities we noticed U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, state Sen. Frank Padavan, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), Adolpho Carrion and newly elected Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing). I happened to be sitting across the table from City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing). While he didn't actually say so in words, reading between the lines one got the distinct impression that he is also interested in the New York City comptroller's seat. Move over, Councilman David Weprin!The evening's entertainment was provided by the youngest Lion Dancers that we have ever seen. Some looked like they were only 4 or 5 years old. The entertainment was rounded out by two beautiful and talented lady singers. There was also a novel twist to the entertainment in the form of a dance presented by the parents of the children rather then the children themselves.On Sunday morning, the JFK Democratic Club held its annual Chinese Brunch along with the swearing in of its newly elected officers at the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills. This year, the new Senate Democratic Minority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) performed the ceremony with assistance from Borough President Helen Marshall. It was also Morty Povman's and Herb Ryan's birthdays. The club provided them with a delicious birthday cake. Congratulations, fellows! The big upcoming political event will be the special election Feb. 6 to fill the seat of Republican State Sen. Michael Balboni in Nassau County. Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer would like to see Democrat Craig Johnson fill the vacancy, while Republican State Chairman Joseph Mondello, also of Nassau County, would like to see fellow Republican Maureen O'Connell get elected to that seat. The Republicans have such a slim margin in the Senate so every seat is extremely important. This should be an interesting race to watch. I always look forward to hearing from you directly, with information on people, parties, politics or some plain old fashioned gossip.That's it for this week. I look forward to receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, your faxes at 718-746-0066 and your e-mails at Don't forget to check out the Focus on Queens Page.Till next week, Dee.

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