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Dishing with Dee: New boro political group off to a strong start

By now, most of you must know Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stated unequivocally that he is definitely not going to run for president, and for some reason this time he sounds really definite. He is not, however, withdrawing from the political arena and apparently intends to use his influence on the presidential race - especially if a candidate shows support for his ideas and ideals. In fact, Bloomberg has stated he would be willing to work to help that candidate. At least these are the facts according to his op-ed piece in The New York Times last week.The biggest event this week that we attended was the first official fund-raiser of the Better Leadership America Organization. The founder and CEO of the organization is Michael Ricatto. The cocktail party and buffet was held at the St. James Restaurant in Forest Hills. The place was jam-packed, surprisingly so for a rather recently organized civic association. Needless to say, Ricatto was extremely happy with both the turnout and the results. Two of the interesting faces from the past that were present were Republican Peter Powers of the Giuliani administration as well as Brooklyn Democratic District Leader Michael Gellar. It was good seeing them after these many years. It was a very mixed crowd that included Republicans, Conservatives, Democrats and independents with even a few Liberals thrown in for good measure. Most of the attendees were from Queens, but there were also quite a few from Brooklyn and Manhattan. It would seem that there is a considerable amount of interest out there for better and more responsive government. The same old, same old just doesn't seem to cut it anymore. The hip politicos seem to be very much aware of this trend and are playing that card for all it's worth. What interesting times we live in. It was with a great deal of sadness that we noted the death of William F. Buckley Jr. He was a man among men. His absolute brilliance, his acerbic wit, his ability to dissect issues down to their bare bones made him a unique individual, truly one of a kind. Buckley in his lifetime wore many hats. Aside from being a candidate for mayor of New York, he was also a renowned publisher as well as an author of books that remain treasured additions to many people's private libraries. He will indeed be missed - where is the individual who could even come close to replacing him? Rest in peace, Bill. While we are on sad subjects, another light has gone out. This one was Morris Lee. He was a personal friend of many years and a truly great human being who also wore many hats and unselfishly did his utmost to give back to his community. Among his many accomplishments, he was a director of the HIP Health Plan of New York, a vice president of Community Board 13, president of the Queens council of Boy Scouts, treasurer of the Queens County Overall Economic Development Corporation, executive director of Airport Opportunities at JFK and a member of many other organizations, including the Queens Republican Party. May you also rest in peace, old friend.On Sunday the 2008 St. Pat's For All Parade was held as usual in Queens. It started in Sunnyside and ended in Woodside. What a great parade it has become. I remember the first few years there were protesters against the parade, but now it has become a Queens institution. In fact, it seems to have become a popular annual Queens event. It's one that most people look forward to.The population of gay Queens residents has increased tremendously and through their tireless, diligent efforts to support their community they have become both successful and productive. In fact, Queens has five openly gay people running for City Council seats representing Queens in the 2009 elections. I personally know them all and they would each be a credit in representing their respective council districts. Good luck to Danny Dromm in the 25th, Alfonso Quiroz, also in the 25th, James Van Bramer in the 26th, Lynn Schulman in the 29th and Charles Ober in the 30th. Don't forget to inform me about any of your upcoming events, because as well as liking to know what's going on, I would also like to give all of you some coverage.That's it for this week.I always look forward to hearing from you directly with information on people, parties, politics or some plain old-fashioned gossip.I also like to receive your voice mail at 718-767 6484, your faxes at 718-746-0066 and your e-mail at deerrichard@aol.comTill next week, Dee.

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