Today’s news:

Dishing with Dee

The weeks seem to be flying by. Before we know it, summer will be over. Can you believe that the Fourth of July is next week?

It must be a slow news week, as last week the New York Post ran a repeat of a story dated Jan. 15, 2007. At that time, I had written a rebuttal to the article in this column. Then as now, the reporting consisted of innuendo and speculation, and rerunning the story a year and a half later with nothing new was puzzling.

The city Parks Department will not renew Joe Franco's lease. Since he has created a successful business, is someone looking to discredit him by putting in his or her bid to take it over? The entire article is built on "guilt by association," which is ridiculous.

If his 90-something-year-old uncle, Joe Arucuri, was a Gambino family member, does that make Joe Franco a member? No. If his uncle robbed a bank, would that make Joe a bank robber? No. If his 70-something-year-old brother Sal forged checks, does that make Franco a check forger? No.

We wonder the "why" of all this. According to the article's reporter, the NYPD and district attorney received their information from "Sammy the Bull" Gravano. Now there is an upright pillar of the community. Everyone can surely believe what Gravano says.

In this article was a disclosure of Dominic Logozzo's contract with the city for operating Brooklyn's Marine Park Golf Course. According to the article, Logozzo was supposedly tied to both the Russian mob and Columbo family. It also stated that there was no connection between Marine Park and Caffé on the Green. If so, why link the two together in the same article? Does the same person or do the same people looking to take over Franco's contract also want Logozzo's, too?

I agree with Sid Davidoff, Franco's attorney, when he asked, "How do you fight lies and false accusations?" It surely sounds like a lot of saber rattling, but do not let any of the above prevent you from visiting Caffé on the Green, as both the food and service are excellent.

Time for a change in subject. About an hour ago, I received a phone call from a source advising me that state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) will be having a Democratic primary Sept. 9.

If victorious, she will face Republican candidate Peter Koo in the general election Nov. 4. Of the two races, it seems that the Democratic primary will be the most important, based on that community's voter registration statistics.

This has the makings of an interesting race. I will bring you up to speed as I acquire additional information.

On June 17, the Queens Botanical Garden held its 13th annual Rose Ball. This year's honorees were Borough President Helen Marshall and Rick Fedrizzi, the U.S. Green Building Council's CEO. Stefanie Handsman, Frank Macchio and Susan Lacerte are to be congratulated for producing a lovely party.

That's it for this week.

I always look forward to hearing from you directly with information on people, parties or politics or some old-fashioned gossip.

I also like receiving voice mail at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week, Dee.

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