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Dishing With Dee

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We hope everyone had a safe and happy July Fourth. It was nice to have a long weekend off. Considering all the rain we have had lately, the weather was not that bad — just a few showers, but not enough to dampen everyone's holiday spirit.

Friday we attended Barbara and Ralph Barba's annual July Fourth barbecue at their Douglaston home. The Barbas know how to throw a party. This has been the fifth or sixth year we have attended, each one better than the last. We finished off the evening watching the Macy's fireworks display, which also gets better every year.

While at the Barbas, I chatted with state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), a guest. He informed me that his campaign is going well and he has opened his new campaign headquarters at 36-35 Bell Blvd.

Padavan and other candidates' supporters are securing their respective petition signatures since the filing deadline is this week. We are interested in seeing the results. We would like to know, of all the candidates, how many have garnered enough signatures to earn ballot placement.

Most campaign managers try getting two or three times the number of required signatures, allowing for errors which naturally occur when dealing with that many signatures. Most candidates challenge each others' petitions to try and knock opposition off the ballot. This is true in primaries because if you do not get on the ballot, you are disqualified.

If, however, you have secured more than the number of required signatures, chances are you will survive the challenges. At that point, the candidate and his or her team have to work hard campaigning in order to convince the public why they should vote for and elect him rather than your opponents.

From what we understand, some people think getting lots of signatures is not as easy as it used to be. Some former gatherers have retired, moved away or just cannot or do not want to do it anymore. There is also the constituents' apathy to contend with. Apparently the campaigns have become too long and tedious, making it harder to maintain voter interest and enthusiasm.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, when deciding to run for mayor, became aware of this problem. He thought of paying petition gatherers. That made a lot more people get involved. Although there are pros and cons to this, one of the hardest and most thankless campaign tasks, whatever works best for a candidate should be used.

If asked to sign a petition for your choice candidate, do so. It is in your interest to see that you are properly represented.

Getting back to the rest of our holiday weekend, Saturday was a family barbecue on Long Island. It was a small and quiet affair, as a number of family regulars were away on vacation.

Last Saturday was also the Bayside Marina's annual "Blessing of the Fleet." This year's ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Thomas Machalski Jr. of Bayside's Saint Josaphats Roman Catholic Church.

Machalski is a friend of our friend, Chet Szarejko, by way of the Polish American Congress. It is a small world. Speaking of Chet, while swimming at his Hamptons home, he snapped his Achilles tendon in his right leg and is now in a cast. Being the trouper he is, he did not let it get him down: He attended the Barbas' barbecue, walker and all.

Congratulations to Jimmy and Linda for producing another wonderful "Blessing of the Fleet" event.

Sunday was the annual barbecue for our cousins in Westport, Conn. It was great touching base with them. Summer barbecues are an easier way to entertain because they are casual and less stressful than more formal events.

That's it for this week.

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

I always 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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