Kings, Queens Conservative Parties hold annual dinner

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Monday evening, some friends of U.S. House of Representatives candidate Elizabeth Berney held a fund-raiser for her at the East 72nd Street apartment of Lauren Lawrence and Jonathan Kanterman. Among the VIPs were U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Massapequa Park) and Herb London, who ran for mayor in 1989 and was responsible for making city term limits a reality. Another guest was Guy Maitland, a maritime and corporate administrator from the Marshall Islands, an island country in the Pacific Ocean. Berney, a Great Neck resident, is challenging U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) for his seat.

Wednesday evening, the Conservative Parties of Kings and Queens counties held their combined annual dinner. This year, it was Brooklyn's turn to play host: The dinner was held at El Caribe in Flatbush. This year's honoree was Dennis Quirk, the state Court Officers Association president.

John Catsimatidis was there with his entourage. He announced he has created a mayoral exploratory committee and is staffing up his political operation. It sounds like an impressive list.

Sitting at Catsimatidis' table was City Councilman Peter Valone Jr. (D-Astoria), who addressed the attendees. He announced he is running for Queens borough president and said he hopes he can count on the Conservative Party for its support.

Both Gerard Kassar, the Kings County GOP chair, and Tom Long, the Queens County GOP chair, are to be congratulated for putting together a great event. There were too many names to be mentioned, but check out the "Focus on Queens" page to view some of the many guests.

Michael Den Dekker held a fund-raiser on Wednesday at Dante's in Jackson Heights. Den Dekker is running for the 34th Assembly District seat in Jackson Heights.

Thursday was a sad day. We attended the wake of John and Bart Haggerty's dad, Jack, at Fox Funeral Home in Forest Hills. Haggerty was a former Queens County Republican Party chairman and state Senate Majority Conference chief counsel. His son John worked for former Gov. George Pataki; his son Bart for the mayor's office.

Saturday, good friend Dr. John Farrell passed away at North Shore Hospital. John was responsible for establishing the Queens Flag Day Committee, which he successfully ran up to the present. We had just printed his photo a week or so ago at Barbara and Ralph Barba's July Fourth barbecue. He looked fine at the time, but you just never know. A wake will be held Thursday and Friday at Lloyd's Funeral Home in Bayside. A funeral mass will be held at 9:20 a.m. Saturday in St. Anastasia's Church in Douglaston.

Gentlemen, rest in peace. You will be remembered in our prayers.

Are you suffering from the summer doldrums? Try our pick of the week: The Clearview Golf Course every Friday night has an inexpensive and fun way to spend a summer evening.

On the patio behind the club house is a barbecue. The food is fantastic and both the tomatoes and corn are delivered fresh-picked from a Mattituck, L.I., farm. Very reasonable drinks are available along with a different live band. You can have lots of fun dancing the night away. They will continue the program till the last Friday in September.

Late news: On Thursday evening at Il Bacco in Little Neck, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was seen buying a drink for his former opponent, attorney Nora Marino. As Nora has an interesting and attractive personality, it is easy to understand why anyone would want to buy her a drink. Politics certainly does make strange bedfellows.

That's it for this week.

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

I also like receiving voice mail at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mail at

Till next week, Dee.

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