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Local events, celebrations go on despite rainstorms

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The days are flying by and the anticipated summer slowdown is not going to happen. Events keep popping up, which is good. Otherwise, we would be hard-pressed to find something to write about.

On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted his annual barbecue for New Yorkers with Disabilities in the gardens behind Gracie Mansion. It rained, but they were prepared with one of the biggest tents I had ever seen. The rain did not last long. Within a few minutes, the sun was shining. We had driven in with Joe Gravagna and his mother, Andrea, and were lucky to find a parking spot.

The highlight was the mayor's shaking hands with everyone who wanted a photo with him. This was done efficiently and when you entered. You received a card, which you filled out with your name and address. Then you presented the card to the mayor's photographer. The photo was taken and, once processed, is mailed to the address on the card.

We are anxiously waiting to see the results. The mayor was his usual charming self and was a gracious and a affable host. Since the guests numbered in the hundreds, he must have calluses on the hand that did all the shaking. It was an enjoyable evening.

On Wednesday, there was a free concert in Cunningham Park, an annual treat the locals look forward to.

On Thursday, state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck), instead of his annual barbecue at the Deepdale Swim Club in Little Neck, decided to hold an ice cream and dessert social around the pool. Due to the rain, however, few were adventurous enough to try to combat the weather. Slightly more than a dozen folks showed up. As far as we know, the event has not been rescheduled.

Also on Thursday, Uma Sen Gupta invited us to attend India's independence day celebration at the World's Fair Marina in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In spite of the rain, it was well-attended. Some of the local electeds in attendance were U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica) and his wife and youngest daughter, state Assemblyman Bill Scarborough (D-St. Albans) and City Councilmen John Liu (D-Flushing) and David Weprin (D-Hollis).

David said his campaign for city comptroller is going well. John Liu has also been busily campaigning and has raised a lot of money. The big mystery is the position he is running for. The rumor mill is running rampant with all sorts of possibilities. He has not decided yet which ring to toss his hat in. Whatever prize he has his eye on, he still has time because that race will be in 2009. Come on, John, give us a hint!

The attendees were in a festive mood and refused to let the weather spoil their celebration.

On Friday, Gonzalo "Jun" Policarpio had a fund-raiser at Richmond Hill's Bistro Filipino. Jun is challenging U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) for his congressional seat. Policarpio is still on the Conservative ballot. Queens Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long said his party will support him.

Good luck to the candidates running for the various offices. Policarpio also produced an interesting and enjoyable event for his supporters.

By now you must be aware that Peter Koo was removed from the ballot by his opponent, state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), and her group on the basis that he is not a Queens resident.

Her supporters claim he is a Nassau County resident, which if proven true, disqualifies him. According to Koo, they are taking the case to court. He intends to fight to the end.

On Saturday, Chet and Marion Szarejko had their annual barbecue at their Hampton Bays summer home. They have such a great location right on the water of Shinecock Bay. There are many boats of every kind moored there. Some of the larger ones are ocean-going vessels that can accommodate many people.

The party they had scheduled two weeks ago was subjected to violent lighting and thunderstorms. I do not know where the extreme weather is coming from, but this past Saturday was one of the summer's most beautiful days. The view from his deck was magnificent and watching the boats in the harbor was relaxing and would make you feel like camping out on his deck. I will fill you in with more details next week.

That's it for this week.

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

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

Till next week, Dee.

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