Dishing with Dee: Gillibrand gives keynote speech at Dem group’s 51st luncheon

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It would seem the general consensus is that there is a serious health hazard due to the presence of lead in earth samples taken from under the Throgs Neck Bridge. There were piles of rubble and debris along the shoreline also containing toxic materials.

There are over a thousand children and they and their athletic groups will begin playing under the bridge as of April 15. Clearly, remedial steps must be taken. Padavan expressed his concerns and that of Cervino to Susan Kupferman, president of Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels.

Parents and concerned local residents, let your voices be heard. Be sure and follow up on this situation — your children’s health is involved. Demand action from your electeds.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney held a fund−raiser at Mezzo Mezzo in Astoria. The place and food were great, but the parking was something else. It was a good turnout and the Maloney group seemed pleased with the results. Some of the guests who turned up to show their support for Carolyn were Helen and Don Marshall, Peter Vallone Sr., City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., Chuck Apelian, Joe Conley and Debbie Markell of Community Board 2, Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Danny Dromm, etc. It was a great party.

On Saturday afternoon, the Woman’s Democratic Executive Committee of Queens County held its 51st−annual luncheon at Antun’s in Queens Village. An interesting bit of trivia is that at the first luncheon, then−Sen. John F. Kennedy attended and asked the ladies for their support to help him, as he intended to run for president. The rest is history.

Saturday’s keynote speaker was U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. I had never heard her speak before for any length of time and I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I was — not only does the lady know her stuff, but she also has an impressive bio. She comes across as knowledgeable and sincere. We need more dedicated public servants like her. I enjoyed listening to her.

Some interesting bits of gossip I picked up at the luncheon were that Archie Spigner is now remarried to a lovely lady named Leslie. Austin Shafran is engaged to Molly Rokasy and at state Assemblywoman Ann−Margaret Carrozza’s club, they are playing musical chairs. John Duane will take Joe Bechtold’s seat as the 26th Assembly District committeeman and Bechtold will take Jim Wrynn’s seat as district leader.

I took a photo of Carrozza and Gillibrand. Together they are two exceptionally pretty ladies. Wouldn’t it be nice if more of our politicians were that easy on the eye?

The luncheon was a who’s who in politics. To name a few: Assemblyman Joe Crowley, DA Richard Brown, Tom DiNapoli, Judy Abbot, Dan Andrews, Claire Shulman, Tony Avella, Frank Bolz, Gerard Sweeny, Mike Reich, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Sen. Toby Stavisky, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn, Mary Lu, Jamie Plunkett, Diccia Pineda−Kirwan, Manuel Caughman, Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, Donna Clopton, Councilman Leroy Comrie, Barbara Conachhio, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, Estelle Cooper, Dolly De Thomas, John and Maryann Dorsa, Joan Flowers, Carol and Larry Gresser, Councilwoman Melinda Katz and her 2−year−old boy, Charles Lo Presto, city Comptroller John Liu, and Assemblywoman Jose Peralta. The entire gathering expressed their support for Peralta.

The guest of honor was Gloria D’Amico, Queens county clerk and clerk of the Queens Supreme Court. Now there is a hardworking lady with many years of dedicated service and who is deserving of the honor.

After this past year’s trials and tribulations, I am finally back in the swing of things and starting to feel like my own feisty self. It’s great to be back in my old stomping grounds with all my old, good friends. They, as well as I, would rather not say just how many years back some of us go.

That’s it for this week.

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

I like receiving your voice mails at 718−767−6484, faxes at 718−746−0066 and e−mails at

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 5:49 pm, October 10, 2011
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