Today’s news:

Dishing with Dee: Padavan will be missed after losing Senate seat to Avella

They say it’s not over until the fat lady sings, and for sure the fat lady has sung as Tony Avella was announced the winner of the 11th Senate District seat. No comment! It is what it is. Frank Padavan has been my senator for more than 20 years and I will miss him. He was always there not only for me but all his other constituents. Padavan did a fantastic job and he leaves a really large pair of shoes for Avella to try and fill. Good luck, everyone!

What’s up with the Queens GOP? Not one of their candidates won — not even Vinny Tabone, a high-ranking officer in the Queens GOP. If I’m not mistaken, his title is vice chairman. The question is: How do you lose a Senate seat from a longtime popular senator like Padavan? It all sounds like the antics of the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight.” All of the above must’ve been making Bart Haggerty smile for days. Remember, the election for the new GOP chairman comes up in 2011.

My apology for the lack of a Dishing with Dee column last week. My car was up at the Ford dealer on Route 17 in Monticello, where I bought my Ford Explorer. There was some sort of recall, in addition to which something went wrong with the SUV during our recent tornado and it needed a little cosmetic work as well. I ran the legs off it when I was moving and it made many short trips loaded down with stuff.

On Saturday, Ford called to say I could pick up my car Sunday. We drove up to Monticello to pick up the truck. It looked gorgeous. Unfortunately, one of the parts wasn’t the right one and no place was open on Sunday, so they could not make the correction till Monday. It didn’t pay to drive home Sunday night only to turn around and have to drive back up Monday. So we stayed overnight and by the time we got back it was too late to send my column in and I missed the deadline. Sorry about that.

On Wednesday evening, I was invited to a private dinner at Il Bacco in Little Neck. The guests of honor were Borough President Helen Marshall an her husband Don. There was also another couple as well as Joe Oppedisano and myself. What a lovely evening it turned out to be. Helen and Don loved the food as well as all the renovations in the new place. Joe really outdid himself. His food is always good, but Wednesday night it was exceptional. One of the benefits of Bloomberg’s overturning term limits was the fact that Queens now has another four years of Marshall.

As readers of this column know, I am on the committee for the Legislative Review held at Queens Theatre in the Park. This year it was scheduled for Nov. 20. I received a phone call from Jeff Rosenstock saying that for reasons beyond their control they had to cancel it. Hopefully, they will be able to reschedule it for early spring. I and many others were disappointed, as it is one of the political junkies’ favorite venues.

In addition, as a committee member I had gone around and sold a number of ads for them for their Program Journal. With the cancellation of the event, I had to return to the donors their checks and/or money as well as their ad copy. Everyone’s money was returned other than Sal Bacarella’s. When I catch up with him, my job will have been completed. Here’s hoping they are able to reschedule in the near future.

On Saturday afternoon, I had lunch with Bob Schwartz and Mitch Schwadron at Ben’s Best at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. Great food, great company, but would you believe Schwartz is seriously planning his next run for Toby Stavisky’s 16th Senate District seat two years from now? Go figure!

On Sunday night, the Little Neck-Douglaston Lions Club celebrated 58 years of community service at a dinner-dance at Leonard’s of Great Neck. The honorees were John Mulhern, who was the Man of the Year, Suzanne Karl, who was the Woman of the Year and Fred Heitz who was the Lion of the Year.

I sat at Rod O’Connell’s table. Rod is lots of fun and the other guests at his table were interesting. The place was packed and the electeds who were present were Padavan, state Assemblyman David Weprin and City Councilman Dan Halloran. The Lions deserve a lot of credit, as they do so much good for their communities.

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 deerrichard@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

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