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Dishing with Dee: Weprins and Avella ready for upcoming election bids

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The annual Bayside Taste of Food event was held last week at the Cue Restaurant on the corner of Northern and Bell boulevards. It’s a great place to have a food tasting. All the pool tables are covered up with plywood boards and thereby make excellent banquet tables to both display and serve the food available for tasting.

The event was presented as usual by the Bayside Business Association. Many of my favorite Bayside restaurants participated, like Bourbon Street, Papazzio, Tequila Sunrise, Uncle Jack’s Steak House and let’s not forget our host, the Q Bar. It was a gastrointestinal delight — one the locals look forward to each year.

It’s a fun event and heaven knows we could all use a little fun these days. Queens is really coming into its own. There were many other purveyors of fine food and beverages, but as usual there just isn’t room to list them all.

On Jan. 29, we attended the wake of lifelong Flushing resident John Hogan Jr., known to all as “Jack,” who lost his battle with leukemia Jan. 25. He spent his life dedicated to his family and friends. Not only was he a well-respected and -liked man, but also a well-loved man. He grew up over the family business, the Fogarty Funeral Home in downtown Flushing, which he operated as its president from 1960.

He was an active leader in numerous community, charitable and business organizations. To name just a few: Mary’s Nativity Parish Council, the St. Vincent DePaul Society, the Knights of Columbus, the Flushing Chamber of Commerce and the Flushing Lions Club. His proudest moment was when he became the president of the National Funeral Directors Association in 2006.

He was devoted to his wife, Mary, of 46 years, his five children and his nine grandchildren. After the wake, good buddies Myra Baird-Herce, Debbie Markell, Joann De Martino and I went over to the Palace Diner to have a bite to eat and reminisce about Jack and what a great friend he was. It was our way of holding our personal eulogy for him as well as our last farewell. Rest in peace, Jack. We all love you and will always remember you in our prayers.

The Queens Republican Women held their annual brunch/luncheon at the Roma View Restaurant in Howard Beach. The food was exceptionally good. This year they had three honorees: City Councilmen Peter Koo, Dan Halloran and Eric Ulrich.

Having listened many times to the three newly elected councilmen, they sound better each time you hear them. Queens has needed quality representation for quite some time and at last the electorate seems to be demanding responsibility.

It would appear the residents of Queens have much to look forward to in the future. In the past, many people believed Queens was being treated as a stepchild and not really getting its fair share. These three seem to be more than willing to come to the aid of their constituents. Good luck to our newbie councilmen.

The only contentious Queens race at the moment is the special election in the 24th State Assembly District between David Weprin and Bob Friedrich. The special election was caused by former Assemblyman Mark Weprin running for his brother David’s Council seat. David opted to run for the city comptroller’s seat.

Mark won David’s seat in the Council. David, however, lost his bid for the comptroller’s seat and is running for his brother Mark’s Assembly seat. Does this sound confusing? Just think musical chairs. Both David and Bob have much to offer the constituents in their district. Good luck. May the best man win.

I was informed by credible and reliable sources that Mike Niebauer of the Independence Party and Republican Peter Boudouvas are intending to challenge state Sen. Frank Padavan for his seat. I will ask both men the same question: Why?

Niebauer, I thought, was engrossed in the operation of the Independence Party and Boudouvas in 2008 was busy trying to get Bob Schwartz elected for state Sen. Toby Stavisky’s seat. In 2009, he for Schwartz in his run for borough president. It is conducive to making one scratch one’s head.

Again I repeat, why? Whatever are Peter and Mike thinking of?

We understand on the Democratic side former Councilman Tony Avella is claiming he is going to remake himself in preparation for his run against Padavan. It sure looks like an interesting political landscape on the horizon — and this is only the first week in February.

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.

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 5:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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