Dishing with Dee: Electeds out in full force for inauguration of Avella

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This past week, with all its on again/off again snowstorms, has been conducive for causing what amounted to a bout of cabin fever among those of us who were unable to get out and about.

In my case, it was because my husband works in Manhattan and, due to the storms and myriad of problems that they caused, he had to be there extra early in the morning and stay extra late at night. What method of transportation did he choose? Why, he borrowed my four-wheel drive SUV, of course. You can knock them all you want, but they are the absolute best for getting you where you have to go when the roads are a mess — and what a mess they were. So my wings were clipped this week. It’s funny how dependant we have all become on our cars.

Sunday was the inauguration of Tony Avella as state senator for the 11th District. Thank goodness there wasn’t any snow and the roads by and large were pretty good.

The inauguration was held at Bayside’s Queensborough Community College Performing Arts Center. The reception afterward was held at the Student Union Building. There was a good turnout at both locations.

A blessing was given by the Rev. Paul Palesti of St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church. The closing prayers were given by Rabbi David Wise of the Hollis Hills Jewish Center and Imam Mufti Muneer Akhoon of the Al Muneer Mosque. The third prayer was supposed to be given by the Rev. Charles Norris Sr. of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church of Jamaica, but he was unavoidably delayed and an Indian Sikh spiritual adviser substituted for him. Unfortunately, I was unable to get his name as he was not listed on the program.

The performances were by the Clinton Club Kids, the Korean Traditional Music Dance Institute, Cantor Sol Zim and the Overseas Chinese Children’s Chorus. What a lot of talent we have here in Queens!

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer did the honors of swearing in Avella. City Councilman Mark Weprin was the master of ceremonies. The presentation of colors and the food service at the reception were handled by the Francis Lewis High School Jr. ROTC, and what a great bunch of young people they are.

More than a dozen local food purveyors donated all the food and beverages. The Cultural Trolley Bus drove anyone who needed a lift from the Performing Arts Center to the Student Union Building.

There were more than 14 elected officials on the dais, most of whom took the time to speak and congratulate Tony. There were too many people to list all their names and titles here, but they as well as the rest of us wish you good luck, Tony, in your new endeavor.

For those of you who have been inquiring about our favorite senator’s — Frank Padavan’s — health, it was an extremely minor stroke and he is doing especially well. He left New York Hospital last week and is in rehab in Glen Cove, L.I. He should be back home shortly — in fact, it should be within the next two weeks. Hurry home, Frank, we all miss you.

I did not write about the senator’s setback last week in my column as I felt it was his personal life and therefore was up to his discretion when and if he wished to disclosed the details. All’s well that ends well. The senator will be up and at ’em before you can blink your eye.

This column understandably has all the earmarks of a puff piece, as I did not go anywhere or do anything this week, so I’m all puffed out. I listened to the news as I wrote this and I didn’t believe it, but the weatherman said more snow this week. Can you believe it? I for one am all snowed out. How about you?

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

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

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 10:33 am, October 12, 2011
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