Dishing with Dee: Chamber of Commerce’s day at the races proves fruitful

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From Dee Richard’s believe-it-or-not file — or perhaps truth is stranger than fiction might be more apropos — try this one on for size. State Sen. Serf Maltese is the Republican chair of Queens County, but Serf is endorsing Democrat Ann Seminerio-Culley (Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio’s daughter) for Civil Court Judge District 3; however, longtime Republican Joe Kaspar is also running for judge again, apparently without the Republican chair’s endorsement.

Not to worry — Joe found some sort of glitch in the election laws and is running as an Independent Democrat even though he is a Republican. Confusion reigns! Joe is running for Civil Court Judge in District 4. I have been told he has 6,000 signatures, one per page, five pages per volume. You do the math.

If his petitions are challenged, which they surely will be, and half of them are thrown out, leaving him with 3,000, he is still way ahead, as he only needs 1,500. If what I’ve been told it is true, it will be very interesting to see how this one shakes out. Stay tuned. Could all this possibly be true? Only time will tell.

On Wednesday, July 16, the Queens Chamber of Commerce held its annual “Day at the Races at Belmont.” The third race was designated as the “Queens Chamber of Commerce Race,” and guess what? Horse No. 3 won. How’s that for a hunch? Did I play the hunch? No, I didn’t have time. I was too busy taking photos, but I won $5.60 for the day, not exactly a fortune but a lot better than losing, and it’s all just in fun.

When Dolores Hoffman and her husband were in college and they wanted to say “I love you” to each other, they developed a private code by saying the numbers 143. Dolores admitted she didn’t know much about racing, so she put $2 on the trifecta numbers 143. You guessed it — she won $147.50. Not a bad return on a $2 investment. The event was completely sold out. It was the Chamber’s largest attendance for Belmont Race Day.

Some of the members we ran into were George Rozansky, Russell Camp, William Egan, Ben Feinstein, Dolly DeThomas, Dolores Hoffman, Councilwoman Helen Sears, Athena Onorato, John Frank, Lucy Nunziato, Betty Letterese, Al Puglisi, Sher Sparano, the Callahans’ father and son, Billy McDermott, Steve Blank and the list goes on and on. It’s a fun day. If you can possibly make it next year, you should give it a try.

Thursday, July 17, was a busy day — a tripleheader, to be exact. It started out in the afternoon at St. Alban’s Veterans Administration Hospital. Maltese and state Sen. Malcolm Smith hosted a presentation ceremony. There were approximately 34 servicemen and servicewomen being honored. They were from World War II and the Vietnam and Korean wars. Mayor Mike Bloomberg came by and said he was pleased the senators were seeing that the servicemen and servicewomen were receiving recognition for their past sacrifices, doing their duty for their country. Bloomberg said, “This country needs to remind their children and grandchildren why people gave their lives for it and for democracy.”

At 6 p.m. the same day, the Charter Revision Commission held hearings in Queens Borough Hall. I would have liked to have stayed longer, as it was a very interesting and lively discussion, but more about that later.

At 8 p.m. the same day, I managed to get to the Sheraton LaGuardia East to catch the end of the Chinese-American Voters Association of Queens dinner. The new president is Mei-Hua Ru. The dinner was a very nice way to wind up a busy day. Present were Councilman John Liu, state Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik, Councilman David Weprin, state Sens. Frank Padavan and Toby Stavisky, Debbie Markell, Barbara Conacchio, Jun Policarpio, Jean Ren, Hank Yeh, Steven Chen, Ellen Young, Fred Fu, Susan Rathbone, Jimmy Meng, Pauline Chu, Janet Malone, Joan Vogt and Mary Anderson. There also were a number of others who had left before I arrived.

On Friday, July 18, the Centro Civico Colombiano held its annual dinner-dance at Terrace on the Park. Two familiar faces were Councilman Hiram Monserrate and state Assemblyman Jose Peralta. They were with Centro Civico President Guillermo Lozano and Jaime Buenahora Febres-Cordero, the consul general de Colombia, as well as the beautiful Miss Colombia, Miss Centro Civico and the Junior Pageant winners, all very charming and talented young ladies. A pleasant way to end the week.

Thank goodness there weren’t any barbecues this week. I’ve been hot-dogged and hamburgered to death. It was good to have a week’s rest from that routine. While you might get tired of the same old-same old food, you don’t seem to get tired of the same old-same old people. The rascals are lots of fun to watch going through their many machinations.

Good friend Chet Szarejko, a Democratic district leader, is in the North Shore Hospital recuperating from his second artificial hip replacement. Get well soon, Chet, we miss you.

For those of you who are unaware, there are photos in the “Focus on Queens” page that go with the events on this page, so check it out.

If you care to share information or invitations to your upcoming events, call me at 718-767-6484 or fax me at 718-746-0066.

Till next week,


Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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