Dishing with Dee: Former Queens publisher eyes 26th Assembly seat

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Isn’t this spring weather just glorious? Enjoy every moment of it while you can. Before long everyone will be crabbing and complaining about how beastly hot it is. Did you ever notice how it seems so many more people complain that their cup is half empty rather than being happy that their cup is half full? They have completely forgotten the old premise that a half a cup is better than none.

Did you know the wrinkles you acquire from smiling while performing an act of kindness or being a recipient of the same are much softer and more flattering than the ones you collect from frowning and complaining? Smiling stimulates endorphins and makes you feel good. Try it. You’ll like it. And while you’re at it, try spreading a few smiles around; they are contagious and free. Sounds like the best bargain in town.

While we are meandering on about smiles and frowns, let’s do a study in contrast. On a recent Friday night I ran into both Councilman Tony Avella and state Sen. Frank Padavan at Terrace on the Park at the 48th annual dinner for the Association for the Advancement of the Blind and Retarded.

Upon meeting the two men, I said, “Hi, Tony,” and he turned his head away so fast I thought it would snap off. The frown on his face would stop a 30-day clock. He had better be careful, as inducing angry facial expressions like that, he could wind up looking like a Shar-Pei — no endorphins there!

I guess he was still angry about the column I wrote a few weeks ago in which I had the temerity to have a difference of opinion from his point of view. This is, after all, America, where all people are entitled to have their own beliefs and are not required to march to the tune of whatever their elected official plays. That’s a rather childish attitude. His wife, Judy, however, is a lovely, polite young woman; she was well-mannered enough to say, “Hi, Dee.”

Padavan also took exception to a column of mine referencing the legalizing of video slot machines as a voluntary source of revenue for the state.

The senator said, “I read your column with interest, but let me explain to you my position and why I am adamantly opposed to legalized gambling.”

Neither the temper tantrum nor the intelligent explanation of both columns changed my mind. The contrast between the attitudes of the two elected officials brought to mind the French expression, “Vive la difference.” I guess that Friday night was my night to get clobbered. Oh, well, that’s par for the course.

While we are on a roll, who else can we dish this week? How about former Flushing Rotary President Frank Macchio? Frank finally did it; he gave up his status as one of Queens’ most eligible bachelors. He and Rosalia Zummo were married April 17.

The reception was held at Terrace on the Park. It was a lovely wedding and we wish love, luck and happiness to two very nice Queensites. We sat at the table with Joe and Gloria Previti; JoAnn and Bill Martin; Sher and Joe Sparano; Carol and Ray Cook; Michael and Stefanie Handsman; and Georgiana Reese.

We had a fun group at our table and thoroughly enjoyed the party.

Some of the other guests were TimesLedger Newspapers publisher Steve Blank and credit manager Holly Blank; Steve and Marge Kolman; Gloria D’Amico; Estelle Cooper; Rosalie Golia; and about 400 others.

By now I’m sure you all know that Janet Malone, the Northeast Queens Republican Club leader, had to drop out of the 26th Assembly race. We were sorry to see that happen, as she would have made a good candidate.

Former Queens Alternative publisher Joyce Shepard says she is going to keep all her options open till she has explored all the possibilities. She has not decided one way or another as of yet. She feels state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza should be replaced. And if no one else will challenge her, Joyce may make a run for it.

While we are on the subject of Carrozza and the 26th Assembly seat, I have an exclusive scoop for you. A new candidate has announced his intentions to run. He is a Republican and an outstanding member of the Greek community. Peter Boudouvas, a public engineer, is a lifetime Queens resident and has resided in Bayside since 1989. He recently tossed his hat into the ring, so we are going to fill you in with more details next week.

Shepard said Carrozza needs to be replaced so that the community will have adequate attention and representation. Joyce also said her considering running for the position is based on no one else’s taking up the challenge. She was leaving for her home in New Jersey and was to go to Florida for a final checkup by her plastic surgeon.

When she comes back she will meet with Peter, and if he meets her requirements for adequate representation she will support him; if not, it will be full steam ahead for her own campaign.

My, oh, my. It sounds like lots of interesting possibilities for a fun-filled summer for all of us political junkies. Let the games begin.

Phil Ragusa said he played 18 holes of golf the other day at the Clearview Golf Course. Since he had his joint replacement he is a new man, free of pain. If you need a hip or knee replacement, do not hesitate. Those who have had one say they have gotten a new lease on life.

Jeff Rosenstock of the Queens Theatre in the Park wants you to save Monday to attend the theater’s 10th anniversary gala at the theater.

Cocktails will be at 6 p.m. The honorees will be recognized at a 7:30 p.m. ceremony followed by a special performance of “Broadway Salutes Queens Theatre in the Park.”

This year’s honorees are Joseph Ficalora, CEO of New York Community Bank; Joseph Ciampa, president of the Bronx and Queens Builders Association; and Bruce Stevens, president and CEO of Steinway and Sons. Don’t miss this one, as Jeff and his staff always produce a memorable evening.

The William Spyropolas Greek-American day school of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church had its 27th anniversary dinner dance at Terrace on the Park.

Protopresbyter Paul Palesty said he is the happiest pastor in the world. He loves St. Nicholas and all its parishioners.

The American Legion had its testament dinner at Antuns in Queens Village, where John Brieder III, the national commander of the American Legion, was honored. There were approximately 700 legionnaires in attendance.

I forgot to mention the honorees of the Association for the Advancement of the Blind and Retarded. They were Arthur Cheliotes, president of the Communication Workers of America Local 1180; and Fredrich Appel, who has since 1994 been the head of European Equity Derivatives for Lehman Brothers in London. John Frank, you did a great job for your organization. Keep up the good work.

As usual, time and space have run out. Keep the information flowing on your events and be sure to check out the photos on the Focus on Queens page. You may contact me via voice mail at 718-767-6484, fax at 718-746-0066 or e-mail at

Till next week,


Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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