Swearing−in of Padavan yields large, colorful turnout

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This week’s big event that was long overdue was the official swearing−in ceremony of state Sen. Frank Padavan of the 11th Senate District. The swearing−in was conducted at Holy Cross High School on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Flushing.

It was a lovely ceremony. The mistress of ceremonies was Democrat Maria Collier; the Pledge of Allegiance was performed by Britney Cheng, one of the Lincoln essay contest winners; the national anthem was performed by Margaret Abel, wife of former 19th Council District member Mike Abel; the invocation was done by Monsignor Raymond Chappeto of Our Lady of the Snows, with the swearing−in performed by Judge Robert Hanophy, uncle of Dan Halloran, a candidate for City Councilman Tony Avella’s seat.

Hanophy is the only non−Democratic judge in Queens that we know of. Mandingo Tshaka gave a musical rendition of “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” Mandingo has a good voice. The closing prayer was given by Rabbi Michael Ehrlich of the Oakland Jewish Center.

It was a memorable swearing−in ceremony and long overdue by at least three months. One nice story was told by the rabbi. He declared Padavan a “mensch.” He then explained that a mensch was a term in Yiddish and of German origin. His definition of the term was that a mensch is a person who, when he witnesses a person crying, could taste the salt in their tears. What a nice statement.

During the swearing−in, Padavan’s daughter, Allison, held the Bible used for the ceremony. Allison lives in Spain and flew in especially for her dad’s ceremony.

So many people attended that the senator remarked that he hoped Brother Stephen La Mendola, president of Holy Cross High School, would not get into trouble with the FDNY, as he was sure that by the size of the crowd they must have exceeded the room capacity.

After the ceremony, refreshments were served in the high school cafeteria. Entertainment was provided by Tony Grant on a MIDI Keyboard and Liz Berney, a candidate for the Fifth Congressional District, on her violin.

The piÈce de rÉsistance was Padavan singing, “I Did it My Way.”

What a fitting end to a three−month, tortuous fiasco. Apparently, the good senator never lost his sense of humor.

The other person who would have been entitled to sing “I Didit My Way” was Attorney John Ciampoli, counsel to the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee. He was the main man in the senator’s defense, and since the senator won, Ciampoli obviously did a great job.

There was such a mixed bag of well−wishers that it is nigh impossible to list them all, but we will give it a try as best as we can remember, as there were so many.

State Sen. Marty Golden, Tom Long, Peter Koo, Debbie Markell, Myrna Baird−Herce, Chuck Wade, Linda DaSabatto, Rod O’Connell, Phil Sica, Katherine James, Bart Haggerty, Phil Ragusa, Vincent Tabone, Stephen Graves, Dan Egers, Jerry Everett, Molly Holingsfeld, Mike Niebauer, Mitch Schwadron and Janet Malone.

Some of the senator’s Queens and Albany staffs were present. Others present were Linda Gritsch, Marie Warhola, Joan Vogt, Tom Cronin, Angela Friscatti, Roy and Barbara Tabita and Georgiana Reese and her fiancÉ.

Please forgive us if we overlooked putting your name on the list of attendees, as it was not intentional but only due to the lack of space.

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.

Posted 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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