Dishing with Dee: Queens fund-raiser helps with sending kids to camp

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There has not been one moment of inactivity in June. Starting with the June 1 to June 3 Republican Convention at the Manhattan Sheraton Hotel, it has been non-stop up until last weekend — the dates of the political campaign seminars at the Washington Marriott in our nation’s capitol.

I have been attending these conferences every year for more years then I care to remember. The three days will cost in excess of $2,500. But then, where can political junkies have access to so much information at one time in one place?

Last year was the first year I missed a conference. That year was the bane of my existence. It included selling my house, buying a condo and moving to say nothing of disposing of a lifetime accumulation of stuff. To make matters worse, it also included an excruciating bout with sciatica.

What a difference a year makes. In 2010, everything is electronic with websites, blogs, political social networks, wireless Internet, e-mails, text messaging and online donations with lots of new campaign finance and PAC rule. It’s mind-boggling! It will take at least two weeks to read all the literature distributed as well as all the books purchased.

While gasoline was $2.65 a gallon, which is much less than our local prices, it’s offset by the cost of tolls. I shudder to think what June’s E-ZPass bill will be. The past year the tolls have gone up. The Verrazano Bridge alone is $8. I guess you just have to chalk it up to the high cost of continuing your education. Will I go again next year? Absolutely!

Washington is beautiful this time of year. The public spaces and private homes are abloom with flowers. Washington has been known for its restaurants and this time of year many of them have opened their charming outdoor cafes. Apparently, people-watching is one of everyone’s favorite pastimes, which also includes a glass of wine and stimulating conversation with your friends.

In-between the two above events, we managed to squeeze in two local events. One event was June 8 at Ricardo’s by the Bridge, which was a Taste of Italy fund-raiser sponsored by the Perna Foundation for Kids. The event was to support its 2010 Send a Kid to Camp program. It was a fun evening. The food was delicious and the entertainment was fabulous and provided by Perna Entertainment, which included a silent auction and a Frank Sinatra-style vocalist who also did a great rendition of “Phantom of the Opera.”

They had a book signing by Joseph R. Gannascoli, known for his acting on HBO’s “The Sopranos.” He played the heavyset hitman Vito who did the surprising hit on Jackie Jr. at the close of the third season. The title of the book is “A Meal to Die For.”

The second event was at the Queens Museum of Art. The speeches were made in the Panorama Room and the buffet dinner was held under a large white tent in back of the museum. In spite of the inclement weather, the place was packed. Both local events were representative of the best of Queens. Incidentally, the beautiful floral and plant decorations were provided by good friends Sal Bacarella and Gary Bonelli of the Land Serve Environmental Group. It looked lovely.

There wasn’t enough room in my column last week to comment on the photos from the Jefferson Democratic Club’s June meeting. It announced that all the many candidates who had been vying for state Assemblywoman Ann Margaret Carrozza’s seat agreed to step aside in favor of one candidate, Ed Braunstein. They claimed they did so for the purpose of unity as they learned their lesson in the 2009 City Council race.

There were too many candidates dividing up the votes, so Republican Councilman Dan Halloran won. They do not want to see a repetition of those results. They all agreed to support Tony Avella for the state Senate seat and Braunstein for the Assembly seat and they were able to convince Carol Gresser and Michael Sais to run for district leader spots.

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

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 5:55 pm, October 10, 2011
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