Dishing with Dee: State of boro politics leaves your head spinning

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Before we start the column this week, let me answer all inquiries as to what happened to the July 7 Focus on Queens page. I usually deliver my photos to the paper on Monday afternoons, but this past Monday was the Fourth of July and the paper was closed. The new deadline became Tuesday morning. It took me too long to dig up everyone’s names, so I missed the deadline.

Sorry about that, but enjoy them this week. It worked our rather well as this week, aside from being short, was also slow. Thank you for your interest.

Janet Malone held a local service for her son Larry Entenmann to accommodate all the folks who could not make it out to Oyster Bay, L.I., on the holiday weekend. It was held at the Palazzo Grill and Bar Restaurant in Flushing. That is the new name of the current ownership of the old Friend’s Restaurant. We all have attended many meals and meetings there and have many fond memories of the place.

For a bit of trivia, in 2003 I wrote my first column for TimesLedger Newspapers concerning an event at the same place. The new owners did an excellent job and the food at the buffet was delicious. Good luck to the new owners.

This may have been a slow week event-wise, but politically it was full of bombshells. It started with the Democratic Party nominating David Weprin as Anthony Weiner’s replacement for his congressional seat. One e-mail I received said Weprin was the parties’ choice, not the people’s choice. Does this mean there will be a Democratic primary? The Republican Party is supporting Bob Turner, but considering the Queens GOP’s penchant for nominating and un-nominating candidates, who knows who it will be supporting next month or next week.

Turner seems to have a better-than-average shot, as he garnered 40 percent of the vote against popular incumbent Weiner in the last election.

Weiner is playing it smart. He is dropping out of sight and therefore is not the daily target of the media. Knowing that the public has the attention span of a gnat, it was a smart move. He is young and politically ambitious with years of experience under his belt and, by the time he is ready to run again, it will all be forgotten just as all of yesterday’s news is.

It was much ado about nothing, and for sure by that time some other politico will be guilty of committing other indiscretions. By the way, Weiner sent me a nice e-mail thanking me for my support and for being a friend. I guess when you have troubles, friends are in short supply.

Another bombshell this week was the Friday New York Post article reporting that the Queens Democratic chairman actually lives with his wife and children in Arlington, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., a fact Joe Crowley admits is true. Crowley is also a U.S. congressman from New York state, so how will all this work out? Are there rules and regulations governing this sort of situation? I must confess I don’t know. Logically, it seems that under both circumstances you should be a New York state resident. But perhaps there are exceptions for extenuating circumstances. Stay tuned.

When Crowley’s predecessor, Tom Manton, was Queens Democratic Chairman and U.S. congressman representing New York state, Manton gave up his congressional seat under pressure that the two simultaneous positions could become a conflict of interest issue. That is how Crowley became a congressman. Queens politics is becoming confusing, but then again, that’s what makes it interesting fun.

Hey, guys, I discovered a brand new restaurant in my neighborhood — right next door in fact. It’s called Due Ponte and is an upscale Italian restaurant with excellent food at affordable prices. It is on the same property as the Beechhurst Marina and as such you can enjoy drinks and dinner on the deck overlooking the water. Check it out, as it’s a lovely way to have cocktails while enjoying the sunset.

Bombshell No. 3 this week is all the brouhaha about Mark Weprin and Frank Padavan and the sale of some land on Creedmore’s property. I personally know and like both men and they are in my opinion the least likely to be involved in any questionable deals. We will discuss more about the issue next week as we get more details. Not to worry, we will get to the bottom of this fiasco and get the facts for you.

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 11:30 am, October 12, 2011
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