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Dishing with Dee: Take time out of your day to volunteer for an elected

The rites of spring, Queens-style, have officially begun. It was both my honor and pleasure to once again be asked to serve on the Queens Theater in the Park Gala Committee.

It is QTIP’s largest annual fund-raiser, which is always held in May. This year the date is May 24. At 6 p.m. are the cocktail party and light supper and at 7:15 p.m. dessert and the awards ceremony and performance. The grand finale is at 8:30 p.m. with a desert extravaganza.

This year’s honorees will be John R. Buran, president and CEO of the Flushing Financial Corp.; Hal G. Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria Studios; and Caryn A. Schwab, executive director of Mount Sinai Queens.

Contact Monica Montoya at 347-472-3706 for additional information. Make sure to mark the date on your calendar as not only is it a worthwhile organization to support, but the event is enjoyable as well. We will keep you posted as soon as the entertainment acts are confirmed.

Apparently no one has told the politicians that money is tight this year. It seems that every day the mailbox is stuffed full of fund-raising invitations and/or solicitations. It is no wonder our politicos can hardly find the time to attend to their constituents’ needs.

Fund-raising has become a full-time job for them in order to raise the money required to run a successful re-election campaign. Campaigns seem to get more expensive every year and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight — the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of unpleasant possibilities. Special interests, anyone?

But then, as the man said, hope springs eternal. The best hope for our electeds is to choose a highly competent, personable chief of staff. Those who are fortunate enough to have such talented people representing them will find their offices run professionally for the benefit of the official and constituents.

Seriously, there is much riding on the results of the upcoming 2010 elections. Become informed and vote wisely, as everyone’s vote counts. Check all the candidates out carefully before casting your all-important vote.

On a lighter note, have fun at all the campaigns goings-on. If you are already sold on a particular candidate, why not really get involved and volunteer some of your time or services for him or her? He or she would appreciate it and you could really become a much better-informed citizen. Try it — you may find you like it.

On Wednesday. the Northeast Queen Republican Club at its regular February monthly meeting had as its guest speaker newly elected Nassau County comptroller George Maragos, an extremely interesting speaker who has come up with some great, innovative ideas of both how to save and raise money.

Hopefully, Queens could adopt and put into effect some of the same and similar ideas. Politics must run in the blood of the Maragos family, as George’s son, Angelo, also ran for public office. He opted for the seat vacated by former City Councilman Eric Gioia. in the 22nd Council District, which covers Woodside, Sunnyside, Maspeth, Long Island City and Astoria.

Angelo did not fare as well as his father, but he is young and has much going for him and this was his first time out. I predict a positive political future for this young man.

On Saturday, Flushing was the setting for the 14th-annual Lunar New Year Parade celebrating the Year of the Tiger, which gets bigger and better each year. This was followed by numerous after-parade parties. Flushing is home to one of the largest Asian populations in New York City, rivaling Manhattan’s Chinatown. Joining the parade in particular were members of the Korean community in Queens.

The parade had its dragon dancers, steel drummers and fireworks. The parade started at Union Street and 37th Avenue and ended at Main Street and 39th Avenue. The Chinese performers ended at the Queens Crossing Mall at 136-17 39th Ave., where food was sampled and folk dances were performed along with fireworks.

The Korean contingency celebrated at the open cultural space at the Korea Village at 150-24 Northern Blvd., where Korean food, dancing, music, games, martial arts and a karaoke contest were held.

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.

Till next week, Dee.

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