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Dishing with Dee: City agencies come out for Koo town hall at library

We hope everyone enjoyed their holidays this year. Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox celebrated Easter, which was in the middle of Passover, the Jewish observance. Whatever your persuasion, we hope your holiday was memorable and enjoyable.

It is heartwarming to see how many families spend the time, effort and energy to keep their religious and ethnic traditions alive. It insures for a warm and pleasant holiday for all.

Due to all the simultaneous holidays and celebrations, it was a rather slow week. At this point, we have a sad note to interject and that is on April 19 we attended the wake of Michael P. “Mikey” Ricatto Jr. The wake was held at D’Arienzo’s Funeral Home in Brooklyn. What a tragedy — he was only 29. The following is the statement prepared by his family: “Mikey Ricatto was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. His devotion to his family, his faith, his heritage and his country were unmatched. Mikey was a proud combat veteran of the United States Army serving a tour in Afghanistan. His passing will leave a void in the hearts of everyone who knew and loved him.”

He was laid out in his military uniform and was a handsome young man. From what I understand, he had an aneurism. They say you should live each day as though it were your last because some day it will be. My heart goes out to Michael Sr. and the rest of the Ricatto family. At a time like this, what can you possibly say? We will add Mikey’s name to all the others we pray for each night. God bless!

On April 20, we attended the Queens County Conservative Party’s April monthly meeting at the American Legion Post in Forest Hills. The scheduled guest speaker was Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. George was stuck in Nassau and had to cancel his speaking engagement with Tom Long. That shortened the meeting and Tom said Maragos will speak at the May monthly meeting and there will also be a few candidates testing the waters for a possible run for public office. It should be an interesting meeting.

From the Conservative Party meeting we drove over to the Reception House in Flushing to catch the tail end of the Northeast Queens Republican Club’s April meeting. Although we got there too late to hear the speaker, we understand he was excellent. The speaker was John Cashman, president of the Sportsman’s Association for Firearms. According to Cashman, our Second Amendment right “to keep and bear arms” is under attack. He then proceeded to explain the facts so everyone could hear his views about how our liberties are being diminished and destroyed.

Last Thursday evening, City Councilman Peter Koo held a town-hall meeting in the Flushing Library auditorium. On the dais with him were representatives of various citywide services. They were Iggy Terranova of the Sanitation Department, Matt Seymour of the Parks Department, Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Maura McCarthy, Don Ranshete of the Department of Buildings and Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire of the 109th Precinct, as well as state Assemblywoman Grace Meng.

After the representatives of the various agencies explained what they have done and are planning to do in the future, they held a question-and-answer period. Barbara Rogers, a member of the audience, wanted to know why the auditorium was more than half empty — weren’t the constituents properly notified?

Barbara, I’ll give you a hint. The Flushing Library is in the middle of busy downtown Flushing and there is no place to park unless you are into hiking eight blocks. Since most of the citizens who care about their communities are rather on the older side, that isn’t feasible. If you are lucky enough to find a space in a parking facility nearby, you’ll have to park for $10, at least. All in all, it was an interesting and informative meeting. Perhaps it is time to seek out a more convenient meeting place.

On Friday night, we attended two Good Friday Greek Orthodox processions. The first was at St. Nicholas in Bayside and the second at Holy Cross on 150th Street in Whitestone. They were impressive ceremonies and there wasn’t a politician in sight for a photo-op.

I look forward to 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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