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Dishing with Dee: Keynote speakers shine at boro political club meetings

TimesLedger Newspapers

Believe it or not, but we have started to receive our first Christmas/holiday party invitations. It looks as though it’s going to be a busy party season if they are starting to send their invites out this early.

The first stop on Oct. 19 was the William Jefferson Clinton Democratic Club’s October meeting. Paul Vallone is the president and has been doing a great job in securing interesting speakers. The main guest speaker that night was Dermot Smyth, the Queens political action coordinator for the United Federation of Teachers. He was an interesting and informative man.

Of course, all the Clinton kids were decked out in their best Halloween finery. It was a fun evening and I was sorry to have to leave early to attend the Northeast Queens Republican Club’s October meeting. Both clubs have their monthly meetings on the same night at the same time. Thank goodness their meeting places are quite close together — otherwise it would be impossible to cover both.

Speaking of the NQRC, it met for years at the Reception House in Flushing. The new owner raised the rent to the point where it was not feasible to continue to hold meetings there. Janet Malone, the club president, called me in a panic, as she could not find a convenient place that was reasonable. She asked if I knew of any such place. I suggested the club house at the Clearview Golf Club. It has held the September and October meetings there to everyone’s satisfaction.

The NQRC speaker that evening was City Councilman Eric Ulrich. Eric has an old head on young shoulders. I think the reason for his success is that he has common sense, which seems to be a rarity in this day and age.

Sal Bacarella was there congratulating former Democratic candidate Elio Forcina for changing parties and becoming a Republican. Elio smiled and said he had been a member of the Republican Party for the last two days. That is a good thing, as we all need new, young men dedicated to the good of their community no matter what party they are affiliated with. I am sure Republicans will be happy to have him on board.

On Wednesday night, the Queens County Conservative Party had its October meeting at the American Legion Continental Post No. 1424 in Forest Hills. Newly elected U.S. Rep. Bob Turner was their scheduled speaker, but he had to cancel as he was sent on a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan. He promised to report all the details when he came back.

Tom Long, the Queens Conservative Party chairman, instead introduced six people who are running for Queens judgeships. Some were impressive; one in particular I had never met before. Her name is Kate Christoforatoes. There was just something about her that was appealing and charismatic, not that they are requisites for a judicial position, but it just made her stand out.

The other five candidates were all men: Joseph Kasper, Robert Beltrani, John Casey, Gabriel Tapalaga and Milton Florez. Good luck to all the candidates. Hey, guys, how come there’s not a single Republican judge in any Queens courts? That doesn’t sound very democratic. There has to be some able, qualified Queens Republican or Conservative attorney who would make an excellent judge.

On Sunday afternoon, Betsy Seidman hosted a costume jewelry party at her home in Bayside. Parts of the proceeds from the “Vintage Whimseys” sales were earmarked for the charity Dancing Dreams, dedicated to children with physical disabilities so they could enjoy being ballerinas despite their afflictions. There was a who’s who list of Queens ladies who, despite their schedules, managed to find the time to support worthwhile charities.

Some of the ladies in attendance you might know were Claire Schulman, Regina Grasso, Joann Ferrara, Toby Stavisky, Marcia Comrie, Karen Milton, Linda Hoffman, Tina Metis, Terri Thompson and Kelly O’Neil-Levy. The youngest attendee was 8 1/2-year-old Wendy Wang.

Judge Gregory Lasak marched for the first time in the annual Pulaski Day Parade with Frank Milewski, the downstate president of the Polish American Congress. Lasak will be one of the honorees of the Polish American Congress Sunday at the Polinase Terrace in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

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