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Dishing with Dee: Queens LGBT dinner-dance draws big names from Dems

This month has gone by rather rapidly. Can you believe it’s already the end of the month?

A number of events that had been scheduled were canceled due to the snowstorms we’ve had. The events that were held and that we managed to attend were on Wednesday at the Reception House in Flushing. The North East Queens Republican Club at its January monthly meeting installed the new officers for 2011. The honors were performed by City Councilman Dan Halloran. He did a great job and also took the time to try and explain the possibilities of the new gerrymandering and what effect it could possibly have for Queens, particularly in the northeast where both the club and Halloran are located.

Republican Queens Board of Election Commissioner Judith Stupp was also at the meeting and gave an updated report on the new voting machines and the problems connected with them. She said that as with any new process there are inevitably bugs that have to be worked out. There were many complaints connected to the last election and new voting machines. Some of the complaints were justifiable, some not. Both Republican and Democratic members of the Queens BOE were all working together to find ways to solve the problems. Hopefully, they will be resolved by the time the next election rolls around.

Saturday night was one of my favorite annual parties. It was the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride annual Winter Pride Dinner-Dance held at the Astoria World Manor.

As usual, it was heavy with elected VIPs. It was a great turnout. State Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer was there and from what we understand she stands an excellent chance of attaining the Queens County clerk’s spot, which is now vacant due to the demise of Gloria D’Amico, who had previously held the spot for a rather long time. If that happens, then that will open up Audrey’s Assembly seat. Hmm, who will the candidates be for that slot? A lot of interesting possibilities come to mind. It’s so true that there’s never a dull political moment.

Additionally, in attendance at the dinner-dance were John Liu, Jose Peralta, Karen Koslowitz, Toby Stavisky, Carolyn Maloney, Christine Quinn, Aravella Simotas, John Duane, Michael DenDekker, Francisco Moya, David Weprin, Mark Weprin, Jimmy Van Bramer and Danny Dromm.

The evening’s honorees were Pedro Julio Serrano, a Puerto Rican LGBT activist. The award was presented by Chap James Day. The other honoree was Fran Roland for her volunteer work with LGBT organizations in Brooklyn and Queens. That award was presented by Hank Krumholz.

The party was going strong around 10 p.m. when I left. With all the ceremonies over, everyone was getting ready to dance the night away. As I said, they are both a fun and fun-loving group.

On Sunday at noon, the Jefferson Democratic Club held the swearing-in ceremony of Ed Braunstein at the Auburndale American Legion Post No. 123. The ceremony was conducted by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

That was also a who’s who of the Democratic Party. Braunstein can be proud of himself because he attracted a large number of heavy hitters, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer; Congressman Anthony Weiner; the Democratic chairman of Queens, Congressman Joe Crowley; Liu; Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Stavisky; and state Sen. Tony Avella, who were the electeds on the dais. The rest of the room was also scattered with other elected officials interspersed with non-elected folks and there were many of them. The room was filled to capacity.

In his acceptance speech, Braunstein demonstrated what a competent and caring assemblyman he will be. First, he thanked Ann-Margret Carrozza for her trailblazing of the seat and how she personally was a great help to him. He then made a touching remark thanking Frank Padavan for his 38 years of continuous service in protecting our communities and way of life. There was no Democratic payback in that last statement, but it shows you what kind of person who is and also reinforces my belief that the support I gave him on various occasions was correct and well-deserved.

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.

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens section.

Till next week, Dee.

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