TEED OFF: The Queens Chamber of
Commerce, for those unfamiliar, is the countys largest business organization with
the mission of promoting business in Queens. Weve been members since before I joined
the Tribune back in 1978. I used to occasionally go to their luncheons but its
leadership was a bit too ol boy (and girl) for me. I remember when Peg Swezey of
Citibank built the organization and partnered with Donald Manes to bring business to
Queens. I think it was a little more talk than action. Peg retired and the organization
didnt have the same committed leadership and continued to grow as the borough grew,
but I think without real direction.
In 1994 they started recognizing outstanding businessmen and honored me
as their first "Businessman of the Year" of a large business. I was prepared at
that time, if asked, to try to help contribute to the organization. They seemed pretty
happy with themselves. I didnt even get a phone call to participate in the following
years Businessman of the Year awards.
I remember clearly my disillusionment when during the Gulf War, the
Chambers President pronounced the war good for Queens economy. I criticized
them and him in print and the Chamber sort of avoided the entire issue.
Its big business for the Queens Chamber of Commerce
which is holding a high-priced golf outing in of all places, Nassau County!
Nevertheless, the Chamber is the only countywide
advocacy group for business in Queens and I keep hoping that some year theyll get it
Not this year apparently.
You see, its golf time for the Queens Chamber of Commerce!
The links will be alive with Queens golfers next week, but all
thats green will not be benefiting Queens.
Once again, our Queens Chamber of Commerce will be holding their annual
Frank J. Tempone Golf Outing on August 28, offering Queens businessmen a chance to mingle,
socialize, advertise with sponsorships, and generally keep the wheels of commerce rolling.
But the sand trap in an otherwise flawless game is the location. The
outing will be held at the North Hempstead Country Club in Port Washington.
Im not a golfer and Im not going.
However, I know of two Queens golf courses with outstanding restaurant
and catering facilities.
Joe Francos Caffé on the Green, at the foot of the Throggs Neck
Bridge is beautifully situated on the Clearview Golf Course. The restaurant, one of my
favorites in Queens, is large and has an impressive banquet hall. I lunch there regularly;
Ive been to catered affairs there. Its wonderful. Dont know the golfing
part. Dont care.
Then there is Douglaston Manor with its beautiful enormous windowed
wall overlooking the Douglaston golf course. Bob Santucci and staff throw a hell of a
party. Weve had the Tribune holiday party there for the past two years.
Again, dont know the golf course.
The NYC Parks Department owns both these courses with a
franchisee operating the golfing part. Certainly, those operators want to please the
Queens Chamber of Commerce. Certainly Estelle Cooper, Queens Parks Hoohah, can get
either course to make whatever arrangement is needed.
Caffé on the Green or Douglaston Manor can handle whatever the Queens
And if the entire package that I propose isnt quite up to the
standards of the Nassau County restricted private course, my plan still offers three
things to the Queens Chamber of Commerce unavailable anywhere else.
Location, location location!
Cmon Chamber, check your charter. Whats your mission? Gimme
Promote your borough!
Bring your golf outing home.
Shame on you.
Do your business in Queens!
SCHOOL DAYS: If youre a regular to this
column, sooner or later, youre bound to read about my days in education.
I taught and served as Assistant Principal at PS 219 Queens that
cute domed school built in 1964 as an educational showplace back in the
Worlds Fair days.
(Top) The 1970 graduating class of P.S. 219 Queens.The inset
(above) , or second row, seventh from left, is of this writer. The picture was brought to
the Trib by my former student Jeff Glasser, first row second from left.
Three years in the classroom, a couple as UFT (union) Hoohah and
a year as AP and I was off to a Brooklyn assignment to build a career in education.
Actually the war (Vietnam) got me in to education and the Trib got
But Ill leave the adventures of the classroom, the Bd. of Ed and
my personal reflection and theories to another time. I did however want to share something
with the many of you who lived in Kew Gardens Hills when the 1960s became 1970 or
those of you who came by bus from South Ozone Park.
Actually, Jeff Glasser, a former student in my 6th grade class, emailed
me a while back. Now an accountant from Forest Hills, Jeff said hello and asked if he
could stop by and renew our acquaintance.
Jeff brought the picture shown below. He and I played the name game and
recalled many of those pictured. Recognize yourself? Email me at
Me, Im that good-looking guy seventh from the left in the second
row between Ellen ODonnell and Linda Dalvano.
Hey Jordan, Simone, Susan, Barbara and Debbie; Morty, Renee and Jerry .
. .And everyone else!
There are some good memories there. Look forward to hearing from you
all, and thank you Jeff.
REGISTER TO VOTE REACT: Last week, following a proposal by rookie
reporter Denise DeJesus, the Tribune published a voter registration form to
encourage greater participation by Queens voters in the electoral process. She received
the following email:
To Denise, Hooray for you! When I saw the voter registration form printed
in the Trib, I thought "What a brilliant idea!" When I read Mike
Schenklers column and learned that you are responsible, I was thrilled. I think
young people are wonderful bold, creative and forward-thinking. Youve
confirmed that belief. Congratulations. Think of all the new voters your
"simple" idea will generate!