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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan
Presidents v. The Supreme Court

The recent political chatter about “Obamacare” before the Supreme Court of the United States got a great deal of media attention.  President Obama added fuel to the fire when he declared, “Ultimately, I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

For someone who was a law professor those words were absurd.  Even if a bill passed unanimously in the house and senate, it could still be overturned – if the law was in violation of the Constitution.

Michael Miller


By Michael Miller
1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing

Nelson Rockefeller’s nomination for Governor in 1958 was partly an upstate revolt against the continued domination of party affairs by the Nassau Republican organization. Rockefeller was a man who always had bigger fish to fry, and throughout his almost 15 years as governor, he often went out of his way not to step on the toes of the touchy Nassau GOP. That’s why Nassau is the only large New York county without a state office building. Respect the turf.

Just before taking office, Rockefeller announced that State Senator William Hults would be Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, but not until the end of the 1959 legislative session, so that Glen Cove, North Hempstead, Oyster Bay and a sliver of Hempstead wouldn’t lose their Senate representation until 1960.

Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry
The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’

The Nassau County district attorney’s (DA) office makes a cameo appearance in Empty Mansions, an incredible book about Huguette Clark (1906-2011), the Manhattan-raised heiress whose generosity and eccentricities were legendary.

Now that Ryan Murphy, a creator of television’s “Glee,” has optioned Empty Mansions’ film rights, I imagine a scrum of top actresses are vying to play Clark.

What’s In A Name?

So here is the story: Rick Robinson called to congratulate me on my retirement. We met recently at the Tom Robinson Tournament in OBHS. Rick said he worked for a time as an assistant coach with Tom. He said, “It was a lot of fun. When a student came into the office and asked for Coach Robinson, we would say, ‘Which one?’”

Coach Tom Robinson was a dear man I got to know through Robbie Hallock’s salesman Don Jarvis at Hallock Chevrolet. At the time I was selling automotive ads for Anton newspapers. (Don is the brother of East Norwich Fire Department ex-Chief Jake Jarvis). He is now a golf pro, the last time I heard at Deepdale Country Club. Donny was friends with Tommy and he would tell me about how the basketball team was doing which helped me write stories about the Baymen.

One of my favorite photos in the newspaper was of Tommy at the end of a championship game in Westbury. I got a shot of him, ecstatic, as the team won a championship at Westbury High School.

The photo was a little blurry but it had such emotion it was great.

His untimely death still saddens me, even today.

He is well remembered in the community. His friend Butch Garrison, another OBHS graduate, who went on to be a football coach at Nassau Community College for many years, helped with the dedication of the free basketball courts at the Roosevelt School in honor of Coach Robinson. The lovely red and gold plaques have a bio of Tom on the back, said Mr. Garrison. (Note the photograph.)

We met James Robinson who is currently on the OB-EN board of education, shopping at Stop & Shop before Christmas. He was at the Tom Robinson Tournament too. He said, “Tom Robinson was a coach and teacher of mine when I went through the school.” His son Dylan was playing in the game. He has just been recruited to play baseball at Courtland. His older son Jake is at Oneonta and playing baseball. His wife Mary was also at the game.

James said being on the school board is a great learning experience.

The same comment about the board of education was made by James Smiros, when he left the position. He said he learned a great deal from Dr. Phyllis Harrington whom he admired, and from the whole experience of serving on the board.

Bringing this small chat with you full circle, and back to Rick Robinson, you will remember that he retired from writing a sports column for the Oyster Bay Guardian for about 25 years and he said to me, “after a week you will forget what is it like to live for deadlines.”

Strangely or maybe not so strangely, I am still writing a story a week for the Enterprise Pilot, and I still have to deal with deadlines, but editor Jill Nossa does all the worrying for me.

Again, speaking of retirement, I received an email from my cousin Harold Anderson who lives in Quito, Ecuador with his wife Toa. He said, “Make a bucket list.

“Buy a bucket,

“Look around the house and yard and whatever — to see what has to be done.

“Get a small pad, write down those things separately, and drop in the bucket.

“When you feel ambitious, pick out a chore from the bucket AND DO IT.  DON’T PUT IT OFF.  You can’t dip in twice.

“End of my helpful suggestion.”

FYI: I still have to buy the bucket.