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.
Cutting taxes on those whose dreams have already come true does not create good jobs. Growing a healthy economy creates good jobs, and you cannot have a healthy economy in which a vast majority are losing ground or are barely holding on, or are just worrying about next month.
Biologists and naturalists conduct experiments in resource scarcity and competition using yeast, paramecium, flour beetles and other little animals. Behaviors change, relationships change, levels of ferocity change. A series of recently published surveys show that one third or less of Americans trust their fellow citizens in everyday interactions. As social trust deteriorates, so does a willingness to work for a common good. I am hopeful that Americans will handle things better than the flour beetle, but we need to hold it together and keep our perspective.
Federal, state and city lawmakers have the power to reduce the region’s traffic congestion while also promoting mass transit. If the past is prologue, they will decline to use it.
Congress, for instance, has until the end of this month to extend a law allowing mass transit users (e.g., bus, subway, commuter rail) to use up to $245 in pre-tax dollars toward their monthly commute. The federal government already allows $245 in pre-tax dollars to be used by drivers each month for their parking expenses, a figure which will increase to $250 on Jan. 1, 2014. The monthly pre-tax limit for transit users will fall to $130 on New Year’s Day should Congress fail to act on this matter by year-end 2013, something which happened in late 2011. D.C.’s inaction left transit users at a competitive disadvantage to drivers in 2012.
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net Thursday, 06 June 2013 00:00
Garden City and Floral Park are holding their annual Belmont Stakes Festivals on the day before, and the day after, the Saturday, June 8, running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont.
Garden City’s Seventh Street will closed to traffic, and jammed with pedestrians, on Friday, June 7, between 6 and 10 p.m., for the Garden City Belmont Festival, an evening of live music, food, and family-friendly activities.
Held annually on the eve of the third and final race in thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown series, the festival will feature the Fivestone Rock Band, Jerry and the Newcomers, the New Vintage Orchestra, Nor’easter and The Village Music Makers. The Broadway Bound Dance Center’s dancers will also perform.
All of the proceeds from this year’s Wing-Off Competition, which offers local restaurants the chance to be crowned Garden City’s chicken wing champion, will benefit the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. A $5 donation entitles festival-goers to judge the competition’s entries. Moreover, the Garden City Belmont Festival also includes face painting, pony rides, and carnival games for younger attendees.
Meanwhile, the Floral Park Belmont Stakes Festival will take place on Sunday, June 9, closing Tulip Avenue, the village’s main thoroughfare, from 2 to 7 p.m. The Floral Park Art League is on that same Sunday afternoon sponsoring an Exhibit to Celebrate Thoroughbred Horse Racing in Floral Park’s Memorial Park. The Art League will be at the same park, situated along Tulip Avenue, on June 8, too.
Tens of thousands will make their way to Belmont Park on Saturday, June 8, for the big race itself. Orb, the Kentucky Derby winner, and Oxbow, who won the Preakness Stakes, are two of the nine horses scheduled to compete in The Test of Champions. The one and one-half mile race is perhaps the longest one any of these three-year-olds will ever run.
Seats to the Belmont Stakes are available via Ticketmaster, but entrance can also be bought on race day. Grandstand general admission ($10) and clubhouse admission ($20) tickets can be purchased at the door.
When it comes to getting to Belmont Park, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is an option, with the LIRR providing extra service to its Belmont Station on Saturday, June 8. That station is a short walk from the Belmont Park grandstand. Check www.mta.info/lirr for further details.
Besides taking in the scene, young adults attending their first Belmont Stakes should look for the America’s Best Racing (ABR) recreational vehicle. ABR ambassadors will interact with fans throughout the day in an ongoing effort to promote thoroughbred horse racing to the next generation of fans.
I will offer from personal experience a warning to those lining up to place a Belmont Stakes win bet on Oxbow, given his front-running victory in the Preakness Stakes, which is contested each year in Maryland at a shorter (one mile and three-sixteenths) distance than the Belmont. I had a win wager on Star Standard in the 1995 Belmont Stakes. The decision remains an unhappy, albeit distant, memory. Star Standard was in first place at just about every point in that race, except for the one that mattered: the finish line. He came in second to Thunder Gulch. The moral of the story: find a horse that wants another horse to rush to the front, and leaves something in the tank for the end of race, when handicapping the Belmont Stakes.