The late Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) made news last year but not the way he would have liked.
The Brooklyn native and one-time world chess champion’s remains were exhumed from his grave in Iceland as part of a dispute over the disbursement of his estate. The media went into overdrive because of the circumstances. Fischer, who left no will, was alleged to have sired a girl who was 8 years old at the time of his death, and her mother sought what she deemed to be her daughter’s rightful inheritance. A DNA test determined Fischer was not the girl’s biological father.
President Harry Truman said the only thing new in this world is the history that you don’t know.
The thought came to mind while reading a fascinating book Governor Andrew Cuomo has reportedly been touting to his colleagues, The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975 (State University of New York Press, 2010). The 193-page tome, co-written by former state Senator Seymour Lachman and former Newsday reporter Robert Polner, offers observers of the 2011 political scene perspective on the upcoming budget battles in New York State and New York City. To make things clear, the ‘New York’ the co-authors allude to in the title is ‘New York City,’ and it is the city’s brush with insolvency that drives the narrative.
Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex opened in 2000 and has been an excellent, inexpensive place to watch Division I basketball games over the past decade.
There’s full chair back seating for spectators, and just about every one of the arena’s 5,046 seats offer a good view of the court. And, if you haven’t been to the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead yet, the Hofstra men’s and women’s varsity basketball teams are giving fans a reason to visit during their 2010-2011 campaigns.
Newsday has excitedly been telling its readers to mark Thursday, Jan. 20 on their calendar. That is supposedly the day the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) may seize financial control of Nassau’s county government.
Now, why would NIFA go down this path when the voters hired a county executive as well as 19 county legislators to govern? Well, NIFA is empowered as a state public benefit corporation to intervene if NIFA’s board of directors deems the county budget unbalanced. The county’s margin for error is small, with NIFA allowed to step in if a deficit in excess of 1 percent ($26 million) of the county’s annual operating budget ($2.6 billion) is detected, or if NIFA’s board believes such a situation is imminent.
The National Football League’s (NFL) team owners voted last year to have the February 2014 Super Bowl played at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, marking the first time ever a Super Bowl will be played at an open-air, cold weather site. It was, and is, a terrible idea.
Perhaps the Atlantic seaboard blizzard of December 2010 might get the NFL’s owners to change their collective mind, especially since the strength of last week’s storm peaked on a Sunday afternoon and prompted the NFL’s postponement of the Sunday, Dec. 26 night game in Philadelphia, PA. The Philadelphia Eagles-Minnesota Vikings contest was instead played on Tuesday evening, Dec. 28. The Super Bowl is always held on a Sunday and, in a nod to the extraordinary size of its television audience, begins in late afternoon so the game concludes in prime time.
New York State’s population grew to 19.37 million in 2010 from 18.97 million in 2000, an increase of 2.1 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau announced last week. That number might make you wonder why the state’s Congressional delegation will then shrink to 27 from 29 U.S. House of Representatives’ Members in 2012.
The reason: New York is losing two U.S. House seats in the next federal election cycle because the Empire State’s population growth was anemic compared to western and southern U.S. states. The nation’s cumulative head count (308.7 million) grew by nearly 10 percent between 2000 and 2010. There are 435 U.S. House Members, and representation is allocated based on where people live. With more Americans moving to places like Texas (+4 seats) and Florida (+2 seats) over the past 10 years, while Ohio (-2 seats) and Michigan (-1 seat) saw their populations stagnate, the Congressional landscape must change, too.
The Barry family’s Christmas gathering has a religious component, an exchange of gifts, and an annual discussion built around this rhetorical question: what kind of benevolent God allowed us to become Mets, Jets and Islanders fans?
The younger generation, such as our three sons, aged 6 to 14, are starting to get a sense of the heartache which awaits them. Indeed, they can name with little prodding the underperforming free agents and disappointing draft picks who remain on the active rosters for all three teams.
The creation of a deepwater port in eastern Suffolk County was the most intriguing proposal to emerge from the Long Island Regional Planning Council‘s (LIRPC) just-released Sustainable Strategies for Long Island 2035 report.
The LIRPC‘s 119-page document explored many ways the Island’s economy could get a boost but correctly highlighted how agriculture is one of Suffolk’s largest industries. There are about 550 farms in Suffolk operating on approximately 34,000 acres, and they cumulatively generate hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales, according to the report. Yet a deepwater port on Long Island Sound would improve dramatically the marketability of Suffolk’s agricultural products off-Island while also paving the way for imports to Suffolk, the LIRPC rightfully points out.
The Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) upcoming fare hikes have been well-chronicled but will nonetheless be noticed as a monthly ticket into New York City rises next month to $223 from $204 in western Nassau (zone 4) and to $254 from $232 in eastern Nassau (zone 7).
Less media coverage, however, has been given to Congress’ inability as of this writing to renew for 2011 a provision in 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that eased a LIRR commuter’s financial burden while encouraging drivers to take mass transit. The measure in question increased, to $230 from $120 per month, the maximum amount of money a commuter can set aside for their mass transit costs using pre-tax dollars. The $230 is withheld by a commuter’s employer and must be spent on commuter rail, subway and bus transportation, eligible van pools, or commuter-related parking.
Former New Hyde Park resident Kathie McCormack married Robert Durst in the early 1970s and she disappeared without a trace in 1982, a turn of events at the center of All Good Things, a compelling motion picture which opens in New York City on Friday, Dec. 3.
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net