I’ve understood for years now that my idea of must-see TV does not often track with what the Nielsen ratings say is popular with most American viewers.
My affinity for C-SPAN is Exhibit A, and I will admit I have a problem. Who else besides this columnist rushed back from a 5 p.m. Saturday evening church service last month and, over the loud objections of my spouse and our three sons, immediately turned the TV on, knowing that C-SPAN had promised its viewers they’d have the live results of the Iowa Republican presidential straw poll at 6:15 p.m. C-SPAN, I can report, kept its solemn pledge.
The late comedian Alan King, then in his 60s, was on NBC’s Tonight Show years ago and told a story about his constantly bickering parents, who had been married for decades and were then in their 90s. Your father drives me crazy, his mother repeatedly told him. I cannot live another minute under the same roof as that man, Mrs. King stated.
King said he finally tired of hearing the same complaints. “Mom, maybe you should think about divorcing Dad,” he said. His mother’s response: “How dare you talk about your father in that way!”
The MTA has benefited enormously from the media’s portrayal of the tax; you can afford 34 cents, right? Yet a family earning $100,000 in 2011, for instance, will send $340 this year to the MTA through their employer(s). The self-employed must pay the tax, too. Few even remember rental car users and taxicab patrons were also forced to pay more as part of 2009’s MTA bailout package.
The county’s voters rejected on Aug. 1 a proposal to have Nassau County’s property taxpayers borrow $400 million to construct a new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and a minor-league baseball stadium. And while I thought it was a good idea, and said so in this space, I knew about a week before the referendum that the measure would have trouble passing.
A friend stopped me in the street to complain politely about my advocacy for the taxpayer-funded construction of two sports and entertainment facilities during an economic downturn. This individual’s viewpoint carried the day, and the 57 percent ‘no’ vote provided a major boost to the most vocal public opponents of revitalizing the Nassau Hub in this way: Jay Jacobs, the chairman of Nassau County’s Democratic Party, and Desmond Ryan, executive director of the Association for a Better of Long Island (ABLI). Since they’re riding high these days, I’ve given myself permission to kick them while they’re up.
There are 435 Congressional Districts (CDs) in the U.S. but few have as many expensive homes as New York’s 5th CD.
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights) represents the 5th CD, which covers northeastern Queens and northwestern Nassau. The district is home to Gold Coast communities where finding a residence for sale at a price less than $1 million is rare. In other words, the Congressman has a vested interest in aiding and perpetuating the high-end real estate market, allowing current constituents to sell their properties to new ones. I’ll now get to my point.
George Vecsey, an award-winning sports columnist at The New York Times, believes the St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Famer Stan Musial, a baseball superstar in the mid-20th century, has too often been overlooked in the 21st.
Vecsey wanted to do something about it, and the impressive result is the highly entertaining and just-published Stan Musial: An American Life (ESPN and Ballantine Books). Despite playing 22 seasons spanning from the 1940s into the 1960s, winning seven National League batting titles, and finishing with a career batting average of .331, Musial remains unappreciated, Vecsey argues. Moreover, few major leaguers have ever had a better home run (475) to strike-out ratio (696). “If he (Musial) doesn’t swing at it, it’s a ball,” one home plate umpire told Joe Torre.
Nassau’s voters will go to the polls on Monday, Aug. 1 to express their view on whether the county, owner of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, should be allowed to issue $400 million in bonds to build a new Coliseum as well as a baseball stadium nearby that would house a minor-league team.
The new Coliseum, and I hope one is built, will be similar to the just-opened Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, according to the prospective lease agreement posted at County Executive Edward Mangano’s governmental website. The plans call for a new Coliseum holding a minimum of 17,000 seats and 50 suites. Moreover, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) New York Islanders have agreed to play at a new Coliseum through 2045. The Islanders’ current lease expires in 2015.
New York State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) has it figured out. The best way for Weprin to be elected New York City comptroller in 2013 is for him to win the Tuesday, Sept. 13 contest to succeed former Rep. Anthony Weiner in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sounds like an odd scenario, right? But my source on Assemblyman Weprin’s projected career path is the Assemblyman himself who, upon learning he’d be the Democratic nominee in this year’s special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District (CD), told The Wall Street Journal he “would be interested in running for [city] comptroller if it were an open seat.” Incumbent city comptroller John Liu has hinted he may run for New York City Mayor in 2013, and that would create the opening.
Lest you believe there is no such thing as karma, go online and read state Attorney General (AG) Eric Schneiderman’s 42-page complaint against the operators of the St. James-based Coalition Against Breast Cancer (CABC).
Filed last week, the AG’s lawsuit charged individuals involved in the CABC and the Campaign Center of Lindenhurst, the CABC’s extravagantly paid fundraiser, with violations of the state’s not-for-profit and charitable solicitations laws.
Charles Jenkins, Hofstra University’s all-time leading men’s basketball team scorer, is taking his talents to the Bay Area following his selection last week by the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) draft.
The 22-year-old Jenkins, who played his high school ball in Queens, is now in a position to play under another native New Yorker, newly-appointed Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. Jackson was a standout at St. John’s University in the mid-1980s and went on to have a successful NBA career after being the New York Knicks’ first-round draft selection in 1987.
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net