I had written something on the conflict in Gaza only to find out, within minutes of finishing, that a cease-fire had been announced. I considered scrapping the whole thing, but you know what? Sadly, this will probably still be relevant going forward, because chances of this ceasefire setting the foundation for a lasting peace are slim to none.
And if I’m wrong, and the end of this particular conflict marks the beginning of a new, more peaceful era in the region, my having published one dated column will be a very small price to pay, I think.
With Hurricane Sandy recovery slated to take years, it’s hard to find much to be thankful for, especially if you were unfortunate enough to lose your home, or more tragically, a loved one. That said, there are a number of things to be thankful for. Aside from LIPA’s glaring ineptitude, we should be thankful that there was enough early warning from various weather outlets that the loss of life wasn’t far greater given the population density of the tri-state area. We should be thankful that the FEMA of Hurricane Katrina isn’t the same agency that’s currently trying to help citizens get through Sandy. We should be thankful that gas shortages and excessive lines are becoming less common. We should be thankful that not only more people are getting their power back, but that our crack emergency responders, firemen, police and utility workers did such an outstanding job in getting everyone through this devastation. Finally we should be thankful that despite scattered anecdotes of greed and cruelty, munificence and human kindness were more the rule than the exception as everyone tried to get through this natural disaster in one piece. We at Anton Community Newspapers wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
At this celebratory time of year with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the proverbial corner, we have a great deal to be thankful for. While we are very fortunate to have our power restored in Garden City, there are many residents of the county who will never again set foot in what were their homes. Let us be very grateful for our blessings and have as pleasant a Thanksgiving as you can under these trying times.
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln
This is one of my favorite quotes that I often repeat. During my experiences, I have met individuals who have gained power and used it to make a positive difference, help others, and make themselves true leaders. I have also encountered those who let the power go to their heads and used it in a bad manner. Therefore, I consider this statement from Lincoln to be truly sage advice that I often refer to, and with a movie about the 16th President now showing in movie theaters, it is also timely.
For as bad as the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy was, LIPA’s response to the Island-wide power outages has been equal parts disgraceful and embarrassing. Governor Cuomo has already labeled the power authority’s efforts a failure; outraged citizens have picketed outside a Hicksville utility office and according to Bloomberg Businessweek, as of Monday, Nov. 12, “The state-owned authority’s customers accounted for about 58 percent of an estimated 136,936 still without power today, including homes and businesses with property damage unable to reconnect.” Stories of customers still without power receiving LIPA bills only rubs more salt in the wounds of those who’ve had to endure darkness, cold showers and plummeting temperatures at night. Although the likelihood is slim of this monopolistic entity prorating its billing so customers aren’t asked to pay for services they’re not receiving, we can only hope LIPA is sent packing sooner than later and a far more responsive power authority is brought in to serve some of the nation’s most highly taxed citizens.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
Considering how we’ve all been concerned with pretty serious business for the last couple of weeks, I thought I’d do something on the lighter side this time and discuss anime, or Japanese animation. My experience has been that most people over the age of 25 are only dimly aware of what anime is and would actually like to know more about what their children/grandchildren/etc. are into. Hey, if I had a nickel for every time someone said, “Oh, you watch anime? I don’t know what that is, but my kids are crazy about it!” I might even have an entire dollar.
However, instead of trying to provide any sort of Anime 101-style overview, a questionable endeavor at best, I thought I would provide some information on some of the weekly shows that happen to be airing on Japanese television right now. Keep in mind this isn’t any sort of favorites list, this is only shows that are currently airing in Japan that I happen to be watching. From this sampling, you may start to get an idea of why so many people find these cartoons uniquely appealing; original Japanese titles, if applicable, are in parentheses.
By the time you read this, hopefully any power you may have lost will have been restored and any damages caused by Hurricane Sandy will have either been fixed or on the way to arriving at that state. While those who had the misfortune of being in the path of destruction wrought on Staten Island, the Jersey shore and the south shore of Long Island running from Brooklyn all the way out east have oftentimes been only left with the clothes on their backs, the response of donated time, money and supplies has been a reaffirmation of people’s inherent good in times of strife and struggle. Closer to home it’s been those who toil for law enforcement, the fire department, emergency services and public works who have been instrumental in helping residents get through this catastrophe in as safe and expedient a manner as possible. This kind of selflessness and determination is what is going to get everyone through this particularly difficult time in the end.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
After 40 years of calling Nassau Coliseum home and winning four straight Stanley Cups in the early ’80s, the New York Islanders are pulling up stakes and heading west to Brooklyn and the team’s new home at the Barclays Center. Owner Charles Wang, who has reportedly lost tens of millions of dollars over the years while trying to keep the team afloat, finally tired of the jousting he’d been doing with Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead in an attempt to renovate the aging barn the Isles called home. Longtime fans may feel betrayed to the point of throwing their allegiance behind another team, but at the end of the day, Long Island’s only professional sports franchise didn’t end up lacing their skates up at locations they were rumored to move to including Quebec and Kansas City. And truthfully, given the sad state of negotiations between owner and the players union during this ongoing NHL lockout, the bigger concern might be whether the Islanders will even have a league to play in.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
I recently had the privilege of attending the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney at Hofstra University on Tuesday, Oct. 16. To say there was a charge in the air would be an understatement. And while the day’s main event proved to be considerably more electrifying than the first debate, soaking in people’s passion for democracy and the fate of the country was inspiring, regardless of political preference. Forget the unwashed masses of journalists and politicians who filled up Spin Alley. It was the young people and the electorate who proved to be the greatest form of theater, whether it was Rednecks For Obama’s Sara Viessman driving up from Allentown, PA. to set up her banner of support despite being stuck on the south side of campus due to security measures. Or the silly undergrad running across campus to class bearing a sign that said “Ron Paul is Pokemon,” these were just some of the sights to be seen at the circus that was this presidential debate.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
For those of you who believe the doomsday predictions based on the Mayan calendar, I apologize, but I simply do not believe that the world will end in December because of a calendar that was created more than 5,000 years ago. There is no science to back up any claims about doomsday occurring on Dec. 21, 2012, and no theology to back it up either. Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying about the end of the world, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Scientists and clergy are not always in agreement, but it definitely seems that both sides concur that the sun will rise on Dec. 22. So I will plan on celebrating Christmas, New Year’s and hopefully a return trip for the Patriots to the Super Bowl with a better result this time. (Note: I know most of you are not rooting for this, but I have had to endure two Super Bowls in which it seemed that every Giants fan in the New York area who was looking to gloat turned to the only Patriot fan in the area they could find, yours truly, so please cut me a little slack.)
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