“Watcha’ doin’ tonight, Ronnie? Why are you in such a hurry?”
I remember one of my friends asking me that question as I was fumbling around with all of my stuff, trying to leave work for the day. After the workday had ended I was trying to not be held up, yet my books, notes, and other stuff kept dropping on the floor and every moment spent collecting them was a few more seconds I was being delayed. I always seem to be the least organized when I’m in the biggest rush.
Ever since May 1905, the Belmont Stakes has been run at Elmont-based Belmont Racetrack and ever since 1931, it has served as the third leg of the Triple Crown series behind the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The popularity of this prestigious Long Island–based horserace is such that according to The Original Racing Almanac, Belmont ranks fourth in attendance of North American stakes races behind the Derby, Preakness and the Kentucky Oaks. This year’s Belmont has even more meaning given the fact that I’ll Have Another has a shot at becoming the first thoroughbred to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978. So it’s no wonder that the communities surrounding Belmont have made a point of celebrating this annual affair, oftentimes with a slew of events held the week leading up to the race. One of the more celebrated fetes is the Garden City Belmont Festival, an annual event that’s evolved from a parade into a family-friendly gala held on the eve of the race.
The League of Women Voters of Nassau County is a non-partisan organization, which encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government.
We are greatly distressed by the actions of the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature on Monday, May 21, regarding the hearing and sub-sequent unexpected vote on Proposed Local Law No. 2012, “a local law authorizing the County Executive to take any and all actions he deems necessary to create forty-million-dollars saving for the County.”
The American Lung Association joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in celebrating World No Tobacco Day on May 31. This year’s theme, Tobacco Industry Interference, focused on the need to expose and counter the industry’s increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine global tobacco control efforts.
What we’re seeing in New York, and throughout the country, is the point of sale product display marketing that is cleverly designed to appeal to children. On World No Tobacco Day, attention was drawn to the fact that when these tobacco displays are placed prominently at checkout counters next to candy and gum and outside of stores at kids’ eye level, it encourages them to smoke.
The abduction of 6-year-old Etan Patz 33 years ago was not only a horrendous crime, but it also was the actualized embodiment of every parent’s deepest and darkest fear.
With the May 24 arrest of 51-year-old Pedro Hernandez, there appears to be closure on this heretofore unsolved crime. Patz became the first missing child to appear on the back of a milk carton. His disappearance not only helped heighten awareness surrounding missing and abducted children, but it also spurred President Ronald Reagan to declare May 25 National Missing Children’s Day and for congress to establish the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 1983 and 1984 respectively. While this high-profile crime happened in an urban setting, there’s always been the concern of these insidious transgressions making their way into seemingly bucolic suburban settings. In fact, Hernandez hails from the middle class burg of Maple Shade, NJ, a community whose motto is, “Nice town, friendly people.”
Doctors and public health experts agree that birth control is a basic and essential component of women’s preventive health care. Following the medical community’s recommendation, the Obama administration mandated that employers provide health insurance, including birth control, for its employees. An exception for religious organizations was made, exempting them from providing birth control coverage, subsidizing the cost of birth control, or referring for birth control. Employees of these organizations were ensured access by requiring the employer’s health plan to provide birth control coverage directly to these women free-of-charge.
I wanted to thank Karen Gellender, the writer of the May 17 column, “Get the Word Out: Parking in Parking Lots is Cool.” It was a truly hysterical and yet sad commentary on the busy lives of many individuals.
It serves as the unofficial kickoff for the summer season and/or yet another three-day weekend for retailers to fill their coffers with the bounty of retail sales promotions. Sadly, this is what has become of Memorial Day, a national holiday meant to honor those who have died in our nation’s service. Its origins are murky. A number of cities and anecdotes lay claim to its birthplace ranging from women’s groups in the South decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers to freed slaves in Charleston honoring fallen Union soldiers. It was first observed on May 30, 1868 when General John Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization for northern Civil War veterans) issued General Order No. 11, which led to flowers being placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington Cemetery. And while all the northern states officially recognized what was then known as Decoration Day by the 1890s, the South refused to acknowledge it until after World War I. Memorial Day became a national holiday and known by its current name in 1968, when the date was moved from its original May 30 date to the last Monday in May.
Do you know why we honor our deceased veterans with the wearing of the poppy? Why do veterans of the William Bradford Turner Post No. 265 and its Ladies Auxiliary Unit distribute hospitalized veteran-made poppies on Memorial Day and throughout the month of May?
According to the Department of Defense, there are currently 1.4 million men and women on active duty with another 1.1 million serving in the National Guard and Reserve forces to go with more than 2 million military retirees and their family members receiving benefits. With the United States shifting from mandatory conscription to an all-volunteer military force in 1973, a large percentage of the civilian population has no interaction with active duty personnel, making the observation of this weekend’s Armed Forces Day all the more important. While the following weekend’s Memorial Day rightfully continues to be an important acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by the fallen in service of their country, Armed Forces Day is a chance to thank those who’ve taken up the call of duty from their fallen comrades.
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