With the cost of oil on the rise, serious competition between gas distributors has caused many stations to charge outrageous amounts for a gallon of gasoline. In fact, some gas merchants have been known to continuously raise their prices over the course of a 24-hour period, often dramatically increasing consumer costs without the actual price of gas going up. This predatory practice, known as price-gouging, allows a deceitful gas distributor to make unreasonable profits at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.
As gas prices constantly fluctuate, we must make sure local families don’t fall victim to price-gouging at the pumps. That’s why I helped the assembly pass legislation that would ban gas stations from adjusting their prices multiple times daily (A.1970). Distributors usually purchase their gas wholesale and at a fixed rate, allowing many stations to unfairly take advantage of consumers at a time when gas prices are at the highest levels in months.
I always sneered at people who boarded planes with tennis rackets. Who comes into this crazy environment at the airport with a gawky thing like a tennis racket? People are disrobing, taking off their shoes and belts. This is no place for a fine tennis instrument: it surely doesn’t fit into your luggage.
However, last week I succumbed and joined the ranks of wannabe jocks flying with a racket. My daughter Cara had arranged a Greenberg family get-together at the Hilton Conquistador Resort in Tucson, Arizona.
I picked up the newspaper this week to see another positive sign that the Long Island economy is beginning to recover from the worst recession since post World War II. It didn’t make the front page of the newspaper, but just the same, it was significant in the hope that it delivered.
It was a story about a young Bay Shore resident, a 2011 graduate of Touro Law School, who secured a position with a local law firm. The young man, who had been unsuccessfully searching the want ads for months, got a call from a former law school classmate inviting him to submit a resume to the firm where he is now working. Then Bingo. He got the job.
All of America went crazy last week. Lines formed around any store selling tickets. You could pick your own six numbers or leave it up to the machines. The prize escalated to $640 million. The most asked question by reporters was “What would you do if you were the winner?”
People in 42 states flocked to buy the tickets. At this time, three winners have come forward with the winning lottery tickets: one from Illinois, one from Kansas and one from Maryland. The winner from Maryland was part of a pool, but she insisted that the winning ticket was hers and hers alone. Her fellow McDonald’s employees are asking embarrassing questions.
There are times when birding that I find something that allows me to walk away emotionally and intellectually richer. One morning this past winter I walked out to the tip of Beer Can Island, the northernmost part of Longboat Key, and into one of those times. There I found an unfolding avian spectacle, which both gripped and puzzled me.
There are a number of turkey vultures on the tip of a sand spur and nearby are a snowy egret and a little blue heron. There’s a solitary sandpiper, and true to its name, the 8.5-inch sandpiper is alone patrolling the muddy edges of the shore. The bird, nicknamed “tip-up” is predictably moving its rear up and down. It takes off over the lagoon and that’s when I notice that at the very edge of the muddy sand spit is an osprey clutching a large silver fish with wide black stripes and bright red where its head should be. Less than two feet from the osprey is a turkey vulture with eyes only for the fish.
“Three and a half stars, are you kidding me?” She repeated it three times. She was almost screaming. She was standing in the theater lobby and professing her animosity at the film we all had just seen. According to the movie review in the local newspaper, it was not the movie we had just viewed.
We sat through over two hours of an English love story and divorce drama that made almost no sense to practical suburbanites. Even the Engish accents were off kilter by the heroine, who spoke with an American emphasis.
The Occupy Movement has been greeted with mixed sentiment ranging from admiration to revulsion. On the plus side, the movement shows young people that folks of any age can come together around their own vision of the world they want. However, one does not have to attain revolutionary goals to work toward social change, as I learned some years ago when I was working with a group of troubled boys.
At the time, I was involved in developing an innovative school-based mental health program. I was filling in at the school for a few weeks, for one of the social workers who had taken a leave. I agreed to work with her boys’ group. The boys in the group were teenagers with significant emotional difficulties, ranging from depression to explosive behavior.
In the sagacious words of that great and wise Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra “It was déjà vu all over again” last Saturday night. Lorraine and I went on a double date with our fun neighbors and good friends, Chey and Bob.
Bob selected a nightclub at The Pub, at the Glen Cove Mansion, on Dosoris Lane. It was part of the Pratt mansion that was previously called The Harrison House. It meant an awful lot to Lorraine (my beautiful wife) and myself because 19 years ago, my daughter Cara married Eric Mitnick, on a glorious night in October.
(U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sent the following letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and to Anton Community Newspapers on March 16.)
$57.13 for gas! Are you kidding me?
Is this 1973 or 2012? There is plenty of gasoline, unlike 1973, but it is the price we are complaining about. So far this rise in prices has intruded on Long Islanders, but the roads are still crowded. There are complaints, but it looks like nobody is staying home.
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