Charles Lavine’s “Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2013” bill is just one more extremely inadequate Albany document that will likely prove as effective as treating a hemorrhage with a band-aid. This bill is aimed at banks and money-lending companies that make obscene profits by knowingly, falsely, and deceitfully cheating homeowners out of millions of dollars. Yet, on those rare occasions when they fail to get away with their crimes, they will only be charged with a misdemeanor and have to pay an insignificantly small (to them) cost-of-doing-business fine of a mere $1,000; and might see an employee spend “Up to one year in jail” (which will in most cases be 30 days---at most---or less). Even worse is the part of the bill that makes it a felony punishable by (only “up to”! ) 4 years in prison ONLY IF an employee commits this crime 5 or more times! So the “message” to the unethical business is that it’s “okay” to commit this crime 2, 3, or even 4 times, because the worst that might happen is a relative slap-on-the-wrist which makes the illegal profits worth the risk. If this bill becomes a law, it may be better than nothing, but it still stinks! How ignorant and impotent can our Albany lawmakers be?
Somewhere along the Baltimore Washington Parkway, there is a place called Fort Meade, Maryland. I was stationed at Fort Meade in 1960, after my one year tour in Korea. Fort Meade was close to the Bronx (but not too close). It was known as a tank training base, but I was a dentist in the Army so it did not affect me.
On the grounds of Fort Meade was a section that was well guarded and the lights shined all through the night. No one knew what was going on there. Very mysterious!
This article is being written poolside in 85 degree weather in San Diego. The palm trees are swaying and the sun is strong and pure. I am here to celebrate my grand-daughter, Rachel’s graduation from high school. In the fall, she will enter Cornell University.
As I sit here, my mind goes back to the past year and the loss of four of my favorite friends. These were guys, I could speak with about any topic with complete confidentiality. Usually, the subjects ranged from financial to family with a lot of feeling in all matters. I miss these guys and I miss not being able to confide in them.
My last letter appeared on the same page as Stanley Greenberg’s weekly column, “Over 60...And Getting Younger.”
I don’t know how he manages that age-defying feat, but he’s apparently been defying the laws of physics, biology, gerontology and geriatrics for more than a decade !
I live in Plainview but that’s not important. The matter at hand is your pet of the week section, which reminded me of my two wild cats: Marvin and Buggy. You don’t understand—Marvin is a stray black cat we with a white speck on his nose and Buggy is…well she’s also black but she’s just Buggy. Alright?
Unlike Blue and Copernicus (What a mouthful. My god.), Buggy and Marvin hate each other. I know because Buggy wasn’t always called Buggy. We named her Berry first. But day after day, when old Marvin wasn’t doing anyone any harm just sitting there, she would creep up behind him and sock him in the head. One. Two. FOUR times until he blew up and spit cat hair everywhere—Berry then became Buggy.
Alley Pond Park in Queens has 655,294 acres of trees, paths and kettle ponds in which to see the migration of spring birds. One morning, this spring, I found a section of the park that I couldn’t recall being in since I started walking it in 1959.
At the edge of a pond with cattails, an industrious robin gathers drying mud in its bill, then flies. It is likely his pickup will become part of the bird’s cup-shaped nest that will be built five to 20 feet off the ground. Another robin takes a bath, flapping its wings and dipping its head. With droplets of water on its back, the robin goes to a rock to dry.
Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor those who have so selflessly fought and died to protect our freedom. It also kicks off the summer season when folks are filling their propane tanks and stocking their freezers with burgers and hot dogs in anticipation of the good times to come. With this long awaited season come a few annoyances that need addressing. Filling up our vehicles for those long leisurely drives out east is going to cost us more at the pump due to the required summer blend of fuel, the sole purpose, cutting down on toxic emissions.
We just got back from Cancun, Mexico. The Cancun Peninsula projects into the Gulf of Mexico. It is three and half hours from JFK Airport with Jet Blue Airlines. We did not know what to expect. We spent four wonderful days at a “destination wedding.” This is a term that is new to me, but a pleasant one.
My beautiful wife, Lorraine, and I were invited to our dear friend Bob’s daughter’s wedding. The Mexican people throughout the magnificent resort were super friendly. We were always greeted with “Hola, Buenos Dias.” What a nice way to start the day.
My 7-year-old grandson, Lewis, has become a fan of George Washington. He has guided my wife and me on a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see pictures of his idol. He lives two blocks from the Met and he is a frequent visitor to the museum. Lewis knows his way around the museum like a guide, while I get lost there in about ten minutes.
We decided, on a Sunday morning, to take Lewis to The Frick Museum, to see the artwork there. We stood on a line about a block and a half long to make our entrance. Lewis, his father Gregg, Lorraine and I waited our turn to enter patiently. When we got to the head of the line, a uniformed guard pointed to Lewis and asked abruptly, “How old is that boy?”
Dear Commissioner Shah, County Executive Mangano and Mr. Martino,
As you know, about three years ago, I was promised speed indicators and flashing lights at three different schools in my area. One was J. Irving Baylis Elementary School on Woodbury Road in Plainview/Syosset. Obviously, nothing has happened since that request. I put it in as a Community Project but was told that, in fact, it could be done quickly and easily as part of normal traffic safety, by you. Recently, you told me there is no money in the budget for this. However, I know the cost of this type of device and find it hard to believe that in DPW we cannot install something which exists near just about every school on major arteries.
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