The murder of Marcelo Lucero lingers as a scar on Long Island’s conscience.
Four and a half years after the savage hate crime, we still struggle to understand how those involved in the attack could act with such horrific violence. And at the same time we struggle to understand the climate of anger towards immigrants from which this savagery emerged, a rising tide of hatred that clearly helped buoy the attackers to action. The attack was clearly a particularly brutal eruption of a very big problem and in a very real way, the angry teenagers who killed Marcelo Lucero are rightly serving prison sentences for the act, but they didn’t act alone.
As a die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Mets baseball fan, I have always desired to go to spring training to see my teams perform in the Grapefruit League. Last week, at 78 years old, my wish came true.
With three other gentlemen, we flew to West Palm Beach Airport. Next we picked up a Toyota Avalon at Alamo Car Rental and proceeded toward Port St. Lucie to watch the 2013 Mets. On the way (Route 95 North), a black cloud filled with rain tried to get in our way, but it could not stop us. We had great hopes that our three-day stay would not be rained out. As it turned out, the Florida sun greeted us in Port St. Lucie. It was great to wear shorts and golf shirts under a sunny sky. We checked into the Main Stay Hotel ($75 a night).
The announcement last week by Northrop Grumman Corp. (Grumman to those of us who have been on this Island awhile) that it will transfer 850 jobs from its Bethpage facility to Florida and California should come as no shock.
The company, once Long Island’s largest and best-known employer, has been sending jobs South for more than two decades. At one point, in the 1980s, the company employed 25,000 people on the Island, built the Navy’ premier fighter, the F-14 Tomcat, and, in the 1960s, built the Lunar Lander that took Apollo astronauts to the moon.
The beach across the road from my rented condo on Longboat Key, Florida is bird-rich. Some mornings there are a few hundred birds and I need to see them all to get my fill. Other mornings a few long, unusually close up views satisfy me. This year on Inauguration Day this ‘snowbirder’ got those unusual sightings.
The snowy egret, a 24-inch fish eater is nicknamed “golden slippers,” because of its black legs and bright yellow feet, which it uses to stir prey. Once hunted to near extinction for its plumes, it is now common in Florida. However, that isn’t the reason I feel like sitting down next to one that is standing on a lava-like rock. It’s because I usually see them foraging in shallow water where they are in almost constant motion and don’t welcome human company. This one has a leg pulled up, as birds do at rest. I want to see this lithe and elegant bird up close and won’t attempt to sit down next to it because that surely would scare it off.
The year was 1961. It was a year of love and magic: Louise and Lorraine Meyerovitch both became engaged. Louise was involved with a tall, thin, handsome doctor and Navy man from Saint Albans, New York. He was a real catch, as was Louise, a gorgeous, intelligent and capable gal from the suburbs of Washington D.C.
In comparison, her sister Lorraine was short-changed: all she got was a big-mouth dentist from the Bronx (a.k.a. me.)
With apologies to William Shakespeare, I have twisted Hamlet’s speech in light of the current Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. As my wife and I watched the parade of beautiful pooches, we thought lovingly of our Shih Tzu, Ming, who lived with us for 21 years. She is still in our hearts and memories.
Should we go back to being dog-owners, with all the benefits as well as drawbacks? After all, walking a dog in two feet of snow is not a pleasant task for septuagenarians. As we watched the wondrous breeds on television, we were almost swayed. Madison Square Garden was all decked out for the 2,721 dogs competing for the 2013 Westminster Crown.
Finally (maybe) there’s some good news on immigration reform. There seems to be real movement in Washington on the issue. It seems that now that the people are leading, our leaders are following.
First, a group of eight United States senators revealed a bipartisan immigration plan to reform our broken immigration system. Some of the principles outlined are far from perfect, but the fact is that several conservative Republicans have committed in writing and in public to allowing immigrants an earned path to citizenship, a central tenet that’s necessary to real reform.
I’ll just come out and say it: I hate Valentine’s Day. As far as I’m concerned, it exists purely to make some people look bad, and almost everybody feel awful.
When I was single, Valentine’s Day seemed tailor-made to highlight the flaws in your relationship, if you had one, and in your entire life, if you didn’t. Now that I am married, Valentine’s Day just makes both of us crazy, running around to make sure we buy SOMEthing so as not to come home covered in guilt. But of course, all the somethings are way over-priced – they saw us coming a month away – so that even when I come home with one, I still feel taken advantage of. No “good love” there!
There is one trait that is a necessity for living the good life on Long Island. Without this attribute, life would turn into an uncomfortable struggle on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. I am referring to the payment of bills: so many bills and so little time to pay them.
The average homeowner, condo-owner or renter does not happily look forward to the first of the month. Paying the mortgage is paramount! All other bills will have to bide their time until this payment comes out of the checkbook. Unavoidable!
Recently, in my Shakespeare class at SUNY Old Westbury with Professor Hegde, the class was given as assignment. It was “discuss whether and/or why Shakespeare should be considered a creative genius.”
It is a fact that the plots or storylines in all of Shakespeare’s plays (about 36 of them) were based on pre-existing sources, in many instances, stories by other authors, Plutarch’s lives, etc.
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