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.
“Quite as important as legislation is vigilant oversight of administration.”
- President Woodrow Wilson
While I wasn’t looking for a fight during this recovery, I was elected to do a job. I am fighting to hold Nassau County accountable on how it spends millions of dollars after superstorm Sandy.
In the fifteen years I have been writing this “world famous” column for the Syosset-Jericho Tribune, I have exposed much about my family and personal life. Recently, I came onto some facts that are interesting and harmless. Harmless, because all of the parties involved died long ago, and are now buried in our family plot in the Kopyczncer Lodge burial grounds on Staten Island.
My father’s father Eisig (Isaac) was a soldier in World War I for the Polish Army. I do remember my grandfather telling me some of his war stories, when I visited him and my grandmother Anna (Chancha) in 1945, in Monticello, N.Y.
When you go birding you never know what you’re going to see. During four days last February, walking a Florida beach on Longboat Key that has a rich variety of shorebird life, I was able to see up close some things I’d never before noticed about familiar birds.
Feb. 3. On Beer Can Island, which is the Longboat’s northernmost tip, are some ravaged ash colored fallen trees with huge exposed root systems. One is wet with weeds and clinging to it are barnacles and shells. Nearby is an oystercatcher, large at 17.5-inches, with a long, thick red bill, white breast and black back. Digging in the wet sand this shorebird is putting on a demonstration of how it gets clamshells. That thick red bill is partially buried in the sand. When it pulls the bill out there’s a small white shell that is quickly swallowed. When digging, the bill is turned somewhat to the right. Last year when I saw these birds feeding I wondered if they weren’t “right-handed.” Now I’m again wondering.
As we approach the Oscars, a formidable field of movies awaits recognition. Some years are more fruitful than others. The past year had a distinct variety of movies, of which I saw many.
Anna Karenina—Leo Tolstoy must be spinning in his Russian grave at this adaptation of his great novel. The story of Anna is indeed a great tragedy. A married woman, played nicely by Keira Knightly, falls for a dashing soldier and winds up being shunned by Russian society, and throws herself under a train. Greta Garbo played Anna in the black-and-white version years ago.
Communities across Long Island and New York State are safer as a result of the passage of the most comprehensive and sensible gun reform legislation in this state’s history. I am proud that proposals I have sponsored over the years have been incorporated in this life-saving measure. I have long supported a complete ban on high capacity magazines, prohibiting the sale of ammunition over the internet, requiring permits for ammunition purchases, increased penalties on individuals who commit crimes with illegal guns and tracking large transfers of ammunition.
Along with the 74 percent of Long Islanders who favor a more restrictive Assault Weapons Ban and the 72 percent of Long Islanders who favor a ban on high capacity magazines, I will continue to fight against senseless gun violence.
There hasn’t been much hard news on the battle over the old Cerro Wire property in Syosset lately, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is going on. The Taubman Company, the developer that has been trying to push through a spectacularly unpopular proposal to build a mega-mall on the former hazardous waste site for going on 20 years now, is still plugging away.
It’s a little convoluted, but basically after the New York State Court of Appeals upheld the Town of Oyster Bay’s original decision to turn down the project in 2009, Taubman has been trying to take the decision away from the town. In 2010, spokesmen from Taubman convinced the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) to add the project to a short list of “regionally significant” projects, next to the Nassau HUB. LIREDC recommends that the state assume control of the environmental review process for projects on the “significant” list in order to circumvent a lot of local red tape, which could take the mall decision out of the town’s hands.
The difficulty in which many writers find themselves is, should they pass up a good, solid interesting story or should they “rat out” some friend or acquaintance?
Joan Didion says, “A great memoirist, even one moved primarily by love and devotion, must possess a certain amount of ruthlessness.” The question to the author is, “Should I put down the truth about the person in my story or should I sugar-coat perhaps the lying and devious aspects with falsehoods and fiction?” That is the moral question!
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