Robert McMillan correctly quotes our Constitution’s Bill of Rights Fifth Amendment promise that “In all criminal prosecutions the accused should (actually, “shall”) enjoy the right to a speedy...trial.” Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last time I heard or read about a speedy trial held anywhere in this country.
As a former soccer and basketball coach, I realized that there were certain skills you could not teach, no matter how good you thought you were.
The first skill not teachable was speed. I would take the entire soccer team, line them up on the sidelines and say “run to the opposite sideline and back to here.” That way I could determine who was the fastest. The winner was always Mark Diamond, one of the smallest, and I installed him as a fullback. He could catch anybody who was breaking away. I could not teach speed to the other 10 players.
This week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Justin Abrams about his quest to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. While it was an interesting story on many levels, one thing I realized when preparing to interview him was that I had never heard of his home gym, Island Rock, despite the fact that it’s located right nearby in Plainview. For many years, a huge gym devoted to rock climbing had been located in my neighborhood, and I had no idea it was there; it just never came up.
To me, rock climbing always seemed exotic and dangerous—something fashion models and professional stunt doubles did to keep fit in Hollywood. Maybe if I knew I could try it out any time I wanted after a 10-minute drive, my assumptions might have been more in line with reality.
You would expect an organization created for public benefit that is largely led by government officials would be obligated to report to the public about its activities. Yet the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY) and its many campus foundations are not required to do so and apparently feel no such compulsion to share information with the public. Instead, these organizations often cloak their activities in secrecy.
As president of United University Professions – the union representing academic and professional faculty at SUNY’s state-operated campuses – I think it’s time to let the sun shine in. It’s time to require the SUNY Research Foundation and campus foundations to be held accountable and to be more transparent.
The Columnist is not my life story, even though I have written a column for Anton Newspapers for the last 14 years. It is the story of Joseph Alsop, of the famed Alsop brothers Joseph and Stewart. During the ’60s they were quite influential in American politics.
To make the 8 p.m. theater opening, we left on the LIRR about 5:30 p.m. to allow time for a nice Manhattan supper before the play. What a surprise it was to see the train filled with Ranger hockey fans of all ages, all wearing blue and red shirts with the names and numbers of players on their backs. Callahan and Lundqvist were two of the popular names adorning the jerseys. These fans were boisterous and gregarious, quite hopeful of a Rangers victory at Madison Square Garden.
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.
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