In the spring Alley Pond Park is a magnet for migrating birds offering them the gift of rest and food on their long journeys north. A few years ago during the spring migration I started to walk it with serious birders who know not just its paths but also its plentiful trails off the beaten path, which are rich with bird life.
Seven hundred and fifty miles southeast of New York lies the tranquil archipelago of Bermuda. Our huge ship, the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas landed at the Royal Naval Dockyard, on the western tip of Bermuda. Lorraine and her two sisters and their husbands and I arrived on the 400-year anniversary celebration of Bermuda’s settlement.
Healthcare issues have always been at the forefront of my policy initiatives, both as County Comptroller and during the 35 years spent in the healthcare field. Throughout my two terms, I have been a squeaky wheel when it comes to finding ways to trim the escalating costs of Nassau County’s health benefits. Several years ago I persuaded the County Legislature to eliminate the practice of offering two family health benefit policies to one family, to lengthen the number of years of employment required to vest lifetime retiree health benefits and to increase the health benefit buy back amount to encourage employees with other coverage options to drop County health benefits.
Last week Lorraine and I (and my two sisters-in-law’s husbands) took a five-day trip cruise to Bermuda. The ship was the Explorer of the Seas. We left from a pier in Bayonne. No one mentioned the hazards of the Bermuda Triangle and we left with light hearts and happy attitudes.
One of the mysteries of the civilized world is the Bermuda Triangle. It extends from Bermuda to Puerto Rico (one leg), Puerto Rico to Florida (second leg) and back to Bermuda (third leg). Several ships and planes were lost and nothing was ever heard from them again.
My father told me many years ago, that if I was hungry “just fill your mouth with something.” A candy bar, a slice of pizza, a hot dog, or anything that was handy.
The other day after a 2:30 p.m. appointment with my dentist, Dr. Stuart Kesner, I was ravenous. I looked everywhere for a hot dog vendor as I drove to Manhattan to visit my two grandsons, Lewis and Alexander. As I passed Queens College I saw an aluminum truck on Kissena Boulevard that usually is a traveling frankfurter salesman. I made a quick U-turn and pulled up next to the wagon. Nothing on the cart mentioned hot dogs. There was lamb and rice, chicken and rice with vegetables and some other Middle Eastern foods that were unfamiliar to me. I shouted, “Hot Dogs?” He shook his head, “No!” All the people on line turned to observe me and they looked at me as if I had two heads. I slinked back and withdrew from the scene as quietly as possible. But I was still famished.
Residents For a More Beautiful Syosset
Thank you to all of our Jericho School District residents who came out to vote this week. I truly appreciate the support we received for our school budget and the vote of confidence I received in being re-elected to the Board of Education. As your board trustee, I will continue to do my very best to represent the values and concerns of our community and I look forward to hearing from you when you have an issue or matter of concern to share with the board.
I had the privilege of running with two very talented candidates, Mark Basile and Bill Ferro. My sincere congratulations to Bill Ferro on his election to the Board and I am looking forward to working with him. I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Mark Basile for his dedication to our students and his service to our community over the past three years as our Board trustee. It was a pleasure working with him.
As the summer approaches, we see a definite increase in the number of invitations and dates we will receive. People seem to live more lustily and more lively in June, July and August.
One guarantee I can give my readers is that there will be one or more scheduling conflicts. Two appointments listed for the same time and same day are an abundance of riches. However, a decision must be made. Sometimes in a marriage it is the wife’s family versus the husband’s family. This requires delicacy.
Last spring I went to Brooklyn, where I’d never birded, with a small group to see the annual spring migration at two hot spots, Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery. It was early May but it felt like early March. As we pass the Ebbets Field Apartments, in my mind’s eye the gray 2008 morning is transformed into a sunny 1950s May afternoon. I’m in the Ebbets Field bleachers during batting practice, before a Brooklyn Dodgers game, holding a pink Spaulding-type rubber ball. It was a “dead” ball that someone had thrown to Dodgers right fielder Carl Furillo. When he threw it back, the ball stuck in my hands; I never forgot it.
Now minutes later, with binoculars in hand, we’re at Prospect Park, a 585-acre park that has a 60-acre lake and the borough’s last forest. It is before 6:30 a.m. when an orchard oriole, a drabber cousin of the more common Baltimore oriole, which has a richer orange breast, is one of the first avians we see. A male rose-breasted grosbeak perches atop a tree. Its color combination of a black head, white breast and a rich, rose-colored breast make it eye-catching. There is another lower on a nearby tree and soon both fly off leaving the moment divested of brightness.
Free Range Chicken: We have all seen that delicacy on the menu of expensive restaurants. The restaurant is telling us that the chicken we are about to devour has not been kept in a box compartment, just to lay eggs. No, this chicken has been given the free range of the property and fends for itself and gets its own food. Why this makes a difference to the gourmet is a puzzlement to me. Does it taste different?
This also holds true for the salmon we spy on the menu. We are told that free swimming salmon are healthier and are a better choice when choosing a salmon dish.
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