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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan
Presidents v. The Supreme Court

The recent political chatter about “Obamacare” before the Supreme Court of the United States got a great deal of media attention.  President Obama added fuel to the fire when he declared, “Ultimately, I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

For someone who was a law professor those words were absurd.  Even if a bill passed unanimously in the house and senate, it could still be overturned – if the law was in violation of the Constitution.

Michael Miller


By Michael Miller
1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing

Nelson Rockefeller’s nomination for Governor in 1958 was partly an upstate revolt against the continued domination of party affairs by the Nassau Republican organization. Rockefeller was a man who always had bigger fish to fry, and throughout his almost 15 years as governor, he often went out of his way not to step on the toes of the touchy Nassau GOP. That’s why Nassau is the only large New York county without a state office building. Respect the turf.

Just before taking office, Rockefeller announced that State Senator William Hults would be Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, but not until the end of the 1959 legislative session, so that Glen Cove, North Hempstead, Oyster Bay and a sliver of Hempstead wouldn’t lose their Senate representation until 1960.

Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry
The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’

The Nassau County district attorney’s (DA) office makes a cameo appearance in Empty Mansions, an incredible book about Huguette Clark (1906-2011), the Manhattan-raised heiress whose generosity and eccentricities were legendary.

Now that Ryan Murphy, a creator of television’s “Glee,” has optioned Empty Mansions’ film rights, I imagine a scrum of top actresses are vying to play Clark.

Gold Coast Festival

The 2nd Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival (GCIFF) began earlier this week but Nassau movie fans have a few more days to catch the latest films from some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Edward Burns, who grew up in Valley Stream, will be at Port Washington’s Clearview Cinema on Thursday evening, Oct. 25, to participate in an audience question and answer session, following that night’s 6:30 p.m. screening of his latest movie, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. Burns wrote, directed and starred in this story about “an expansive Irish clan’s fraught yuletide when their long absent patriarch declares his intention to come home for the holiday.”

Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Julia Stiles and Jennifer Lawrence, is competing with Burns on that same evening (Oct. 25). It will be shown at the Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema at 7 p.m. The motion picture is about “a former high school teacher who returns to his family home after eight months in a mental institution” and starts to rebuild slowly his life.

The anticipated highlights on Friday night, Oct. 26, include In Another Country, a South Korean film that was a 2012 Cannes Film Festival selection, and Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, which offers a close-up look at the rock group Journey. In Another Country will be shown at the Manhasset Clearview Cinema on that evening (Oct. 26) at 7 p.m.  Meanwhile, the Journey film’s screening will take place on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Port Washington Clearview Cinema, with filmmaker Ramona Diaz and Great Neck resident David Paterson, the film’s producer, appearing afterwards for a question and answer session.

There are three films being shown on Saturday evening, Oct. 27 as part of the GCIFF, with the Port Washington Clearview Cinema’s 7:30 p.m. screening of Bad Parents featuring a filmmaker question and answer session with director Caytha Jentis. Bad Parents is a comedy built around the world of suburban youth soccer and stars comedian Janeane Garofalo.

Restoration, an Israeli film that has been nominated for numerous awards, will be shown on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Roslyn Clearview Cinema. The movie is about a 70-year-old man who finds an 1882 Steinway and believes its restoration can save his financially troubled antique shop. Lighter fare is on the calendar that same night (Oct. 27) at the Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema, at 8 p.m., where the GCIFF will show The Sapphires. It is billed as an uplifting musical about three performers who are “plucked from the obscurity of a remote Aboriginal mission, branded as Australia’s answer to The Supremes, and dropped into the jungles of Vietnam to entertain U.S. troops.”

Finally, on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m., a panel featuring the director, writer and producer of Mother of Normandy, will convene at the Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema for a screening and discussion of their documentary about Simone Renaud. She spent a lifetime tending to the French graves of American soldiers who perished on D-Day in 1944 while also corresponding with their loved ones back home.

Tickets can be purchased on the day of the show. For more information, go to