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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

Viewpoint

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.


Boomer Esiason Offers Life Lessons

The late Irene Esiason gave her son a nickname that would last a lifetime, but she died long before “Boomer” Esiason became a national figure in sports, and then broadcasting.

“I was seven when my mother passed away from lymphoma,” the Manhasset resident explained in an email interview. “No one is ever prepared to lose a parent. It really turns your life upside down and changes things forever. My mom was the one who made our house a home.”

Mrs. Esiason is also the person who gave Norman Esiason the nickname “Boomer” because “I was constantly kicking while she was pregnant,” he said.

“We were living in East Islip at the time,” Esiason continued. “My dad [Norman] never expected to be working and raising me and my sisters [Robin and Susan, who were teenagers when their mother died]. It was definitely hard, but my dad did an excellent job taking care of us.”

Making things even more challenging for his family was “my mother didn’t have life insurance in place when she passed away,” Esiason said. “Money was definitely tight. Luckily, we had neighbors and relatives to help us out with things while my dad was at work. If there had been life insurance, we could have hired the help we needed to keep the household running and to take care of things my mom would have normally taken care of for the family.”

Our email exchange took place because Esiason is the September 2013 national spokesperson for the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education’s (LIFE) Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM). LIAM is an annual campaign coordinated by LIFE to educate Americans about the importance of life insurance as part of a sound financial plan. One of the things he’s done in this role is filmed public-service announcements. They are being broadcast on TV and radio stations nationwide and can be seen online at www.lifehappens.org

“I was handed a tough life lesson at a very early age, and I thought working with the nonprofit LIFE Foundation would be a way for other families to learn from what I experienced,” he said.

“Life insurance is about providing and protecting the ones you love with a financial safety net should the unexpected happen and you’re not around to provide the support you would have wanted to provide.”

Esiason said he’s already conveyed this message to his own children. His son, Gunnar, just graduated from Boston College and his daughter, Sydney, is 21 years old. Gunnar was born with cystic fibrosis and his father’s charity, the Boomer Esiason Foundation, has raised more than $100 million since its inception to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that adversely impacts a person’s ability to breathe.

Before making a name for himself with these charitable endeavors, Esiason was a star quarterback at the University of Maryland, and then had a distinguished National Football League (NFL) career as the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals.  

He’s had an incredible second act as a broadcaster. Esiason has been an on-air analyst for The NFL Today on CBS since 2002, and co-hosts WFAN’s Boomer and Carton radio program.

“Dan (Marino), Shannon (Sharpe), Coach Cowher (Bill Cowher), JB (James Brown) and I really have a great time talking football every week,” Esiason said about his national TV gig, which airs every Sunday during the NFL season. “Much of the cast and crew have been with the show the whole time I’ve been there, so we’ve become our own little family.”

“I’ve been doing the Boomer and [Craig] Carton show since 2007, so about six years now,” he added. They have drawn upwards of 750,000 listeners to WFAN on weekday mornings, making it one of the highest-rated programs in its 6 to 10 a.m. timeslot.

His workload is heavy, he acknowledged.  “It’s hard to believe, but there are times when I feel like the TV and radio shows I do are more demanding than those Sunday afternoon games.”