Last spring, on an unusually cold April day, my friend Walter and I are at Alley Pond Park to see migrating birds. At a pond we see a few male red-winged blackbirds with their bright red epaulets, some Canada geese and robins. Homies. It becomes apparent that if we are going to see migrating spring birds that we are going to have to go off the beaten path. Going through a bush filled area we pass some trees that are bare and corkscrew-shaped with deep grooves in the bark. If they could talk, what tales would they tell about the snows of winter?
The League of Women Voters of Nassau County, a non-partisan organization, which neither supports nor opposes any candidate or political party, is concerned about the County Legislature’s haste in re-drawing the legislative district lines. In doing this, the Legislature is not adhering to its own County Charter, subsection 113, which requires an advisory redistricting commission to be established to reapportion the county legislative districts based on the federal census.
Last week I did research on the Island of Saint Lucia and the Smuggler’s Cove hotel at which we were staying. Here is my report after our six days on the island.
Twenty-eight percent of children across the United States refuse to go to school at some time during their school years. In a recent survey of new applications at North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center, we found increasing numbers of children who refused to go to school. This was further validated at a meeting that the Guidance Center hosted for counselors, social workers and psychologists from public and private schools throughout Nassau County.
This is the first part of a two-part experiment.
I am going away on a vacation to Saint Lucia; I have done all the research and reading on this lush, tropical island in the West Indies. The brochures picture a romantic escape with snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, tennis, a squash court, a spa, a swim-up bar, banana boat rides, aerobics, beach volleyball and cooking classes.
I realize that at my age (over 60) I should be reading great books and filling my off hours with intellectual and enlightening methods of erudition.
However, at the end of the day I find myself yearning for relaxing and mindless activities. During my lifetime I have studied many of the great Shakespeare plays, read James Joyce’s Ulysses, studied U.S. and world history, and written over 600 essays. Evening is the time to get on the couch, slow down and unwind.
It is with sincere gratitude that I recognize the tireless efforts of Fresh Air Fund volunteers in Nassau County as the country celebrates National Volunteer Week. Their commitment to helping New York City children is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of the 2011 National Volunteer Week theme, “Celebrating People in Action.”
Juiced’ by Florida Wetlands’ Big Birds
On a cool afternoon this past January I went birding with my wife and two close friends. We start in the heart of a Sarasota industrial park exploring a waterway, which attracts big birds. On one shore an anhinga, partially in shadow, has its black wings outstretched to dry, prominently displaying a white lined pattern on its back. Nicknamed the “water turkey,” the anhinga takes fish underwater. Their long straight necks, long bills, long straight-edged tails and silvery, white-lined back and wing pattern make anhingas striking. This lone bird’s brown hue suggests that it is probably immature. The anhinga’s dark mustard colored, webbed feet look like they are made from sturdy, Army-Navy store canvas. I’m “juiced,” as I rarely see an anhinga.
Two winter weary Jericho couples, the Greenes and the Greenbergs, arrive at JFK airport for a trip to the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana on the eastern end of the island of Hispaniola is the final destination. Paradisus Palma Real Resort is the name of the hotel. The plan is called A.I.P. or all-inclusive plan.
Everything was paid for up front. Not once did we reach into our pockets to pay for a meal. We ate, thanked the waiters and left. No figuring out the tip or the bill. It was a strange sensation for Long Islanders. At a bar the bartender plunked down an entire bottle of Absolut vodka and told us to add as much to the drink as we desired. It reminded me of the bar scenes in western movies when the hero is presented with a whiskey bottle and a shot glass.
(Editor’s Note: Stanley Greenberg is on vacation this week. This week’s column is an encore presentation of a piece originally published on March 11, 2005.)
While I was walking on the treadmill at the clubhouse of the condominium where I live, I started speaking to a fellow condo resident. Having a conversation while you are walking on the machine is a great boon, because it takes your mind off the boring step after step drudgery.
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