(John McNally had a most interesting reaction to the recent Nassau County “youth summit,” aimed at finding out what it would take to keep 18- to 35-year-olds from leaving Long Island. John, a 30-something himself, is the Rauch Foundation’s Program Officer for the Environment. I’ve asked him to write this month’s column.)
I just got back from vacationing in the Pacific Northwest with some old Long Island friends who had relocated there. The very folks that the summit was concerned about. As I read the recommendations—affordable housing and downtown redevelopment—something bothered me. I agree with them, wholeheartedly, yet I couldn’t help feeling that something was being overlooked.
We never played tennis in the crowded streets of the Bronx. We played stickball, hit the penny, ringolevic, football (with rolled up newspapers), basketball, Johnny on the pony, 3 feet to Germany, Immies (marbles) and kick the can.
So how did tennis become so popular? Was it the suburban living and newfound lifestyle of ex-Bronxites and Brooklyn people? Is it the fact that our generation is getting older and those other street games are no longer acceptable? Are those other games too hard on aching muscles? All of the above reasons are true.
My long-lost cousin, Walter Greenberg, came for a visit last week. I have not seen him for over 20 years. He lives in Los Angeles. He is the younger child (now over 60) of my Uncle Sol and my Aunt Minnie. My father had three brothers.
Senator Kemp Hannon announces adoption of legislation banning texting while driving. The New York State Senate recently passed a bill to make New York’s roads and highways safer by, among other provisions, banning the practice of texting and using other electronic devices while driving. The penalty for texting while driving is not to exceed $150 for the first offense. The bill awaits further action by the governor and is scheduled to take effect Nov. 1, 2009.
There are moments in birding when the landscape or the birds evoke images of art. During one such moment, long blank seconds passed followed by a moment of clarity when, in my mind’s eye, a photograph replaced nature. Another such moment involving a painting evolved like a mystery. A third one is still evolving.
Rumor has come to me that the goodbye party is a thing of the past. Is it the falling of the economy that caused this ugly phenomenon? Was it that people in offices all over the USA were getting tired of picking out a gift and a restaurant every other week?
In late June, President Obama signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) or Cash for Clunkers program. CARS provides a rebate for consumers who trade in qualifying gas guzzlers for more energy-efficient cars. Unfortunately, even before the program began, scammers were attempting to ply their trade; and Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers the following guidance for car shoppers on how to participate in the program and avoid getting scammed. Car shoppers burned through the $1 billion that was initially set aside for the program and the federal government had to quickly appropriate an additional $2 billion to keep the program going.
I saw two films in the last week that somehow brought me back to the old, pre-computer, pre-iPod, pre-blogging and much simpler times.
The first film was Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg. The Goldbergs was first a radio show and then a television show that took America into the Bronx with a family called the Goldbergs. The brilliant Gertrude Berg leaned out her Bronx apartment window and solved the nation’s insecurities. Raising her two children Rosalie and Sammy, she influenced women all over America in proper child-rearing. Her easy manner while uttering Jewish malapropisms was laugh-provoking with a definite point to be understood. She also sold Sanka coffee as she did her believable ads while at the window.
As I grow older, I am occasionally snapped back by my youthful memories. As a boy growing up in the East Bronx, my experiences were limited. My apartment house, my block, my school and my friends were probably my total world. Today, I can look back and try to remember certain highlights that led to my present life.
This summer I sponsored and passed legislation in Nassau County that protects children on the Internet by banning all convicted sex offenders from social networking and Internet dating websites. Working closely with nationally renowned advocacy groups Parents For Megan’s Law & the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect we were able to pass this important legislation to provide a safer environment for our children to surf the Internet.
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