Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Photo by Erica Sherman
BETWEEN THE LINES: For more than a decade, Michael R. Bloomberg governed the Big Apple. Entering politics after years as a business entrepreneur, he adapted to the process and departs with conspicuous accomplishments. To paraphrase an iconic line from a Grateful Dead song: It’s been a long, sometimes contentious, yet triumphant trip.
Some Election Day exit polls indicated that more than half of those surveyed approved of Bloomberg as mayor, but they also felt it was time the city had a new direction. And while no one can predict the future, a change is gonna come.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Whoever said it was wisely precautious and I nearly found out how accurate that phrase is.
Someone with my fundamental awareness of ID theft tricks, telemarketing and sweepstakes scams and other forms of electronic exploitation, as well as a prior victimization, should never fall for a second scam. But, to paraphrase that insufferable pop song — oops, I almost did it again.
Nonetheless, anxiety, and an opportunity for supplemental income, almost led me into a fraudulent business relationship. Before I made any commitment or revealed too much personal information, I realized it was a rip off-in-progress, parallel to the notorious Nigerian money transfer scam. Ultimately, common sense, a little savvy, and advice from a friend triggered internal red flags and taught me an indispensable lesson without any loss.
THE COMMUTE: For those who don’t know Yiddish, a “shonda” means a crying shame. That’s the only way I can think of describing the above picture showing an Adopt-A-Highway segment strewn with weeds and litter. It puts the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and Community Board 15 (CB 15) to shame, although I doubt that the community board is at fault. I could only wonder that if this is a highway beautification zone, how high would the weeds be and how much more litter would have accumulated if CB 15 had not paid to have this site “beautified.”
The glorious, old Penn Station, before it was demolished to make room for the hideous monstrosity we know today. Source: Wikipedia
THE COMMUTE: Much of what I was taught in school was either useless or not true. I spent several years studying algebra, which I actually liked, but only had occasion to use it about six times in the 46 years since I graduated high school. Meanwhile, no one ever taught me stuff I need to know in life, such as how to pick a fresh mango. The fruit lady near where I used to work would reject a half a dozen mangoes before choosing the perfect one for me. I should have asked her for her secret.
THE COMMUTE: This past week, transit news focused on what seemed like a series of unrelated events — most notably the resumption of Rockaway “A” Train service.
“A” Train Service Returns
“A” train service, between Howard Beach and the Rockaways, which was suspended seven months ago due to Superstorm Sandy, finally resumed on May 30. Due to the destruction of the trestle near Broad Channel, the suspension forced residents to resort to unreliable and overcrowded bus service. Months ago, a fleet of R-32 cars were trucked to Rockaway to at least provide subway shuttle service within Rockaway but it was in no way adequate to meet residents’ needs. If you think transit service is poor in Sheepshead Bay, you should be aware of the two-hour plus commutes and hour waits for buses, which Rockaway residents were forced to endure, with the trestle out of service.
Fans reach out to touch Judy Garland during her historic 1961 performance at Carnegie Hall. It is possible that one of those people near the front of the stage is my Mom. Source: Biography.com
BETWEEN THE LINES: All these years after her passing, I still think of my Mom, especially on Mother’s Day. I can’t send her a greeting card, so this remembrance will have to suffice.
When the commercials for sales and deals start popping up on television, days before Mother’s Day, I tune them out since they don’t concern me.
My mother died on December 24, 1998. It was Christmas Eve. For the last 14 years, even though I never observed Christmas — because I’m Jewish — Christmas Eve is a time of recollection, not celebration.
For that matter, so is Mother’s Day. Other than thinking about her and sending a silent message on the second Sunday in May, ever since the first one, five months after she died at age 76, its impact fades with each passing year.
Some residents of the project where the incident occurred hold the management responsible due to the lack of recreational facilities on the property. Some criticized the mentality left over from the pop cultural craze known as Jackass, where daring — reckless seems more appropriate — people performed stupid and dangerous stunts just to get fleeting attention on Facebook or YouTube.
For those who may not know, Jackass was a popular MTV reality show for three seasons. It ended a decade ago, yet spawned three movies, a web site and a bunch of controversy, including condemnation by Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman after a teenager from his state got severely burned. MTV responded by programming the series after 10 p.m., when its youngest viewers were supposed to be fast asleep.
You can imagine how effective that was, knowing from personal experience that when youngsters, especially teenagers, are prohibited from participating in an activity, they routinely attempt to elude the ban.
This tragedy triggered a memory of a personal Jackass moment from my youth, which, thankfully, did not end in tragedy.
Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.
The time to increase the debt level is fast approaching. What everyone should know as the battle begins is where we are starting from. Basically the country brings in $2.1 trillion dollars a year in revenues, and spends $3.5 trillion. The U.S. is spending $1.4 trillion a year more than it earns and the accumulated debt is $14 trillion in the past 10 years.
Basically if the country was a taxpayer, they would earn say $50,000 and spend $83,333 a year – they would have to borrow $33,333 a year and after 10 years they would owe $333,333 – scary stuff.
Recently, there were local fears of new cameras for speed enforcement raising “Big Brother” alarms. And, of course, Sheepshead Bites has its own Big Brother. Now the city is prepping to roll out a new alert system, requiring cell phones to be equipped with special chips and software that would give the president a direct line to our handsets. Creepy…
Bob Haggerty, whose house was nearly destroyed in a Lake Avenue fire on February 10, has a simple but powerful message for Sheepshead Bay residents: start giving a damn about your community.
During the Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association Meeting last Tuesday, Haggerty took the floor to talk about the squalid conditions of a neighboring home – which he said belonged to a “slum lord” – that caught fire, spreading to his home while he napped inside. The legally blind Haggerty made it out safely and now lives up the block with his daughter until repairs can be made. But, the night of the fire, Haggerty and his daughter Melissa were incensed at their neighbor, cursing her out, and devastated by the city’s lack of action despite repeated complaints.
But on Tuesday night, Haggerty didn’t come to complain about the Department of Buildings or other city agencies for their lack of action.