BETWEEN THE LINES: A day after my column on gas prices was posted here, the following new information caught my attention.
In a Reuters poll released yesterday, although more than two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling rising prices at the pump, most blame oil companies or foreign countries more responsible than politicians for the price hikes. The most common reason cited for rising fuel costs in the poll was oil company greed. Overall, 36 percent of those surveyed said “oil companies that want to make too much profit” deserve the most blame.
That became evident when the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Big Oil (ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Texaco and Chevron) collectively had a tidy first quarter profit surge of 45 percent or $36 billion.
To reiterate: is it any wonder Americans regard profit-minded oil companies, which take advantage of generous government tax breaks, as the chief villain?
While the GOP slams President Obama on gas prices, Bloomberg News reported today that Obama said it would be “justified” to end oil company tax breaks and subsidies and redirect those revenues to developing clean-energy fuels. The item said the president has asked the Senate to do so when they take up the matter later today.
To reiterate from my earlier op-ed: is it any wonder Americans regard profit-minded oil companies, which take advantage of generous government tax breaks, as the chief villain?
Neil S. Friedman is a veteran reporter and photographer, and spent 15 years as an editor for a Brooklyn weekly newspaper. He also did public relations work for Showtime, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. Friedman contributes a weekly column called “Between the Lines” on life, culture and politics in Sheepshead Bay.
BETWEEN THE LINES: Family vacations are in limbo. Sheepshead Bay fishing fleet earnings go up in smoke as boats burn up pricey fuel. Reluctant drivers don’t fill gas tanks as often as they did six months ago. These days ten bucks worth barely budges the gas gauge indicator.
Seems like déjà vu all over again — and once again, drivers are figuratively over a barrel — an oil barrel.
So you know how you’ve lived in New York City most or all of your life, and there’s all those things you never did until someone came to visit? (See: Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, etc.)
Well, how about on a really local level? Are there Sheepshead Bay attractions that everyone talks about but you’ve never gone to? I know people who haven’t been to Randazzo’s or Roll-N-Roaster – and, gulp, I’ve never been on a fishing boat.
Well, for those of you with kids who’ve never really found the time to show them the neighborhood, Time Out New York Kids put together a good roundup of attractions that’ll get you to those sights and keep the kids entertained.
The guide breaks down the day by hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., taking you and the kiddos to some neighborhood staples that, yes, include a fishing boat, Randazzo’s and Roll-N-Roaster. It also has some free and neat activities like a walk through the Holocaust Park, to Manhattan Beach’s impressive architecture, and creating crayon rubbings from the fish engravings along the piers. And a really cool twist is that it doesn’t just focus on the old school landmarks (they never mention Lundy’s); they throw in newer establishments that would be a big hit with kids – like Arbuz Frozen Treats on Sheepshead Bay Road.
NBC’s Around Town dining and travel segment chose our neighbors in Brighton Beach to give viewers a quick primer in Russian food. The segment calls Brighton Beach “one of New York’s hottest food spots” and takes a look at food, dance clubs and spas run “by people straight from Russia … who lived there and know how to make it.”
For our bay neighbors who can count themselves as both Russian and Jewish, Sheepshead Bites would like to introduce you to the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) organization. As an organization focused on working with Russian New Yorkers, this division of Gateways, its mother agency, is committed to bringing Russian life together with Judaic life. One of its many ways of doing this is by organizing specialized birthright trips to Israel for anyone of Jewish descent. You can check their well-designed website for more information.
From RAJE’s website:
“We are passionate about building a community that embraces Russian speaking Jews from all walks of life. The core of RAJE is our Fellowship Programming. Our center is continuously buzzing with the energy of new students, inspired learners and lifetime academics. Behind our doors is a staff dedicated to providing excellence in Jewish education and learning. We believe in creating an open environment that encourages people at all levels to explore their Jewish identity.”