Hardy Plumbing
February 23, 2011


Hey Big Spender

Dear Editor,

Just Say No to Schneiderman's Big Spending, Liberal Bills!

At a time when governments around the country are looking to scale back spending, County Legislator Jay Schneiderman has introduced a bill to allow the County Legislature to amend the budget with spending bills at each and every legislative session, as opposed to the quarterly opportunities presently in place.

Last week, Schneiderman voted to have the Legislature sue the County over the same budget he just adopted, just so he could thwart the County Executive's efforts to privatize the county nursing home. This boneheaded, counterintuitive move conflicts the County Attorney and forces the administration to hire expensive outside counsel to pursue closure, which was included in the budget.

Schneiderman also voted against taking immediate action on a bill by the executive to create an Executive/Legislative panel to address $20 million in losses to our health agencies through cuts from New York State. County Executive Levy wants to find county cuts to keep the county's budget balanced, yet Schneiderman says he won't participate.

Schneiderman's M.O. is consistent: Spend more, cut nothing, spend even more, and throw road blocks in the way of those trying to balance the budget.

MARK L. SMITH,

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

OFFICE OF SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Velvet Rope

Dear Editor,

Kudos to the proprietor of BookHampton in East Hampton for promoting a reading of Huckleberry Finn this past Saturday. However, her special worth as hostess and Commander of the Velvet Rope deserves more studied consideration.

Having patrons wait in the cold for over an hour could not elevate this occasion to media event status and suggests a poor selection of venue. It happens at times, but the response to that situation made no new friends or lasting patronage. In fact, as an observer of the lack of accommodation toward the press' entry is excellent fodder for a public relations review and showed a lack of business savvy.

The poor management continued. After thoughtfully seating a formidably sized group of age 12 and under students, another invitation was extended to toddlers and their arm weary parents. This honorable gesture toward the non-reading public somehow morphed into a kind of VIP pass for any individual or couple even remotely connected to the toddler. Again, these things happen and eventually the venue filled but a crowd one-third the size of the seated group remained on the sidewalk and still in the cold.

Informed of a second seating, the remaining group was told to go away, kill a half hour and return. Some sort of directive about having a number was suppose to serve as affirmation of your position in line for the next entry. Knowledgeable Finn readers gathered and suddenly small numbered pieces of paper emerged as a kind of Tom Sawyer styled ploy to guarantee their eventual entry. People were enjoying the silliness of it all and were scrambling to make their own numbered ticket. This served as entertainment and no one shared further concern about gaining entry because surely this smaller crowd would easily fit in next time. We wouldn't need these stinking numbers!!!

But unbeknownst to us at the time and looming large at the gateway directly in the path of all this merriment stood the Commandeer of the Velvet Rope.

While the many fictious numbered co-conspirators positioned themselves about the crowd, the Commander of the Velvet Rope emerged from her front door, high atop the two step rise separating her from the shivering mass on the sidewalk and with a mousy vocal demanded the identification of the holder of Numbered Paper One. No one spoke. Everyone had numbers but no one had the number One. Silence from the once jovial crowd lasted for what seemed like an endless eternity until a voice from the back shouted, "right here."

The handsome couple moved toward entry but was quickly turned away after a brief discussion with the Commandeer of the Velvet Ropes. She lectured, after close scrutiny of the couple's paper, that the couple in fact were not holders of Officially Styled Numbered Paper. This was sufficient reason to demand of the couple and their young daughter to leave the premises immediately and prompted her to close the door on the waiting crowd. Caring more about the implementation of her directive and little about the patient crowd needlessly freezing outside, she sent an assistant to reiterate her order for the couple to depart from the door. The stunned group at the door were now left to gaze upon the empty room before them while the real holder of the Official Numbered Paper One was admitted.

The handsome couple did leave the area and my wife and I decided to do the same. We had invited our guests to what was to be an enhanced stop at the bookstore but after hearing the reviews from the first seating and enduring the pettiness on display, we figured the reward wasn't worth any further discomfort. I trust the proprietor will evaluate the "best event of the holiday weekend" and make some necessary adjustments both logistically and personally before promoting similar activities.

And to the attractive woman who asserted her ownership of the Officially Numbered Paper One and exposed the fraudulent attempt by the handsome couple . . .The genius of Huckleberry Finn is found in reading the written words of Mark Twain and not simply being in the presence of the extraordinarily talented Alec Baldwin.

A. PICCIRILLO

Editor's Note: We don't believe Baldwin actually read from the book. Either he had a teleprompter or it was the comic book version.

Poem To Indy

Near the tip of an island, where the sand meets the sea

On a Sunday in Summer, it's the best place to be

Kids playing, dogs sleeping, food grilling to share

And if you find your truck stuck everyone is right there

For locals it's Heaven, the last place to meet

After six days of work Napeague Lane is a treat

But at one end of the beach sits a motel in the dunes

And a greedy old man howling up at the moon

"The music! The laughter! The Children! The joy!

I can't take this much longer! I must think of a ploy

I must hire a lawyer! I'll shout and I'll whine!

And by the end of the year I will call this beach MINE!"

So he gathered some neighbors to unhatch their cruel plot

To be rid of those families, like it or not

Now our beach is in danger, and our children may say

"Why are they taking our Summer away?

We come to this place in all kinds of weather

It's the last beach we have where we can all be together."

How this story will end, well, no one can say

But even a green grinch's heart grew three sizes one day

ELIZABETH MERRILL

The Little People

Dear Editor,

Rick, something is definitely wrong in America. The little people are being hurt.

She is pushing 80 and at her wit's end, and doesn't know what to do. With tears in her eyes she said for years she belonged to the American Association for Retired People and had purchased her homeowners insurance through Harford Insurance, through the AARP and "never made a claim."

What a surprise she got in the mail the other day. Hartford told the shocked woman they were "no longer insuring" her home. She was now uninsured. No matter how much she begged them to continue covering her she was told no So much for Hartford. So much for ARRP.

You have to wonder, Rick – do the little people of America have a voice?

JACK MCGREEVY

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