2001-01-13 / Columnists

On The Beach

On The Beach

It certainly has been an interesting news week! In his final State Of The City address, Mayor Giuliani presented a cascade of ideas and proposals for his remaining months in office. From wrangling control of the two airports and convincing the Port Authority to give up its operating leases, which are not due to expire until the year 2015, to a $600 million dollar budget for low-income and affordable housing, the mayor defined his goals, as well as what he hopes his legacy will be.

While invoking Falstaff, Giuseppe Verdi's last opera in which he composed various themes of unfinished work, so too did the mayor describe a compilation of loose ends and unfinished business coupled with some new ideas. Although he still pass-ionately favors school vouchers and the sale of Board of Education building at 110 Livingston street, the mayor also introduced a proposal to extend the five day school week to six days for those students who need extra attention. He also introduced the structuring of suspension centers and new libraries. He spoke of grand and gracious ideas of a park named for the late Mayor Lindsay, a stadium on the upper west side, and a museum honoring the famed Brooklyn Dodgers. Although acknowledging the strangeness of such an idea, he even proposed a "resort" style hotel complex on Coney Island! At that point, I began to twist and silently shout, "What about Rockaway?" One can only wonder whether City Hall even knows we exist. Lew Simon will continuously tell you that he is a walking example of the adage, "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." Well, where's the oil? Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Councilman Al Stabile, Senator Malcolm Smith, Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd Cummings, and Assemblyman Greg Meeks, dormez-vous? 

Bill Clinton for mayor of New York City. I still love the idea! After all, who else is really charismatic enough for Mayor Giuliani to pass the scepter of leadership to? If you are like me, then you really don't get very excited about the notion of Alan Hevesi for mayor and Peter Vallone would rather the governor's job so that he could spend evenings with his family. I can think of none other than busy Bill to romp around the city that never sleeps on top of fire trucks and taking on emergencies at all hour of the night. A "night person" for an all night kind of town. Although there are very few, if any, Presidents who have gone on to serve in another less esteemed office, Bill Clinton, at 54, is still young enough to create his particular brand of legacy for New York. Hillary will be busy in the Senate. He will need something to do. After all, this man always seems to need to be occupied.

Will Attorney General-elect Ashcroft be able to uphold particular laws that are against the ideologies of his faith? We have every right to expect and insist that he apply the law as it is written even if by doing so it will purge the very core of his religious convictions.

There will be a special fundraiser to benefit The Special Olympics and the sending of a few local children to observe and/or even participate in the games. The benefit will be held this Sunday, January 14, at The Kerry Hills Pub.

Don't forget to mark your calendars and put on your dancing shoes for the annual Hearts and Shamrocks Dance, which will be held on Sunday January 21 at Saint Camillus. This is the local event of our parade season where our parade 2001 honorees will make their debut. Music will be provided by the well-renowned Black Velvet Band. Tickets are $25 and may be obtained from local pubs or any one of our honorees. Come out and celebrate them! 

Speaking of politics, there are several elections coming up such as the borough presidency and the city council, which are sure to be fascinating to watch. Locally, for the city council, it seems that everybody will be declaring a candidacy. (Please read Failte by James Conway Sullivan). My advice to those who will be voting come election time: Raise the bar and expect excellence. Indeed, a new broom sweeps clean...if that which what you are looking for is merely a broom!

  See you...On the Beach!

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