2008-02-29 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Locals Longing For Spring
Commentary By Liz Guarino

Recently, a doctor said that in Canada where it really snows, two trucks go and clear the white stuff from the streets and fill each other with it. Then they go and dump both truckloads into the river there. The river probably doesn't overflow or they wouldn't do that! Anyway, a lot of coughing and sneezing can be heard in a lot of workplaces these days. Even though medical personnel say that fluctuating temperatures do not cause colds, it is a bit hard to believe. A lot of folks get them when the mercury goes up and down - they must be related somehow. One thing usually happens when there's a sunny day in the middle of winter - some folks start longing for spring.

The National Park Service will hold the last presentation in its history series of lectures and presentations at the Jacob Riis Park bathhouse on Wednesday, February 27 from 7 through 9 p.m. This last presentation will be on Jamaica Bay's lost cities. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. The program is free, but reservations are required. Sign up at 718-318-4300.

An email from one of our neighbors offers the following information: According to ads running in many different publications, "Queens residents - including Broad Channel residents - have unclaimed money listed with the state. To see if you are owed anything, check out the NYS Unclaimed Funds office at www.osc.state.ny.us/. While searching for your name, why not check your friends and neighbors that may not have computer access and print the form for them?"

A Defensive Driving Course sponsored by St. Virgilius Church (all proceeds benefit St. Virgilius Religious Education Program) will be held on Wednesday, March 12 and Thursday, March 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the School Building, 16 Noel Road, Broad Channel in the lunchroom. For attending this course you can receive 10% off of your car insurance for 3 years OR up to 4 points off of your license. Cost is $60. Seats are limited. Payment in full guarantees a seat. No test is given and refreshments will be served. Call Helen 945-4648 or Cindy 634-5449 to register. If you attended the course in March 2005, your certificate expires in March 2008.

Our little library is closing next month, March 14; it is scheduled for reopening on June 3. It will be bigger when it reopens, as it will be expanded. More computers will be added. Work area, storage area and the creation of a vestibule and addition of a drop box are planned as well. Further information should be forthcoming; I will print it as I learn of it!

Last week a couple of our neighbors sent me a forward that carried news a lot of us would rather not hear. (A forward, for those who aren't online, is somewhat like a chain letter, which is addressed to many people.) Very often, they carry tear-jerking or otherwise heartwarming or upsetting stories. Sometimes they carry jokes and/or photos. (I check all forwards with www.snopes.com; if they are untrue, I delete them. Anyway, the folks at snopes say that if a person wants to get a bill passed, signing an online petition is inefficient at best - people should call, write, email or fax their elected officials to get this done.) Anyway, the story-carriers very often carry misleading or incorrect information. Not this one. It was about mastectomy and how insurance companies would like to make it even less of a procedure than it is - at present patients go home with drains in them from the surgery and instead of nursing care, the patients have to do exercises, watch for infection, etc. by themselves. A bill has been brought to the floor in Congress, but this bill has never passed and might need to be reintroduced in 2008. (Last year the bill was H.R. 119 in the House; S. 459 in the

Senate.) The bill is called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act and it mandates that health insurances should pay for no less than a 48 hour hospital stay after a mastectomy. It is a rather sad state of affairs that this bill was introduced and allowed to languish, only to be reintroduced four more times and still not get passed.

Breast cancer can affect all of us personally - our cousins, sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmother - our daughters - and wives - and neighbors, too. Here are faxes, phones for our two Senators and an email for Anthony Weiner - to email either senator, go to their websites. Contact them and see what the hold is on this bill. At present, Congress is focused on steroids in sports and may not realize that this may be important to us. I will list all contact information for the senators and representative and leave it to you to let them know if this issue is important to us.

Here is Senator Charles Schumer's contact information: Washington Office Phone: (202) 224-6542; Fax: (202) 228-3027. If you prefer writing a letter: Main District Office: 757 Third Ave., Ste. 17-02, New York, NY 10017; Phone: (212) 486-4430; Fax: (212) 486- 7693. Here is contact information for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: Web Site: clinton.senate.gov; E-mail: Contact Via 'Web Form. Her Washington Office: Phone: (202) 224-4451; Fax: (202) 228-0282. Her Main District Office: 780 Third Ave., Ste. 2601, New York, NY 10017; Phone: (212) 688- 6262; Fax: (212) 688-7444. Here is Representative Anthony Weiner's contact information: Web Site: www. house.gov/weiner; E-mail: weiner@ mail.house.gov. His Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-6616; Fax: (202) 226-7253. His Main District Office: 80- 02 Kew Gardens Rd., Ste. 5000, Kew Gardens, NY 11415; Phone: (718) 520- 9001; Fax: (718) 520-9010.

If you have news that belongs in this column, please get the item(s) to me by Tuesday by 9 a.m. of the week in which the item is to appear.

Please sign your email or note; like the rest of the newspaper, I cannot publish info that comes without a name.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits@aol.com

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