2008-04-25 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

Many people who have seasonal allergies suffer at this time of year. But even they can appreciate the sights of trees budding, the green of grass and other plants becoming deeper and brighter, and shoots that will become flowers growing taller. With May right around the corner, it's time to start looking for those late spring flowers that April's rains are supposed to bring us!

For help in getting rid of the excess stuff around the house, you can take gently used clothing, linens and electronic equipment (computer equipment, TVs, DVD players, cell phones) to find a new lease on life for them and/or to be recycled, to St. John's University in Jamaica Estates on Saturday, May 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enter the parking lot via Gate 4 on Union Turnpike and 175 Street.

A two-session Defensive Driving Course sponsored by St. Virgilius Church (all proceeds benefit St. Virgilius Religious Education Program) will be held on Monday, April 28 and Tuesday, April 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the School Building, 16 Noel Road, Broad Channel in the lunchroom (entrance is on Church Road). For attending this course you can receive 10 percent off your car insurance for three years OR up to four points off 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 on May 2 and May 3, 2005, your certificate expires on May 3, 2008. (The previous defensive driving course was completely filled- to be sure there is a seat for you, call right away!)

From Reverend Andrea Zarou: "We at Christ Church wish to thank one and all for their continued support of our fundraisers." Their Sauterbarten Dinner was well attended and a big success. The winner of the 50/50 also did very well indeed. Their next event will be the flea market, where, just in time for spring, they will also be selling plants. "That will be on May 10 and 11. Hope to see you all. Stay well."

On Sunday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to noon, "The Wonder of Migrants: From Tundra to Tropics," is the title of a workshop that will be held at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Birds stop at Jamaica Bay when they migrate from the tropics to the tundra. This International Migratory Bird Day offering is ranger-led; it begins indoors, and then goes outdoors to look for migrants. Don't forget your binoculars and sign up in advance at 718-318-4340.

"Its About the Birds!" can be enjoyed with the family at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to noon.

All members of the family (age 8+) can enjoy the bird watching. The event is ranger conducted. There will be an indoor presentation about birds you might see, and then an outdoor portion to look for the birds. Don't forget to sign up in advance at 718-318-4340 and bring binoculars.

It's never too early to be prepared or to help support the Vollies. The BCVFD is starting its annual fund drive by distributing fire safety and hurricane preparedness brochures to every home in town. Included is a return envelope for you to give what you can to keep their lifesaving operations rolling. Donations can be mailed or, with a phone call, can be picked up at your door. Always remember to keep your cancelled checks for tax purposes. In the next few weeks, "We Gave" stickers will be on the way. As always the Vollies thank you for your support. And they encourage you to remember the many businesses that have helped contribute to their fundraising efforts the next time you're out and about.

It seems that cell phones are almost disposable. Get a new calling plan and get a new cell phone with it. It turns out that a lot of folks wind up with unwanted cell phones hanging around the house. One way of getting rid of them requires logging onto www.gooddeedfoundation. org/aarp. You can get a postage paid envelope from this site to mail the cell phones where they will be put to good use. (I got a mailer from these folks and was able to get two cells in it.) If you want to make a community project, you can get a collection box for community phone recycling from these folks.

It's no secret that the cost of prescription drugs has gone through the roof for those who have to pay full price for them or those whose health care insurance doesn't have a prescription plan. Medicare Rx Extra Help is a prescription drug assistance program for limited income beneficiaries and may be helpful to you. You can apply online for this and see if you are eligible for this and other programs.

It seems that a lot of medications that were available by prescription only are now sold over the counter. Do you remember that happening before? Some allergy medications are in this category.

It's tax time and scams abound that want to separate you from your cash. Remember that our government does everything with lots of paperwork. If you get a call from anyone who says they're with the IRS or any other government agency, ask for anything they talk about in writing and insist on it.

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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