2009-12-25 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

We certainly had a lot of snow last weekend!

It was coming down so slowly at first, it didn’t seem like it would stick or even stay around for long.

(I wonder how many people thought it wouldn’t stay around.)

But it was persistent and just kept coming down. And down. And down. And down!

On Sunday morning, the second floor deck had huge piles of snow on it and the door was drifted shut. Thankfully, the front door still swung open. Anyway, the white stuff will be around for a while. The 30s temperatures that are predicted for the week will likely keep it from melting anytime soon!

This is the last column of the year, so HAPPY, HEALTHY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR to everyone! This has been quite a year; hope things are a bit more stable next year especially for folks who suffered this year.

Take a hike along the beach, dunes and woods on Friday, January 1 from 10 a.m. to noon in the annual New Year’s Day Walk with the American Littoral Society. Meet in Fort Tilden, Building 1. More information is available by calling 718-318-9344.

In the visitor center in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, January 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. is the opening reception for Blue Shadows. Jeffrey Rabkin, poet, will meet and greet visitors and read from his haiku poems. Additionally, the gallery will contain some of his works. The exhibit runs through Sunday, February 28.

Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? Lots of folks do, but statistically most people break them before the end of January. The most popular and number one resolution every year is about weight loss. Number two is to get more exercise and number three is love-life related. Also popular are resolutions relating to jobs, family and money.

Neighbors who got new electronic devices may want to recycle the old, replaced ones at a fairly close location. Receiving it all is Joe Addabbo’s office at 159-53 102 Street in Howard Beach on Saturday, January 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included equipment is: batteries, cameras, cell phones, computers, copiers, fax machines, laptops, mon itors, PDAs, printers, scanners, servers, telephones, televisions and typewriters. If you want more information, call 718-738-1111.

“New Yorkers for Better Neigh borhoods” grants from $500 to $3000 from Citizens Committee for NYC are available for volunteer community groups and public school based student groups. The application deadline for spring 2010 is March 14. For more information, visit www.citizensnyc.org/grants or call 212-989-0909.

Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to run a computer for 25 minutes.

If your kids got new toys or clothes or other products for Christmas and you want to find out if they’re safe, get product recalls and safety information at www.cpsc.gov. (Especially for Kids is a page on the site that is designed for children to learn about safety in a fun way. There’s even a comic called Sprocket Man about bike safety under What’s Popular: bicycles.)

If your plan for the New Year is to start your own business, visit www.sba.gov for a ton of helpful, free information from the federal government. This includes online training to help you start, run and grow your own business.

A new state law which takes effect in spring 2010 on April 1 for most utility companies mandates that they provide large print bills for customers who need and request them — a help for people that can’t read the print they are getting now. Included under “utility” are cable and telephone companies and municipal bills as well as electric and others.

If you’re one of those job seekers who is over 50, it’s best to use sites for a narrower audience than monster board which puts you in direct competition with 20- and 30-somethings for jobs. Sites like wiseworker.com seek out the older worker and can connect with a position that wants and needs a worker like you. A site which offers a lot of services to older job seekers is www.aarpworksearch.org

If it seems that a lot of information is online, it is. Not everyone knows or has or cares about things online. But the reality is that many jobs require online application and resume and cover letter uploaded on the company’s website. While the library computers provide access, knowing how to get around cyberspace is a skill to have. If you want to learn how to move around online or do spreadsheets, word-processing or slide show presentations, there are classes not too far from home. (School will not be back in session until Monday, January 4.) A flier for these types of classes at Beach Channel High School was made available to me a couple of weeks ago. It contains all the information you need to access a course and is in my computer. I will forward a copy to anyone who wants or needs one. Just send me your email address. If you don’t have an email address, get word to me and I’ll print a flier and deliver it to you if you send me your street address. Or you can pick it up — we’ll make arrangements.

If your child got Slinky, Playdoh, a hula hoop, Lincoln Logs, an erector set, Snoopy Sniffer pull toy, a harmonica, Monopoly, Scrabble, Sorry! board games, Tinker toys, yo-yos or Frisbee among others — those lucky children are playing with toys that are very safe, nontoxic etc. and have been around for over 50 years and probably were enjoyed by the parents and maybe even the grandparents when they were kids!

Please send material to be published in the column by Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. of the week before it is to appear. Thank you.

Email can be sent to: Lizbcbits @aol.com

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