2010-01-08 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

Commentary By Liz Guarino

With the mercury lingering in the 20s, it has been a bit of a cold spot for all of us. Some people find the biting cold to be invigorating; although I’m not one of them, I think they are certainly an interesting and admirable breed. Most people prefer the middle of the road when it comes to climate, but there is no such thing as a perfect climate. The best climate conditions for human temperament would be 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 65 percent humidity, which sounds a bit boring!

In the visitor center in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, Jan - uary 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. is the opening reception for Blue Shadows, an exhibit. 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.

Christ Presbyterian Church will start their Bingo Games later this month. Bingo will take place in the church hall on Thursday nights, Jan - uary 21, February 4 and February 18. Doors open at 6 p.m.; Early Bird is at 6:30 p.m.; Bingo starts at 7 p.m. Cof - fee, tea and cake will be served. Donation is $5. Bingo will be cancelled if the weather is inclement — “we will get the word out.”

St. Virgilius Golden Age is sponsoring a bus trip to Atlantic City; the destination is Trump Casino. Trip will take place on Tuesday, January 19. The bus will leave from Noel Road and Crossbay Boulevard at 8:30 a.m. Per person cost is $35 (cash or check); coin return is $25 and a $5 food voucher. Bingo will be played on the way to Atlantic City and a movie will be shown on the way back. Call Dolores Schmitt at 718-634-9472 or Margaret McCarthy at 718-945-4967. Check should be made payable to: St. Vir gil - ius Golden Age. Seats go fast and should be reserved early: First come, first serve.

“Signs of Spring in mid-Winter” will take place in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, January 24 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Find out where the spring hides during winter in the refuge when you walk the East Pond Trail. Dress for outdoors. Bring your binoculars. Sign up by calling 718-318- 4340.

What could be better than leaving useless electronic devices at Joe Addabbo’s office at 159-53 102 Street in Howard Beach on Saturday, Jan - uary 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. so they can be recycled? Included in this electronic equipment are: batteries, cameras, cell phones, computers, copiers, fax machines, laptops, monitors, PDAs, printers, scanners, servers, telephones, televisions and typewriters. If you want more information, call 718-738-1111.

Neighbors who are online may be interested in the following site: www. sense-lang.org It offers typing help to those who want it. There are separate sections for teachers, typing games and seniors. The section for seniors con tains basic information explaining things like the mouse and includes other basic stuff as well. But it in - cludes typing lessons, which let you know if or when you hit a wrong key. And the site’s information is free — and can be a lot of fun.

Real Christmas tree and wreath disposal: drop tree off at Shore Front Park way and Beach 94 Street in Rock - away Beach on Saturday, January 9 and Sunday, January 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Trees will be scheduled for chipping and turned into mulch that is used on tree pits and other green spaces in city parklands. For curbside collection of your tree and/or wreath by Department of Sanitation in the program which began on Monday, Jan - uary 4 and runs through Friday, Jan - uary 15, we are reminded by DSNY to remove all tree stands, tinsel, lights, and ornaments from trees and not to place trees in plastic bags before placing them out for collection.

Take part in fun at a nearby national park; children ages 7 to 12 can enjoy activities in Gateway’s new program, “Junior Rangers,” at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, (or Floyd Bennett Field, Fort Tilden or Jacob Riis Park) by picking up a booklet in the visitor center and doing the activities in it. All junior ranger candidates will receive a junior ranger badge and a certificate for each site completed. Candidates who complete all four sites will get a junior ranger patch.

ConEd mentions a lot of energy saving incentives which help save customers money. It details how on its website and has both residential and business sections. A picture of those new light bulbs is quite prominent, although there is no text explaining the savings that should come from use of them near it. Among other suggestions, it offers the following ways to save: “Pay your Con Edison bill online and plant a tree with ebill (ConEd gives $1 to a tree planting group for every customer signing on to ebill); Choose your energy provider, save money and help the environment; Use electricity off peak: weekends, holidays and weekdays (10 p.m.-10 a.m.) and save money with timeofuse@coned. com” (This last choice reminds me of the telephone company’s way of charging for calls before it broke up many years ago!) For folks who are not on - line, there is an 800 number so everyone can have the information: 877- 870-6118.

“New Yorkers for Better Neighbor - hoods” 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.

If you plan to start your own business, visit www.sba.gov ; the federal government offers a ton of potentially helpful and free information that can lend you a hand getting started. This includes online training to help you start, run and grow your own business.

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: Liz bcbits@aol.com.

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