On The Beach Blog | January 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

I never knew who...

Jane Velez-Mitchell

...Jane Velez-Mitchell was 'til this week when I took a 'phone call toward the end of the "CBS Evening News" and while I wasn't paying attention it bled over into something called "The Insider."

(Jeanne and I have a rule in this house: we do not watch any "news" program which is ac­companied by a pop muzak track!)

When I clicked off the call and looked back to the screen, there was the most alarming-looking female I'd seen1 since Jocelyn Wildenstein, reporting gossip about former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's murder trial! More...

Friday, January 30, 2015


Early last week blogger Tom Noonan posed the question:

Sheldon Silver charges – trouble for Cuomo?

Yesterday, on-line Hot Air, riffing on scrupulously middle-of-the-road Politico's "Andrew Cuomo's Dominoes - Why the New York governor should be worried about the as­sembly speaker's legal troubles," wondered:

Could Sheldon Silver roll on Andrew Cuomo?

The answer is, it is furiously to be hoped! More...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Sheldon Silver in disgrace.

...but unfortunately it'll be awhile before the "dong" is heard from Albany.

The "Ding" part of "Yip" Harburg's famous lyrics came today when long-time New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, arrested last week on federal corruption charges resigned the powerful position he seemed locked into for the past 21 years.

And the "dong" part? That'll be when Governor Andrew Cuomo goes as well!

Whether in handcuffs as with Silver, or just shame-faced and quietly like Eliot Spitzer in 2008, the only upbeat aspect of it is that his father didn't live to see it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Jewish culture...

Updated 01/28/2015 – 08:45 am

...Orthodox, Reform and Conservative alike... has a word for it: Mitzvah!

Someone did us a mitzvah today and we've no idea who... which, when I first learned the word however many decades ago, is the general idea behind it: an anonymous act of kindness. More...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Great song, sad video...

...almost unbearably so when the viewer is sucker-punched with the rocking of the empty chair and the photograph of the (then) recently deceased Roy Orbison (1936-1988).

Add to that the prominence of ex-Beatle George Harrison (1943-2001), and it's an emotional struggle between the spriteliness of the song and its wonderful harmonies, and the realization of the loss of two great musical talents.

I make the Traveling Wilburys one of the top "Super Groups" of all-time, right up there with CSNY, Cream and The Highwaymen but way ahead of Blind Faith and the seminal "Super Session" collective of Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, et al.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ernest Banks (1931-2015)

The only two men I ever heard speak ill of the late Hall of Famer Ernie Banks was Leo Durocher1 and former Yankee Joe Pepitone2 who played for the Chicago Cubs for parts of four seasons after being fire-sold out of New York for Curt Blefary after the 1969 season.

Durocher thought Banks was a phony with his eternally sunny disposition and "Let's play two" attitude, and Pepi­tone, primarily a first baseman, rarely got to play there when he got to Chicago because after age had com­promised Banks' range following seven straight All-Star selections and two Most Valuable Player awards as a shortstop, he moved to first base, thereby earning Banks Pepitone's eternal enmity. More...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tip from the Passionate Shopper...

...being my wife of seven years today:

"There's always a run on chicken wings in the week preceding the Super Bowl. That means that there's some really smart buys on breasts and thighs!

I thought 99¢/lb. was pretty good at King Kullen and Stop'n'Shop, but they were 77¢/lb. at Best Yet in Riverhead!"

According to the National Chicken Council, 1.25 billion chicken wings will be consumed during Super Bowl XLIX, and Jeanne somehow knows these things.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ah, for the love of Edward R. Morrow!

What passes for "journalism" 14+ years into the new Mil­lennium sickens/outrages me on an almost daily basis!

With the continuing threat of the beheadings of two Japan­ese citizens held hostage by ISIS (Daesh) and the obvious critical issues facing the United States head by a lame-duck President and a suddenly powerful opposition Con­gress, what is the country obsessed with? More...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A record-setting Work Session!

It began at 7:00 pm and was closed at 9:21 pm, and by my count, that's the longest Village Trustees Work Session in the history of Westhampton Beach... all the more re­markable given the brevity (9 items) of the agenda!

It was interminable, mostly because someone... no names, please... doesn't know how to run a tight meeting!

The evening got off to a slow start when Laura Fabirizo, fill­ing in for an under-the-weather Lorraine Girard, More...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The current 'Mr. Irrelevant'...

...is Left Wing one-time film-maker Michael Moore who Tweeted Sunday on the subject of "snipers:"

"My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes."

Given that the Clint Eastwood-directed "American Sniper" was smack in the middle of a staggering $105.3 million opening four-day weekend and generating enormous "buzz," there was little doubt as to Moore's target. More...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mayor Thatcher butts in...

...for which we should all chip in and send her a hand­some gift basket!

Lloyd Harbor Mayor Warns Against Hiring Police Commissioner In Westhampton Beach

I have no idea how Mayor Jean Thatcher got involved here, whether she heard about Mayor Maria Moore's proposal to hire a Police Commissioner and, instead of recoiling in horror, thought to offer Westhampton Beach the benefit of her experience, or if Southampton Press Western Edition correspondent Kyle Campbell took the initiative to do some original reporting, but Mayor Thatcher's thoughts should be given weight. More...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

History repeats...

Updated 01/20/2015 – 11:48 am

...this week on 27East, the digital edition of The Southampton Press in a report by Kyle Campbell:

"Judge Tomlinson is still evaluating whether the eruv violates the Establishment Clause of the Second Amendment."

Campbell, as should be obvious to any with a Junior High education... unless Civics is no longer part of that curric­u­lum... has confused his Bill of Rights... he meant, of course, the First Amendment. More...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Some in the mainstream media...

...appear to have no historical memory of a major event in 1972... perhaps the major event of that year on an in­ter­national level... and it's discouraging.

Today's lead global story (so far) is:

Dozens held across Europe in Islamist suspect sweeps

"Belgian, French and German police interrogated dozens of Islamist suspects on Friday as much of Europe re­mained on heightened security alert after last week's killings in Paris and raids in Belgium in which two gun­men were killed."

A sampling of comments from the usual talking TV More...

John Wayne was no dummy

"As long as a man has a project – something to look forward to – there'll always be something important to him. He'll never really get old. If I had nothing to look forward to, I might as well be dead."
– John Wayne, to Pat Stacy, his last inamorata, circa 1976

(And boy, do I get that!)

An OtBB commenter to last November's entry about one cable channel's month-long orgy of Wayne's Westerns recommended a biography of the actor, "John Wayne: American" which sounded like a worthy read.

On my next trip to the library with the Duke on my mind, first thing inside the front door was a display of books, one of the foremost of which was "John Wayne: The Life and Legend" by Scott Eyman. More...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Brooks N. Edwards (1923-2015)

One of the fixtures of our neighborhood... being the Ketchaboneck part of Westhampton Beach... "Barney" Edwards passed away a week ago last Saturday.

The Edwards lived around the corner from us, a long block up Aspatuck, and he any my wife, walkers both, regularly exchanged pleasantries when their routes intersected.

Jeanne's walks will be less interesting from here on in.

Our thoughts are with his widow "Moonie" whose marriage to Barney spanned five decades.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A man after my own (black) heart

Letter to the Editor in the current Southampton Press Western Edition, penned by one Peter Lee of North Sea:

"Stolen Man?
'Southampton Town Police arrest two for stealing, beating up man' [27East.com].

What did they do with the man they stole? Unfortunately, it's too late for me to submit this to Jay Leno's 'Headlines.'"

Br'er Lee is hereby acknowledged as the first candidate for OtBB's 2015 Toward More Precise Language Award.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Time was not kind to Anita Ekberg...

...the one-time Miss Sweden (1950) who died yesterday in Castelli Romani, Italy at age 83.

Movie-goers and the celebrity struck may have forgotten her, but she was immortalized in one scene in Federico Fellini's "La Dolco Vita" when she waded into Rome's Trevi Fountain in a strapless dress...

...pursued by a smitten Marcello Mastroianni More...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

'Movie Mary' Hahl (1936-2015)

A Westhampton Beach fixture at the United Artists... before that, Prudential... movie theater for more than 47 years, Mary Hahl passed away last week, less than a month following her 79th birthday.

That event occasioned a visit to the retirement home in which she had been residing in Bellport, by her friends Sandy Patterson and Florence Flood.

Mary was predeceased by her sister Vera and her brother "Whistling" Jon.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Friday, January 09, 2015

I retched...

Updated 01/20/2015 – 07:23 am

...when I saw this item prominently on B2 of the South­ampton Press Western Edition this week:

Don't know much about Hilaria other than she More...

Thursday, January 08, 2015

January Village Board Meeting

This evening's monthly meeting of the Westhampton Beach Village Board was, for all intents and purposes given the inhospitality of the weather, a cruel and all-too-usual, albeit necessary, waste of time.

Prizes were awarded for the annual holiday lighting con­test, some papers were shuffled, and the meeting was called to a close at 7:25 pm so attendees could brave the bitter cold to return to the warmth of hearth and home.

In between, Village Planner Kyle Collins outlined his More...

Jeez, Fred, say something, do something!

From this morning's Southampton Press Western Edition, page A5 story about Suffolk County extending the deer hunting season, a quote from State Assembly­man Fred W. Thiele Jr.:

"There isn't one single answer to this issue. I think we have to pursue lethal and nonlethal methods of popula­tion control."

Yes, Fred and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle More...

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Uh oh... oy vey iz undz?

Updated Wednesday, 01/07/2015 – 11:16 pm

From today's Times of Israel:

Court upholds Westhampton Beach Shabbat boundary

"A federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of the recently constructed symbolic religious boundary around Westhampton Beach on Long Island.

The 2nd Circuit US Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the plastic strips placed on utility poles in the village to designate the eruv do not breach the separ­ation of church and state."

But wait... later in the article we learn: More...

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Officially Hosed!

I knew it, my Clifton cousins Rick in Maine and Charlie in Florida knew it, even ESPN's Mike Wilpon, a huge Chicago Bears fan/Detroit Lions hater knew it!

Detroit Lions

And yesterday the National Football League's head of officials Dean Blandino made it nearly unanimous... the Lions got hosed when pass interference against Detroit tight end Brandon Pettigrew by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens was initially called, then without explanation reversed. More...

Monday, January 05, 2015

Who does the math?

Headline from Reuters news agency last evening:

Hundreds of police turn backs on NYC mayor at slain officer's funeral

Then there's this from RT (formerly "Russia Today"):

Cops turn backs on NYC mayor once more at slain officer’s wake

"Thousands of NYPD officers turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio as he delivered a eulogy...."

(Colored emphases added.) More...

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Ah, Rats!

Detroit Lions

It was a disappointing end to an NFL season where off and on throughout a 16-game schedule, my Lions showed signs of promise before failing in the final quarter of an NFC Wild Card game in Dallas this even­ing, 24-20.

The game itself began with an unexpectly bright promise: the Lions getting off to a 14-0 lead and starting the second half ahead 17-7 with its A-rated defense playing well.

But thanks to a horrendous officials call in the 4th Quarter where they, unchallenged, reversed themselves, and the Lions lapsing into old bad habits of taking critical penalties, the Cowboys move on and Detroit flew home to clear out their lockers in Ford Field.

Perhaps saddest of all for me is that the great Ndamukong Suh played his last game for my team in a losing cause.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Well, here we (mostly) all are...


Some of those that aren't are Donny Wright, Nancy Perrier, Loretta McGuinness, Pete Kerner, Jerry Bitting, Greta Hedberg, Bobby Kavan and Murray Frank, and 2015 will be a little less interesting without them.

Excelsior, damnit!