On The Beach Blog | September 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/30/1955 +60

James Dean as Jim Stark in Rebel without a Cause

Gone now these six decades, James Dean is described in his Wikipedia entry as...

"...a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement...."

...and if anyone wondered how that came to be after starring in only three motion pictures, they had only to see last week's cable TCM retrospective of Dean's work from 's "Golden Age" between 1952-1954, on dramatic series like: More...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

You want gender equality?

I got your gender equality right here!

Brittney Griner suspended from start of USA Bas­ket­ball camp

"Brittney Griner will be missing the start of USA Basketball's European training camp this week after she was suspended by the organization."
Brittney Griner
"The penalty stems from Griner's domestic violence arrest...."

The true test of the progress of gender equality, however, will be when a non-lesbian female of less Amazonian proportions than Griner's 6'8", 199 lbs. is similiarly sanctioned.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Would've liked to have seen this happen!

Harkening back almost 30 months to this OtBB entry ("Like to see this happen...") which followed this report by Erin McKinley on 27East: "New Mediterranean Restaurant Could Open In Westhampton Beach," what now?

It would have been a great boon to the Main Street area on several counts, and if anyone knows why Barry Bern­stein hasn't moved forward with that project, it's not been reported anywhere. More...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hampton Synagogue Hypocrisy?

While the question posed here last week, "Is the Eruv valid?," remains unaddressed, an E-mail dated July 10, 2015 over the joint signatures of Hampton Synagogue President Morris Tuchman and Rabbi Marc Schneier raises the issue of the integrity of their original approach to the Westhampton Beach Village Board in early 2008.

Recall that attorney Robert G. Sugarman, acting on behalf of the synagogue, in a letter to the Village dated October 19, 2008, firmly stated that for an eruv to be valid, two conditions must be met: More...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Emmy's annual necrology...

...invariably reveals the someone's death which had escaped my attention over the past 12 months; the 2015 edition telecast Sunday evening was no exception.

Elizabeth Peña

I somehow missed the passing of won­der­ful Elizabeth Peña almost a year ago, likely due to her repeat guest role as Sofía Vergara's mother on "Modern Family."

(The comedy series is in syndicated re-runs all over the dial due to its popularity so Peña will be around for a while.) More...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Outrageous 'pills' gouging makes network...

...news programs cover a story they have done corpo­rate contortions to avoid covering for far too long!

In watching the CBS Evening News for the past several years, there are at least two, sometimes three, 60-second pharmaceutical commercials for everything from erectile dysfunction to urinary incontinence to plaque psoriasis... and they are placed toward the end of the newscast while we're trying to eat dinner! More...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Never mind the dogs days of August...

Sassy and Rosco plotz'd in the living room on Saturday

...how 'bout the dog days of September!

Rosco and Sassy are excellent real time indicators of the weather... who needs a ther­mometer or hygrometer?

Wanna know if it's too hot or too humid? Watch the dogs! They'll tell you what's what!

Miss po' li'l Gracie though... she'd give us advance warn­ing of a thunder storm with 15-20 minutes to spare.

Friday, September 18, 2015

On the National Political Front

Martha Raddatz

Not your commonplace network tele­vision long-haired blonde news chick, Martha Raddatz, 62-years-old and looking older, still comes across as a brain-dead eager-beaver just out of Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

Never was this more apparent than last Sunday on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" where she is a regular fill-in host, with her first guest, Republican Presidental Candidate Dr. Ben Carson. More...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Is the Eruv valid?

Rabbi Marc Schneier has assured members of his Hampton Synagogue that an eruv exists, and that they can "carry and push" within it and keep within the carefully defined tenets of Orthodox Judiasm.

The synagogue has even mounted a map of that eruv through the temple's Website so that the Orthodox can know exactly in which area they can do things which they would ordinarily be prohibited from doing on their Sabbath.

For the non-initiates, the presence of the eruv must be taken as an act of someone else's faith for no one has actually seen any of the lechis which are said to be at­tached to various LIPA and Verizon poles, and which would delineate the boundaries of the eruv. More...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fatuous question du jour

...courtesy of CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca, reporting on a school bus which was side-swiped by a car and plunged nose-first off a 610 South Loop overpass onto the lower Telephone Road in Houston, Texas.

At a subsequent press conference, Nathan Graf, Trans­por­ta­tion General Manager for Houston Independent School District, fielded questions from reporters.

When his time came, Villafranca's big question was: More...

Monday, September 14, 2015

!@%$#@¡ Bicyclists!

I'm an old man in an autumnal month if not stage of life, but it's not like 30-40 years ago when I was discovering that everything I thought I knew was either wrong or no longer operative.

One of the things that I've long held is that bicyclists are required to obey the same rules of the road as motorists.

What I've noticed of late is that they not only don't, but they don't in a particularly aggressive manner! More...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Who'd a thunk it?

My cousin Steve Griffing returned to his birthplace this weekend with a hankering to visit Eckart's Luncheonette since there is nothing comparable in his adoptive homes in either Central Florida or Kodiak, Alaska.

In truth, I've always been kinda intimidated by Eckart's from youthful recollections it being the place where the big fellas/power players... Rudy Kammerer, Al Link, Teddy Alpert, Tommy Lavalle, et al... met for their morning coffee to polish up their plans to rule the governments of the Village, the Town and even the County.

(In my early teens, though, my Dad routinely stopped after a morning of tennis in Remsenburg, for a cold mug of Jake Eckart's root beer from the enormous barrel perched atop the marble counter.) More...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Primary Day...

...from the perspective of a worker bee for the Suffolk County Board of Elections, is like a Samual Becket play:

"Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!"
– Estragon, Waiting For Godot, Act I

No kidding... 16½ hours later and Election District 14 processed two (count'em, 2!) voters, a total of 16 in the four EDs using the Westhampton Beach High School as a polling place.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Let's Go Mets!

It is well-established that I am a long-time Dodgers fan... Flatbush or Chavez Ravine, they've been my baseball team and I've bled enough Dodgers Blue to give their one-time manager Tommy LaSorda a run for his devotion.

New York Mets logo

(We actually both started with "dem Bums" in 1949, and been with them ever since.)

And while I've been suffering with the Dodgers' streakiness this season, and generally ignoring the New York teams, I have to say that I've been enjoying the bejabbers out of the Mets of late... they are actually fun to watch! More...

The high cost of Joan

I don't know Sabina Trager, having spoken with her only once when she reached out to elist OtBB in her fight with the Dowager Empress of Oneck and Westhampton Free Library... it was an interminable 20 minute conversation which left me with the impression that the young woman was a whiny ditz unused to being told "No!"

I never for a second, however, doubted her basic thesis that her working relationship with WFL had been termi­nat­ed because an extra-library political decision Ms. Trager made had displeased Joan Levan because, well, because that's how Joan rolls. More...

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Leaving ESPN in the rearview mirror

...and not a moment too soon!

Whatever feelings I've had about Colin Cowherd over the years I've been aware of the "sports media personality," I can truthfully and accurately be described as neutral on the subject... until he was suspended by ESPN in July.

He had joined the Bristol, Connecticut-based cable sports behemoth in 2003 and had been a regular on both radio and television ever since.

Earlier this year he made the decision, not so secretly, that he was going to play out his contract which ended More...

Monday, September 07, 2015

Judy Carne (1939-2015)


The late Judy Carne, née Joyce Audrey Botterill in Northampton, England, never did much for me when she burst on the scene in the mid '60s on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" as the comedy sketch show's "Sock it to Me" girl who always wound up drenched by a bucket of water after uttering her weekly tag line.

(Great hilarity ensued in the form of a recorded "laugh track." It's inconceivable that a similar show could appear on television today.) More...

Saturday, September 05, 2015

All is again right...

...in my Saturday morning agoraphobic world with the return to cable TCM of the "Batman and Robin" serial.

Title logo

When last we left off July 25... wow!, talk about cliffhangers!... our caper crusader protagonist in saggy cotton tights and a cock-eyed cowl, was left unconscious due to a stunning jolt from some electricity-powered machine he'd been knocked into by a trio of bad guys in hats and suits. More...

Friday, September 04, 2015

Sic semper venerabiles domos

The property is at 12 Howell, and while never one of the stately homes of Westhampton Beach, it's in one of the nicer sections of the Village and was long a servicable abode, one belonging to Louis Cerf when I was growing up.

The view from Aspatuck Lane


Thursday, September 03, 2015

September Village Board Meeting

Brian Sokoloff

A substantive monthly meeting of the Westhampton Beach Village Board this evening, mostly because it contained a l-o-o-o-o-n-g overdue presentation in respect to the eruv litigation by the municipality's special counsel on the matter, attorney Brian Sokoloff.

(It must be stressed that the delay was less on the part of Sokoloff and more on the doorstep of the administration... are ya running with me, Maria?)

The upshot of the matter is two-fold: More...

About as far from Westhampton Beach...

...as one can get and still be in a part of the United States that's still attached to North America.

That's where my cousins who grew up next door to me on East Main Street, went for the wedding of their youngest niece, Laura Griffing, on Kodiak Island, August 15th.

Woodie, Rick, George, Steve and Charlie

left to right: brothers David ("Woodie"), Rick, father of the bride George, Steve and Charlie.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Great, just freakin' great!

Although I'm fairly confident that the Killorans of Rem­sen­burg are not members of Hampton Synagogue, they seem to have taken a page from Rabbi Marc Schneier's public relations playbook, availing themselves of any media outlet who'll listen to their long-on-emotional, short-on-rational-thinking, pitch about the plight of their special needs son's unsuccessful attempt to enter the Westhampton Beach School system today.

New York School Wants to Block Student With Down Syndrome on 1st Day

And these:

Long Island school blocks student with Down syndrome from attending

Down syndrome fight: Dad fights school district to gain access for his son

(Can WNBC be far behind? At least "Westhampton Beach" wasn't part of the headlines!) More...

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

This isn't good!

From yesterday afternoon's Riverhead News-Review site:

Cops: Driver ran over curb, found unconscious

From the Riverhead Town Police report of the arrest:

"A Westhampton man allegedly high on drugs was found unconscious with his vehicle in drive in Wading River....

The driver, 36-year-old Eric A. Sweet, was unconscious and the vehicle was safely placed in park.

Police charged Mr. Sweet with driving while ability im­pair­ed by drugs, two counts of criminal possession of a con­trolled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument."

Mr. Sweet is a former Village Beach Manager, and at the time of his arrest was still on the books as a a $15/hour Lifeguard since this past May.

According to a source at Six Corners, the Village beaches being closed this week is an issue of staffing due to stud­ents and teachers returning to school, and is unrelated to this police incident.