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The Trouble With Garage Sales

It seems that yard sales, garage sales, tag sales and other events of that nature are more popular than ever on the peninsula these days and we’d like to make some observations about them.

These sales are no longer “local” in nature as the Internet and social media (Facebook, Craigslist, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) are being used to spread the word. Advertising is no longer limited to handmade signs posted on lampposts, utility poles, trees and community bulletin boards.

Savvy smartphone users can even download a number of apps that tell shoppers where the sales are by zip code.

Consequently, these sales often draw customers who are unfamiliar with our streets and parking rules, so it’s not rare to see usually quiet weekend streets jammed with cars double parked, in front of driveways and by fire hydrants, making driving down those narrowed streets quite difficult.

We’ve seen lots of careless driving by drivers obviously paying more attention to what’s for sale rather than to their driving. We urge everyone to be careful.

The competition involved in being the first on line to score a bargain has increased. Cars are regularly lining up long before opening times. We’ve even met a driver who slept in the vehicle overnight, so as to be first on line to sign in for a tag sale.

And, if you’re holding a sale yourself, we’d appreciate it if you’d make it a point to go around the neighborhood after your sale has concluded and take those signs down.

—Andy Newman

Restaurant Week Should Be Every Week

Restaurant Week, July 21 to Aug. 14, should be celebrated every week during the year. In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your local neighborhood restaurant. There are so many great restaurants within the heart of our main commercial artery along Middle Neck Road in various villages from Great Neck Plaza to Kings Point along with Northern Boulevard.

My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our local businesses survive. Don’t forget your cook and server at your favorite local neighborhood restaurant. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill, including taxes. If it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering take out, we always leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. It is appreciated.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs have continued to create new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally-funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment, especially to students during the summer. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.

Please join me and your neighbors in continuing to support the Great Neck Record. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the necessary revenues to help keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad.

—Larry Penner 

Please Drive Carefully

There Are Lots of Children Around 

School is out and there are a lot more youngsters out and about all day long. Little children playing outside, older ones skateboarding and riding bikes, and young people of all ages walking to and from town. And while Great Neck is often praised as a very nurturing, very safe, community, there are definitely dangers out there on the roads.

More and more we hear people complaining about dangerous driving.

Even though we do have a hands-free cell phone law, it does seem that every other car we see on the road has a driver chatting away, holding a cell phone. Stop signs have really become ‘stoptional’ and double parking seems to be the rule.

We could go on an on, but we won’t. It suffices to say that we should all use our heads and follow the law when driving. Arriving a few minutes late never killed anyone, but disregarding traffic laws while you rush has claimed many lives.

And please, please, remember to watch out for the children when you drive!

Wendy Karpel Kreitzman 

Protect Your Home

It’s summertime and as many of us are planning vacations, it’s important to address the need to protect your home while you are away.

Each year, when we ask our police officers for tips, the answer is pretty much the same: use some common sense, and take precautions.

When you head out, always leave indoor and outdoor lights on a timer. And be sure to leave a car in the driveway.

Another simple safety measure is letting your neighbors know you’ll be away. They can check the house, making sure it’s secure and no strangers are about. Having neighbors walk around the house a few times will make it appear that the house isn’t empty.

An alarm system is a wonderful safety enhancement, too.

When you are ready to leave for vacation, call the police and let them know when you’ll be gone, where you can be reached in an emergency, who, if anyone, will be at your house and which cars will be parked in the driveway. The police will check your house more often.

In the midst of all of the excitement, planning and last-minute getaway work, don’t forget to protect your home before you leave.

­Wendy Karpel Kreitzman

Protecting College Students

Governor Cuomo’s “Enough is Enough” legislation marks a critical step in the battle against sexual assault. Aimed at protecting college students in both public and private campuses, the bill makes New York only the second state in the nation to pass this type of law.

In order to reorient the approach to sex between college students and the ways to respond to sexual assault, “Enough is Enough” standardizes the definition of “affirmative consent,” as a “knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity.” The bill also requires campuses to distribute to all students a Students’ Bill of Rights notifying victims of both their rights and resources for help in sexual assault cases. In addition, the bill establishes a statewide amnesty policy that gives students reporting cases of sexual assault immunity for campus policy violations and institutes a unit within the state police to work with colleges.

As a proud parent of a young lady who will be entering college this fall and an elected official, I applaud state lawmakers for taking a firm stance on this problem. Their willingness to enact legislation on behalf of our students not only acknowledges the pervasive threat sexual assault poses, but also shows that members of both parties can come together to address pressing social problems. By defining affirmative consent, obliging all New York college campuses to distribute a Bill of Rights to students, and establishing a relationship between state police and campuses, this law will facilitate and standardize the mechanisms by which sexual assault cases are handled, protecting the rights of both reporting individuals and respondents. “Enough is Enough” will distinguish New York as a leader in the effort to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault on campuses. I am optimistic that this legislation will raise awareness and help protect our sons and daughters from a problem plaguing college campuses nationwide.

For more information, please visit www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/nyregion/new-yorks-lawmakers-agree-on-campus-sexual-assault-laws.html?_r=0 or http://observer.com/2015/06/cuomos-campus-sexual-assault-bill-to-become-a-law/.

Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, District 4

To The Charleston Congregation

I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the faithful of Emanuel A.M.E. Church on the tragic passing of your pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, and your fellow congregants, whose lives were taken from us in such a shocking manner.

I write this letter to you wearing two different hats. The first is of a fellow Charleston native, who grew up in the “Holy City” and who is intimately familiar with the rich history of the Lowcountry. Many of you may actually know my father, Samuel Rosen (“Doctor Sam”), whose Avenue Pharmacy and then Charleston Cut-Rate Drug Stores were fixtures of downtown Charleston for decades before he retired about 10 years ago. My parents still reside in Charleston, and though I have been living elsewhere since shortly after I graduated from Middleton High School in 1989, I still, and will always, consider myself a Charlestonian. My parents have been lifelong members of Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue, located in downtown Charleston, less than one mile from your church.

My second hat is that of the president of my local synagogue, the Young Israel of Great Neck, and additionally as a member of the Great Neck Community Council of Synagogue Presidents, in Great Neck, Long Island, New York, where I live with my wife and four sons. Like Charleston, Great Neck is a community with residents of diverse backgrounds and faiths, and one that prides itself on such diversity.

At our recent meeting, all of the members of the Council expressed our collective horror at the events that befell your congregation last week. While we may not have been able to physically attend the vigils and prayer services in Charleston, as I understand many of the members of the local Jewish community have done, we wished to send a letter to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

We have watched with awe and admiration at the inspiring manner in which you have responded to this tragedy, and we can only hope and pray that your incredible strength during this time of darkness will serve as a lesson to all that prejudice and hate will not deter us from our missions. We stand in solidarity with you and wish you no more sorrow or pain, and hope that you will be able to emerge stronger and unified, with a new sense of purpose.

Eric P. Rosen

On The Wage Board Hearing

I was glad to read Newsday’s coverage of the wage board hearing in “400 turn out for LI hearing on fast-food wage increase (June 18, 2015).” Along with 400 others, I was fortunate enough to attend this event.  While at the hearing, I was greatly moved by the testimony of fast food workers trying to survive on the minimum wage of $8.75 an hour.  One worker broke out into tears while saying that because of extreme financial restraints, she has never been able to give her 5-year-old child a birthday party.

The majority of those at the hearing were in support of raising the wage to $15 an hour, but there were a few who stood out in opposition. Thomas Spero, an owner of four Wendy’s restaurants, was among them as covered in Newsday’s article (June 18, 2015). Spero started his testimony by sharing his own story of starting out as a minimum wage fast food worker decades ago, earning $6 an hour, to becoming a successful owner of four Wendy’s restaurants. While his story seemed to exemplify the typical American dream of working hard and moving up, he failed to recognize that his earnings of $6 an hour had much higher purchasing power than the $8.75 minimum wage of 2015. When adjusted for inflation, fast food workers in 2015 are making less now than decades ago when Spero was a food worker. Fast food workers are not asking for anything special, they are simply asking for the fair wage that they deserve. I hope the Wage Board takes into account the opinion of the vast majority of the 400 people in attendance and increases the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour.

Andrew Simon

Congratulations to Our Grads

The Great Neck Record congratulates all of our graduates of the Class of 2015. We offer our very best wishes to each and every graduate, from the smallest ones “graduating” from preschool, to the elementary school and middle school graduates, up to the high school, college and graduate school graduates.

We hope that each graduate takes with him or her not only a wealth of knowledge, but an array of interesting experiences and some special friendships too. We wish you wonderful memories.

And, as well, we hope that each graduate is eagerly looking forward to the next exciting step in life, be it a continuation of school or a first step into the work world. We wish you a fulfilling future.

Congratulations to all of Great Neck’s graduates.

Wendy Karpel Kreitzman

Mayor Kreitzman Says “Thanks”

I would like to thank the residents of the Village of Great Neck for the honor and privilege of serving them as their mayor for the past eight years. I am humbled and proud of our many accomplishments and of the significant resident involvement in so many of them.

I would also like to thank our village employees and volunteer board members. It has been an absolute pleasure knowing and working with them. I do not know how to adequately express my feelings for my dedicated and hardworking trustees. The recognitions and awards the village and I have received are due to all of their efforts.

Lastly, I congratulate my opponents, and I hope that they will do a great job for our residents and our great village. I already have reached out to my successor to offer my assistance.

Ralph J. Kreitzman

Train Courtesy Wanted

Great Neck residents “MTA’s Courtesy Campaign Fights Uphill Battle” (Eye On The Island by Mike Barry, June 10) face many daily challenges in our travels. As subway riders, we have to deal with conductors who close the doors while crossing the platform attempting to transfer from a local to the express train. Try looking for the proper way to depose of your old newspaper as more trash cans are removed from more stations. Riders have to deal with aggressive panhandlers, eating as if one is at home or restaurant, those hogging two seats, yawning, coughing or sneezing without covering up and the release of flatulence. Women are routinely accosted by gropers while perverts engage in other unhealthy sexual activities.

Many have grown tired dealing with rats, mice and litter. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority should consider installing separate cans for recycling newspapers, plastic and glass along with regular garbage. Selling advertising on the side of cans could generate revenue to help cover the costs of more frequent off-peak and late-night collection and disposal. If asked, the New York City Department of Sanitation could do the same on the street adjacent to subway station entrances.

The odds of finding a working safe clean bathroom for “relief” in time are limited. Until the early 1960s, most subway stations had clean, safe, working bathrooms with toilet paper. Revenues generated from a $.10 fee helped cover the costs. Why not consider charging a fee between $.25 and a dollar? That would generate revenue to assign a matron along with covering security and maintenance costs. This could help provide secure, fully-equipped bathrooms at most of the 465 subway stations. Many riders would gladly pay this small price to ensure working bathrooms rather than face the current unpleasant alternatives which contribute to dirty subways.

Many have long since forgotten that up until the late 1960s, it was common to find both penny gum and $.10 soda machines dispensing products at many subway stations. It was a time when people respected authority and law. That generation of riders did not litter subway stations and buses leaving behind gum, candy wrappers, paper cups, bottles and newspapers. No one would openly eat pizza, chicken or other messy foods while riding a bus or subway.

Larry Penner