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What Am I Doing Here?

By Fred Moreno

The phone rang at exactly 11:42 a.m. with the good news that after weeks and weeks of intense negotiations, it was finally decided that I could commence firing, I mean writing, for The Westbury Times. The editor told me that that vote was 5-4 with one abstaining due to lack of interest and that the four people who voted “absolutely no” were familiar with the column I have been writing for The Carle Place Frog Horn for the past 20 years. One of them even added, “just don’t do it!” Wasn’t that the Nike slogan? [Read more...]

Avoid The Heroin Highway Detour

A recent article by Senator Jack Martins regarding “The Heroin Highway” touched upon some very important concerns for every parent in our community. And while most of our children do not find themselves on this “highway,” the statistics and trends for drug use and abuse are alarming. And sadly, in spite of our best efforts, they are not decreasing.
Drug use is not a problem we can arrest our way out of. It is not a problem that emerges overnight because of “bad parenting” as some have proclaimed. It is not a problem that emerges because of one choice in one moment, although we do know that for some, lives can be lost that quickly. More often than not, drug use begins because of so many things that have gone wrong or not enough things going right. It often begins not with the use of drugs but with the breakdown of those things we know to be vital for children growing up in today’s times. [Read more...]

Putting the “I” In Illness

In “This Illness Isn’t Treated Like An Illness” (The Weekend, April 9-15), Claudia Peters Ragni makes the case that substance abusers’ addictions to alcohol, pills, and heroin “should be treated the same as other diseases” (because) “treating addicts differently from how we treat people with any chronic disease isn’t okay.” While she briefly concedes that “substance addiction is a disease with a behavioral component,” she seems unwilling to admit what an understandable difference that makes in why “it’s not looked at in the same way.”
I don’t think it’s surprising that people tend to sympathize with “innocent victims” a lot more than with people who cause their own problems by their stubbornly-bad life choices.
Most people suffering from diseases such as muscular dystrophy, leukemia, asthma, sickle cell anemia, ALS, Parkinson’s, arthritis, rheumatism, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and countless other debilitating conditions did nothing to cause it. Whether the “blame” is on bacteria, viruses or defective genes, these victims are suffering through no fault of their own. For them, it was unforseeable and unavoidable. [Read more...]

The Overworked American

I’m a journalist, author and psychoanalyst. I have written editorials and have been editorialized myself in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. When I read Michael Miller’s “Viewpoint” (“American’s Deserve a Life After 6 p.m.,” The Westbury Weekend, April 30-May 6), I recognized it as one of the finest editorial pieces I have ever come across.
I recall the first time I watched the infamous Cadillac commercial Mr. Miller referred to, and how persuasive and really evil it was. For those who have not seen the ad, it was a 60-second spot of a handsome actor walking through his luxury home, past his built-in pool and approaching his new Cadillac. All the while he discusses how ridiculous the lazy French are for taking off “all of August!” and how Americans are so smart to be willing to sacrifice all their time and energy to work and buy and work and buy. [Read more...]

A Community For All Seasons…Including A Marathon?

Hosting the LI Marathon right through our Community for all Seasons, what a great event! But, where were all of our villagers? As far as I can tell, Westbury is the only community through which the runners pass.
I stood on Post Avenue from 7:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, May 4 and saw about 30 bystanders to cheer on the runners.
I saw the first marathoner, a man in a wheelchair, followed by a wonderful cross-section of folks of all ages, even The Hulk and a few Superman-participants! Many runners thanked me for my support. I got a few “high 5’s” from runners, and a young boy standing in front of The Space at Westbury got more “high-5’s” than I did.
One fellow on-looker down near Rite-Aid mentioned to me that her son runs in many marathons, but his worst time is the LI Marathon, which he attributes to the fact that there are so few people coming to see the runners. [Read more...]