Sunday, September 16, 2018

TWF 285: LI Cares Provides Veterans' Resources And More!


Greetings, Freeporters!

First off, I just want to thank the many of you who took it upon yourselves to share the last topic Icovered, the potential bias-attack which happened in Freeport. The story got picked up by the Long Island Herald's Nadya Nataly, to boot, but we're still looking out for who was responsible.  (Oh, and Earlene Hooper lost her primary, too!  But we won't go into that...)


On a much more positive note, today I'm covering something simple, cut up and dry: Military Appreciation Tuesdays sponsored by (if I'm reading this document right) LI Cares! Except maybe it's not that cut and dry, so I'll talk about why!




I didn't want to make this article into more than it already was:  Promoting and signal-boosting a flier letting Veterans know that on Tuesdays, Veterans are being offered a five days' supply of food from LI Cares and the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Their location is at the Nassau Service Center, 21E Sunrise Highway, and that's what the flier says!

...
Except that I went to LI Cares' website and was hit with the stunning realization that, honestly, there's a lot here that doesn't get talked about very much, at least not with regards to the digital walled gardens on the internet. It's more than just a place that offers food; it offers full-fledged nutritional advice, as well as opportunities for people to volunteer (Maybe you need a PIG Project, Freeport student?) and to help raise funds for. There's a lot one could pick up on as a way to help out, or receive help, as necessary. If you're doing well, consider donating!

Anyway, take care and best wishes!


Jesse Pohlman is an author from Freeport, New York and he occasionally likes to talk about positive things in his old home-town.  Do YOU have a charitable event you'd like to see promoted?  Are you putting on a public service type of activity?  Let us know!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

TWF 284: A Call For Help w/a Bias Crime in Freeport!

Greetings, Freeporters,


I hope you had a refreshing holiday, but unfortunately I have to tell a terrible tale, today. Just before Labor Day Weekend, a very good family was the victim of a subtle vandalism that verges, in my humble opinion, into the "Bias" or “Hate Crime” territory – and it happened right here, in Freeport. The silver lining to this situation is that you – yes, you! - may be able to help fix the problem.

Celia and Patricia (last names redacted) who live on Miller Avenue (not too far from my old home, actually!), are fond of flying their rainbow flag next to their American one. For those who don't know, the rainbow flag is a symbol of the LGBTQ+ rights movement – shorthand for Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer, and others. On August 29th, early in the morning, a strange man who none of them knew walked up onto their porch and snatched their rainbow flag down and tossed it into the bushes.  The below still image was taken from a video re-posted at the bottom of this article:





Take a moment to think that even in 2018 there is clear and deliberate discrimination taking place in our own community. Freeport Police have already been contacted by the family as well as their neighbors, but if you're wondering what we can do to help, here it is – we can signal-boost the story and, hopefully, one of you dear readers will know who is responsible. For, you see, Celia shared a picture – and even some video- of the deed being done with me (and the rest of Facebook). I asked her if it would be alright for me to write an article to draw attention to the incident using her pictures, and she agreed.

The good news here, besides the fact that this family isn't backing down, is that if you can recognize who did it, it would be greatly appreciated for you to call the Freeport Police and inform them of your tip. The WORST case scenario, if you recognize the person, is that you mis-identify them; there would be no harm done in the long run, because they would be cleared. Afterwards, you can reach out and we can all meet up and talk about it, but the key thing is to help detectives at FPD make progress.

(Editorial Note:  I will include video once we can ensure the source file's security is appropriate for the victims)


Sunday, July 29, 2018

TWF 283 - Ethan's Lemonade Stand Hits Freeport, August 12th, Supporting Freeport Educational Foundation!

Hello, Freeport!

I recently came across this little poster, and it encouraged me to dip back into my roots and talk about some Freeport-related stuff.




So, let's break it down:  Ethan's Lemonade Stand can be found on Go Fund Me, a charity crowd-funding website. This is apparently the third annual event put on by Mrs. Juanita Francois, with all proceeds going to the Freeport Educational Foundation.  I'll let FEF tell you about itself:  "The mission of the FEF is to change the lives of the children in the Freeport Public Schools by funding innovative educational programs that provide extraordinary learning experiences."  With that in mind, it's operated primarily by the Freeport Public Schools Board of Education (or, at least a prior incarnation of it).  It's an organized effort to basically raise money to help Freeport students, and that's a great cause!

And I'm not saying that just because I spent nigh-on five years being a part of Freeport's educational success stories.

So, let's talk about the event in question, and - again - I'll let the organization speak for itself!  "In the past all of the proceeds have went to Alex's Lemonade Stand and also The Prostate Cancer Foundation. This year I've chosen Freeport Educational Foundation (FEF), which is a local organization. On Sunday, August 12th, 2018  from 11am to 4pm, at 28 Elinor place, Freeport NY 11520, I will be hosting my 3rd annual Lemonade Stand. Come join us as we will have raffles and of course LEMONADE! "

On the downside, I have no idea what the parking for this will be like, but even if you can't make it, you can definitely still contribute via GoFundMe - it's actually a pretty brilliant way to integrate your fundraising.  With that said, hey!  Lemonade!  And fundraising for a good cause!  What more could you want?  Anyhow, I just wanted to shed what little light I could on this group and the fundraiser in question.


Jesse Pohlman is a writer, educator, and general person born and raised in Freeport, and still a lover of the Village Of Freeport.  If you enjoy reading, why not pick up one of his novels?  They're available digitally and cheap!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

TWF 282 - The Freeport Weatherman (No, not really) Predicts Another Storm.

Hi, again.

Look, I know you don't want to hear about the incoming weather, anymore.  Spring has sprung and all of that, and you wanna be done with the snow.  You'd probably rather save yourself the click on this Accuweather link explaining it all more scientifically than your local blog-writer ever could, right?

Let's just get down to brass tacks:



In case you're wondering:  Yes, Long Island is in that 12-18 inch band that'll hit us by Wednesday night.  That's significantly more snow than we got with regards to the previous two storms, most of which had melted off of our sidewalks by the end of the day.  It's being called Nor'Easter 4, but as one Twitter user, Robbie, explained:





Basically put another way by Mary Flaherty, whose name is quite alliterative by the way:




So, you know the drill.  Now for me to re-post some common winter safety tips:

Try to stock up on anything you need before the snow gets heavy.  It goes without saying that if you can't drive safely, if you can't move well, then you are at risk of getting injured while walking around, or crashing your car if you risk driving.  I know it's kind of an old motif, but get your "bread and milk" now.
 - Keep your pets and beloved animals inside!!!  They won't be able to move through two feet of snow any better than you will, and if the temperature is cold out, they can get sick or even freeze to death.  Have some compassion.  If you can, put out a large styrofoam box/cooler/something, stuffed with a spare blanket or two, for local stray cats/animals to take shelter in; in these days, compassion is a must.  If you've got some spare pet food, put that out - staying warm burns calories.
 - Help your neighbors clear the snow from their sidewalks if you can.  If possible - and I mean unless you absolutely cannot - clear out a 3-feet circle around your nearby fire hydrants.  (via TJ Johnson.)  Make sure to dress warmly, wear sturdy and stable boots, and take your time shoveling!
 - If the power goes out, be careful with candles! Nobody needs a fire!
 Keep a cell phone handy; a battery-powered radio is a good idea, too.  If you need to report a non-life-threatening emergency, call the Nassau County line at 1-888-684-4274.  For medical emergencies ONLY, use 911.
 - Get your car off the road!  Park your cars in your driveway, if you can. (Via FFD member Robert Volpe).
 - Try to have cash available!  In the event that there is no electricity to run credit cards or operate ATMs, you'll want to have money around if you need to pay for anything.



Jesse Pohlman is the editor/producer/whatever of The Weekly Freeporter, which is in Retirement Mode and mainly only covers issues that effect all of Nassau County/Long Island.  If you're a science-fiction/fantasy fan, he also writes those kind of novels, available through Amazon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

TWF 281 - Major winter storm "Quinn" coming to the Long Island region, 3/08/2018

Hello folks!

I didn't want to fail to comment on this coming storm, but I'm taking care of some family business so it's not going to be a long post.

Starting later tonight, around 10pm according to Accuweather.com, it's going to start snowing quite significantly.  The storm is supposed to carry on until Thursday morning.  School cancellations are possible, and will likely be listed on the school's webpage, www.freeportschools.org.



Refresher On Severe Weather Tips

Freeport, we've survived a lot worse than this storm guy (Sandy, anyone?).  However, this isn't a push-over, either.  Just yesterday we received a few inches of snow, plus a great deal of rain.  Make no mistake - This effects our water run-off technologies, in the form of storm drains.  If you're familiar with the Dunkin Donuts on Atlantic Avenue (My local favorite), you know how it is an unfortunate victim of this problem:  Heavy rain will clog up its drainage system.  Heavy rain plus cold temperatures could freeze it, along with other drains around town and even around Long Island.

In short:  Flooding is most definitely possible in any snowstorm.

More importantly, there will be a lot of snow, possibly in the 1-2 foot area.  Cars don't like this.  People can barely walk through it, with a lot of effort.  With that in mind, I want to refresh some of our infamous winter weather tips.  If you have a tip to put forward, let us know!  (Editorial note:  I have no idea what's up with this formatting.)

Try to stock up on anything you need before the snow gets heavy.  It goes without saying that if you can't drive safely, if you can't move well, then you are at risk of getting injured while walking around, or crashing your car if you risk driving.  I know it's kind of an old motif, but get your "bread and milk" now.
 - Keep your pets and beloved animals inside!!!  They won't be able to move through two feet of snow any better than you will, and if the temperature is cold out, they can get sick or even freeze to death.  Have some compassion.  If you can, put out a large styrofoam box/cooler/something, stuffed with a spare blanket or two, for local stray cats/animals to take shelter in; in these days, compassion is a must.  If you've got some spare pet food, put that out - staying warm burns calories.
 - Help your neighbors clear the snow from their sidewalks if you can.  If possible - and I mean unless you absolutely cannot - clear out a 3-feet circle around your nearby fire hydrants.  (via TJ Johnson.)  Make sure to dress warmly, wear sturdy and stable boots, and take your time shoveling!
 - If the power goes out, be careful with candles! Nobody needs a fire!
 Keep a cell phone handy; a battery-powered radio is a good idea, too.  If you need to report a non-life-threatening emergency, call the Nassau County line at 1-888-684-4274.  For medical emergencies ONLY, use 911.
 - Get your car off the road!  Park your cars in your driveway, if you can. (Via FFD member Robert Volpe).
 - Try to have cash available!  In the event that there is no electricity to run credit cards or operate ATMs, you'll want to have money around if you need to pay for anything.

Friday, March 2, 2018

TWF 280: Nor-Easter/Bomb Cyclone heading for Long Island, 3/2/2018

Hello, world!

Hope you're all having a great time.  This is just another voice to echo the calls for caution in the coming days.  As per Accuweather.com, a significant storm is heading to the neighborhood.  They contend, "Winds as strong as predicted can knock down trees, cause damage property and make loose objects into projectiles. Walking, standing or driving through areas where there is a canopy of trees may be very dangerous during the storm."  By Friday, Accuweather predicts that it will be about 35 degrees with a significant risk for a thin layer of snow.

Clearly, this is not a storm to be played with.

Citing the National Weather Service, the Village of Freeport's Office of Emergency Management issued this warning at approximately 10:00 PM:

"FREEPORT'S OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IS ISSUING THIS WEATHER NOTICE TO FREEPORT RESIDENTS, THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2018
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A COASTAL FLOOD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM
7:30 AM FRIDAY MORNING TO 11 AM
8:30 PM FRIDAY EVENING TO 11:30 PM
8 AM SATURDAY MORNING TO 11 AM AND
9 PM SATURDAY EVENING TO 12:30 AM SUNDAY MORNING.
ALSO A HIGH WIND WARNING 11 AM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH 6 AM SATURDAY MORNING.
WINDS EXPECTED TO BE 25 TO 45 MPH WITH GUSTS UP 60 MPH
RESIDENTS SHOULD PLAN ON MOVING PERSONNEL PROPERTY AND THEIR CARS TO HIGHER GROUND DURING THESE TIDE CYCLES. WITH THE HIGH WINDS PLEASE TIE DOWN ANY LOSE ITEMS IN YOUR YARD
FREEPORT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IS MONITORING THIS IMPENDING EVENT AND WILL KEEP EVERYONE UPDATED AS NEEDED.
ADDITIONAL STORM RELATED INFORMATION MAY BE FOUND ON TV OR NOAA RADIO ON RADIO STATION 1690 AM ON FREEPORT’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT’S RADIO STATION 24/7."


What that basically means is that the southern end of Freeport can expect significant flooding, especially during high tide.  We can also expect some significant wind damage on Long Island, in general, with the potential for power outages.  Then there's the rain which may turn to snow!  What fun!

If you need to stock up on any goods, do so between the times listed above, in particular between 11:00 AM and 8:30 PM.  This will be early enough in the day that you won't get caught in the snow, and the risk of flooding is reduced.


The Weekly Freeporter is a freely available, but no-longer-weekly publication by Jesse Pohlman, who also writes science-fiction and fantasy novels you can pick up on Amazon.  It typically only comes out of retirement for weather/safety purposes.

Monday, November 6, 2017

TWF 279: Evaluating the racism of Jack Martins' “New Neighbors” ad.

Greetings, Freeport and Long Island,

I don't often use this space to talk politics, and I refuse even now for The Weekly Freeporter as a no-longer-weekly blog to issue full-fledged endorsements. However, a recent scourge has emerged in Nassau County and it cannot go unanswered.

What you're about to see is the front page of the “New Neighbors” ad distributed by either supporters of Jack Martins, Republican candidate for County Executive in tomorrow's election, or Jack Martins' campaign, itself. As you should know, “supporters of” are very often just extensions of the campaign.

Once we look at this document, we're going to assess what it's 'trying' to say, and what it really suggests and why, as the title of this article suggests, it is a blatantly racist attempt to scare voters into voting against Laura Curran, the Democratic candidate in the race.

The "New Neighbors" ad; this particular photo comes courtesy of Adam Haber


Meet your new neighbors!”

First of all, let's evaluate the claim this ad makes. The ad opens with a suggestion that “Laura Curran will roll out the welcome mat for violent gangs like MS-13.” The photo at center is of these mean-faced gang members (who I've heard were probably actually filmed in a foreign country's jail, but I don't have proof of that just yet), dangerous criminals who are about to move in next door or across the street. Surely, that's a scary image, isn't it?! I mean, aren't these guys intimidating?

Is there a single shred of evidence offered to prove Curran wants to bring gang members into your neighborhood? No.

The ad suggests (without citing evidence) Larrau Curran works for “special interest groups” from New York City, and goes on to say, “These groups want to make Nassau County a sanctuary county for illegal immigrants and protect those convicted of violent crimes from deportation.” Okay. Once again, absolutely no evidence gets cited in this argument. Not a footnote to, say, a Newsday article which ran a quote from Curran.

I have asked people who support Mr. Martins on Twitter (and copied Mr. Martins' Twitter account in on the conversations) if they could provide any proof or quote of Curran's suggesting she is indeed guilty of what certainly sounds like a dangerous crime, the way they've put it. (Keep that last bit in mind.) Of course, none could actually prove Curran complicit in bringing gang members into Nassau County, but let's get at the real root of this problem.

I am calling this ad racist, along with proponents of it, and you deserve to know why.

Dog Whistles And Megaphones

During my search on Twitter to figure out an answer, I ran into a user named Christopher Shea (@CkeefeShea), among others. According to him, the “New Neighbors” ad was really about Laura Curran's beliefs on what's called “Sanctuary city,” or perhaps "Sanctuary county" status. This is a vague argument to begin with, but as an example of what that means, New York City won't let Immigration officers into their schools without a warrant. That, my friends, sounds reasonable from a Constitutional perspective, doesn't it? You're not allowed to just randomly sweep people up because you think they might have done something wrong (and immigration sweeps often net legal immigrants and US Citizens, so there's that to consider). You need a warrant for that. Period.

The implication, as this ad's producers would have you believe, is that Laura Curran wants to make Nassau into a “Sanctuary County,” and that this would by definition give gang members in MS-13 and other organizations a safe haven in our home.  To quote Mr. Shea, "Bottom line, sanctuary policies create safe havens for violent gangs like MS-13."  I have no reason to believe Mr. Shea doesn't truly believe this to be the case, but that only makes him at best a victim of race-baiting.

Okay. Deep breaths. We now understand their underlying argument.

Here's why it is inescapably racist:

MS-13 has become something of a 'dog whistle' on Long Island.  A 'dog whistle' is a type of political speech that might sound perfectly normal, but to those listening for the right cues it reinforces negative racial, ethnic, religious, or otherwise stereotypes.  The New Neighbors ad is a dog whistle aimed not just at White Supremacist terrorist groups, but really at anyone who is simply afraid or anxious about demographic trends showing America's changing face.  The picture and the wording suggests, “Hey, you see these really bad examples of an immigrant to this country? They're all like this.”   It is a stereotype of epic proportions, and a viciously negative one, at that. 

It would be as if the only popular image of Italian immigrants were those of La Familia, the deadly Mafia who would kill you if you didn't pay your protection money on time. That's a scary and even, to a limited extent, accurate perception of Italian-American history! Yes! We (for I am, in part, Italian-American) have had problems with organized crime in the “New Country” as well as the “Old Country).

It would be as if saying all German-Americans (for I am also German-American) are not to be trusted because Germany collapsed into fascism and Naziism in the 1930's and 40's.  We know that many Germans resisted the Nazis, even if it led to their demise.

It would be as if, wouldn't you know, that the Irish were regarded as stupid “Molly” and “Mick” characters that are still so prevalent that Notre Dame's mascot is indeed the “Fighting Irish,” who happens to look like a leprechaun. "No Irish Need Apply" was a popular slogan during the Industrial era and the Irish diaspora.  Police vans are sometimes called “Paddy Wagons” because so many “Paddys” (AKA Irishmen) were arrested for drunken brawling that, well...You get the impression. (P.S., I'm also Irish-American. I'm a mutt).

My point: By seizing on the scariest possible imagery to explain all illegal immigrants that would be protected by a “sanctuary” status in Nassau County (one that this image fails to prove is even on Curran's mind), the authors conclude that Laura Curran is “MS-13's choice for county executive.”

This conclusion, reinforced by what Martins supporters suggest is their own understanding of the ad, proves that it is indeed racist. When challenged on the connection between the image's negative stereotype of Hispanic-Americans and illegal immigrants alike, I heard pitiable answers: “Who cares if majority are Hispanic for freaking crying out loud. Deport all them!” said Craw (@CWForSheeze) with a tenuous grasp on grammar.

An Anti-Endorsement of Jack Martins

Martins has, according to all accounts I've seen, and from my own attempts to reach out to him via social media, hidden from this ad's fall-out in the most exceptionally cowardly way imaginable. He could have stood up and said, “No, I don't stand for this ad, I don't believe that all immigrants – even all of those not here legally – are criminals. Most of them are just trying to have a better life and are running away from things that you and I would probably want to run away from, too,” but saying something like that would take courage, of which Jack Martins has demonstrated none.

I do not use this publication to endorse candidates, but I will certainly Anti-Endorse Jack Martins. Vote for anyone but him, tomorrow. He's either too cowardly to confront his supporters' racism, or too racist to treat all Nassau residents fairly. Either one makes him an unqualified candidate to lead Nassau County in the 21st century.  Vote Democrat, vote Green, vote Libertarian - vote for anyone whose name isn't Jack Martins, because Jack Martins doesn't have the guts to confront this racism as you have, upon reading this.