Monday, March 20, 2017

TWF 277: Village Mayoral and Board Elections on 3/21/2017 - Tomorrow!

Greetings, Freeport!

As you are no doubt aware, an election is brewing in Freeport, tomorrow, and boy is it a doozy!  Here's your usual The Weekly Freeporter does not endorse candidates within Freeport, and generally ever reminder.  I might make recommendations on other platforms or for outside-of-the-Village, but I don't do politics in Freeport.  My past reporting on both the Hardwick and Kennedy administrations may speak for themselves.

With that said, let's go in order of Rows:  Kennedy is in Row C, so he'll be last, and I believe Mr.  Hardwick has Row B, so we're gonna start with the only one on the list who hasn't been Mayor already, Stephen Drummond!

It's only fair I note that I'm not going to go into depth about the candidates for Trustee.  In many cases, either you know them (as with Mrs.  Pinyero, Mr.  Grossman, and Mr.  Ellerbe), or you don't (as with Mr.  Vargas and others).  While we've certainly seen times when "team" members don't vote with the Mayor they came to office with, in general they are likely to follow most of the same political lines as the mayor they're following.

Also, let's be real:  We all know there's a lot of vitriol in some of these candidacies.

Village of Freeport Mayoral Candidates, 3/21/2017

Row A:  Stephen Drummond.

Mr.  Drummond is certainly the wild-card in this race.  A former U.S. Marine who served as the Village Judge for Andrew Hardwick if I remember correctly, Drummond has clearly decided to strike out on his own.  He made an awesome campaign video that's worth checking out, but as far as policy I see, for starters, a lot of the "law and order" campaign one might expect from a former judge.

He has a plan to improve Freeport you can read at your leisure.  As a Recreation Center person, I like the sound of his plan to revitalize and improve the Recreation Center...But at the same time, if one of Freeport's major woes has been it's pocket book, he'd have to get a helluvalotta funding to do it.  Yet it appears controversy stirs over the number of religious figures he's asked to join him, which came up as far back as when Annette Dennis ran for Trustee.  After all, the argument went then as now - If you don't pay taxes, how do you get control over taxpayer money?

If this were a two-candidate race, I'd say Mr.  Drummond's odds could be very strong.  As it stands, I can't back that viewpoint because there's so much baggage here that it's just hard to imagine people avoiding polarization.

Row B:  Andrew Hardwick

Former Mayor Hardwick was defeated by one of his "Team Hardwick" deputies, Robert Kennedy, in the last Mayoral elections.  Has it been so long, Andrew?  While I always appreciated how direct he was with me during his tenure, he has since gone on to run for offices across Long Island, and I always expressed concern that he did not have a grasp on how public relations worked.

He is nigh-legendary for threatening to cancel the Freeport Nautical Mile Festival and for the "Garbage To Gold" scandal, and what I would have hoped to have heard from Mr.  Hardwick - and seen, through his supporters' actions and outreach - would have been a maturity in his approach.  He was, fairly or not, seen as combative and unwilling to listen; as it stands, there's been far too little outreach for me to understand if this is a serious bid to return to power, or a spiteful grasp at fame.

The hunter who chases two rabbits at the same time often loses sight of them both; I find myself asking what Andrew Hardwick wants to do.  I think his voters will, as well, because my experience in covering small-scale elections tells me to expect him to finish last or close to it.

Row C:  Robert Kennedy

Mayor Kennedy made a move the other day, one that impressed one decades-long resident in both its timing and its function:  That huge plot of land on Sunrise Highway next to the ancient but beautiful bank has been sold, or is being sold, or...Progress, am I right?  When Stop-And-Shop folded, Target came in.  The Nautical Mile Festival works about as well as it ever could; it's still far too reduced in relation to its legacy, but that's what people seem to want.

Is Mr.  Kennedy's tenure perfect?  I'd love to see him build a rock-climbing wall at the Rec, among other massive improvements in funding it would benefit from.  (I'd go into detail, but it'd be a conflict of interest.)  But it's certainly fair to say he is favored, mathematically, to win this race.  He faces divided opposition and presides over a time when factors far beyond him have led Freeport to feel like there's a time of recovery, while Mayor Hardwick's first term started with a national economic crisis and ended with a massive storm.

Perhaps fate was a bit unfair to Mr.  Hardwick, in retrospect, but one has to help oneself and Mr.  Kennedy sure took advantage of his opportunities.  I expect that - regardless of what you think about him or his opponents - Mr.  Kennedy will remain in the Mayor's office.

On Predictions...

Fact is, these predictions of mine:  A Kennedy 1st, Drummond 2nd, Hardwick 3rd outcome, are the predictions of an amateur who only hears what he hears and listens to what he listens to.  I have no horse in this race (I'm no longer in Freeport!), and I am simply reporting this because lately TWF has had a bit of a role to play in bringing up important events - and, I still have family and friends in the Port, and I'm not too far away or unwilling to help the community.

I could be wrong.  I very well might be!  In fact, this article will, as a matter of the Uncertainty Principle, shift the way the world turns.  If my article somehow helps drive voter turnout up, then that's a good thing.

Good luck to all candidates, but voters?  This is on you.  It always is.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

TWF 276: Upcoming Nor'Easter, Dedicating Bishop Frank Otha White Park at 3/13/2017 Board Meeting!

Greetings, Freeport!

I hope you're all bracing for the snow storm expected on Monday Night/Tuesday!  According to Accuweather, it's a Nor'Easter - no fun over the summer, really no fun over the winter - which, I am told, this still is!  They're talking 1-2 feet, give or take, complete with cold temperatures and lots of wind.  With that in mind, time for a "common repost" from this site (which, in fact, might get its own article in the immediate future)...

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.

 - Once the storm is over, call your friends to say hello and make sure they're alright!

Dedication Of Northeast Park to Bishop Frank Otha White

 - Hat Tip to Anthony J.  Miller!

I'll be honest - until today, I had never heard of the good Bishop.  Many of our parks in Freeport, such as John J.  Randall, are dedicated to various Freeport big-wigs, but none may have had the same sort of impact as Bishop White.  He passed on January 20th, 2017, after many years of service at the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC), serving mainly as a financial adviser to the church if I'm understanding the memoriam correctly.

Northeast Park is most definitely a legend among those familiar with the Recreation Department, and it's nestled right near the Meadowbrook.  Go check it out some time!