On Media Bias

September 1, 2018

SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

Is the media, animal, vegetable or mineral? I’m not sure. But one thing I am sure of is that the media is not only biased but also unprofessional, un-American, and untrustworthy.

 

Consider The New York Times (NYT), the so-called premier newspaper and leader of journalistic integrity. Remember that they supposedly live by the motto “all the news that’s fit to print.” So, if the NYT is biased, would it be unreasonable to consider that others in the media are also biased?

 

Here is my case against the NYT, and I ask that you draw your own conclusion. What follows are 30 undoctored/unedited NYT front page headlines over the 6-9 to 7-17 time period (I went on vacation 7-18). As noted, these are the NYT’s unedited headlines…not mine. Note that I chose to italicize some words. I ask the reader to consider these headlines in deciding the objectivity of this newspaper. Here goes.

 

6/9:     Trump Confronts Allies Over Excluding Russia and Barriers to Trade. Stark Rejection of the Geopolitical Order. Europe, Japan and Canada answer with Anger

6/9:     Risks for President in Attack on the Health Law

6/10:   Trump Confronts Allies over Excluding Russia

6/11:   Outbursts Isolate Trump Before Meeting with Kim

6/11:   Officials Dig in vs. Canada, and Allies Recoil

6/12:   Trump Upends Global Trade Order Built by U.S.

6/13:   President Pitch to Kim Yields Vow with Few Details

6/14:   Vote Secures Trump’s Grip on the G.O.P.: Candidates Now Cross Him At Their Peril

6/14:   President Claims His Talks ended Nuclear Threat, Specifies Still Scarce Over a Path for Reaching Disarmament

6/18:   In Senate Bid, a Provocateur Evokes Trump

6/19:    Trump Resisting a Growing Wrath for Separation

6/19:   Europe Allies, Grip Slipping, Get U.S. Shove; Anti-Migrant Remarks Aimed at Germany

6/21:   In Retreat, Trump Halts Separating Migrant Families

6/22:   4 Military Bases Prepare to Hold 20,000 Children: Chaos on the Ground

6/23:   Migrants Order Tosses a Wrench into the System; Contradicting Policies; Zero Tolerance Clashes Rule to Keep Families Intact

7/1:     How Free Speech Was Weaponized by Conservatives

7/3:     Facing Reinvention as Trump Tightens Grip

7/4:     Trump Wants No Due Process at U.S. Border; Constitutional Worries After A Fiery Attack

7/7:     Trade War Rises, and Trump Plan Remains a Puzzle; Path to Goals is Murky

7/9:     U.S. Delegation Disrupts Accord on Breast Milk

7/10:    Fierce and Costly Fight Over Court Nomination Commence in Capitol

7/12:    Trump Undercuts Leader of Britain After NATO Clashes

7/12:    Fire and Fury as FBI Agent Defends His Decision

7/13:    Trump Embraces Russia As His Aides Make a Fist

7/14:    The President Takes His Denigration of Journalists on the Road

7/15:    Trump’s Choice: Beltway Insider Born and Bred, Father was Lobbyist

7/16:    Gains for Russia as Trump Attacks Allies

7/16:    Trump Rattles Global Order

7/17     Trump, With Putin, Attacks 2016 Intelligence

7/17:    Disdain for U.S. Institutions and Praise for an Adversary

7/17 – 7/28: On Vacation

 

Hope the biased case has been made. Also note that the NYT never reported anything on Trump and/or his Administration of a positive nature. Never.  Not one word last month on Trump securing the return of our fallen heroes from North Korea. WOW!

 

What has the media been reporting on? Obstructing justice (for 18 months), collusion with the Russians (for 18 months), stealing the election (for 18 months), hatred for minorities (for 18 months), hatred for illegal immigrants (for 18 months), hatred for America (), exploitation of workers, etc., etc. It’s Comedy Central watching the raw hatred of the liberal fanatics – who continue to fail to report and/or distort the news and are now pushing for violent action – for this individual some of us once viewed as a buffoon. I can’t wait to see what attacks, based on the usual lies, false information, etc., will be forthcoming in the near and distant future. At the time of the preparation of this article it was Manifort and Cohen. Folks, it is indeed Comedy Central.

 

In the meantime, a spoiled billionaire egomaniac playboy (who some of us used to laugh at) somehow overcame insurmountable odds to win the primary, won the election, and deliver on his promises to the electorate – all despite opposition from unions, liberals, the Democratic party, the Republican party, the cesspool in Washington, some truly crazed women, the corrupt media, Hollywood, foreign leaders, sports heroes/idols, etc. And further, and still in the meantime, the corrupt media has mounted nonstop attacks (with no credence) on our leader regarding his physical health, mental health, adult sons, daughter, in-laws, younger child, wife, associates, appointments, lying, womanizing, etc.

 

Case closed…I think.

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

OCTOBER 1:              On the New York Racing Association III

NOVEMBER 1:          On “Basketball Coaching 101” II

DECEMBER 1:           On the OHI Day III

JANUARY 1:              On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

FEBRUARY 1:           On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

AS I SEE IT ON PURELY, CHASTE, PRISTINE RANDOM THOUGHTS XXVII

August 1, 2018

 

AUGUST 1, 2018

I can’t believe there have already been 26 of these. Here is another set (20) of my thoughts on a host of topics. Hopefully, the reader will not find any of the comments below offensive.

 

  • Any of the readers familiar with my books? A “fan” recently emailed me on my new book: I’ll waste no time reading it.”
  • I’m working on two processes to get safe drinking water from the sea. Sounds simple. All you have to do is separate out the salt.
  • Anyone ever think of starting a business that would provide a service of placing your pet(s) while one is away with others who have pets at a nominal fee (I would call it Vacation Exchange of Pets, VEP).
  • Just finished reading O’Reilly’s “Killing the Rising Sun”. The fanatical conduct of not only the Japanese leaders and military, but also those at home during the war was unforgiveable. I’m going to have trouble buying Japanese products from now on. I can also understand the logic behind the unfortunate interning of Japanese-Americans.
  • Are the Democrats or the Republicans in Nassau County more corrupt? I think it’s a tie. They have all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
  • Trump truly has many attributes. But, at times, he ought to give some thought to the gift of silence.
  • I still can’t believe the number of walks given up by major league pitchers. The key to being a great pitcher is to not walk batters.
  • I also still can’t believe that batters don’t run out ground balls and fly balls.
  • The key to good health is walking and drinking water.
  • Just published my 115th book. This one’s titled “Introduction to Mathematical Methods for Environmental Engineers and Scientists.” It was coauthored by Chuck Prochaska, a graduate student at Manhattan College.
  • Kelly Behan, a junior structural engineering student studied at Buffalo and a resident of Mineola, is the coauthor of our soon to be released book “Introduction to Optimization for Environmental and Chemical Engineers.” Kelly is presently interning with Turner Construction and previously served as the editorial manager on my “Basketball Coaching 101” book.
  • I still maintain that environmentalists have become a liability to our society. Their fanatical conduct is simply not acceptable.
  • The Queen and I received a standing ovation at the recent annual Air and Waste Management Association awards luncheon in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • I can’t believe the widespread hatred for our spoiled egomaniac billionaire playboy president. It just doesn’t make sense, given what he has accomplished in 18 months.
  • Dining out has become ridiculously expensive. The tax and tip increases your bill by approximately 30%.
  • Dining out? Be prepared to get ripped off if you “drink.” Two bloody Marys at Morton’s cost $33…and that doesn’t include the tax and tip.
  • I keep hoping things will be “resolved” in Noko, Iran, Israel, Syria, China and Russia. Am I asking and hoping for too much?
  • What happened to our Mets?
  • The New York Giants are doomed with Manning.
  • I’m planning to do another edition (IV) on Great Eats. The next one will key on casinos.That’s it, folks. I’ll be back with another “random” in 6 months.www.theodorenewsletter.com.

Visit the author at:

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the New York Racing Association III

OCTOBER 1:              On “Basketball Coaching 1010” II

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day III

DECEMBER 1:           On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

JANUARY 1:              On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

 

 

 

 


ON WHEN NEW YORK CITY WAS NEW YORK CITY II

July 1, 2018

 

JULY 1, 2018

As most of you know, I was born in New York City in 1934 and called it home until 1970. My first 7 years were spent in the north end of Hell’s Kitchen. The next 12 years were spent in an area that is known as Lincoln Center. The last 17 years of those were spent in Astoria, Queens. In effect, NYC was my home for the first 36 years of my life. This tale is the second of a 2-part article concerned with New York City during that 36 year time period.

 

I made a conscious decision to split the “When New York City was New York City” article into two timeframes: 1934-1953 and 1953-1970. The first part appeared in August 2017; it keyed on life in Hell’s Kitchen and naturally, the material was autobiographical.

 

Flash back to 1953 and the tale of this piece begins in Astoria, Queens – my new residence at that time. World War II is a thing of the past and a fleeting memory. The Great Depression is also a fleeting memory. Gone is the Office of Price Administration (OPA) and the accompanying rationing via coupons, and, to a lesser degree, tokens. Jobs abound. Good-paying jobs. Some really good-paying jobs. The worm had indeed turned. Our great nation is experiencing boom economic times along with superpower status due, in part, to a combination of democracy and capitalism. Perhaps even more important was the Marshall Plan, devised by General George C. Marshall. The World War II period had converted out nation into a manufacturing giant. But, the economic boom was about to come to a halt since there weren’t enough buyers of the goods and services we could produce. Enter the aforementioned Marshall’s plan of reviving the economies of Europe and Asia in order to develop markets for our goods and services. And, guess what? It brought prosperity beyond belief to our nation for nearly 40 years.

 

The 50s and 60s were understandably periods when it seemed that nothing could go wrong, everything was going right, and anything was possible; it was a special era. The relentless pressure of war and personal and economic sacrifices were now history. In a very real sense, it was a time of innocence. WWII was just a 2-letter Roman numeral. The Hamptons were still a rich Waspy family living on Park Avenue. Korea was also a thing of the past. The basketball point-shaving scandals didn’t apply to my friends who I have dubbed the Boys of Killeen’s. Jack Molinas was one of the few Greeks (I thought)–he was Jewish–who had gone bad. It almost was a reincarnation of the roaring 20s–everyday brought joy, excitement, laughs, new challenges, etc. It was also a time of great friendship, good times, perhaps excessive drinking, beautiful girls and great athletes.  “Eddie My Love,” a haunting melody that is still with me, was the juke box favorite over several summers. There were other tunes during that period. In addition to “Eddie My Love,” there was “Sh-Boom” (Crew Cuts) and “Earth Angel” (the Penguins). Rock ‘n’ Roll had arrived. The song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was also bothersome at the time since I found myself walking home alone every night. Likewise was the tune “You Belong to Me” (Jo Stafford), since there was no one I could claim belonged to me. Add this to my favorite tune from the late 1940s, Russ Morgan’s “So tired” (I’ll wait forever dear).   But along came the Chordettes with “Mr. Sandman” who indeed did bring me a dream–a Bayside Queen named Mary Kathleen Tonry–and my lonesome nights were over. I fortunately disregarded Damon Runyon’s advice, “fall in love with an heiress if you must fall in love.”

 

Here are five of my memories of that era—memories that will never leave me.  They center around Killeen’s Tavern, my basketball team, Rockaway Beach and (of course) my favorite.

 

  1. Killeen’s Tavern

 

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a small bar named Killeen’s Tavern on a side street in Astoria, New York. The tavern’s history dates back to about 1934 (the author’s birth year).  It was owned by a burly Irishman. The whole place was no bigger than 30 ft. by 15 ft., half of it designed like a half-moon bar, and the other half consisting of a few tables, a juke box, a telephone booth, a toilet that was always clogged up, and a kitchen that didn’t work. Beer was 12 cents a glass, and a shot of rye was 45 cents. The local crowd had its colorful characters. Damon Runyon would have loved this place. There was “Buster” the late night singer who crooned Sweet Leylani, Lorraine the Dancer, “Cuz” the night bartender, “Oil Pan” Tom, the landlord Pete the Russian, Freddie “Spook” Stegman–the greatest sport birddog this side of the Mississippi, and dapper George Connelly–the Sunday bartender of 30 years who many believe James Cagney had copied his mannerisms from.

Then there was the day bartender–Pat Killeen himself. An impressive 6′ 1″ and burly 275-lb. man with a thick Irish brogue, who, when angry, would roll his black cigar from one end of his mouth to the other. Yes, he could intimidate if necessary. But he was a fair and open-minded individual, always with the best intentions at heart.

Who were the other inhabitants of the Tavern? Here are some of their names: Scratch, Buddy, Gaylord (the author), Big Dan, The Whale, Jimmy the Greek, Steve the Greek, Weegie, The Rat, Vince the Prince, The Grey Fox, The Scavenger, The Buff, The Snake, The Brat, Tuto, Tex, Superman, Buster, The Hawk, The Cool, The Phantom, The Bant, The Weedler, Big Fitz, Red, Joey Hot Dog, Sparksy, Dixie, Jake the Weightlifter (all 95 lbs. of him) Bugsy, Louie The Lob, Filthy Phil, Tony Guido, etc. The girls included Mary Gloves, Marie the Dancer … perhaps it be best to stop here.

 

The Boys of Killeen’s were the children of working-class parents who endured The Great Depression and survived the harsh times of that era. Although better off than their parents, the Boys of Killeen’s were a group that appreciated good times, and were not nearly as security-conscious as their parents. It was a group that ultimately went on to succeed in the workplace, no doubt influenced by their New York City and Killeen’s experiences.

 

 

  1. The legendary Killeen’s Tavern basketball team

 

I’ll pass here since most of the details appeared in my book, Basketball Coaching 101 (Amazon $18).

 

  1. Rockaway Beach

 

It was New York City’s beach of beaches during that era. It was a period when many referred to the Rockaway’s as the Irish Riviera; interestingly, Jimmy Breslin described it as “where wood rots and people waste.” There were numerous drinking establishments one block from the beach to accommodate the crowds. They included Murphy’s and Gilroy’s on 90th Street, the quartet of the Irish Circle, Rainbow Bar, Leitrim House and Mickey Carton’s Mayo House on 103rd Street (he played the accordion while his sister, Mary, sang). Ruthie Morrissey, regularly featured at the Mayo House, captured and touched so many hearts. The Mayo House was a favorite of the senior folk but it was Gildea’s–famous for drinking, dancing and fighting–that the younger set frequented most. Further west was McNulty’s and the White House on 109th Street and 110th Street, respectively. It was also a time I earnestly became interested in girls. At Gildea’s, I remember watching, with envy, the Savoy–a dance I never quite mastered. The 108 St basketball courts? I’ll pass again since numerous details and memories are available elsewhere. Did I mention my book, Basketball Coaching 101 (Amazon–$18)?

 

  1. The Queen

 

How many guys have married the girl of their dreams? Well, I did. We married in 1967 after a 3-year courtship. Mary recently celebrated her 51st anniversary. It was dinner with the entire family at the Limani restaurant in Roslyn (see attached photo).

 

  1. The Fabulous Copacabana

 

And, it was indeed fabulous.  And, it was a time I was courting The Queen.   Name the premier entertainers of that era,  and The Queen and I saw them at the Copa. George Duganis was the maître d’ and a great table was always available. The best shows included Louie Prima, Don Rickles, Joe E. Lewis, Bobby Vinton, etc.

 

Of course, there was more: Belmont Park, Saratoga, Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceway, the Jewish Alps (the Catskills), bar-hopping, etc. Space precludes providing details.

 

I close this out with a comment from one of my readers on the first article: “I’ll always believe that our New York City was quite special. Somehow, I think you’d agree.” Amen!

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

“The great hills of the South Country they stand along the sea; and it’s there, walking in the high woods, that I would wish to be, and the men that were boys when I was a boy walking along with me”  (from The South Country: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953).

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

AUGUST 1:                On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

SEPTEMBER 1:         On the New York Racing Association III

OCTOBER 1               On the OHI Day III

NOVEMBER 1:          On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

DECEMBER 1:          On Basketball Coaching 101 II

 

 

 

 


ON GREAT EATS III: GREEK-EDITION

June 1, 2018

JUNE 1, 2018

Memories! Flash back to the World War II years (1941 – 45) that spanned my 7-11 age years. The location was just north of Hell’s Kitchen, presently home to Lincoln Center. One of the key memories during that period of time that has yet to leave me was dining out on Sundays approximately once a month. It was the Greek restaurant, The Acropolis, located on 60th Street, just west of Central Park. I wish it were still around. I can still taste the roast lamb and pastitsio, your author’s two favorite Greek dishes. Enough on the old days.  On to this, the 3rd Edition of Great Eats.

 

First, there was Great Eats I. Then there was Great Eats II: Italian Restaurants (April 2017). Well, what would follow? Naturally, Great Eats III: Greek Restaurants. Most of you know that I was not only born and raised (early years) by Greek immigrant parents in Hell’s Kitchen but also spent my formative years prior to marriage in Astoria, a colony of Greece located in Queens (I have such fond memories of Astoria; I was extremely fortunate to spend 15 years living there). So, if one wants to discuss Greek food, a review of Greek restaurants in Astoria would be absolutely appropriate. Therefore, there will be two parts to this restaurant review for this GREAT EATS article: restaurants in Astoria and North Hempstead/Nassau County.

 

ASTORIA

 

Some have referred to Astoria as a suburb of Athens and for good reason: the restaurants. My favorite is the Neptune Diner, unquestionably the best diner in New York City. But there are many other good restaurants. Here is a sampling of those to consider when in Astoria, Queens.

 

  • Elias’ Corner: A favorite seafood place. Upscale, great seafood, easy parking, and reasonable service. A bit pricey. I wasn’t impressed, but others love the joint.
  • MP Taverna: Very high reviews in the press. Upscale. Excellent food. Fair service. Near impossible to park. My people loved the place, but I’m passing.
  • Neptune Diner: It was my favorite 65 years ago and it’s still my favorite. Expansive menu. Great food. Big portions. Very reasonable prices. Comfortable. No problem parking. The avgolemeno soup and chicken lemonado is the absolute best, anywhere.
  • Stamatis: One of my favorites. Reasonable prices. Excellent food. Loud. Lousy service. Valet parking. I love everything on the menu. You can’t go wrong here.
  • Taverna Kyclades: The seafood is great and is very reasonably priced. Comfortable but tables are jammed together. The problem with the place is that there are ALWAYS long waits and it is near impossible to park.
  • Telly’s: Similar to Stamatis. A bit more expensive. Not for me.

 

You also need to visit one of a host of pastry shops. Baklava is the favorite pastry. But my friends and family prefer the galakobouriko – try it, you won’t be disappointed.

 

NORTH HEMPSTEAD/NASSAU COUNTY

 

Bad news! I’ve yet to eat at a Greek restaurant in our area that compares to those in Astoria. My spies tell me that Limani and Kyma (both in Roslyn) are excellent. Both are for those who enjoy getting ripped off since they are hellaciously expensive. I suggest passing but some have recommended lunch. I found Limani a beautiful restaurant –with lousy service, reasonable, but only with their early-bird specials ($40). In any event, here are my comments on six Greek (not Mediterranean) restaurants (in alphabetical order) in our local area.

 

  • Greek Corner, Carle Place: Very reasonably priced. Some special deals. Comfortable seating. Ample parking. Food is average at best. Pass.
  • Gyrolicious, Jericho: Not for me.
  • Opa Grille, Williston Park: Opa can be loosely interpreted as “hail”. One of the better ones. Ample parking. Comfortable seating. A bit pricey with small portions but the food is above average. One of my family’s favorites, but not for me.
  • Platia Greek Station, Syosset: A relative newcomer. As with most new arrivals, the prices are unreasonable. Ample parking. Comfortable seating. Although the food is above average, I’ll pass.
  • Santorini Greek Restaurant, Merrick: Named after the island. My favorite for this area. I’ve sent numerous friends there and no one has yet to complain. Ample parking. Comfortable seating. The salad (with dinner) is great. My favorite is the half-chicken with the lemon potatoes. My wife loves the seafood house favorite.
  • Yasoo Yeeros, Plainview: Yasoo can be loosely interpreted as “greetings”. Ample parking. Comfortable seating. Price is reasonable and so is the food.

 

There are dozens of others including Grecian Grille (Farmingdale), Greek Place (New Hyde Park), Greek Tavern (Rockville Centre), Mykonos Taverna (Manhasset), Souvlaki Stop (Mineola), etc., etc.

 

The above list would not be complete without the addition of other special/unique places to enjoy Greek food. For diners, my favorite is the Old Westbury Diner (Westbury), owned and operated by the Dimas family; the Apollo Diner in Merrick is also one of the better ones. Greek festivals include St Paul’s (Garden City Park) in early summer and the Port Washington Harborside in early fall. The food was once great but the quality and price have gone awry and in wrong directions. Pass on Harborside because of the parking and traffic control. Of the supermarket foods, I recommend North Shore Farms, Mineola; their pastitsio is the absolute best. Finally, Harry’s Hilltop Deli (in Williston Park) offers some excellent dishes.

 

The best Greek restaurant? It may be in Tarpon Springs, Florida, a community overrun with Greeks and Greek-Americans. Pappas, was the most famous of all restaurants in earlier days. Today, it is Mykonos, a hole-in-the-wall semi-diner, named after an island located off mainland Greece. It is a restaurant that two “Greeks,” along with your author, regularly visit. The other two Greeks? Tex Zoucourides, (I was his best man and our daughter, Molleen’s, Godfather) a retired baseball umpire and teamster rep, and Ernie Haridopolos, a retired superhero (legitimately) from the presently disgraced FBI. Dinner there is one of the highlights during each of my trips to the West Coast of Florida. My recommendations, if you are lucky to stop by, include: (1) the combination platter, (2) lamb chops, and (3) lamb sevetsky.

 

P.S. I also need to comment on three additional stops.

 

  1. I highly recommend two Portuguese restaurants: Heart of Portugal, Mineola, and Lisbon Café, Carle Place. Both got high marks.
  2. Try Mr. Chen’s Chinese Restaurant, Carle Place– a local gem – for excellent food and very reasonable prices … but slow service.
  3. I’ve been at the Swing the Teapot restaurant in Floral Park three times. The food is excellent and very reasonably priced; the service is also excellent. Try to stop by when the group Hell and High Water are entertaining (perhaps next fall). You’ll love them and the place.

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

JULY 1:                      On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVI

AUGUST 1:                On the New York Racing Association III

OCTOBER 1:              On “Basketball Coaching 101” II

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day III

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

JANUARY 1:              On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

 

 


ON THE 2018 EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL BUDGET VOTE

May 1, 2018

 

May 1, 2018

It’s amazing what can happen when incompetent people with self-serving interests and a near total lack of what quality education is all about running a School Board. We are all aware that the EWSD is now just another school district, no longer one of the quality premier ones in the country. I’ve already detailed in the past how this came about: Entine’s massive and senseless giveaway programs, the ridiculously incompetent Bergtraum (remember the 4th building?*!?) and self-serving unethical policies of union leader, Israel. And, let’s not forget the pitiful, embarrassing and comical PTO that has been successfully duped by the teachers and their union. The bottom line is that the EWSD is no longer a school district that we can all be proud of.

 

I believe the Board and Superintendent are beginning to get desperate and have pressed the panic button. Why this belief? Last month, the Superintendent sent out a questionnaire requesting input from residents to provide their top academic related priorities for the next 5 years. Is it possible this brain-trust (?) doesn’t know what they should know? Certainly, the residents don’t know. Thus, in the final analysis, the residents could be held to blame for the district’s precipitous drop in its reputation. I taught engineering, served as academic advisor, participated in admission decisions for 50 years…and can honestly say that I don’t know what the priorities should be at this level. (Note: I’d love to find out about their Project Lead the Way, a 4-year engineering program. It might be enlightening, but I doubt it). And, does anyone think that they are really interested in your thoughts? I had two solid recommendations last year that were totally ignored; no one got back to me — No One! Anyone want to try to convince me that they really care about our thoughts/concerns/recommendations? In any event, if they don’t know, and we don’t know, what does that say about the people running the asylum…I mean school.

 

The Board and superintendent Kanas recently claimed that “…continue the tradition of fiscal responsibility…”. Surely, they were joking. I know no one (maybe I know the wrong people) who ever claimed that the EWSD was fiscally responsible. All residents have to come to grips with the fact that the EWSD has never really concerned themselves with the best interests of the students, the parents, the seniors, and all other members of our community.

 

Here again are some general thoughts. The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. In addition, the mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. There is a need for accountability for not only these upstart programs but also for traditional programs. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment. On the positive side, I believe absenteeism has decreased; although there are more cars in the North Side parking lot, and there is less of a reduction of cars on Monday and Friday. Finally, I stand by my earlier statements that at least two members of the Board simply cannot be trusted; the community should not expect them to act in the best interests of the students and taxpayers.

 

The salary of teachers has skyrocketed and the quality of education has plummeted. What would a reasonably intelligent individual conclude from these 2 FACTS? What about the college level? When I went to school, tuition was below $2000 per year, a sum a student could earn over the summer and Christmas recess. I don’t think a student could come close to earning dollars $60K plus during the same period today. What do I conclude? The teachers’ union is in the process of destroying quality education at levels.

 

Remember, it OK to vote NO on the budget on May 15. A NO vote represents a call for better education for our students, fair and responsible treatment of seniors, a call for new leadership for both the Board and the District, and a rejection of the corrupt self-serving policies currently in place.

 

I close by issuing a call to members of our district who are concerned about taxes, seniors, and (most importantly) school children, to consider running for the Board in the future. I hate to put it this way, but almost anybody would be better than what we have now.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JUNE 1:          On Great Eats III: Greek – Edition

JULY 1:          On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVI

 

 


ON BASEBALL STRATEGIES

March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018

Most of you already know that I consider myself an authority on basketball coaching. After all, I did publish a book titled Basketball Coaching 101(Amazon) – and that, by definition, makes me a basketball expert. Well, I have some news for you: I’m also an authority on baseball . . . and Modesty is not my middle name.

 

I became a baseball fan around 10 years of age. Not just a fan. A Yankee fan! I lived and died with them. Charlie (King Kong) Keller, Joe Page, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, etc., were my heroes. I remember paying 60¢ for bleacher seats and sitting on hard wooden benches for a doubleheader in torrid heat… and loving it. I then became a Yankee hater and a Mets fan, and have remained a Met fan since the team’s inception. And during this time, I have watched thousands of games on TV (rarely going to Shea or Citi Field). The net result? You guessed it. I am now a baseball authority and qualified to provide meaningful instructional analysis on the game.

 

But what does meaningful instructional analysis mean? Simply that I can provide those involved with baseball at any level – manager, coach, player, front office personnel, etc., – with suggestions on how to enhance and improve a team’s ability to win games on the field. That being said, here are tidbits drawn from my baseball file on 10 different categories: infielders, outfielders, catchers, pitchers, batters, base runners, coaches, managers, general managers, and (of course) owners.

 

Infielders

Each of the four infielders, but shortstops in particular, should be aware of the speed of the both the batter and runners on base. The infielders should play deeper, particularly the second baseman, if the batter is a slow runner; I would even advise playing on the outfield grass. The shortstop and second baseman should also be aware of a batters tendency to pull curveballs or fastballs and adjust their position on the pitch. The two should also communicate on who will cover second in steal situations.

 

Outfielders

Much of the above for infielders also applies to outfielders. Outfielders presently play too deep, particularly the left and right fielders. The outfielder should think and be aware of all the possible scenarios that may arise if the ball is hit to the outfield, particularly with men on base. The scenarios would vary depending on the number of outs, the score, and the inning.

 

Catchers

Catchers should know the strengths and weaknesses of the pitchers and all the opposing batters he will face. Knowing the disposition of the umpire calling balls and strikes would also help; e.g., does it help complaining on balls and strikes, etc.? Knowing the speed of runners on base is an absolute must. Many catchers today provide encouragement to the pitcher. I think there can be more of this. There should be more face-to-face discussions, e.g., put the ball over the plate and definitely don’t walk a batter. I believe the catcher should be the field general and run the defense. He should also be aware of all the points raised earlier for infielders and outfielders, as well as pitchers. Finally, a high I.Q. catcher is a definite plus. He should dish out instructions to outfielders, infielders, and the pitcher on what to do if . . . e.g., a double steal, a ground ball to the right side, etc.

 

Pitchers

It goes without saying that pitchers must have an idea of each hitter’s prowess. Some can’t hit curveballs. Some can’t hit fastballs. Some like it inside, and others don’t. Some of their preferences change with pitch count. Runners on base have to be carefully monitored. He should be aware of the likelihood of a steal. He should also know beforehand what to do on a bunt or a comebacker with a man (or men) on base. His own pitching limitations is a concern; it’s no secret that starting pitchers weaken in the latter innings. Although much of what will follow applies to starting pitchers, it also applies to relief pitchers. Since the mound is approximately one foot above ground level, a 100 pitch outing (plus bullpen, warmups, etc.) results in a pitcher effectively walking up a 20 story building; this may explain, in part, why pitchers do not perform as well later in a game. Older pitchers should seriously consider minimizing movements off the mound and, for goodness sake, try not to walk batters – put the ball over the plate and take your chances. I would replace any pitcher who walks a batter late in the game if ahead by more than one run. Finally, pitchers should try to avoid 3-2 counts with runners on base and 2 out.

 

Batters

Batters need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of both the starting pitcher and relief pitchers. How often does he throw fastballs? Does he prefer pitching inside or outside? Does he hold runners on base? Does he tire in later innings? Does he throw strikes on the first pitch? Does he change his pitching approach when behind the count? These questions need to be considered. But the batter also needs to realize that a walk is just about as good as a single. Batters need to consider changing their batting philosophy when behind in the count. More importantly, a batter should NOT be swinging for the fences in the last inning when trailing by more than one run with nobody on base; the objective should be to get on base, and the easiest way to accomplish this is via a walk. Keep in mind that home run swings significantly reduce one’s ability to check a swing on a pitch that is outside the strike zone…thus reducing the probability of a walk. Finally, batters (as well as base runners) should HUSTLE at all times; hell, you are exerting yourself less than ten minutes per game.

 

Base Runners

The coaches usually remind the runners of the scenario at hand but the runner must also be alert. On a single to left field, he should run top speed and ALWAYS consider going to second base since he is in a direct line with the left fielder’s throw to second base. Any throw to the left or right of second base should serve as a green light to consider going to second base. While on base, he should ALWAYS be prepared and consider taking an extra base if the catcher doesn’t field the pitch cleanly. He also should practice sliding techniques whenever possible.

 

Coaches

Coaches play the least significant role of the major players. Nonetheless, they should provide encouragement and support while on offense. Most importantly, they should know the limitations of the players on base and the strengths/weaknesses of the outfielders (but to a lesser extent of infielders).

 

Managers

For the most part, managers are overrated. And, most overmanage. Some are liabilities. Some are major liabilities, e.g., Terry Collins (in particular) of the Mets and Joe Girardi of the Yanks. The manager’s main job is to instill the basics to the entire team. Practice makes perfect and relays, double plays, bunting, and hitting to the opposite field should be practiced regularly. I would require each batter to hit to the opposite field when confronted with a defensive shift to one side. Players also MUST understand that a walk is just about as good as a single…and sometimes a double. I would have every batter prior to every game draw a red or black marble out of a hat. Those who draw a black marble would be required to take the first pitch, or when the count is 2-0, 3-1, or 3-0. Red marble selectors can do as they wish. However everyone must take on a 3-1 count with the bases loaded and two outs. Some of the above can be altered during late innings. The manager also needs to realize that when a relief pitcher comes in and gets a batter out that he has not thrown two pitches but probably fifty pitches when bullpen and warmup throws are counted. Since these additional pitches can take their toll, managers need to give consideration to their sometime reckless indiscriminant use of relief pitchers. Finally, he should require (with NO exceptions) every batter RUN out every ground ball or fly ball. One added point: He should not select cronies for coaches and I would allow my bench coaches to occasionally serve as manager for certain games.

 

General Manager

Most general managers (GMs) are not too bright and not capable of making intelligent baseball decisions. Most of the GMs are just like many of the players and coaches. There are a handful (not many) who know what’s going on. Few of the players have college degrees, unlike some football players. Joe Girardi is a graduate of Northwestern (in my opinion, the most prestigious university in our country) and he has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to make sound, rational baseball decisions. In any event, the GM needs to know both the capabilities of his players and those that are on the market. It’s a given that the GM should work closely with the manager; his cronies must not come into play in any of his decisions and actions.

 

Owners

They are in the baseball business for either or both of the following reasons: ego and/or to make money. He should understand the meaning of risk. He should also understand the meaning of optimization. He should also understand how risk and optimization affect each other. Bottom line: he has to make intelligent decisions from a risk and/or optimization prospective when it comes time to hiring, firing and managing his business; as with both managers and GMs, he should not hire cronies.

 

Note: I have attached two recent photos of the 1969 World Champion New York Mets legendary third baseman Ed Charles celebrating his 83rd birthday. Unknowingly to us, the 1969 Mets batboy was also in attendance; his presence added to the festivities. Ed also reminisced about growing up in Florida and preseason games. He’d track down baseballs in the outfield, get someone like Joe DiMaggio to autograph the ball, and then sell if for $5.00 – a windfall profit in those days.

Ed Charles and Lou

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

APRIL 1:         On 2017-18 Men’s Hofstra Basketball Revisited

MAY 1:           On 2018 East Williston School Budget Vote

JUNE 1:          On Great Eats III: Greek – Edition

JULY 1:          On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXV1


ON A BROADWAY MUSICAL PLAY

February 1, 2018

 February 1, 2018

I was always in love with the music of the 1950s and 1960s. And suddenly, it came to me a few weeks ago while watching an advertisement on the great love songs of the past. I thought: How about a musical play on the great music of the 1950s and 1960s era? After some thought, I decided to put together an outline for a Broadway play concerning the musical hits of that period, focusing on (but not limited to) country plus rock and roll music. And, that is what this piece is all about…a Broadway play titled: The Music of the 1950s and 1960s Revisited.

 

In terms of introduction, music is the organized movement of sounds through a continuum of time. It plays a role in all societies and exists in a large number of styles, each with special characteristics. Music is generally used to accompany other activities, e.g., dance. The association of music and poetry is so close that language and music are widely believed to have had a common origin in early human history.

 

A musical play of theatrical music involves vocal and instrumental music forming a part of a theatrical presentation. The music may be restricted to the background, as in most television productions, or it may be the principal focus, as in opera or a musical play. Thus, a musical theatrical production is one in which songs and choruses, instrumental accompaniments, and interludes are integrated. It can also include dance and a dramatic or comedic plot. The genre developed and was refined during the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the theaters along Broadway in New York City. The musical has origins in a variety of 19th century theatrical sources, including the operetta, comic opera, pantomime, the minstrel show, vaudeville, and burlesque. In 1913, the composer Jerome Kern began to produce a series of shows in which all the varied elements of a musical were integrated into a single fabric. This old musical formula began to change and new American musical elements, such as jazz and blues, were utilized by composers; in addition, singers began to learn how to act.

 

In the late 1920s, satire, ideas, and wit had been the province of the intimate revue. These and other innovations altered the familiar face of musical theater forever. Although the changes have been rapid, startling, and at some times confusing since that time, the music of the 1950s and 1960s have somehow managed to survive the relentless passage of time and the dynamics of not only the latter half of the last century but also the present century. However, from earliest times, most theatrical performances were accompanied by music that was produced solely by live musicians.

 

Regardless of the type or complexity of a production, all theater performances – including musicals–also have similar requirements. For a small, noncommercial production, most of these requirements may be met by two or three people; a Broadway show however requires dozens. The staff may be divided into administrative, creative (or artistic), and technical personnel. The administrative group includes the producer, box office and publicity personnel, and front-of-house staff (house manager, ushers, and others responsible for the audience). The artistic staff consists of the director, designers, performers, and, if applicable, playwright, composer, librettist, choreographer, and musical director. Technical personnel include the stage manager, technical director, and various construction and operating crews, all working backstage.

 

The director and cast of modern productions generally rehearse from two to six weeks. If a new play is being rehearsed, as in the case of musicals, songs and dances may be added or dropped; the choreographer rehearses the dancers, and the musical director rehearses the singers. Lighting design, a more ephemeral art, has two functions: to illuminate the stage and the performers, plus to create mood and control the focus of the spectators.

On to the musical itself. Keep in mind that I am not a producer or director, and have attended only 15 (my best guess) Broadway plays and 5 (my best guess again) off-Broadway plays. Most have been of a musical variety. My first play was Grease and remember becoming mesmerized on entering the theatre and hearing the piped-in music prior to the play. I also remember Dream Girls and Jersey Boys. Interestingly for me, the plot never came into “play”; it was strictly the music. Based on all of this, here is what I’ve come up with for a Broadway play on the music of the 1950s and 1960s.

 

Three things come into mind: the music/score, the singers/musicians, and the presentation/production. Each are detailed below.

 

The Music/Score: The music would be primarily based on the hit songs of the 1950s and 1960s. Here are some of my favorites:

 

 

Be My Baby

Beyond the Sea

Blueberry Hill

California Girls

Georgia on My Mind

Crazy

I Want to Hold Your Hand

Johnny B. Good

 

 

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

ShBoom

Someday Soon

Sweet Caroline

Whole Lotta Lovin’ Going On

All My Lovin’

You Belong to Me

 

 

 

 

Some, but not all, of the above would be part of the play for a given night, details of which are provided in Presentation/Production section.

 

The Singers/Musicians: This should consist of a 5-10 person band with excellent singers and music playing abilities. A no-name group – that are true fans of the songs of the 1950s and 1960s – would be preferred. At a minimum, the band would consist of a drummer, guitarist, keyboard player, violinist and horn. The band members would be male but a female singer/musician would be a plus. Other musicians could also be included in the band.

 

The Presentation/Production: Here is what I envision for a typical performance. The band opens up with a medley of 5 or more country music songs from the past. This would be followed by ACT I which would consist of 15 songs selected randomly by the Director from a list of 75 hits of the 1950s and 60s, almost all from a different artist. The  75 songs would initially be selected by the Director. Each song would be preceded by a short one-minute commentary on the songwriter and/or singers. ACT II would follow after a 15-minute break. This last act would consist of 10 songs that would be randomly selected by the audience. The play would conclude with another medley of songs of a rock-and-roll variety. The band would have to rehearse all songs early during the production stage of the play.

 

The aforementioned 15 songs would be randomly selected from the “bank” of 75 songs for each performance. Songs would also be randomly selected from the 60 songs that were not selected that previous evening for the following (next) performance. The next performance would then be selected from the remaining 45 songs. Etc. Etc. The cycle would therefore be repeated after every five performances, being careful that the songs are randomly selected each night and each cycle.

 

The ACT II songs would be selected by the audience each night on entering the theatre from the 60 songs remaining in the pool of songs not included in ACT I for that evening. The selections from the audience would be computerized, with the results of the top 10 choices determined during ACT I and the break. These songs would then constitute the 10 songs for ACT II that night.

 

The opening (prologue) and closing (epilogue) melodies would be the same each night.

 

A typical performance could consist of the following:

 

ACT I

 

INTRODUCTION: Lead member of band

 

OPENING MELODY (COUNTRY MUSIC; my selections)

Country Roads

Someday Soon (my favorite)

Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue

Lyin’ Eyes

Rocky Mountain High

 

15 SONGS

These would be selected from the pool of 75 songs. For example, the 15 selected earlier could be chosen.

 

INTERLUDE/BREAK (15 minutes)

 

10 SONGS

You pick them.

 

 

CLOSING MELODY (ROCK-AND-ROLL; my selections)

Earth Angel

ShBoom

Maybelline

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Sweet Caroline (audience participation)

 

CLOSING REMARKS: Lead member of band

 

Finally, three points need to be made. First, I must inform the reader that I have never written a song, sung a song professionally, played a musical instrument, written a play, or understand the various ramifications associated with a musical play. Second, each performance would be different and thus could be attended numerous times by a theater-goer. (This is similar to Louie Prima’s shows in Las Vegas where – due to Prima’s insanity – the audience was treated to a different show every night.) Third, the above outline and details of the proposed musical play are dynamic in nature and could be “tweaked”, e.g., more or less selections, elimination of random selections, different musical categories, and any potential and/or special accommodations to the performers, audience, societal interests and problems, etc.

©Theodore Tutorials, 2017.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

MARCH 1:                 On Baseball Managing 101

APRIL 1:                     On 2017-18 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Season Revisited

MAY 1:                       On the 2018 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Great Eats III – Greek Edition

JULY 1:                      On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXVI