Friday, September 29, 2006

Monach Butterflies

Long Island Photos by Alida Thorpe
Monach Butterflies are migrating through and over Long Island at this time, every year.
Have you seen them? Probably, since they are so numerous, and colorful, and seem to be flying everywhere.
Did you notice that they all seem to be going in the same direction?
The next time you see one, watch where he goes. See if his fellow travelers follow.
He may stop for a snack on a local plant and then move on.
For more information about these beautiful butterflies, click here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Long Island Homeowners and Flood Insurance Issues, Continued

Aaron Stein, Long Island Insurance BY AARON STEIN

It's been a few weeks since I had a chance to write a post. Mostly it's because we have been renovating my office. We have had two or three work crews at a time here daily. Now it's getting down to the trim and painting, so it's just a little slower. You can see pictures of how it's coming out at my other blog,

Anyway, my being busy has not stopped things from happening in the Long Island homeowners insurance and flood insurance market. Since I last wrote, several more companies, some of them fairly large players, have either announced that they will no longer be writing homeowners insurance either here on Long Island or, in some cases, in New York State.

Part of the problem is that here on Long Island is where the largest concentration of high valued homes exists. So many companies tried to write lots of business here to increase their cash flow, but are now in panic mode because after seeing what happened with hurricane Katrina, they now realize that they have a big exposure here that is not offset by customers in other areas that are not subject to 'coastal' issues.

For instance, it's not that people in upstate New York never have claims. And they DO have 'catastrophic' claims using the insurance meaning, which refers to something that affects a lot of people all at once, as opposed to a fire at someone's house, which might melt some siding on the house next to it, but generally does not affect a whole area.

In some upstate counties, for instance, they can have major ice storms that damage a lot of houses. But it's still not nearly the same as here on Long Island, because the houses tend to be much further apart (less concentrated) in most upstate areas, and the values are lower. As we all know, a house that sells for $450,000 here can still be had for $200,000 in most other parts of the country, maybe even less in some.

Interestingly, some of these areas that you would not expect have flood issues as well. Newsday a couple of weeks ago had an article about a number of people who live in Pennsylvania, along the Delaware river, just 'downstream' from the reservoir system that provides water to New York City. It seems that because of droughts that have occurred in the past few years, the water people now try to keep the reservoirs at 100% of capacity. But the flip side of that is when it rains a lot, BILLIONS of gallons of water overflow the reservoirs and have been creating flooding problems along the Delaware river!

There are a lot of post-Katrina changes coming to the Federal Flood Insurance program through FEMA, and some of them won't be pleasant for those living in primary and secondary flood hazard areas. More to follow on that, but in the meantime if you have questions, you can contact us through our web site at

Friday, September 22, 2006

Connetquot River State Park

Photos by Alida Thorpe
Fly fishing on the Connetquot River, early morning....
My husband and I went fishing in the river before sunrise and watched the sun come up over the trees.
A mist was hovering over the water and the only sounds heard were those of the fish splashing and birds chirping.
It was serene and beautiful. It was an amazing morning!
Have you been in the Connetquot River State Park?
The fly-fishing season will end as of October 1st, but you can still enter the park for hiking and photo-taking. There is a parking fee and a permit is needed for fishing.
It is one of the secret places that many Long Islanders have yet to discover.
Click here for more information about Connetquot River State Park and Preserve.
Enjoy what Long Island has to offer!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Prelude to Long Island's BIGGEST Pizza Party!

Long Island New York Pizza Festival and Bake-OffLong Island, New York (September 2006) - The pizza celebration begins a bit early with a pre-launch pizza party taking place on Thursday, September 21, 2006 at Adventureland Amusement Park 2245 Route 110 in Farmingdale, NY. The mini pizza party is a prelude to the upcoming Long Island Pizza Festival presented by 101.1 Jack FM.

The Mini Pizza Party kicks off with pizza related activities. Highlighting some of the fun activities scheduled for the Long Island Pizza Festival coming in October.

Listen to the Pizza Party Podcast!

The Best Pizza on Long Island NY Competition presented by 101.1 Jack FM is an annual charity event put together to support local pizza shops and to raise money to feed the hungry on Long Island. The competition includes the pizza contest, bake-off and final judging which takes place at the upcoming Long Island Pizza Festival.

The pizzerias who have collected the most votes on the website are invited down for the bake-off and final judging at the Long Island Pizza Festival. The Long Island Pizza Festival takes place on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at Adventureland Amusement Park in Farmingdale from 12-6pm, rain or shine. Admission is free. Pizza related activities include pizza sampling, acrobatic dough toss, pizza eating contest, mini-pie making for the children, a kids' talent show as well as the bake-off and final judging to determine who makes the Best Pizza on Long Island, New York.

101.1 Jack FM is the presenting sponsor of this Long Island New York Pizza Contest. Co-sponsors include Optimum, Cremosa Food Distributors, Marsal and Sons Pizza Ovens, The World Champions Pizza Acrobats, Party Pizzazz, The Printing Experience, BBA Photography, Adventureland Amusement Park, Pizza Pup and all play a contributing role in making this event a success each year. The event benefits Island Harvest and Long Island Cares, non-profit organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry on Long Island New York.

Adventureland Amusement Park
2245 Route 110 Farmingdale, NY 11725
Phone: 631-694-6868

Full details and event information is available on the website at

For more media inquiries and/or more information, please contact Ruthie Bergmann, Party Pizzazz event planner at 631-423-3445.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce Is First Long Island Chamber to Have Its Own Podcast

The Long Island Podcast Network ( has partnered with the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce to podcast its events and meetings. "This is a breakthrough for all Chambers of commerce to communicate with its members" says Fram Monico, Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce Director and Newsletter editor in chief.

Check out the podcast at Other companies and organizations in Long Island can contact the Long Island Podcast Network at to set up their own podcasts.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Greatest FREE Country on the Planet Commentary

The plan for 9-11 is a great plan. To fly the Stars and Stripes, our great symbol of freedom, in as many places as possible will show the world (or remind them) of who we are...the greatest FREE country on the planet.

But folks, it goes beyond the flag. The flag is a SYMBOL of our freedom, and that freedom not only includes QUESTIONING OUR GOVERNMENT but it demands that we question it. Of the people, by the people, and FOR THE PEOPLE. We should demand answers that have NEVER BEEN GIVEN by this current administration. THEY WORK FOR US!

While no one questions the effects of the 9-11 tragedy, the investigation into the how, what, and why of how it happened NEEDS TO BE REOPENED. There are way too many unanswered questions that not only the families of those affected deserve to know but THE ENTIRE COUNTRY WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW A HANDFUL OF THUGS HIJACKED FOUR PLANES AND HIT FOUR TARGETS IN THE MOST MILITARILY ADVANCED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

Maybe you should ask why the government spent over $40 million of YOUR TAX dollars investigating Bill Clinton's sex life but spent less than $1 million investigating the 9-11 tragedy.

At best, the Bush administration is incompetent in the investigation and, at worst, PLANNED AND EXECUTED THE ENTIRE EVENT. No, no way, most citizens say, how could our government do such a thing? Best to stay informed and check out the many websites that have investigative facts that every citizen of this free country should at least look at and review. Google "Loose Change 2" (and actually watch the entire video) and check out sites like MANY scientific minds have come to the conclusion that the "facts" presented by the Bush administration do not make one ounce of sense.

The Bush administration has lied about most everything. One of the worst by-products is that anyone who questions our leaders, a right preserved by the Constitution as freedom of speech, is labeled as unpatriotic or a "terrorist" themselves. Folks, this administration should win the award for "terrorism". They take away your freedom, in exchange for the illusion of security, so they can let you know that they can MESS WITH YOU ANYTIME THEY FEEL LIKE IT (for those who like graphic language, replace MESS with the F word). By spreading fear, they control. Nazi Germany had this formula down pat.

Stand up, speak up, and let those in power know that WE WILL NOT BE TREATED THIS WAY! This great experiment in freedom called America has only been around for little more than 200 years. Most of the planet has been ruled by tyrants, dictators, and the like, with little or no freedom for its citizens. While not perfect, our founding fathers wrote some of the most important word and phrases in history in the form of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Don't let these freedoms die today! Let your voice be heard! Campaign for honesty of our elected officials. Good and decent people are waiting to serve this country. Don't fall into the trap of "what can I do?". The answer is MUCH! Yes, proudly fly the flag but back it up with more than talk, TAKE ACTION NOW! This country if full of history of it's citizens getting fed up with the BS of past administrations and they took action. Is it that we, in our modern homes and buildings, ARE TOO SOFT TO SPEAK UP!? Call your REPRESENTATIVES, e-mail them, fax them...eventually, they will "wake up" and take the actions the citizens request. It's not an option if you call yourself a citizen of the United States of America, IT IS YOUR PATRIOTIC DUTY TO CALL THESE PEOPLE TO TASK!

Respectfully Submitted,
Bill Moseley


This views reflected in this post are those of the author. Bill Mosely is an individual, a business man, a resident of Long Island New York and a concerned citizen. He is also a member of the 9-11 Seaford High School (SHS) Memorial Committee. Feel free to post your comments on the matter to open the discussion and free flow of ideas.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Kennel Cough

Jake writes, "My Chocolate Labrador was picked up and went to Brookhaven Animal Shelter now my dog has developed kennel cough.. I need to know what to do as far as medications?"

Answer: Sorry to hear about your dog but, glad you got him back. The best advice is to see your regular veterinarian.

This page has some useful information about Kennel Cough which is an airborne virus that is very contagious...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation…or how I met Bernie Williams (sort of)

Ask Mr. Long IslandBY MICHAEL WATT

I laugh whenever I see that commercial for Corona Beer – where a man and woman lounge by the clear blue sea with nothing but a bucket of ice-cold Coronas and the shade of a palm tree or straw hut to keep them company. I laugh because my wife Sharon and I keep saying we’re going to take one of those trips one of these days but at the rate we are going I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Not because neither of us drinks Coronas. Quite frankly, I think Sharon would learn how to chug-a-lug a six pack of Coronas while juggling three limes if it meant being able to spend a couple of days doing nothing more than tickling the tips of her toes in the cool rippling waters of the Caribbean.

But I have never really gotten the hang of this leisure thing and as a result I have never been able to embrace the concept of just laying around. (Memo to all you Grammar Nazis out there - I have tried to determine the correct usage of lay vs. lie using a variety of sources and I still don't know which is correct. I do know I am done trying).

I’m sure doing nothing is a lot of fun but I know the minute I start to relax my mind will wander toward all the work I should be doing, or that others are doing while I do nothing. It’s an Irish thing – God forbid you should enjoy yourself while someone somewhere is suffering, working or even just not enjoying themselves as much as you are.

Besides, while my family does not take what might considered “normal” vacations we do have a lot of fun. We like to center our trips around visiting different baseball parks. Since 2003 we have visited Fenway Park (Boston), Wrigley Field (Chicago), Jacobs Field (Cleveland), Petco Park (San Diego), Dodgers Stadium (Los Angeles), Angels Stadium (in Anaheim, Ca.), Rogers Centre (Toronto) and Camden Yards (Baltimore). Last week we visited Safeco Field in Seattle and AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Whenever possible once we visit the parks we create our own walking tours of the city we find ourselves in. In Boston, for instance, we walked the Freedom Trail - or whatever that thing is called up there - from one end to the other. Last summer we tried to see as much of Toronto as we could, but after a couple of hours we realized there really is nothing to see in Toronto so we just headed to the park. In Cleveland we walked to “The Jake” and came across a restaurant owned by Alice Cooper called “Alice Cooper’s Town Bar & Grill,” or something like that. It was a fun place. We were also able to walk back to our hotel after the game – try doing that from the Bronx or Queens. The only downside was pointed out by my younger son Max, who was all of nine at the time: “What kind of city doesn’t have any ice cream stores open after 10 pm,” he asked upon realizing our quest for post-game ice cream was going to go unfulfilled because, well, because there was nothing open. (I’m not picking on Cleveland here. The next day we got a GREAT tour of the Cleveland Browns stadium and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, as well as a bunch of bridges and a submarine. That really was a lot of fun.)

Now I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, “I’m sorry, Mike, but grabbing a cheeseburger and a Sprite at Alice Cooper’s Town before a game between the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers is nice but does not even begin to compare to reclining in a lounge chair under the blue Caribbean sky next to the blue Caribbean water on the white Caribbean sand.” You’re thinking this especially if you are a woman and/or not a baseball fan. Or have an ounce of brains.

But try this on for size. While we were taking in Seattle’s Museum of Modern Music – or some such thing, I have no idea why we were there – I decided to rest my bones on a bench and check my email. My 12-year-old son Max was standing to my immediate left. After a spell I looked up from my cell phone and noticed a man standing not more than 10 feet from me. “Boy that guy looks like (Yankee outfielder) Bernie Williams,” and turned to share that thought with Max, a boy who would tattoo his arms in pinstripes if I would let him.

Judging by the drop in my son’s jaw, however, I quickly surmised that the man in question was in fact Bernie Williams, especially once I also remembered that the Yankees were in town that day for a game and that Bernie is an accomplished guitar player. Now it was my turn to drop the jaw, as I believe this was the closest I have ever come to an actual, real live current Yankee without some barrier between us.

My mind raced in circles. Should I snap his picture with my cell phone camera? Just shake his hand? Tell him thanks for all the great clutch hits and not signing with Boston way back when?

I did nothing but not in his direction, of course. I am not big on getting anyone’s autograph, nor did I care to interrupt what I assumed was a quiet afternoon away from the park for Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams. The guy is probably 10 years younger than I am and yet here I was all excited about my “Brush with Greatness.” To his credit Max went right up to him and said, “Hey Bernie.” To his credit Bernie acknowledged my son by saying hello right back, but gave us both the impression that he did not want to cause a commotion and preferred not to be recognized. We honored that and walked away, but not before my wife Sharon and my other son Alex happened by. The four of us spent the rest of the day marveling at our good fortune.

Let’s see the couple at the Caribbean top that!

Thank you for reading this column.

Friday, September 01, 2006

September at the Beach

photos by Alida Thorpe
Labor Day...The ending of summer, but not the end of the beach....
September is a wonderful time to visit the beach, and although you may not think it is warm enough to swim, you certainly can enjoy the ocean air and sunshine.
The weather for this Labor Day weekend does not look promising but there are better days to come. September is wonderful for beach walking or watching the birds.
The most favorite time at the beach, for many people, is after the summer rush has gone and the beaches are cooler.
The warmer ocean water temperatures on Fire Island actually make the beach air warmer than the Long Island mainland. Many people are surprised at the difference!
Take a ride, as soon as the rain stops that is, and see a September beach day for yourself.
You will love it!