Sunday Morning in My Neighborhood ~ far away from the bombing in my former hometown

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Walking Sophie, my gal pal, on this misty Sunday morning in NE Florida is quiet and relaxing. I took a few photos and couldn’t help contrasting this bucolic scene with what was going on in my former hometown, NYC, after last night’s street bombing. Thirty people were injured.

 

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If Sophie and I walk to the right when we leave the house. No place to hide a pressure-cooker bomb with a note and a cell phone.

 

 

 

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If Sophie and I walk to the left. At the end of this street there is a rooster crowing.

 

 

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Instead we chose to walk straight ahead where this tree had a major branch come down a week before Hurricane Hermine. We do get tropical storms with high winds.

 

My heart and prayers are with New Yorkers and also the people of Seaside, NJ who also had a bombing last night that thankfully failed to go off during the Marine Corps race. I know this is so scary, yet I also know the people of NYC and New Jersey are strong and will fight back against any type of terrorism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On My Way Out of Brooklyn ~ random thoughts

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McDonald’s Ordering Kiosk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

My last days in Brooklyn, I didn’t feel like cooking, so I went to McDonald’s. On this visit to Mickey D’s my belongings were packed and on a moving van and I would be leaving the next day, lock, stock, doggie and cats.

I wouldn’t have thought anything about it except that I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida over the last two years, especially the last six months. The customer service level in the Sunshine State is so superior to that in NYC it boggles the mind.

I went to the counter to place my order and was grouchily  directed to the kiosk. I placed my order and waited patiently while workers with scowls on their faces trudged back and forth getting food for patrons. In Florida, as soon as a customer walks in the door they’re greeted with, “Welcome to McDonald’s.” It’s not that way only in this fast food chain, but in every single establishment people go into.

I immediately thought of the recent increase to a $15.00 minimum wage in New York State. This kiosk must’ve eliminated one-to-two employees on this shift. But then why pay $15.00 an hour for surly employees?

Blizzard of 2016 ~ NYC up and running in 24-hours

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Avenue S, Brooklyn ~ 24-hours after blizzard

 

With over two-feet of snow (Central Park measured 25.1 inches), you’d think New York City would be stopped in its tracks. Not so. The city was up and running the very next day. This is due to pre-planning and snow removal crews that know what they’re doing.

The city-wide 24-hour travel ban helped in the clean up. I had to laugh having read a piece calling the police hauling away 25 drivers who disregarded the ban evidence of a “nanny-state”. I’m pretty conservative politically. Yes, there are a few of us in New York City. Let me tell you, the travel ban is not evidence of tyranny. Seriously, we must use some common sense. Eight million people live in New York, with over 6,000 miles of the world’s busiest streets, 840 miles of subway tracks (much of it above ground in the outer boroughs) , not to mention railway tracks anchored to Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station.

The 25 drivers who ignored the travel ban should be ticketed and fined. The Sanitation department had the Herculean task of plowing and salting not only the major avenues (some of them four lanes), but also the side streets and dead end streets. This they did in 24-hours. Plows and sanders shouldn’t be slowed down by selfish drivers on the road, or have to go around those vehicles.  With freezing temperature and winds whipping snowfall sideways at speeds up to 40 mph, police had to deal with the homless who were in crisis during this blizzard.  The gas and electric companies had to come to the aid of buildings that had lost heat. The travel ban was for the public good and of public safety. By Sunday, the next morning, anyone who had to report to work, could. Residents could get to local stores, if need be. It wasn’t business as usual, but it was on its way back to normal.

With a city the size of New York, the only way to deal effectively with a blizzard or hurricane is to have a travel ban during the worst of the storm. That’s the how essential city services get out in front of it. However, just to keep things in perspective, this wasn’t the worst NYC blizzard on record. February 11-12, 2006 recorded a record 26.9 inches of snow; and December 26-27, 1947 recorded 25.8 inches.

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Awesome Time at the Kenneth Copeland NYC September 11th and 12th Victory Encounter

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I’ve just spent two days in a packed room with a few thousand believers at The Living Victory Faith Encounter in the Times Square Marriott Marquis Hotel. What a wonderful time I had.

On Friday night, September 11th, I was ushered up to the check-in counter with others who were pre-registered. The session opened with Lindsey Rae (daughter of Kellie Copeland Swisher and granddaughter of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland) leading the pre-service prayer. Lindsey is young, energetic, sweet, and has a heart for prayer. At the Saturday morning prayer, Lindsey chose from the crowd a person from law enforcement, a teacher, a member of the military, a pastor, a youth leader, and several others to lead us all in prayer, each of these praying for the group they represented. This became such a powerful time of prayer.

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The worship music was awesome and energizing. The lyrics of the worship songs were totally aligned with Scripture. I was delighted to get to hear Kellie sing.IMG_1801

 

 

The theme of the two sessions was: Living A Life of Great Faith. At the Friday evening session Brother Kenneth declared, “The body of Christ has no business with fear.”

Saturday morning opened with coffee, followed by prayer, then Brother Copeland spoke. He pointed out, “Grace is the overwhelming desire of God to treat believers as if sin had never happened.”IMG_1802

 

 

 

 

September 11 Wrenches My Heart Again

Twin Towers Clean up
Twin Towers Clean up

 

This year September 11th is tearing my heart apart…again. I remember the first September 11th vividly. I live in Brooklyn, NY and had charred pieces of paper from offices in the Twin Towers drifting from lower Manhattan and landing in my driveway. I remember the funerals that went on and on for weeks. I live in a middle class neighborhood where many of the first responders who perished lived.

 

World Trade Center/911 Memorial fountain
World Trade Center/911 Memorial fountain

Now the site of the World Trade Center/911 Memorial has become a tourist attraction. Pedestrians walk through the site unrestricted. I’ve heard this upsets some of the family members of those lost on that horrid day. Most of the family members consider the ground to be sacred and some want it enshrined. I sympathize with them and their pain. I consider the ground to be sacred, but to me, the sacred is part of my life.

If we block off the area, frown on people walking through taking photos while snapping their gum, it will be easier to forget. I think few have forgotten. This year especially I sense that. Feelings are raw. America remembers.

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Fireman’s Memorial

 

 

The New York City Fire Department certainly has not forgotten

 

 

 

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Twin Towers Cross

 

 

The many volunteers have not forgotten who rushed to help in any way they could in the days after the terrorist attack.

I personally don’t know anyone who has forgotten. And this year, so many say it’s just ripping their hearts apart all over again.

NYPD Has Little Protection From Ebola

Hospital Gear much like what has been given to NYPD officers. ~ Courtesy of Free Images, by adamci
Hospital Gear similar to what has been given to NYPD officers. ~ Courtesy of Free Images, by adamci

According to local news sources, the NYPD and Port Authority cops have been given little to no protective gear for dealing with Ebola victims should there be one. Those same news sources claim FDNY medics have been given the task of picking up “high fever” victims. Dispatchers are not allowed to use the word “Ebola.”

What worries me as a resident of Gotham is that we seem to be behind the 8-ball on this one. I do not have the greatest confidence in the current city leadership in the best of times, and this is not the best of times. The current leadership has been plagued (you should pardon the expression) with a series of blunders and mishaps. This penchant for not being quite on top of things is worrying me, to say the least.

At New York City’s airports, police officers are getting “high risk kits” which sell for about $5.00 when ordered in bulk. These kits come in a small pouch, much like the ones rain ponchos are sold in. They contain a paper gown lined with some sort of claimed protective polyurethane coating. Paper gowns to protect from Ebola? Apparently they’re serious. They claim these gowns are “impervious.” Really? That’s what NYC is giving it’s first responders? Insanity!!!

The FDNY has the paper gowns as well but is ordering quality, three layer body suits for its EMS workers…who as mentioned earlier, have been assigned to pick up the city’s “high fever” victims. All high fever victims picked up by FDNY medics will be taken to Bellevue Hospital, the city’s premier public hospital, which has 20 isolation rooms. Bellevue’s morgue has the distinction of being the city’s first morgue. It’s also thought by many to be the creepiest of morgues. It’s been written about in many a crime fiction novel. Sorry, couldn’t help mentioning that.

Given all this (and getting back to the main point). the man from Nigeria who had diarrhea and was vomiting who came to JFK airport (NYC) has died. Apparently it has very quickly been determined it was not Ebola. I hope this is not another mistake, another instance of coming from behind.

 

They’re Shooting It Up In Brooklyn ~ this in a city with stringent gun control

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Everyone’s talking about it. I heard it on the news and on talk radio this morning. The number of shootings has risen dramatically in New York City over the last month. This in a city with one of the most, if not the most stringent gun control laws…and a former mayor, billionaire Michael Blumberg, who uses his money and influence in other cities all over the country trying to get them to ban hand guns.

The rise in shootings has been most dramatic in Brooklyn. The way they tabulate is they have a “rolling 28-day tally” which is updated weekly. The last two 28-day incident and victim tallies increased by 30 and 40 percent, respectively.

NYPD Shield Law enforcement experts explain the recent increase in shooting by citing the warmer weather and a marked increase in gang activity, especially in Brooklyn. Monday night, a 13-year old boy bystander was with his aunt and younger cousin in Flatbush-Ditmas Park when they were caught in the middle of a gang shooting. The boy was shot in the head and sustained an eye injury. The three ran into a pizzeria for cover, with blood oozing down the boy’s face. The shooter was later seen on video tape and the police are investigating.

The 73rd Precinct, covering part of East New York (Brooklyn), accounts for one-third of all shootings and incidents in the city, with 24 shootings this year, compared to 14 at this point in the summer last year. This according to police sources.

It has been reported that the NYPD is looking to put together an over-arching conspiracy case against some of the gangs that run territory in shooting-hot-spots. One police source commented to news media outlets that police stop-and-frisk encounters are down, but the number of guns confiscated increased. However, he did not have stats on the number of guns actually confiscated.

There has to be a good look at the abandonment of stop-and-frisk. Cold, hard statistics must be provided. Questions must be answered. Why is it in a city where law abiding citizens can’t obtain a license for a hand gun, it seems any fifteen year-old gang member can get his hands on a semi-automatic weapon?