The Advocates-Religion, the Secular World and the Impact of Myticism -February 27, 2008

 

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

February 27, 2008

All archived Shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting my show “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM on your dial, or you can listen to its live streaming at www.wvox.com.  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio.  Today’s topic is “Religion, the Secular World, and The Impact of Mysticism!” Our guests today are Rabbis Lester Bronstein, Robert Rothman and Michael Landsberg who represents the Jewish City of Tsfat or Safed, the historic center of Jewish mysticism, known as the Kaballah.

 

Rabbi Lester Bronstein has served Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains since 1989.  He is past president of the Westchester Board of Rabbis.  For many years he was a lecturer in Rabbinics in the Cantorial School of Hebrew Union College in New York.  He sings with Beged Kefet, a charity-based Jewish musical group. Lester was born in Houston and educated at Yale, BU and the Hebrew Union College and writes and teaches about the revitalization of Jewish life in America, based on ancient models of practice.

 

Rabbi Robert Rothman served the Community Synagogue of Rye, NY from 1966 thru 1997 as its religious leader, and is currently serving there as the Rabbi Emeritus. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University and was ordained from the Hebrew Union College. He is the older of numerous degrees including a Ph.D. in Group Psychotherapy. H e has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Westchester Community College, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Touro College, Marymount College He was a Chaplain serving with the Navy and the US Marine Corps from 1957 thru 1980 and has served in that role with local police departments and other offices. He created the Interfaith Pulpit Exchange and has had a long career as a lecturer.

 

He has been honored numerous times and has been the author of forty published articles and poems.

 

Our last guest is Mr. Michael Landsberg who is the Executive Director of the NN Tsfat Fund of North America. This fund’s mission is dedicated to supporting and enhancing Tsfat (Safed), Israel, a unique city and center of Jewish religious life, which was a vibrant community of scholars in the 16th Century CE, and in its golden age was considered the most important and influential spiritual center in the world. Mr. Landsberg has degrees from Thomas Edison University and Ben Gurion University. He has spent over twenty years of progressive executive management in the not for profit arena with special focus on human resources, training, education, youth development and fundraising.

 

One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at RJG PublicThoughts: http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com  and can also see all of the archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com. 

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation, state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the “draft.”

 

Richard J. Garfunkel

 

http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com

rjg727@optonline.net 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FDR on WVOX, Celebrating President's Day February 19, 2008

FDR on WVOX Celebrating

Presidents/Washington’s Birthday

February 19, 2008

Richard J. Garfunkel

 

Though many believe that this day is now officially named Presidents’ Day that is not true. The law, HR 15951, which was signed in 1968, officially shifted Washington’s Birthday to the 3rd Monday in February. It came into affect on January 1, 1971, during the administration of the late and unlamented Richard Nixon, who named it Presidents’ Day. Well the official bill to change the name to Washington-Lincoln Day failed in Congress, and even though it is familiarly known as Presidents’ Day. I was invited to speak on Bob Marrone’s Show on, not only one of our greatest Presidents, but also one of our greatest men, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

 

FDR was the single greatest elected politician in modern history and was able to overcome the devastating physical challenge of Polio. He was a vigorous man who overcame a lifetime of sickness. He had wonderful mentors, Theodore Roosevelt, Al Smith, and Woodrow Wilson. He took something from all of them, and was smart enough to avoid the problems they all experienced. He shaped his own destiny, built the new Democratic Party, halted the panic that paralyzed America after for years of Depression, created the New Deal, and led America towards recovery. He was labor’s greatest friend, created social safety nets for the average American. He restored faith in the market places, the banks and government. He created the Social Security, and rebuilt America’s devastated middle class. He was one of our greatest conservationists and he brought electricity to parts of rural America that had been ignored for 200 years.

He rallied the public, instilled great respect from the world at large, and inspired great enemies and opposition. He took on the Fascists when America wanted no part of that fight, created the United Nations, and built the “Arsenal of Democracy.” Through his actions at the Atlantic Conference in Argentia Bay, he put forth his vision of the world based on the “Four Freedoms.” His vision is the vision of today’s modern world; his vision is of the world community pulling together for the common good. FDR had to withstand an “American First” style isolationism that cut across almost all social and political barriers and subgroups. FDR had to use his unequalled mastery of the America political landscape to, on one hand, re-arm America, and on the other hand, battle the limitations of our Neutrality Laws and the passion of people like Charles Lindbergh, who were his most vocal critics.

FDR mobilized the American economy in an unprecedented way, as we fought an effective and remarkable two-ocean war. He selected and appointed our excellent overall leadership with his Joint Chief’s Command, led by Admiral William D. Leahy, who coordinated the activities of Generals Marshall and Arnold along with Admiral King. FDR's selections, in all of the theaters of his responsibility, of MacAthur, Nimitz, Eisenhower, reflected excellent and carefully thought out judgment. Their choices of subordinates, which included Bedell-Smith, Clark, Bradley, Patton, Hodges, Simpson, Eaker, Doolittle, Stillwell, Halsey, Spruance, Vandergrift, Smith, Lemay and many others spelled eventual success. His speeches, and cool leadership gave the people confidence after Pearl Harbor and the loss of the Philippines. FDR's leadership of the wartime conferences at Argentia Bay, Quebec, Casablanca, Teheran and Yalta were the driving force behind victory and the post-war dominance of the West. His sponsoring of the Bretton Woods Conference had the most lasting effect on the future world's economies vis-à-vis monetary stability. All in all FDR's domestic leadership before and during the war were unprecedented. The late President, the architect of victory, won a hard earned election in 1944, with excellent majorities in Congress, even with his health suffering from advance heart disease and arterial sclerosis. One of FDR’s final achievements was the “GI Bill,” which brought educational benefits, training and opportunity to millions.

He was able to maintain his majorities in Congress all through his tenure in office, and even though the Democrats narrowly lost Congress in 1946, they quickly recovered their majorities until the Eisenhower landslide of 1952. But from 1954 until the 1980's the FDR-New Deal coalition of Democrats maintained Congressional hegemony. 

FDR's legacy was one of not only unprecedented leadership, but of government innovation, reform and restructuring. Both have great-unequalled places in the history of our world and our time.

 

President's Day, Pastrami, Eldridge Street February 18, 2008

Presidents’ Day, Pastrami, Eldridge Street,

and the Pickle Boys!

By

Richard J. Garfunkel

(Contributions from Linda R. Garfunkel)

February 18, 2008

 

 

It’s finally dark here in the eastern bank of the Hudson River. It was about 12 hours ago when I was just getting up and showering. Linda was home for the holiday and I was running out to get over to WVOX radio in New Rochelle. I was invited to be on Bob Marrone’s morning show to be the radio’s resident expert on FDR as the station commemorated “Presidents’ Day.” Though many believe that this day is now officially named Presidents’ Day that is not true. The law, HR 15951, which was signed in 1968, officially shifted Washington’s Birthday to the 3rd Monday in February. It came into affect on January 1, 1971, during the administration of the late and unlamented Richard Nixon, who named it Presidents’ Day. Well the official bill to change the name to Washington-Lincoln Day failed in Congress, and even though “Tricky Dickie” renamed it Presidents’ Day, the change was never signed into law.

 

In fact, there is no official way to even spell Presidents Day or Presidents’ Day. The only one clear fact is that under federal law it is still Washington’s Birthday and that only a handful of states have changed it to Presidents’ Day. Therefore, Washington’s Birthday, which was enacted as a federal holiday in 1880, in the District of Columbia, and was expanded to the nation in 1895, still remains. The holiday was first celebrated in 1796, the last year our first President was in office, but because when Washington was born, the old style calendar was in use, and many celebrated his birthday both on February 11th and February 22nd, the generally recognized birthday of the “Father of Our Country.”

 

With all that silliness in mind, the last three weeks have been devoted to talking about FDR. On January 30th, I devoted my radio program to FDR and had as my guest, former Professor Bernard Bellush of CCNY. Professor Bellush talked about his book FDR as Governor of New York, which he wrote in 1955, and his personal impressions of those dark days in March of 1933, when seventy-five years ago, FDR took the oath of office. This morning I again digressed on our great 32nd President, and next Monday at the JCC of the Hudson, I will be giving a speech on Eleanor Roosevelt. By the way, if you want to hear that interview with Professor Bellush, it can be listened to on: http://advocate-wvox.com.

 

Meanwhile we headed into New York to see the new Wedgwood exhibition at the USB Building on 51st Street near the Avenue of the America’s (6th Avenue to you out-of-towners) and to our chagrin, even though the building was open, the exhibition was closed. But luckily, the displays were all in the lobby, and one could easily see the pieces from the outside of the building. We were happy to see that many of the pieces displayed could have come directly from our collection. So it wasn’t a total loss, and we headed back to our car. Parking in New York City was quite confusing because the media said that parking was to be “Sunday rules,” but, the parking enforcement people did not seemed to be informed of that reality.

 

We then headed down 7th Avenue, all the way to Bleeker Street, and turned east to find the Bowery, which enabled us to easily reach Grand Street. Our destination was the newly restored Eldridge Street Synagogue. We found our way to the beginning of Eldridge Street and therefore quickly to number 15. This synagogue is one of the oldest in New York, and it fell into terrible disrepair in the 1970’s. When it was built in 1886 with the help of a local banker, the famous Kosher butcher Isaac Gellis and a few other well-off families, the Lower East Side was teeming with Jewish immigrants and there were synagogues on almost every street.

 

As one can imagine, the Lower East Side has changed dramatically in the past decades. I first went down to Grand Street in 1969 when I was about to get married. In those days it was still a thriving shopping area, dominated by mostly Jewish run textile stores. Some of the familiar names were, Penchina, Shoreland, Eldridge, Harris-Levy, Grand Street, Ostrove’s and Rice & Breskin. Over the years as the Jewish clientele moved out of the city and into the suburbs, the character of the Lower East Side started to change. Many of the children of the retailers found other pursuits and as the demographics changed their profit margins narrowed, dwindled, and eventually disappeared.

 

When one travels now across Grand Street, the area is completely absorbed by the expanding Chinatown. The newly restored Eldridge Street Synagogue is completely surrounded by Chinese enterprises and absolutely no one walking past the building is not Asian. But we went in, were instantly impressed and awed by the restoration, and awaited the 12:00 tour. We weren’t disappointed as we learned about how the congregation prospered, and raised $91,000 for the purchase of the land and the subsequent building of this beautiful Moorish style edifice. Eventually the building fell into disrepair as the population left the area, and the membership shrank to a handful of families. In 1986, 100 years after it’s founding, the Eldridge Street Project was established, and over $20 million was raised for its restoration. Now after over twenty years of work, it is almost completed and it is designated a National Landmark. One could look it up and find more information at www.eldridgestreet.org. 

 

After the tour, our next destination was Moishe’s Bakery, on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 7th Street. We had discovered it on Christmas Day when were last in the Lower East Side touring. On that day we went on the “Nosh Tour,” which started at Temple Chasam Sofer on Clinton Street. We eventually reached the Angel Orensanz Cultural Center, the oldest surviving structure built as a synagogue, which was originally founded as Anshe Chesed in 1849, and then finished up at the Stanton Street Synagogue, a classic tenement style shul, which was built in 1913.

 

For all of you that crave a real Jewish seeded rye bread, Moishe’s is the place. We easily parked on 7th Street, had money in the meter, made our purchase, and headed back over to Houston Street and the world famous Katz’s Delicatessen. Again I found a conveniently located parking space, ran in, ordered some sliced salami and some lean pastrami, and my way out quite quickly. Out on the sidewalk, Linda wound up taking a picture for a young couple from London who had just finished lunch there. I asked them how they knew of Katz’s Deli, and they said they learned about it from the film Harry Met Sally. I quipped that I wasn’t sure sitting in Katz’s would duplicate what happened in the film.

 

It was back in the car, and with a few turns, here and there, we were on the last leg of our Lower East journey. We were looking for a pickle vendor. I had remembered that there was an outdoor pickle shop on Essex Street. Turning around and going south on 1st Street, we crossed Houston, as it became Essex, and headed almost down to Delancy, where we found the Pickle Boy Store on the right. It wasn’t Guss’s, but the pickles were just as good. Linda bought two quarts of sours and half-sours, and we made our way back to Houston, turned east heading for the entrance to the FDR Highway north, and before long we were back in Tarrytown, where we enjoyed a wonderful, but late lunch.

 

 

 

The Funeral of David Feder February 17, 2008

Mount Vernon Riverside Memorial- Sunday February 17, 2008

The Funeral of David Feder

 

At the last minute I decided to go down to Mount Vernon and attend the funeral of David Feder, AB Davis Class of 1961. I didn’t know David very well, but I had played basketball at Traphagen against him along with almost all the players from the classes from 1958 through my year of 1963. I had the dubious pleasure of trying to guard and score against the late great Richie Shapiro, Bobby Trupin, Barry Berkule, Mike Freedus, Mike “Beaver” Ansbro (Stepinac-1960), Ronnie Rothstein, Kenny Ackerman, Jack Bromley, Mickey Fuchs, Mal Gissen, Steve Blankstein, and other luminaries that graced those courts. Of course there were others like the late Dickie Grenadier, Warren Adis, Charles Columbus, Billy Platt, Joe Misthal, and Dave Feder.

 

At the service, on this cold and damp afternoon, over 150 people were in attendance to pay their respects. His mother, his wife, his three children and his brother Lewis and their progeny survived Dave, who was 64 years old. His children spoke very movingly from the podium of their father, who had been a loving parent, a selfless man, and who had spent his adult working life as a stockbroker. He was a life-long sports buff who enjoyed basketball and thrived on sport’s trivia. He loved hamburgers and pizza, and knew where all the best haunts were regarding that cuisine. He was, in the best sense of the term, a true family man, who also loved his work and his customers.

 

I had taken a look at the “memoriam” book, and was only able to recognize a name or two, but of course I knew his brother Lewis, who was a great friend of my sister Kaaren, and was also a member of her AB Davis Class of 1959. Lewis went on from Mount Vernon to Princeton and became a doctor and has been living and practicing in and around Sudbury, Ma, for thirty-five or so years. Interestingly, Lewis’s youngest daughter also went to Princeton and was in the Class of 1998 with my son Jon. The other name I recognized was Jerry Fuchs, who also was also a friend of Kaaren’s. Jerry went on to Yale, and is still living in NYC. So here we were together again. I had last talked to these guys at the White Plains Hotel in 1989 when I crashed my sister’s 30th high school reunion. She was living in London, as she still does, and was unable to make the occasion, but I went in her place. It was nice spending a few minutes going over old stories, and Lewis was quite grateful that I came to the service. Lewis knew and remembered my parents quite well, and for that alone it made a sad trip more gratifying.  

 

The Journal News

 

David Bruce Feder passed away on February 14, 2008 following a courageous battle with brain cancer. He was 64 years old. David grew up in Mt. Vernon, NY, and received his degree from NYU in 1965. David and his beloved wife Sharyn of 40 years reside in South Salem, NY. In addition to his wife, he is survived by their three children, Michael, Kevin, Jennifer, and daughters-in-law Alyssa and Kira. David was “Poppi” to five cherished grandchildren, Joely, Peyton, Jordan, Dayna and Liam. David is also survived by his mother Dorothy Barnett of New York City, his brother Dr. Lewis Feder and his wife, Ronni of Sudbury, MA and nieces Emily and Dana. David was a true family man who loved coaching his children's team sports in the early years, and remained a prominent figure in their lives. David, a Senior Vice President with Smith Barney, loved being a Financial Advisor and thought of his clients as an extension of his family. David touched so many lives and will always be remembered. A memorial service will be held at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 21 W. Broad Street in Mount Vernon, NY on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2:30pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Brain Tumor Foundation or The American Cancer Society.

The Advocates-Nicolaus Mills and George C. Marshall February 13, 2008

 

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

February 13, 2008

All archived Shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting my show “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM on your dial, or you can listen to its live streaming at www.wvox.com.  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. Today’s topic is George C. Marshall, one our most famous Americans. Our guest is Mr. Nicolaus Mills, Professor of American Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, New York, will talk about Marshall and his new book on the impact of the Marshall Plan. Professor Mills has been a member of the Sarah Lawrence literature faculty since 1972.

 

George Catlett Marshall (1880-1959) was appointed a General of the Army with a Five-Star designation of December 16, 1944. He was the first Army general to achieve that rank along with Admiral William D. Leahy of the Navy. Marshall served as America’s longest serving Chief of Staff of the Army, from September 1939 until the end of the Second World War in 1945. He served as President Truman’s special emissary to China in 1945 was later appointed as the 50th United States Secretary of State in January 1947 and served until January 1949.  He later served as the 3rd United States Defense Secretary from September 1950 to September 1951. Marshall was recognized as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in both 1944, and 1948, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. He introduced what was later to be known as the Marshall Plan at a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. 

 

Professor Mills is the author of the newly released book, Winning the Peace, The Marshall Plan & America’s Coming of Age as a Superpower. He serves on the editorial board of Dissent, and is a contributor to the American Prospect, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of numerous books, which include: Arguing Immigration, The New Killing Fields, The Lost Battle, the Fight for a National WWII Memorial, Like a Holy Crusade; Mississippi, 1964, 50 Years of Dissent, The Triumph of Meanness, Culture in an Age of Money, Debating Affirmative Action, and The Great School Bus Controversy.

 

One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at RJG Public Thoughts: http://publicthoughts.blogharbor.com and can also see all of the archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com. 

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation, state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the “draft.”

 

Richard J. Garfunkel

http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com

rjg727@optonline.net 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese New Year on the Banks of the Hudson -February 9, 2008

Chinese New Year on the Banks of the Hudson

The Year of the Rat

By

Richard J. Garfunkel

February 9, 2008

 

Here we are still in early 2008 where we have just segued out of the western New Year to the ancient Chinese New Year, 4706, the Year of the Rat.

Like the rat, one is always busily pursuing a personal goal or ambition, and is thus known as one of the hardest-working signs in the Chinese zodiac. For rats in 2008, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome, so look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally. Famous people born in the Year Of The Rat include Prince Charles, ice skating champ Sasha Cohen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, William Shakespeare, and Mozart  Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in rat years tend to be leaders, pioneers, and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hard working.

Last year, the Chinese believed that the Year of the Pig would not be very peaceful. The rat, like the pig, is one of twelve real or mythical animals that make up the cycle of the Sino zodiac of the lunar calendar.. Even a Hong Kong soothsayer feels that North Korea will undergo a power struggle and Singapore fortune teller John Lok predicted Iraq will remain being a quagmire and that our fearless leader, the self-proclaimed “Decider,” will have another rotten year.

 

Rats mark the commencement of the cycle of 12 Chinese zodiacs and thus are associated with enterprising and aggressive qualities. To start with listing the traits of a Rat, it is important to first know what this animal image stands for in Chinese philosophy. Rat has strong associations with material success such as wealth and other luxuries of life. It is their aggression, charm, hard work, discipline and passionate nature that gives an edge to their persona in comparison to others. There are good chances of Rats being wealthy and professionally successful in their lives. They are quick, energetic and mold themselves easily according to the situation, which makes them excellent problem solvers too. Unlike most of other zodiac signs, Rats believe in having a handful of friends, but they share a special bonding with all of them.

When it comes to competition, nobody can be as manipulative as they are. They are tactful and can go to great extents to win a battle. Yet honesty and unprejudiced attitude is something others need to learn from Rats. A heavy karma chakra may lead to inner conflicts. It is likely for them to indulge in speculation and other adventurous tasks in order to give an outlet to their emotions. If this kind of an outlet is not available, they might turn to self-destruction. The best spiritual message Chinese sages give to Rats is to observe self-control and be considerate while dealing with people around them. Their dynamism can be accessed with the diversity of professions they can choose. On one hand they can lend a perfection to works of art in literature, on the other hand they can also be excellent detectives, accountants, engineers and pathologists. Law and politics are some other areas they can try their hands on. Hope this year of Rats 2008 becomes the harbinger of health, wealth and good fortune for all of us.

 

Traditionally the color red is worn on and during the Chinese New Year to scare away evil spirits and bad fortunes. Good luck is encouraged, by opening doors, windows, switching on lights at night to scare away ghosts and spirits, and candy is eaten to insure a “sweet year.” One also will avoid bad luck by not buying shoes, pants or having a haircut. It is said that on the first day of the New Year one should not sweep the floors or buy any books!

 

Despite all of these forebodings, we did celebrate another edition of our annual Chinese New Year’s fandango. On a cold clear night here in the lower Hudson River valley, all our guests arrived safely and without much of a problem. We lucked out with the weather.

 

But on Saturday we were well prepared for the coming feast. All of our guests were given culinary assignments and came through remarkably well. Among the guests this year was our old buddy Keith Stupell, who came up by train from Babylon on the Hudson. This was the second year in a row that Keith made the journey. By the way, he is the proprietor of Carole Stupell’s on 29 East 22nd Street. Keith, not only has been carrying on the famous name of his mother, who was one of the most well-known retailers in NYC history, but is a world’s leading philatelic expert, whose collection of stamps and ephemera is almost unrivaled on our planet. If you had forgotten, or had not known, Carole Stupell invented the “bridal registry.”

 

Robin Lyons, a veteran of these parties, brought two pineapples; Robin is the widow of the late George Lyons, a very dear friend. George was one of the leading experts on baseball in America, and had a remarkable collection of baseball memorabilia that featured unique and rare game-worn baseball jerseys. He also was the eldest of the four sons of Broadway columnist Leonard Lyons and is the brother of Jeffrey Lyons, the movie critic.

 

Debbie Rubin, whom Linda knows from Barnard College alumnae events, contributed a cake. Also hailing from Barnard College was Linda’s classmate Abby Kurnit, who is retired from teaching in the chemistry department at Pelham High School. Her husband Jeff, is a professor at Queens Community College, and they both are Life Members of the Village Light Opera Guild, whose productions we have attended loyalty. Their next show will be The Music Man, which will be performed the Fashion Institute of Technology in the heart of Manhattan. They brought her homemade rice.

 

 Another tennis friend, Diona Koerner, who is a retired chemistry professor from Manhattanville /Fordham, was accompanied by Ron, her lawyer husband. They both brought a homemade chicken dish. My old buddy Warren Adis, who is a professor at Iona College, brought a noodle dish, but unfortunately his wife Mary, who is a veteran of this event, was under the weather and couldn’t attend. We have traveled often to the New York museums with the Koerners and the Adises. Both Mary and Diona are English gals by birth, and they have similar interests in chemistry and geology. Warren and I met in the third grade (1952) in Mrs. Krohn’s class at the William Wilson/Traphagen School in Mount Vernon and have had many adventures that included being at the NCAA hockey finals in Syracuse in 1967 when our two schools, Cornell and Boston University, collided for the title.

 

Sol and Linda Haber play tennis with Linda and me in our weekend indoor games. Sol, who played basketball at Yeshiva of Flatbush, long after Warren and I were finished shooting the roundballs in Mount Vernon, hits an excellent serve and a potent forehand. Sol is a dentist who specializes in oral surgery and Linda, who is by training a CPA and recently has embarked on the sale of homes in Westchester County.  Linda prepared an Asian inspired-salad.

 

New to the festivities were John Berenyi and his wife Eileen, who hail from Connecticut. John has been a frequent guest on my radio show, and is an entrepreneur for hire, who specializes in more things, than could be easily described here. The Berenyis brought grapes for dessert. As it turned out Rosalie Siegel did graduate work with John’s wife, and Linda Haber knew the Berenyis when they all lived in Manhattan.  John introduced me to Neil Goldstein, the head of the American Jewish Congress, and he was a guest on my radio show with John a few weeks ago. His wife was called away on a family matter, but he joined us and brought spring rolls.  As it turns out, Abby knows John’s wife, because they taught at Pelham together for many years.  Ah, small world.

 

Stan Goldmark, my old friend from Mount Vernon, also made his first appearance at our Chinese New Year celebration. Ellen, his wife, was not able to attend due to a very bad cold. Stan and I met way back in 1957 in Ms. Van Allen’s class, and currently he works in the plastic business and lives in Cold Springs Harbor.  Stan had a great time seeing some of his old buddies from high school. By the way, he brought the most delicious spare ribs and egg rolls. Another old friend from Mount Vernon, Michael Rosenblum and his wife Sandy, who are deeply into the real estate business in NYC, came back to enjoy our party after a year’s absence. It was great to see Warren, Michael and Stan get together after such a long stretch of time. The Rosenblums brought a terrific Chinese shrimp dish.

 

Michael and Marci Shapiro also joined us after a year’s absence. Michael is a lawyer with Carter, Ledyard & Milburn in NYC, which will be eternally famous for giving FDR his first job as a lawyer. It was there in 1907, that he predicted to his fellow juniors that he would be elected to the New York Assembly, then be appointed assistant secretary of the navy, and be elected governor of New York. His legal friends, who were quite accustomed to his breezy manner and thoughts on various topics, were very impressed with his frankness. FDR eventually left Carter, Ledyard in 1914, while he was serving as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. His next job was with Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland, and there he hired Marguerite “Missy” LeHand. Marci teaches in the Edgemont schools, and their son Ben, who is a young teenager, plays a great game of tennis. The Shapiros brought two different Chinese vegetable dishes.

 

After a two-year absence, Rosalie Siegel, who is also a Mount Vernon gal and a former flatmate of Linda’s from Barnard and works for the Port Authority, came with her long-time companion Jeff Tannenbaum, a financial writer. They brought assorted Chinese fruits.

 

Two regular attendees were Wally and Ronnie Kopelowitz. Wally is an ophthalmologist whom I met many years ago on the tennis courts of County Tennis. Though he now lives in Great Neck with his wife Ronnie, who is a New York City lawyer and judge, Wally still plays tennis in one of my weekend games and punishes his opponents with his wicked baseline slices. They brought kosher chicken and beef dishes. Wally loves to travel, and they are still in the midst of re-modeling their home.

 

One new visitor was Mr. Glen Hockley, a member of the White Plains Common Council. His wife Melody was away, and Glen brought baby carrots. Our last guests were Tony Russo and his wife Andrea Kish of Tarrytown, who operate Aries Wine and Spirits in White Plains. Tony brought a couple of wonderful bottles of Chinese Sake.

 

We supplied the Tsing Tao Chinese beer, other soft drinks and libations, plus appetizers from Sam’s.. Linda made Asian inspired salmon.  Due to the abundance of food from our wonderful guests, she returned to the freezer the steak that had been marinating and a peanut sauced chicken dish.  In keeping with the red theme of the holiday, we had cherry tomatoes and radishes on a tray close to loads of Chinese sauces.  Paper plates, cups and napkins plus plastic utensils made set up and clean up very easy!!  We had our usual Chinese decorations and candles lit at the front door to lead our guests to our home.

 

Meanwhile the party was called for 7:30 pm and by 8 o’clock everyone had made their arrivals. We served the appetizers downstairs, and the main courses and desserts upstairs.

 

Finally after three hours of culinary debauchery the party ended everyone escaped into the cool clear air and hopefully made it home safely. By the way, “Happy New Year” is conventionally thought to mean in Cantonese, Gung hei fat choi. But that really means, “congratulations and be prosperous.” In reality the Cantonese saying for “Happy New Year” is Sun nin fai lok. So either way, thanks for coming, we had a great time so let’s look forward to a better year than the last!

 

We hope to have our next party when the Democrats take control of the House, Senate and White House.  See you all in 2009 for that glorious event!

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

The Advocates- Is Indian Point Safe? February 6, 2008

 

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

February 6, 2008

All archived Shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

 

Wednesday, February 6, 2008, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting my show “The Advocates” on WVOX- 1460 AM on your dial, or you can listen to its live streaming at www.wvox.com.  One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. Today’s topic is about theIndian Point Nuclear Plant, which is located 24 miles from New York City on the bank of the Hudson River.  The first hijacked plane flew right past Indian Point 6 minutes before it struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  The 9/11 Commission investigation revealed that Mohamed Atta had considered changing the target to Indian Point during his surveillance flights over the Hudson.  In 2007, the Attorney General for the state of New York filed papers challenging the re-licensing of Indian Point.  Westchester County, the county in which Indian Point is located, has also called for Indian Point’s closure. (Note: Monday’s Journal News front-page story, “NRC staff seeks to gag Westchester on Indian Point federal license review!”

 

Our guest is Ms. Michel Lee, who hasspent 20 years as a trial attorney prosecuting cases for and against corporations and representing a wide variety of industries (manufacturing, aerospace, finance, property development and insurance).  Her work involved a diverse array of cases including pentagon procurement fraud, RICO, First Amendment, and discrimination litigation.  After obtaining a post-doctoral degree, she specialized in conducting internal investigations for institutions and corporations, which were having severe internal problems such as whistleblower complaints. She is currently Senior Policy Analyst for Promoting Health and Sustainable Energy (PHASE), an energy policy think tank.

 

She also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), www.nirs.org, an international nuclear industry watchdog organization based in the Washington D.C area. Michel is a member of the Steering Committee of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC), www.IPSECinfo.org, a coalition of over 70 public interest, public health, civic, environmental and citizen groups which formed in response to a flood of citizen concerns about the safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plants after 9/11.*  Michel chairs the public interest group the Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy (CIECP), which is a member of IPSEC.

 

Michel was also in the Soviet Union four years following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and frequently lectures on Chernobyl issues. We will also have Ms. Allegra Dengler, a former trustee of the Village of Dobbs Ferry, who has been active in the Town of Greenburgh and Westchester County regarding the debate over Indian Point. 

 

One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at RJG Public Thoughts: http://publicthoughts.blogharbor.com and can also see all of the archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com. 

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “ issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow. Over the years, the “public policy” of the United States has changed or has been modified greatly. As an example, “free public education” is the public policy of the United States. Also, over time great struggles have ensued over the control of the direction of “public policy” For example: free trade vs. protectionism, slavery vs. emancipation, state’s rights vs. Federalism, and an all-volunteer armed forces or the “draft.”

 

Richard J. Garfunkel

http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com

rjg727@optonline.net 

 

 

 

Shows Coming up:

 

Nicolaus Mills – Professor of American Studies at Sarah Lawrence College: Talks about his book on George C. Marshall, “Winning the Peace.”

February 13, 2008.