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ROGER EBERT WAS STRAIGHT UP, THUMBS UP

“Two thumbs up for unequivocal Roger Ebert”, Ellis Henican Column, Newsday, April 7 2013 Thumbs up. Thumbs down. Doesn’t that cover everything? Of course, it doesn’t. Even Roger Ebert knew that. On TV, the famously unequivocal movie critic delivered his reviews with take-a-stand adamance. But he lived out the final years of his life on a…

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EGGS-AMINING THE WAR ON EASTER

“When will we tire of make-believe wars?”, Ellis Henican Column, Newsday, March 31 2013 So how did the big war on Easter turn out? Easter baskets, Easter services, premium-priced Easter brunches at hundreds of Long Island restaurants: Reports from the front say Easter is alive and kicking around here. Some of my cable TV friends were sounding…

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SUFFOLK STRIKES UP THE BANS

“Suffolk is serious about its bans”, Ellis Henican Column, Newsday, March 24, 2013 What hasn’t Suffolk County banned or restricted yet? Wouldn’t that be a much shorter list? The roster of the officially verboten is getting awfully lengthy. Drop-side baby cribs. Toxic detergents. Steel-jaw leg traps for small animals. Infant bottles containing BPA. Electronic cigarettes in…

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THE EASILY CHANGEABLE LABEL

“Perceived labels that no longer fit reality”, Ellis Henican Column, Newsday, March 17, 2013 It’s all in the labeling sometimes. Is St. Patrick’s Day a “drunkfest” or a “sober family holiday”? As always, that depends on who’s being asked. Police across Long Island certainly have a view. They’ve set up breathalyzer checkpoints at many of…

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LONG ISLAND’S NOT AS HIGH AS THE DOW

“Reports of economic growth don’t feel real”, Ellis Henican Column, Newsday, March 10, 2013 Feeling rich yet? The Dow hit another all-time high on Friday. The whole stock market has been soaring like an eagle out of Lance Armstrong’s medicine chest. The Labor Department’s latest jobs report was “brisk” (Wall Street Journal), “great news” (Washington…

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SWALLOWED UP BY THE SEQUESTER SINKHOLE

Jedi mind trick, Vulcan mind meld: An exasperated Barack Obama was obviously smushing his “Star Wars” and his “Star Trek” together when he complained that no “Jedi mind meld” could persuade congressional Republicans to end the budget sequester. Still, the president’s point was clear enough. Washington may be an otherworldly place these days, but that…

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THE AWARD FOR BEST DRAMA GOES TO…

And the winner is . . . hmmm. Maybe there isn’t a winner this time. New York is celebrating its third straight snow-watch weekend. Hollywood is celebrating itself. And Washington has nothing to celebrate at all. How much fun is that? If you went by the calendar, this should be a weekend of great excitement.…

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A WEEK OF WHATTAYA KNOW

I knew nothing, and so did you. I knew popes don’t quit. I knew meteors stay in the sky. I knew cruise ships are so gargantuan and stable, nothing can possibly go wrong. There was evidence, solid evidence, for all of this. No pope had said “I’m outta here” since the 1400s. Meteors fly around…

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ANOTHER STORM OF THE (SAME) CENTURY

If Sandy was a superstorm and Nemo was a double-whammy, what diabolical plans do God and nature have for Long Island next? If these weather calamities keep slamming us this way, what will it take to cause a stir next year? Locusts? There was once a time that storms of the century came once a…

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ED KOCH—NOTABLE, QUOTABLE, UNFORGETTABLE

 “Ed Koch gave us journalists a lot to work with”, Ellis Henican Column, Newsday, January 27, 2012 It might have been my first week as a New York reporter. The Sunday shift on a steamy afternoon in late July, Ed Koch hitting seven crowded swimming pools in Brooklyn and Queens. He wore a tie and…

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