Opinion

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Photo from SCPD

There was a time when we were all children, and while some of us may claim to have been perfect saints of juvenile life, many of us surely broke the rules.

Long Island is a particularly strange place to grow up. Its suburbia is often bordered by mini-metropolitan areas, but for long stretches of the North Shore, there is nothing but roads and the trees that border them.

That brings us to the bikers, the terrors of the streets. Pedals pumping, wheels in the air, driving in and around traffic, these young bikers have left an impression on local Facebook groups, to say the least. We hope parents will have a conversation with their children about bicycle safety relating to our article in this week’s edition of the paper.

But what has changed to create this fad of running bicycles in dense areas? Really, has anything changed?

There’s been no new bike technology that makes popping a wheelie easier. There’s no singular popular figure emphasizing kids take their bikes to the streets. In fact, you would likely have a harder time finding a house on Long Island that doesn’t have at least one bike in its garage.

The thing is, there is no real safe place for the youth to ride their bikes in this manner. If a person started biking from Rocky Point, it would take traveling all the way to Huntington or Riverhead just to find a single skate park that can accommodate a more adventurous biker than hike and bike trails can handle.

That’s not to mention just how dangerous our roads truly are. According to a 2015 report, seven out of 10 of New York state’s most dangerous roads are right here on Long Island, including such roads as Route 25.

Not to give any sort of pass to the young people playing chicken with a vehicle four times its size with twice as many wheels, but the case of these bicyclists is just one story that is the saga for youth having nothing to occupy them on the
North Shore.

No, the kids should not be allowed to bike in and out of traffic, intimidating those behind the wheel. They are a danger to themselves and others, but ask what they should be doing instead? There is a significant lack of skate parks in which people can ride their bikes.

The Rails to Trails project, which will create a hiking and biking trail from Wading River to Mount Sinai, is a good start, but we still do not have a confirmed date when that project will begin, let alone at which end of the trail construction will kick off. There is also the Greenway Trail from Port Jefferson Station through Setauket, but again, that will only scratch the itch of those into a relatively leisurely ride.

For years now, kids on the North Shore have had very little in terms of outdoor sports for those who are not into the classic school-based team sports. 

Perhaps it’s time North Shore parents, officials and business leaders think about finding a better place for those kids to bike, where they won’t drive into traffic. There is obviously a market for it. 

Or maybe we should start an organization like the Peace Corps, only local in scope, to encourage our young to aid the elderly and the needy. All that youthful energy could be put to a more noble purpose.

Stock photo

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Amid the talk of a quarter-point rate cut by the Federal Reserve is the worry that the economy, doing well the past few years, may be heading into recession. Typically, the Fed cuts the rate, making money easier to come by, when recession looms. This makes it easier for business people to take loans to expand their businesses and encourages would-be homeowners to take out mortgages.

But we are not living through a typical scenario. Rates are already low. Business is already humming along, the GDP or gross domestic product is expanding although more slowly than last year, and doesn’t appear to need a stimulus. Unemployment is remarkably low, which usually triggers higher wages, which in turn can trigger inflation, which then prompts a rate hike, not a cut. But that also isn’t the case. 

So what does the Fed know that we don’t?

Perhaps it’s just time for a recession to begin. After all, it’s been 10 years since the end of the Great Recession, which makes this the longest expansion in America’s history. Recessions do come. If we knew when, we could sell our stocks at their high and wait to buy our real estate at their low. The thing is, no one knows how to time the economy.

But this past Monday, in The New York Times Business section, there were four indicators listed that could sound the alarm. And lest you think not a lot of people care, just know that this was the best read article in the newspaper that day. So if you missed the indicators, I will share them with you now.

First tip-off could be from the unemployment rate. Even a tiny increase can be a telltale. When this rate rises quickly a recession is near or has already begun. But even a 0.3 percent increase in the rate over the low of the past 12 months is significant, and a 0.5 percent jump probably means we are already in recession. Now, however, the rate is not only low, it is trending downward. Historically that means a less than a one-in-10 chance of recession within a year.

The second indicator is the yield curve, about which I have written earlier in the year. When the interest rate on a 10-year Treasury bond is lower than the rate on a three-month bond, the yield is considered inverted. Just think about it. Wouldn’t the risk of tying up your money for a longer period be greater than for a short term? And if the risk for a longer period is greater, shouldn’t you be compensated with a higher interest rate? But no. That’s not the case. Longer term Treasuries have been offering the lower rates. In the past, however, “it has taken as long as two years for a recession to follow a yield-curve inversion,” according to The Times.

The third marker is the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index, which is a survey of purchasing managers about their orders, inventories, hiring and other operating activities. When that index reads above 50, the manufacturing sector of the economy is growing; below it is contracting. This is a report that comes out the first of every month and is a leading indicator. But remember, manufacturing no longer drives the American economy. And with the global economic slowdown we are seeing and the trade tariff battles, the index may start to descend.

Last but certainly not least is consumer sentiment, which makes up some two-thirds of the economy. If we are not spending, the economy is not growing. A decline of 15 percent or more in the consumer confidence index would be worrisome. In that regard, so far so good. The index is pretty much the same as a year ago, although it has fallen since late last year.

So where are we? Your guess is as good as mine. Good luck to us.

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By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Before the summer ends, go to the beach and close your eyes. Most of us are visually dominant, so we go somewhere like West Meadow Beach and look at everything from the boats and ferries out on the Long Island Sound to the young children running back and forth in and out of the water to the light sparkling across the waves.

While all of those are spectacular sensory stimuli, they are only a part of experiences we might otherwise take for granted at a local beach. Our ears can and do pick up so many seasonal cues. We might hear a seagull calling from the top of a bathroom hut to birds flying along the shore. Apart from the music that emanates from phones and radios along the crowded beach, we can hear the wind rustling through umbrellas, the sound of a young couple laughing about the ridiculous thing their friend did the night before, or the splashes a skimming rock makes as it gets farther away from shore. On a day with limited visibility, we can listen to boats calling to each other with their deep horns.

Our skin is awash in cues. As clouds float overhead, we appreciate the incredible temperature difference between the sun and the shade. Combined with a sudden gust of wind, our skin feels unexpectedly cool as we wait for that same wind to escort the cloud away. We take off our shoes and allow our feet, which carry the rest of our bodies hither and yon, to appreciate other textures. We dig our toes into the warm sand and lift our heels, allowing the grains of sand to trickle back to join their granule brethren.

We walk to the edge of the water and feel as if we’ve left the office, the shop, the lawn or the screaming kids far away. The lower water temperature draws away the heat that’s built up inside of us. If the surf kicks up, we can slide into the soft sand, sinking up to our ankles in the moistness.

Our feet can appreciate the fixed ripples on a sandbar that are smooth, soft and uneven.

As we walk up the beach, we can test the ability of our soles to manage through rocks often smoothed over by years of wave and water. We bend our knees more than normal to cushion the impact of a hard or uneven rock.

Our noses anticipate the beach before we leave the house. We lather coconut-scented sunscreen on our bodies and across our faces. As we get closer to the beach, we may pick up the marshy whiff of low tide. When we pull into a hot parking lot, the sweet and familiar ocean spray fills our lungs.

Once we’re swimming, our taste buds recognize the enormous difference between the waters of the Sound and a chlorinated pool. When we leave the sea, we head to the warm blanket or towel to partake of foods we associate with the beach, like the sandwiches we picked up at the deli on the way over, the refreshing iced tea or the crispy potato chips.

We saunter over to the ice cream truck, looking at a menu we’ve known for years. While we scan the offerings, we lick our lips and imagine the taste of the selections, trying to get those small bumps on our tongues to help us with the decision. We know how fortunate we are when the most difficult decision we have to make resolves around choosing the right ice cream to cap off a day that reminds us of the pleasures of living on Long Island.

Photo from Rep. Kathleen Rice

Since congressional leaders visited detention facilities at the U.S. border with Mexico in the last few weeks, readers have been reaching out to us about the immigration issue. Overall, these letters have a common thread: Continue to cover the topic.

As a community newspaper, our focus is mainly on local news, rather than international affairs. But, local elected officials are telling their constituents that border conditions are awful. Immigrants are living in cages and unusually crowded. We hear you and out of humanitarian concern promise to follow the issue. In turn, we ask you to stay in touch and share your perspectives. Your comments and criticism help us all become better informed.

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives live in our circulation area: U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who lives in Glen Cove, runs an office in Huntington. His district includes parts of Queens and the North Shore of Long Island in Nassau and Suffolk counties extending west to include parts of Kings Park and Commack. U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who lives in Shirley, and runs an office in Patchogue, represents most of Suffolk County. 

Suozzi sits on the House Ways and Means Committee and is vice chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of 48 congressional leaders that are “not afraid to take on tough issues.”

Zeldin sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, which deals with issues related to Central America. It passed H.R. 2615, the bill that authorizes foreign assistance to fight corruption and improve economic conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, nations from which many immigrants originated. The bill currently awaits action in the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

People can contact Senators Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D) on H.R. 2615, called The U.S. Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, and other immigration issues. You can also leave messages with the White House on your position.  

One U.S. policy that may be the most unrealistic is expecting people to seek asylum in the first country they encounter. Immigrants often leave to escape violence and not all countries are bordered by nations able to protect them.

On July 16, the Trump administration published a new rule, 8 C.F.R. Parts 1003 and 1208 on the Federal Register, stating that any immigrant who fails to seek protection from a country outside their native land before crossing the U.S. border is ineligible for asylum.

On Long Island and nationwide, Catholic Charities is one the largest providers of legal services for all people in the immigrant community. They agree that policies need to be humane. Policies should not prevent people from seeking asylum.

We the people need to bear responsibility.  Call your elected officials today:

White House: 202-456-1111

Sen. Chuck Schumer: 202-224-6542

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: 202-224-4451

Rep. Tom Suozzi: 202-225-3335

Rep. Lee Zeldin: 202-225-3143 

Stock photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Airports are funny places, if you don’t have to fly anywhere. In no particular order, I’d like to share some observations after myriad recent summer flights.

Cost of food and drinks: It’s not quite as high as the U.S. Open prices, but it’s pretty close. You can buy a water for the same price as you’d buy a case of 24 waters at a supermarket or a drugstore.

Jennifer Aniston still sells magazines: Every news store has numerous magazines near the instant sugar and the ways to improve bad breath. At least one, if not all, of these editorial products typically features Jennifer Aniston because, even at 50 years old, Rachel from “Friends” still helps sell magazines.

Perfect place for claustrophobes — yes, that’s a word — to feel claustrophobic: Despite the ongoing construction, LaGuardia still features incredibly close hallways that are reminiscent of former baseball stadiums, albeit without the smell of hot dogs or the sound of a crowd roaring to life after a home run.

Caste system in the air: We board by group number because that’s what the airlines, in their infinite wisdom and desire to divide us into the “haves” and “have nots” have decided is the best way to wring a few extra bucks out of its customers. So, naturally, those of us unwilling to shell out a few extra shekels — that’s the Israeli currency, but I put it in here because of the alliteration — have to board in group 9. What I especially love about this group, which is often the largest one, is that the airline workers rarely even say the number. After they board group 8, they’ll say, “OK, and everyone can board now.” Why even give us a number if we are “all the rest”? Just put “last” or “loser” or “cheap bastard” on our tickets and call it a day. Seriously, this group boarding system is reminiscent of the Hindu caste system, where the group 9 people are the equivalent of Harijans or “Untouchables.” Ooh, that was a good movie which had nothing to do with flying or with the caste system, although Nitti did take an unintended flight before he was waiting in the car.

Bags: Is it just me, or have the storage spaces on the airlines become smaller even as people lug two and three pieces of furniture, I mean baggage, onto the plane? Of course, the people in groups 1 and 2 could easily store a couch in the limited overhead space, while the group 9 crowd isn’t allowed to take a miniature backpack.

Pretzels or cookies: Really? That’s what the food has come down to on airplanes? No more, “chicken or fish” from the flight attendants. Nowadays, they seem magnanimous when they offer us a choice of carbohydrates. Sometimes, they even let us take one of each, but they wink as if we’re not supposed to tell anyone. Oops, did I just blow their secret?

Manipulative timing: Airlines finally seem to have mastered the art of under promising and over delivering. When flights leave on time, they arrive 30 minutes or more early. When they leave 30 minutes later than anticipated, they somehow arrive on time. It probably makes passengers happier to arrive earlier, but it makes the concept of “on time” less of an accomplishment. The airlines seem to have created their own timing curve.

Rating the flight: We’re barely on the ground before the airlines want to know how they did. Well, they arrived early (surprise, surprise); they gave the happy people in the higher groups of the plane the requisite pretzels; and they didn’t have time to serve drinks or pretzels to the underappreciated fliers from group 9.

Eleanor Kra

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

This week’s column is dedicated to courage, the particular courage of one person. That person was one of my closest friends, and she died last week. Even though she suffered for five years with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and we all knew that the end was coming, it is hard to imagine life without her.

And isn’t that the height of selfishness, to think of her death as my loss? What about her loss? Never again on Earth to hug and kiss her husband, her children and grandchildren, to cheer when they enjoy victories and to commiserate when things don’t work out as they had hoped. Never again to join friends for an evening at the opera. Never again to enjoy cooking delicious dinner for those lucky enough to be her guests. Never again to exchange insights about the political turmoil through which we are living. Never again to share a deep belly laugh. For her, it has ended.

We met as freshmen at college. She was impressive for her strongly held viewpoints during classroom discussions of world affairs, asserting that the Cold War was not just about two superpowers but also included a third bloc of underdeveloped and uncommitted nations. She was also delightfully funny, laughing at the incongruities of life. When we were both assigned dorm rooms on the same floor of the same dorm, I got to know that she was born in Poland in the Warsaw ghetto in 1941, hardly a choice time and place, that she had escaped from the ghetto with her mother and another woman and child thanks to her father’s resourcefulness, and that she had lived out World War II in Warsaw with false papers, both mothers being under extreme duress.

My friend went on to be elected editor in chief of the college newspaper, and she sometimes wrote about my actions as class president. We laughed about how it was a microcosm of the fourth estate, that is the public press, commenting on the executive branch. We served on the student council together and became close friends.

After graduation, when my husband and I were looking to settle somewhere in the New York area, it was she who I called from Wichita Falls in northern Texas to ask if Stony Brook, where her husband was a mathematics professor, was a good place to live. Little did I know that this one night she and her husband had decided uncharacteristically to retire early to bed, and with the one-hour time difference between Texas and the East Coast, I would wake them up with my question. But she waved me on. “It’s home,” she responded in her usual direct fashion, telling me all I needed to know. That is how we happened to move to the North Shore of Long Island.

After my husband died and my children all left for college, she stepped in with a surprising offer: How about joining them with an opera subscription? “Where?” I asked. “Why at the Metropolitan Opera, where else?” she smiled. “We would drive into NYC each time?” I responded disbelievingly. “Yes, and have dinner beforehand,” she said with a gleam in her eye. And that is how I discovered one of my great passions.

But before she died, here is her most important gift to us. She was the embodiment of courage. Even as the quality of her life deteriorated, she fought to maintain normalcy, for her sake and the sake of those around her. She went from a cane to a walker, accompanied by her husband, then to a wheelchair, then to a scooter wheelchair that she drove at breakneck speed down Broadway from their West End apartment to Lincoln Center for her subscription performances and more. And as her muscular ability to verbalize diminished, she used the internet and her computer keyboard to stay connected to the rest of us as long as she could control her hands.

Watching her struggle was a gut-wrenching anguish. It was also an inspiration. She was not going into that dark night easily. She fought for every inch of the life her parents had saved and she and her husband had made together, and in so doing she showed us not only how to die with valor but especially how to live life to the max.

Long Islanders can be particularly proud on July 20, as Americans celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human steps taken on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Many of the men and women who once worked at the Grumman Corporation in Bethpage, right here on Long Island, played a significant part in the project.

The aerospace engineering company, now known as Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, was integral in the design, assembly, integration and testing of the lunar module used in the Apollo 11 mission. In fact, by 1969 approximately 9,000 people, according to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, were working on the project. This team included 3,000 engineers, scientists, mathematicians and supporting technical personnel.

We owe a lot to the men and women of Grumman who played a part in the Apollo 11 mission and all lunar landing missions that followed. One small step for man led to giant leaps in technology. Among the technological advances to emerge from the Apollo missions, according to NASA’s website, is the AID implantable automatic pulse generator. Using Apollo technology, it monitors the heart continuously, recognizes the onset of a heart attack and delivers a corrective electrical shock. Developed by the company Medrad, it consists of a microcomputer, a power source and two electrodes that sense heart activity. When medically necessary, the product is available as an implant today.

Many Grumman employees still live on Long Island, and when our editors started asking friends and social media connections if they knew anyone who worked on the moon mission, we were surprised at how easy it was to find these people who worked on the lunar module or LM. One editor sat on the board of a nonprofit with one of the people we feature in this edition, and she never knew he played a role in such a historic event.

During this milestone anniversary, we hope our readers will take the opportunity to ask around and find out if anyone knows a family member or friend who worked on the mission. Their stories are interesting, and, as they are now in their 70s and 80s, we hope their memories will be passed down to not only family and friends, but to everyone. 

Imagine, just a little more than 50 years ago it was unfathomable that humans could put a person on the moon, but Americans did. The mission reminds us of what a group of people working in various fields can collectively accomplish. If we can put a man on the moon, maybe one day we’ll be able to figure out how to put an end to hunger even with a food surplus, cure cancer and convert our fuel economy to alternative, clean forms of energy.

Let’s remember that dreams do come true. What once seemed impossible was achieved. The spirit that captured our country enabled men and women to work together towards a common goal. 

With a common belief in ourselves as Americans, such a thing can happen again.

Stock photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

We spend our lives searching. We look for friends in elementary school with whom we can share a laugh or a meal. We seek the right clothing and supplies so that we fit in.

As we age, the searches change. We hunt for fulfilling jobs, long-term romantic or career partners, places to live, cars that will meet our needs, and homes in communities that will welcome us and our families.

Through all of these searches, people wander into and out of our lives. If we’re fortunate enough, we might know someone from the time we’re 3 years old with whom we continue to meet, laugh, and exchange work stories or ideas and challenges.

Sitting in cars waiting for our children to emerge from their orchestra rehearsals or milling about in the entrance to an auditorium after a concert, we may see the same familiar faces, smile at the people next to us, and appreciate how they have supported all of our children with equal energy and commitment, congratulating our son or daughter on their solos or appreciating the remarkable live performance they just witnessed.

As we age, we inevitably lose people. Some drift out of our lives when their interests diverge from ours, even though they remain in the same town. Others take jobs in a new state and follow a different schedule in a new time zone.

When our friends or family members die, the losses are permanent. Except in photos, videos and in our imaginations, we won’t see their faces, smell their perfume or hear their infectious and distinctive laugh echo around a room.

We often say to family members and close friends, “So sorry for your loss.”

While death is a loss, it’s also a reminder of what we found. The person who has left us may have attended the same school, lived on the same block or gone to the same conference many years ago. A blur of people enter and leave our lives, sometimes for as short as a few seconds because we give them change at a store or take their reservations when we’re working for a ferry company, or other times when we’re waiting with them at the DMV to get a new license in a new state. Other times, the people who will become an ongoing part of our lives find us, just as we found them.

Their death brings sadness and a hole in the fabric of our lives. Some cultures tear a hole in their garments to tell the world about the missing piece that comes with mourning.

These moments are also an opportunity to celebrate the fact that we forged a connection and that we played an important role in each other’s lives.

Connections begin when we reach out to strangers who become friends and to men and women who become life partners. Every day, we have the opportunity to appreciate what we’ve found in the people who populate our lives, the ones we choose to call to share the news about a promotion, those whose support and consideration remind us of who we are.

When we stray from a path that works, these found friends can bring us back to the version of ourselves we strive to be. Each loss reminds us not only of who that person was in general, but also of what we discovered through our interactions. These important people provide common ground and experiences and are as much a part of who we are as the image staring back at us in the mirror. We didn’t just find them. Ideally, we found the best of ourselves through the experiences we shared with them.

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Today we report on two diametrically opposite faces of our nation. Interspersed here are some personal recollections of my own. Fifty years ago we Americans stood proud and together, our faces turned upward to the heavens, as the United States sent Apollo 11 to the moon with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong and Aldrin were to land on the surface in the Lunar Excursion Module, or LEM, the creation of engineering wizardry by thousands of Grumman workers right here on Long Island.

An estimated 650 million people around the world watched spellbound on black-and-white television screens as the two astronauts took the first steps for a man on July 20, 1969, and the unprecedented leap into the future of space travel for mankind.

Until 1972, 24 people flew to the moon, none since then. But that was just the beginning of incredible discoveries and inventions, from miniaturizations to astrobiology. We have a satellite that has played host to other nations and enabled us to see around the world. Known as the International Space Station, we have used it to reach out into the solar system. And it will even become a regular destination for tourists shortly if entrepreneurs are to be believed.

A family gathers to watch the moon landing in 1969.

Meanwhile, as Armstrong and Aldrin were busy walking around on the moon, there was a tiny leap on Earth for our third son. He arrived from out of the womb at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson and at this time is enjoying a 50th anniversary of his own. We had arrived on Long Island only three weeks earlier from Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, where my husband had served for the preceding two years, and were busy working to establish our new lives here. 

Now you might think that the blessing of a new baby, along with the need to find a new home and rent a medical office might have overshadowed the miracle of the moon landing, but for me that event was high-voltage electric. 

Just before we left New York for Texas and my husband’s assignment, I had been working at Time-Life with Arthur C. Clarke, who had arrived from his Eden-like home in Ceylon — now Sri Lanka — to write a book called, “Man and Space.” Clarke, like the other writers of space discoveries and travel, had to write under the banner of science fiction in order to gain respectability. But the truth was that these authors believed what they wrote would come to pass, and fortunately for many of them they were alive to see it happen in the 1960s. And I was fortunate enough to be part of the excitement, a front row spectator of history, as we journalists are.

I, too, was caught up in the fervor of the coming moon shot. When Clarke parted, he went on to join Stanley Kubrick to co-write the script of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” considered today one of the best films ever made, and I to become the wife of an Air Force officer and then mother of three.

So we leave the incredible heights of American pride now and look at the other side of the coin. Elsewhere in our news, we have the press release from U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who went to the southern border of the United States with a small group from the House to see first hand what was happening at the immigration centers. In his words, the situation is “awful” and the system is “broken.” The group toured and inspected facilities that are currently holding Central American migrants seeking asylum, speaking with several immigrant families as they went.

According to first-hand reports, there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. Since only very few migrants are processed each day, many cross over the border illegally between points of entry, then turn themselves in to seek asylum. They come in such numbers that they greatly exceed capacity to house and care for them, and as such are living in deplorable conditions. 

These are our American concentration camps, where children have been separated from their parents. They are deserving of our shame. “America is better than this,” declared Suozzi, and we know that to be true. At one and the same time, we celebrate and rue our nation.

Photo by David Ackerman

The showers of sparks that rained down on our heads the night of Fourth of July were inspiring — grandiose and touching all at once. Fireworks and Independence Day go together like old friends, a tradition that touches the heart. Long Island is home to many of these shows, from the Bald Hill spectacle to the fireworks set off on the West Beach in Port Jefferson.

Then there are the smaller shows, the ones put on by the local neighborhoods in the cool of night. While the grand displays of the professional shows are like standing in the majesty under the lights of Times Square, the small community shows are more like candles set along the mantle in a dark room. Both can be spectacular in their own ways.

Though of course, one is done by amateurs, often in illegal circumstances. And even after the festivities, fireworks continue to light up the sky despite its danger and how it may impact the surrounding community.

Unlike other New York counties, Suffolk County has bans on sparklers, along with firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, spinners and aerial devices. The Suffolk County Fire Marshals beg people to put down their own fireworks and attend one of the professionally manned shows.

And it seems they have had good reasons, both past and present, to press people for caution. Two women from Port Jefferson Station were injured with fireworks the night of July Fourth when one ended up in their backyard. While other media outlets reported only light injuries, in fact their injuries were much more severe, and readers will read that story in the coming week’s issue.

But of course, the injuries don’t just happen here on the North Shore. A 2018 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that in 2017, fireworks were involved in an estimated 12,900 injuries. Children under the age of 15 accounted for 36 percent of these injuries. Sparklers accounted for an estimated 1,200 emergency department-treated injuries.

And it’s not over yet. Even a week after July Fourth, fireworks continue to go up with sparks and bangs in the din of night.

Residents know to handle their pets scared by the booms of fireworks on Independence Day, but should they have to cower with their pets for days and days afterward?

And of course, that’s not even to mention U.S. veterans, many of whom know what they must do to stay safe if they are suffering from PTSD on July Fourth, but should they have to sequester themselves every day afterward for a week or more?

Sending up fireworks after July Fourth is inconsiderate, to say the least. We at TBR News Media beg people with excess fireworks to put them in packages or put them aside.

And next time July Fourth comes around, we urge caution when using these explosives. Nobody should have to find refuge from their neighbors on the day of the birth of this nation.