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Long Island Expressway

Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, center, swears in Ira Costell, right, and Carolyn Sagliocca as president and vice president of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association. Photo by Raymond Janis

The newly reconfigured executive board of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association went straight to work Tuesday night during the body’s general meeting April 25.

Nearly six dozen people turned out as former civic president Ed Garboski and vice president Sal Pitti left their posts, transitioning leadership authority to Ira Costell and Carolyn Sagliocca, respectively. 

Village of Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant, former New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and representatives of state Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) were all in attendance.

Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) officiated over a formal swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected civic officers. He thanked the departing civic leaders and congratulated their successors.

“There’s an energy in this community that we haven’t felt in years,” he said. “It’s a whole new optimism, and in large part, that’s because of the drive out of this civic organization.”

To Garboski and Pitti, the councilmember added, “You two are fantastic civic leaders, and I have every confidence that the new board will continue to focus and do the work that you’ve done.”

The newly reconfigured executive board of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association during a general meeting on Tuesday, April 25. Photo by Raymond Janis

Land use

Costell quickly got moving, announcing the creation of a land use committee headed by Sagliocca, which will monitor development and related land use activities within the hamlet.

Further expanding on this theme, Costell articulated his vision for overseeing the redevelopment of the area, narrowing his focus around the projected $100 million proposed investment into Jefferson Plaza, owned by Staller Associates.

“The Staller project is the keystone, if you will, about the entire development of our little hamlet,” he said.

Between the Jefferson Plaza proposal, several planned retirement communities throughout the hamlet and significant residential development in Upper Port, Costell described PJS/T as looking at challenges associated with population density.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us as an organization to register our desire and intention to seek new planning overall, to bring a traffic study and some of the impacts of all of these things cumulatively,” the civic president said. 

He added, “I’d like to go in front of the [Brookhaven] Town Board and express our concern that our little hamlet needs some attention, that we’ve gotten a whole lot of multifamily activity here that we welcome but want done in a fashion and manner that’s going to ameliorate the impacts on existing residents and invite new people in.”

Kornreich concurred with this assessment in part, stating that overdevelopment represents a danger to the quality of life in the area.

“I agree with you that overdevelopment is one of the gravest threats that we face in the destruction of the suburbs, both in respect to our way of life and from an environmental standpoint,” the councilmember said.

Town natural gas program

Kornreich informed the body on a cost-savings strategy for consumers of natural gas. 

Recently, the town launched its Community Choice Aggregation program, partnering with Manhattan-based Good Energy to deliver a fixed rate on natural gas at 69 cents per therm. [See story, “Community Choice Aggregation: Town of Brookhaven joins energy revolution,” March 9, TBR News Media website.]

The councilmember said ratepayers could potentially save hundreds of dollars per year by strategically opting in and out of the CCA program based on the gas price from National Grid.

“Essentially, you can opt in and out at any time as many times as you want for free,” he said.

To save money, he encouraged residents to closely monitor National Grid’s service rates, published at the beginning of every month. “When that price is lower than 69 cents, you stay on National Grid,” he said. “When it goes over, you switch over.”

Based on a model he had conducted for his bill measuring the CCA against the National Grid price, Kornreich projected he would have saved approximately $250 last year.

“This month, in the month of April, National Grid’s price is 35 cents a therm,” he said, adding, “It’s half the price of the CCA … so I’m opting out.”

Reports

A Suffolk County Police Department officer delivered a report on public safety, noting that the phenomenon of catalytic converter theft within the area remains ongoing. The 6th Precinct also observed a slight increase in petit larcenies from this time last year.

He remarked on the new speed cameras installed on the Long Island Expressway. [See story, “New York implements new work-zone enforcement program.”] . The officer reported that during testing, the cameras generated roughly 6,500 summons within a 45-minute window. 

“Please be careful when you get on the LIE,” he said, adding jokingly, “That’s not a county thing. That’s a state thing, so please don’t call us and complain.”

Comsewogue High School students Kylie and Max updated the civic on various developments within the school district. The Spanish Honor Society at the high school recently held a fundraiser to buy Progresso soup donated to the Pax Christi Hospitality Center in Port Jefferson.

Andrea Malchiodi, assistant director of Comsewogue Public Library, announced that the library is conducting a raffle for all cardholders as part of National Library Week. “We’re doing a huge raffle basket, so anybody who is a library card holder can go and put in a raffle to win this fun basket,” she said.

The library is also collecting pet food for a collection drive through Long Island Cares.

PJSTCA corresponding secretary, Charlie McAteer, reported that the town would be holding a Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 29, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Train Car Park in Port Jefferson Station.

McAteer also said that the Friends of the Greenway would conduct their next cleanup on Saturday, May 13, at 9 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Station trailhead. This cleanup will coincide with this year’s iteration of the Great Brookhaven Cleanup.

PJSTCA will meet again on Tuesday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at Comsewogue Public Library.

The new state program will use photo enforcement technologies to monitor speeding in work-zones. Following a 30-day grace period, violators will receive a fine by mail. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

New York State has introduced its Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program. 

The system clocks vehicles traveling above the speed limit in specified work zones. A registered owner of a vehicle will be ticketed by mail if the posted work-zone speed limit is exceeded by more than 10 miles per hour, according to the legislation signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in September, 2021.

The law states that the “owner of a vehicle shall be liable for a penalty” when that “vehicle was traveling at a speed of more than 10 miles per hour above the posted speed limit in effect within such highway construction or maintenance work area, and such violation is evidenced by information obtained from a photo speed violation monitoring system.”

The ny.gov website indicates that this new program will be “located in construction or maintenance zones on New York State controlled access highways and parkways.” It also indicates that signs leading up to the enforcement areas will make it clear that a driver is entering one.

In a phone interview, Stephen Canzoneri, a spokesman for Region 10 of the state Department of Transportation, said that there will be “two signs posted in advance of the camera.” He added that these cameras are “only being placed in active work zones where there are boots on the ground.”

During the first 30 days of the program —which began Monday, April 17, according to Canzoneri — New York State will issue warnings by mail instead of actual fines. After this initial warning period, drivers violating the posted work-zone speed limits in the enforcement areas will receive a $50 fine by mail.

For a second violation, a violator will receive $75 fine, so long as this violation is within an 18-month period of the first violation. Any third or subsequent violations will result in a $100 fine if, once again, these are within 18 months of the first violation.

The website also states that “there will be 30 work-zone speed units … that will be moved around to work zones throughout the state.” To see an up-to-date listing of where the speed cameras are currently being utilized, go to www.ny.gov/work-zone-safety-awareness/automated-work-zone-speed-enforcement-program and scroll down to “Locations” on the left-hand side. The cameras are “being placed on the limited access highways, such as the Long Island Expressway, Northern State Parkway, a portion of Sunrise [Highway] in central Suffolk,” Canzoneri said.

The ny.gov website clarifies that drivers will not receive points on their licenses for violations in these zones and that these penalties are strictly “civil in nature, with no criminal implications.”

In 2021, there were 378 “work-zone intrusions” and that more than 50 of these intrusions resulted in injury for either a highway worker or a vehicle occupant. “A work-zone intrusion is defined as an incident where a motor vehicle has entered a portion of the roadway that is closed due to construction or maintenance activity,” the ny.gov website states.

“We are seeing an increase in work-zone intrusions throughout the Island,” Canzoneri said. “More people are back on the roads after the COVID shutdowns. And traffic patterns are returning to what they were. And unfortunately, it means that there’s more danger for our workers on the road.”

In a phone interview, Jaime Franchi, Long Island Contractors’ Association director of communications and government relations, said, “Anything that is a deterrent that makes people pause while they’re driving in a zone where our highway workers are vulnerable is something that we would absolutely advocate for.”

Franchi added that LICA has been advocating for highway safety for many years, particularly on winding stretches of the Southern State Parkway. “They deserve to get home to their families,” Franchi said about highway workers.

Canzoneri agreed. “We want everybody to go home at the end of the day to be with their families,” he said.

The ny.gov website indicates that this five-year program is a joint effort by the state Department of Transportation and the state Thruway Authority.

State assemblywoman on Albany’s neglect of Long Island

Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead). Photo from Giglio's website

New York State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) has openly criticized the state government for neglecting Long Island communities.

In an interview earlier this week, she addressed the upcoming gubernatorial primary election, her efforts to reach out to colleagues across the political aisle, the backward state of public infrastructure on the Island and more.

What is your professional background and how did you end up in the state Assembly?

I started my own construction company in 1997. I went to Stony Brook [University] at night while working full time during the day. I started to become very active in the construction industry and in land use — we owned 146 acres in East Quogue. My company is a certified Women Business Enterprise and I’m also a member of [the International Union of Operating Engineers] Local 138.

At the time, the Southampton Town Board put us in a moratorium for 2 1/2 years and raised our property taxes from $80,000 to $400,000. I was present at every hearing for the moratorium, where we couldn’t file an application and basically couldn’t do anything with our property. I felt that my property rights had been violated and became very involved in the political spectrum.

I started the Riverhead Business Alliance, where I had 50 businesses pay $300 a year so that I could hire somebody to send out emails letting businesses know about zoning changes that would be detrimental to their businesses. I set up a board of directors — and I was the president and the founder — and we just let everyone know what was happening in local government. A couple of years later, the business community asked me to run for the Town Board, which I did. I served on the Riverhead Town Board [as councilwoman] for 10 years.

There was a shift in government when [former state] Sen. [Kenneth] LaValle [R-Port Jefferson], who was a tremendous asset to the 1st Senate District, decided that he was no longer going to run. That’s when Anthony Palumbo [R-New Suffolk] decided to run for Senate. They asked me to run to fill his [state Assembly] seat, which I did, and I’m happy to serve the 2nd Assembly District in Albany.

You have spoken recently about the need to funnel tax dollars back into Long Island communities. In your opinion, are Long Islanders underserved by Albany?

Absolutely. I think all of Long Island is underserved by Albany. The largest concentration of New Yorkers is in New York City, so a lot of the money gets funneled into the five boroughs. I think that we pay a tremendous amount in tax dollars and a tremendous amount in our utility costs and that we are underserved.

However, I am very close to a lot of people on the other side of the aisle. I explain to them the problems that we have in our district and that we need help. I have been inviting them out here to come to different events, such as the Bell Town Heritage Area [in Aquebogue], where a friend of mine in the Assembly, Alicia Hyndman [D-Springfield Gardens], actually came out with her daughter and spent the day with me out here in the district, so that I could show her some of the challenges we face. On Saturday for Juneteenth, I went into Hempstead and spent the day with my dear friend, Taylor Darling [D-Hempstead] who is also in the majority, to see what her population is faced with.

I think that’s what it really takes: Not being a foreigner to other areas of the state, to realize what their needs are, and to make sure that we all work together to bring some of that money and some of those resources back to Long Island. 

As local residents enter the voting booth for next week’s gubernatorial primary elections, what are some important issues that they should keep in mind?

The important issues are the high taxes that we pay in New York state and getting people back to work. I think that shutting down the economy and making people dependent on the government is problematic and it hasn’t worked in other countries. 

I’ve worked with Congressman Lee Zeldin [R-NY1] since 2009 in his campaigns and have worked very closely with him over the years to make sure that our voices are heard here on Long Island. I think he’s been a pretty good advocate for us. I’ve listened to the debates and I think all of the candidates make great points. They have different areas of expertise that could help the state and I hope that whoever becomes the governor will tap into those assets, knowledge and experience that those others have. 

I think that Lee Zeldin is the most experienced person running for governor in that he served in the state Senate and he also served in Congress, so he knows the mechanisms of government and can hit the ground running right away because we need a quick reversal of what is happening right now in the state.

Two Long Islanders will be on the primary ballots next week: Zeldin and Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY3). What does this say about the relationship between Long Island and Albany?

Long Islanders are mad. Whether it’s from the South Shore or the North Shore, the East End or the middle of Long Island, people here are mad. Our Long Island Expressway was a debacle for too many years. We needed that federal infrastructure money and I’m glad to say some of it is coming back to Long Island. 

Long Island is a very unique place. There are a lot of people across the state that are spending a lot of time on Long Island, enjoying our waterfronts and our fisheries, our marinas and our farms, our commerce and our beaches. It’s important that we promote ourselves and make sure that Long Island has a strong voice in the state government.

In your opinion, is the MTA-LIRR underperforming? And what can be done to expedite services and make the railroad more responsive to Long Island communities? 

I can tell you that the New York State government is a crutch for the MTA whenever the MTA fails or overspends or has issues. I think that the current governor [Kathy Hochul (D)] shutting down the government for so long, especially in New York City — and the city government that shut everything down from theaters to shopping to restaurants — it really showed New York City that Long Island can work from home and that we don’t need to go into the city. 

I think that is going to cripple the MTA even more. The fact that the current governor held back and kept shutting everything down, sending the troopers and child protective services into restaurants on Long Island and throughout the state to make sure that everybody was shut down was a further step into government dependency. We were just writing unemployment checks and encouraging people to stay home and not go to work. 

How can the state government be brought closer to the people of Long Island?

As I said previously, by bringing people out here. A lot of people on the other side of the aisle in the majority are planning on coming out and spending some time with me out on Long Island this summer, including Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes [D-Buffalo]. We’re going to visit the wineries and the farms, look at the beaches and spend some time together. She has assured me that she will be out here with me and I plan on taking a trip up to Buffalo to see what her hurdles and her struggles are.

I think that by bringing people out farther on Long Island and seeing what we have out here … especially our expressway. Long Island has been neglected for far too long and we need to make sure that our roads are safe, that our law enforcement is making sure that our communities are safe and that there’s always somebody at the other end of the phone to answer the call. 

Our volunteer firefighters and our volunteer EMS workers, they are finding it very unaffordable to live here. We need to make sure that there are incentives for them to stay as another aspect of public safety. That is the fundamental reason why we have a government: public health, safety, welfare and prosperity.

Is there anything else you would like to say to our local readers?

I would like to say that elections have consequences. It’s very important that everyone pays attention to who is running for office. Look them up on the internet. We have easy access now to look at the platforms of the people running for office. Pay attention to who’s running and who best represents your ideals, your values and your concerns.

Mannequin found in driver's car in the HOV lane of the Long Island Expressway. Photo from Suffolk County Police Department

Suffolk County Police issued a Centereach man a ticket after he was pulled over for driving with a phony passenger in the HOV lane on the Long Island Expressway in Dix Hills this afternoon.

Highway patrol officer Andrew Spina was traveling on the Long Island Expressway, near exit 51, when he became suspicious of the front seat passenger in a 2002 Saturn sedan traveling in the HOV lane.

Spina pulled over the vehicle and observed that the driver, James Britt, had placed a mannequin wearing a sweatshirt, sunglasses, hat and jeans into the front passenger seat in an attempt to resemble a person.

Britt, 34, was issued a summons for the HOV occupancy violations.

GoFundMe page set up to help victim's family

The Preto family of Selden. Photo from GoFundMe

Suffolk County Police 2nd Squad detectives are investigating a multicar crash on the Long Island Expressway near exit 49 in Melville over Thanksgiving weekend that killed a Selden man.

On Nov. 24, Dix Hills resident Madhava Reddy, 58, was driving a 2018 Mercedes Benz in the middle lane of the eastbound LIE near exit 49, when he was struck from behind by a 2016 Nissan driven by 31-year-old Eric Preto, of Selden. Preto’s pregnant wife, Gabriella, and his 2-year-old son were also in the vehicle.

Preto stepped out of his car to check the damage and speak with Reddy. As he was walking back to his vehicle, Preto was struck by a 2015 Subaru being driven by Jennifer Massaro, 38, of Smithtown. A 2017 Nissan being driven by Commack resident Stephen Raia, 24, then struck Preto’s vehicle.

Preto was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. Reddy, Massaro, Gabriella Preto, 29, of Selden, and her child were all transported to area hospitals for evaluation. Raia was evaluated at the scene.

Suffolk police impounded all four vehicles for safety checks.

“Late last night, the Preto family was involved in a terrible accident and Eric lost his precious life,” reads a GoFundMe page set up for Eric Preto’s family. This tragedy is absolutely devastating and we’re hoping this account can help with the future expenses of his young children.”

The page, www.gofundme.com/support-the-family-of-eric-preto, had raised more than half of its $100,000 goal as of this publication’s press time.

Any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact the 2nd Squad at 631-854-8252.

File photo

Suffolk County Police today arrested two men in Dix Hills following a pursuit on the Long Island Expressway early Friday morning, June 30.

Police said Highway Patrol Bureau Sergeant Peter Clancy observed the operator of a 2016 Nissan Sentra driving erratically west on the Long Island Expressway near exit 62 at approximately 2 a.m. Sgt. Clancy attempted to pull over the vehicle but the driver allegedly fled. The driver of the Sentra and an acquaintance, who was driving nearby in a Chevrolet began weaving through traffic. The drivers refused to stop for the Sgt. and Highway Patrol Bureau Officer Robert Scudellari deployed stop sticks which stopped the Chevrolet. The Nissan continued and Sgt. Clancy was able to bring the vehicle to a stop on the Long Island Expressway at Exit 52 in Dix Hills.

Highway Patrol Bureau charged the driver of the Nissan, Queens resident Robert Richards, 32, with reckless driving and third-degree fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle. Second Squad detectives charged the driver of the Chevrolet, Queens resident Donzel Raywhyte, 28, with three counts of first-degree possession of a forged instrument for possessing three forged out of state licenses. Highway Patrol Bureau charged Raywhyte with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and false personation.

Richards was held overnight at the 2nd Precinct and scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip June 30. Raywhyte will be held overnight at the 2nd Precinct tonight and scheduled for arraignment July 1. No attorney information was immediately available.

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a man and injured two others in Commack May 28.

Thomas Maloney was driving a 2012 Nissan Altima westbound on the North Service Road of the Long Island Expressway.  As he attempted to make a left turn onto Commack Road from the marked center turning lane, his vehicle was struck by a 2016 Ford van traveling in the left turning lane attempting to go straight.

Frank Stengl, 88, of Coram, the front seat passenger of the Nissan, was transported via Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead.  The rear seat passenger, Joan Walsh, 86, of Central Islip, was transported via Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Stony Brook University Hospital with minor injuries.

Maloney, 64, of Dix Hills, was transported via Dix Hills Fire Department Ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with minor injuries.

The driver of the Ford, Jesse Lombardi, 36, of Patchogue, was not injured and remained at the scene.

Both vehicles were impounded for a safety check.  Detectives are asking anyone with information about the crash to call the Second Squad at 631-854-8252.

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police Fourth Squad detectives are investigating a single-vehicle crash that killed a man in Brentwood March 26.

Scott Henbest was driving a Dodge Durango east on the Long Island Expressway, just west of Exit 55, when the vehicle veered off the roadway into trees on the right side of the road at approximately 11:55 a.m.

Henbest, 52, of Commack, was transported by Central Islip Ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was pronounced dead.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check. The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Fourth Squad at 6318548452.

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My son and I love the odometer. He probably appreciates it because I talk about it so often and focus on repeating numbers, patterns in the numbers or milestones.

We are approaching another landmark as our odometer edges upward from a volleyball practice, to a concert, to a visit with friends in upstate New York, to a trip to Bronx Zoo or a ride to the airport — 100,000 miles.

Where will we be when we hit that magic mark? Chances are we’ll be close to home, perhaps on our way to or from school, to the train station or to a restaurant to celebrate another birthday.

Those repeating numbers, the 99,488 or the 99,699, may bring back horrible memories of childhood, when we had to come up with a formula to describe the nth term in a sequence. The numbers also may be reminders of when we need to change the oil, rotate the tires, check the brakes or give the car the equivalent of a well visit to the doctor.

Our country has spent decades shortening the distance between two points by car. Along the way, we eat in them, change the radio station, pull off the road for a nap or park near a favorite place to commune with nature from our moving couch.

All that time in the car is what made McDonald’s possible, giving people who travel over great distances the reliability and predictability of the same meal regardless of the state.

We throw ourselves and all manner of accoutrements into our cars, including baseball bags, suitcases, or — with my father — holiday presents. Then we pile ourselves into the seats, buckle ourselves in and hope for an open road along the 3,000 miles from New York to California.

We don’t often think about each of the miles, because we’d clog our minds with useless and forgettable information, particularly during those times when a mile becomes a measure of an interminable length of time on a stopped Long Island Expressway.

Then there are those miles when we feel as if the road disappeared below us and we are floating home, singing a song that makes the whole family laugh, especially when we share voices that are off-key, or celebrating a triumphant play or an enthralling concert. It’s why road trip movies, even poor ones, are so common.

These travel experiences offer a physical journey to match an emotional, spiritual or personal quest, giving us a chance to wake up to an ocean and go to sleep under the shadow of a mountain. Even when we no longer want to contemplate literary devices, we may see symbols in our travels that are hard to ignore, such as the dawn of a new day, soaring birds taking flight together, a fork in the road or a lightning bolt crashing down in the distance.

While the odometer doesn’t take pictures, have Instagram or Facebook accounts, and doesn’t store information in the cloud, it does give us a moment to reflect on where we’ve been and who has shared the ride. When the odometer was still in the double digits, we looked at the backs of our small children’s heads at rear-facing car seats. As the numbers on the car, and our children’s ages and heights increased, we heard their voices drop as they described a movie they watched with friends, a visit with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a project they planned to complete as soon as they returned home.

I’m hoping my family is in the car together when the odometer breaks into six figures, because it seems fitting to share that milestone since the four of us journeyed through those miles of life together to get there.

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I’m going to blend the holidays, and make a naughty and a nice list of those things for which I’m thankful. I’ll start with the nice.

I’m thankful for inspirational teachers. Every day, some teachers devote so much time and energy to their work that they ignite a passion for learning, a curiosity or a determination in their students that has the potential to pay dividends for decades. An inspired student reflects and emanates an educational light that, in turn, can have a multiplier effect, encouraging their siblings, their friends and even their parents to learn and grow.

I’m thankful for the police who patrol our streets and who protect and serve us. They can and do tackle everything from delivering a baby on the Long Island Expressway to racing toward reports of someone with a weapon.

I’m also thankful for the firefighters, who rescue people trapped in burning buildings and who suffer through cold wind, rain and snow while doing their job.

I’m thankful for all the soldiers who, regardless of which president is in office, accept their responsibility and protect America’s interests wherever they serve.

I’m thankful for the scientists who dedicate themselves, tirelessly, to the pursuit of basic knowledge about everything from quarks and neutrinos, to the researchers who are on a mission to cure cancer, to understand autism, or to defeat fungi or viruses that threaten the quality and quantity of our lives.

I’m thankful for the sanitation workers who appear during the wee hours of the morning, clear out our garbage and move on to the next house.

I’m thankful for the First Amendment. I’m grateful that our Founding Fathers decided we have the right not to remain silent. Our constitution guarantees us the kind of free speech that allows us to express our views, even if those opinions are contrary to those of our government or our neighbors.

OK, here’s the nasty list.

I’m thankful for the Internet, which prevents anyone from being wrong about anything, ever. Well, information on the Internet may also be inaccurate, but who cares? If it’s there and we repeat it, at least we’re echoing something someone else wrote, even if that person is an 8-year-old who is just learning to type and is posting something that looks like it could be right.

I’m thankful for all those people who honk at me when I don’t hit the accelerator the moment the light turns green. They remind me I should be efficient for all of our sakes and that I could be doing something much more important, like looking up stuff on the Internet rather than sitting at a light.

I’m thankful I can roll my eyes in my head. How else could I deal with those events around me that I find insufferable, from listening to our political leaders rip into each other to engaging in arguments with people who know better and can show me all the information they use to back up their arguments on the Internet.

I’m thankful for the rain and the cold and the snow. OK, so this is in between a naughty and nice one, because I believe varied weather presents something for everyone. Sure, people don’t tend to like it when the temperature falls too far, but I enjoy the cold. Besides, the winter provides a contrast to seasonable weather.

Finally, I’m thankful for prognosticators of all types, including the recent ones who seemed so sure of themselves about the results of the election. They are a reminder that sure things don’t exist in any arena, even those with a preponderance of pontificators.