Toni Gheen, of Ocean City, and her son, Charlie, 4, make a morning of it at the book sale at the Ocean City Free Public Library. By Maddy VitaleToni Gheen, of Ocean City, brought her 4-year-old son Charlie to the spring book sale at the library Saturday.“There are way more books than I have seen in the sales last year,” Gheen said. “We come to a lot of activities here. Charlie is a big fan of the library.”Gheen noted that there were so many children’s books to choose from.With that, Charlie took his mother’s hand and walked her over to a section to look at some books he definitely liked. He picked up one book that had a picture of a dog on it. The book was called “Woof.”Charlie renamed it “Doggie.”Gheen laughed and Charlie’s newest selection was added to the many others they already had bought for their library at home.Hardbound books, paperbacks, fiction, nonfiction, children’s titles and even audio books and CDs were available at the event in the atrium of the library.The sale, held Friday and Saturday, was sponsored by the Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library. All of the proceeds benefit the library.Jenna Vincent, of Wilmington, Del., and her daughter Avery, 7, had fun searching through boxes filled with a wide assortment of children’s books.Avery flipped through the pages of a couple of books and giggled.The little girl is involved in pony camp back home. She made her selections — books on horseback riding and an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” DVD.Avery’s wide smile said it all when it came to her choices.Avery Vincent, 7, of Wilmington, Del., proudly displays her selections.“We are here for the weekend,” Vincent said, adding they were visiting family in Ocean City. “We saw that this was on the library calendar and decided to come. I bought a huge box of antique books.”Many of the books sold at the event were donated by groups or individuals, while others were taken out of circulation from the library. Library Director Karen Mahar said Friday that the library is fortunate to have the Volunteers and Friends supporting what they do.Babs Stefano, a Historical Museum Board of Trustees member, volunteered to help out at the sale. She sat at the checkout counter and helped people with their purchases.“People are coming up with stacks of books,” Stefano pointed out.She said it was fun to watch the looks on people’s faces as they walked around with piles of books filling their arms.The book prices ranged from 50 cents to a few dollars.“It has been wonderful. Lots of families are coming out,” Stefano said, adding that it picked up through the late morning. “This is a good sale.”Customers look through tables of books, CDs, DVDs and audio books during the spring book sale.Patti Phillips, of Volunteers and Friends of the Free Public Library, said she couldn’t have been happier with the turnout and the merchandise flying off the tables.Phillips, along with Elaine Wilson and Debbie Moreland, chairs the library’s book sales. She admitted a lot of work goes into making them successful. The city helps out by supplying tables and setting up and taking down the tables.This weekend’s sale was one of several the Volunteers and Friends do at the library each year. The others will be held June 21-22, July 19-20 and Aug. 10.“Yesterday we sold a lot of children’s books,” Phillips said. “We also sold a lot of adult books. We have plenty of books on religion, CDs, DVDs and audio books, too.”Classics were a real hit throughout the two-day sale, Phillips said.“They still are big sellers,” she noted.Wilson added that the volunteers try to keep the children’s books priced low.“We want to really promote children’s reading,” Wilson explained. “A lot of teachers come and buy the books to use in their classrooms.”Volunteers said judging by the steady stream of customers at the sale, it seemed apparent that people still like a good book.“People still like to hold a book in their hands,” Phillips said. “I know I do.”The Ocean City Free Public Library is located at 1735 Simpson Ave.
Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, spoke in Geddes Hall on Wednesday night. Mishel’s lecture, entitled “Beyond Technology and Globalization: The Reset of the Rules of the Labor Market,” addressed income inequality in the United States and was part of the Chuck Craypo memorial series, “Combining Research and Activism for Social Justice.”According to current director of the Higgins Labor Program at the Center for Social Concerns Daniel Graff, the late Chuck Craypo was an economics professor at Notre Dame, as well as the founder and first director of the Higgins program in 1993.“Chuck Craypo devoted his career of research, teaching and activism to improving the lives of working people,” Graff said. “And to honor his legacy, in 2013-14 the Higgins program initiated a biannual series to bring researchers and activists to Notre Dame’s campus to deliver lectures, lead workshops and foster conversations around compelling themes related to questions of work and social justice.”Mishel began his lecture by defining economics as “about who gets what and why,”and noting that income inequality has ballooned since the 1970s.He said that until this past year, Democrats have focused too intently on technology and globalization, considering both uncontrollable and subsequently viewing income inequality as “God-given,” rather than an addressable issue.Mishel also took issue that Republicans have chosen to focus on economic opportunity rather than income inequality. Mishel acknowledged that the United States does have an opportunity problem, however he stated that prioritizing it over income inequality is illogical, as economic opportunity can’t be improved until income inequality is improved thereby allowing for standards of living and educational opportunity to improve and lead to better economic opportunity.“So what else caused the wage problems if it wasn’t technology and it’s not just globalization?” Mishel said. “It’s the rules of the labor market have been reset over the last 40 years.”Mishel outlined several factors that have contributed to these rules changing.The first factor is unemployment, which, according to Mishel, has been rising over the past 30 years.“Unemployment weakens the bargain power of all workers,” he said. “If [employers] can get whoever they want for whatever they feel like paying, wages are gonna go nowhere.”The second factor is unions, Mishel said.“We have eroded collective bargaining a tremendous amount since the early 1970s,” Mishel said. “It used to be that if you had … an industry and 30-50 percent of the workers in that industry were union, they negotiated collective bargain agreements that the non-union employers accepted … because they didn’t want their workers unionizing or they didn’t want their workers to leave and go to the union sector. So unions were always able to take wages out of competition.”The third factor Mishel listed was minimum wage, which he said is more than 25 percent below what is was in 1968 [factoring in inflation] even though productivity has more than doubled and low-wage workers are, on average, more educated than 50 years ago.“If you increase the minimum wage to $12 … by 2020, that may sound relatively modest,” Mishel said. “But it’s actually a reasonably bold policy. $12 minimum wage would affect 25 percent of the work force. So we’re not just talking about a few people lying at the bottom.”The fourth factor is undocumented workers. According to Mishel, the United States is currently home to eight million undocumented workers, who make up “around 5 percent of the workforce.”“If you have 5 percent of your workforce who are exploitable and exploited, they undercut the labor standards,” Mishel said. “So it would be to our general benefit to make them not exploitable.”“What are you supposed to draw from this?” Mishel asked the audience. “The first thing you should know is that what this means is that if workers have not been getting ahead in terms of their pay, it’s not because we haven’t produced a lot of income and wealth. We have produced a lot of income and wealth. It just hasn’t gone to the vast majority.”Tags: Center for Social Concerns, Chuck Craypo memorial lecture, Higgins Labor Studies Program, income inequality
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Republican Dean Murray unseated freshman Assemb. Edward Hennessey (D-Shirley) in a rematch after the Democrat had ousted Murray two years prior, according to unofficial Suffolk County Board of Election results both cited.Hennessey, a lawyer and former Brookhaven town councilman, conceded the race after absentee ballots were counted this week. Murray, an advertising company owner from East Patchogue, had initially won the seat in a 2010 special election and was re-elected the following year before Hennessey won the seat from Murray in ‘12.“It wasn’t a good year to be a Democrat in Brookhaven,” Hennessey said, adding that he’s still interested in running for elected office—whether the 3rd Assembly District again in 2016, or another title.The unofficial returns after the polls closed on Election Day showed Murray beat Hennessey by 629 votes. But, after more than 1,000 absentee and other paper ballots were counted, that margin was 526, said Hennessey, who won the seat from Murray two years ago by 226 votes. Elections officials said the results will be certified next week.“I am thrilled that the voters in the 3rd Assembly District have placed their trust and confidence in me and I look forward to getting to work to represent them in Albany,” Murray wrote on his Facebook page.Only 29 percent of 78,195 registered voters—22,752—in the district cast their ballots, according to the state and county elections boards. That’s slightly above the 28 percent voter turnout statewide, which experts say is the lowest in 72 years. The third Assembly district—made up of more than 129,000 residents—includes 25,333 registered Democrats, 24,401 Republicans, 21,702 unaffiliated voters and 6,759 minor party members.Aside from the usual issues of taxes and education, the race took a strange turn when Assembly GOP campaign workers had placed a GPS tracking device on Hennessy’s vehicle in a failed attempt to prove that Hennessey doesn’t actually live in the district and was ineligible to run—a move that instead sparked various legislation to outlaw private citizens using GPS trackers.Every other incumbent state Assembly member on LI was re-elected and two local seats in which Democratic incumbents are retiring were remained in the hands of Democrats, who have the majority in the chamber.