Viewing 1 - 3 of 3

L.B. teen struck by SUV is ‘improving’

Abdul Bird, the 14-year-old Long Beach Middle School student who was hit by an SUV while skateboarding on Lido Boulevard at Greenway Road on June 19, continues to show signs of improvement, according to his wrestling coach, Miguel Rodriguez.

“Abdul has been taken out of the ICU and relocated to the adolescent recovery unit,” Rodriguez said after visiting Bird on June 24 at North Shore-LIJ. “His condition is improving. He is responding to commands, but still unable to speak.”

After a visit from his wrestling coach last week, Bird was said to be moving his arms and legs, but was still unconscious.

“He opened his eyes for me and nodded his head when I asked him questions,” Rodriguez said.

Police said the incident occurred at 7:55 a.m. on June 19, when a 2011 Mercedes Benz travelling west on Lido Boulevard struck the eighth-grader, who was skateboarding east. According to 4th Squad detectives, Bird was taken to Long Beach Medical Center and then airlifted to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, where he was listed in critical condition.

He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and Nassau County Police Department spokesman James Imperiale said that Bird sustained a serious head injury. He was later transferred to North Shore-LIJ.

Schools Superintendent David Weiss said that Bird, a member of the Long Beach Gladiators wrestling team, was on his way to the middle school for a rehearsal for Wednesday’s moving up ceremony when the incident occurred. Bird’s family could not be reached for comment.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the student and his family and friends,” Weiss said in a statement. “We hope for a full and quick recovery.”

Bird’s doctors have declined to provide an update on his condition.

Alex Michelman, whose son was on the wrestling team with Bird, said that stretch of Lido Blvd. is particularly hazardous for students who walk to school because sections of the sidewalks …   More

The great Freddy Patacchia on the Quik Pro N.Y.

Shortly before Kelly Slater and Owen Wright went head to head in the final round of the Quiksilver Pro N.Y. competition on Sept. 9, The Herald caught up with pro surfer Freddy Patacchia of Hawaii in the lobby of the Allegria Hotel. He was so cool, he allowed us an interview right on the spot -- without any public relations people present. Patacchia -- who was eliminated in round five during his heat with Julian Wilson, but is currently ranked 23 in the 2011 ASP Men's World Title -- spoke about his experience during the ASP’s first competition ever held in New York and on the East Coast. Patacchia noted some early concerns among the pros in the months leading up to the event over whether there would be waves worthy of such an ASP tour. And, because Mother Nature delivered in a spectacular fashion last week, he said that he is confident the competition will return to Long Beach.

Herald: Everybody was talking about the waves early on, and a lot was made about how they may be a little too iffy for an ASP tour such as this. What did you think about all of that?

Freddy P: To be honest, coming here, yeah, the waves were a big issue, we weren’t sure if we were going to get waves or not. I’ve been to the East Coast a few times, but it turns out that we got great waves. Even with the weather, we don’t mind -- a lot of places that we go, it’s stormy and rainy -- and we’re basically used to that. So I thought we got some really great surf, and there was some really high performance surfing going on out there. For the most part, man, it’s been a great event.

Herald: For a pro such as yourself, what was your experience with the tour’s stop in Long Beach?

Freddy P: I’m having a great time, the city is great. It’s a big change for us because we’re always going to these little surf towns that are off the beaten path, so it’s nice to come here and have such great crowd support.

…   More

That’s The Way Things Are

What’s The Real Bottom Line?

I stopped by the drive through window at Burger King on my way home one day last week to use a coupon for a free four-piece box of chicken tenders (I needed a snack to hold me over until dinner… I eat a lot… gimme a break). When I arrived at the pickup window, I asked for an extra sauce, and I was told it would be 25 cents additional.

An extra 25 cents? For one lousy extra sauce? Really?

I know the economy is in the toilet and the bottom line for all companies has become ever more important and they’re all pinching pennies — even big companies like Burger King. After all, we’re in what’s most likely the worst economy this country has seen since the Great Depression (which started back in October 1929).

But, is it really necessary to be THAT frugal? With the bulk amounts that Burger King purchases EVERTHING in, relative to the amount of business they do, they surely get everything at an incredibly cheap per unit price, including those sauce packs they dispense. And while I, of course, have no precise numbers to go on, if each of those sauces cost the company more than two cents I’d be shocked.

I was listening to CBS News Radio during a drive home a couple of months ago, when they broadcasted a report on a new economic study. They said that the average American currently eats out approximately three times a week. With the poor economy, though, fast food chains are getting a lot of that business. So, with the traffic for those restaurants remaining relatively steady even in this poor economic climate, obviously, business isn’t that bad.

So where do companies draw the line between pinching pennies (literally, pennies, at times) and customer satisfaction and loyalty? In this economy, many companies are offering discounts on their products — whether it be clothing, electronics, or food — to generate increased revenue, while others take the opposite route and …   More