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Neighbor to Neighbor: Election of new pope brought life to week

The first thing that happened was great news for me and for others who were enthused about making plants grow and/or enriching soil. I received a couple of fliers from Fred Kress, president of the Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, explaining that free horse manure will be available to be picked up at the following locations:DD Stables at 88-11 70th Road, Forest Hills. Phone 718-263-3500.Lynn's Riding School at 88-10 70th Road, Forest Hills. Phone 718-261-7679.Jamaica Riding Academy at 7000 Shore Road, Brooklyn. Phone 718-531-8949.If you are willing to take appropriate bags and/or pails and shovels and are willing and able to fill and haul that precious commodity away (as long as the supply lasts), you are welcome to it free. However, if you want bags that are already filled, that is not part of the program. You will be charged for pre-filled bags by each barn owner. This program is being offered to all five New York City boroughs. For more information, call Mary Tschinkel at 718-263-8018, Earth Team Volunteer for the USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service.When I was a lot younger and went riding once a week at Whitey's Riding Academy on Cherry Lane in Rosedale, once I returned from my ride I begged to muck out the stable so that I could earn a bushel basket or two of that magical growth agent. Personally, I favored the strong country perfume (probably a little more than some of our family and neighbors did). But everyone had high praise for the produce that was provided.When April 19 rolled around, I was listening to a news program reminding us the date was the 12th anniversary of the destruction of the Branch Divinity Compound, the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing; with the anniversary of the Columbine School tragedy to follow the next day. I was feeling sad and depressed until the program was broken into with the news that the new pope, Pope Benedict XVI, had just been chosen. Hearing the celebratory church bells and the cheers of the crowds that had waited expectantly, my mood was bolstered.He spoke briefly and modestly shortly thereafter, announcing to the multitude "I trust in your prayers." He gave me the impression that he was a gentle, humble man hoping for the opportunity to prove to his flock that even if he is not the same man his good friend Pope John Paul II was, he wanted to continue the legacy that was left. Even before the mass in which he stated he intends to follow the paths of ecumenity was reported, critics began to fault his election.As a non-Roman Catholic, I probably should keep my opinion to myself. But I won't do that. I think people should give him a chance. Pope John Paul II considered him his trusted best friend. How then can so many who respected that wonderful man's judgment, turn so quickly against the person he possibly (or more likely probably), would have chosen to carry on in his place? The torch has already been passed. Let the light shine where it may. Doesn't the world already have enough hidden secrets that would benefit by a bright new light? I for one will hold him and all people of good will in my prayers. Peace.By comparison, when Sandy Berger (who was an adviser to John Kerry and was former President Clinton's national security adviser with top security clearance) was caught and admitted to stealing and destroying some of those top secret documents, there was momentary criticism by the media, done in an almost jocular way, because he had stuffed the stolen material in his socks and pants.I have heard from an official source that he has been given a $100,000 fine and probation (no jail time) and must surrender his security clearance status for only three years! When I hear stuff like that, learned only after pressing hard for it, and then hear blasted all over the media that honest citizens who are giving up their precious time and risking the unknown to prevent illegality are termed "vigilantes" and are criticized for their efforts, my blood boils.I hope you care enough to contact your federal elected officials and let them know we want this country properly protected.

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