Today’s news:

Neighbor to Neighbor

The good news is, people are living longer, healthier, more active and happier lives — many beyond 100. The Linden-Klein-Pecoraro family had hoped Dora Linden would have been one of those people, but that was not to be. Rosedale's Dora Linden, mother of community activist Sheila Pecoraro, died, leaving a void in many hearts. She was 90.

Since Sheila was an education activist, served as the 105th Precinct Community Council's president for years and generously transported me and others to meetings, some of us heard how hard Dora worked caring for her family. The Pecoraros, the part of the family I know best, are all close. They appreciated mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Dora's care and loving nature, not only for them, but for animals.

At Dora's service at Gutterman's Funeral Home in Rockville Centre, L.I., Rosedale Jewish Center's Rabbi Sholom Nentzov and Sheila's eldest son, David, brought smiles and tears to all present, speaking of her 90 years doing good wherever she could and encouraging them to do the same. As we left, she was assured she will always remain with those she left behind. We wish the family strength and happy memories.

Readers of this column may recall the May 10 edition in which I told of a Rosedale woman who was critical of the volunteer work done by Frederick J. Kress' Cornucopia Society's volunteers and the city Parks Department. As one of Fred's volunteers, I noted that Fred, while doing one of his almost daily stops at the Vietnam Monument to pick up debris left by disrespectful people, saw that same lady dump household garbage illegally in a public garbage can while parked illegally in the nearby bus stop.

That was not the end of the story. With Memorial Day approaching, Fred announced (and I noted in that column) he would be having a cleanup May 10 at Veterans Square and the Vietnam Monument, inviting volunteer help.

In another creative attempt to be able to say she "helped," the lady decided it was time to give Fred her orders to correct the way we do things. One morning, at 7:30 a.m., she looked in the phone book, found a "Frederick Kress" and called the number. When the phone was answered, she proceeded to give orders to paint benches (long planned and announced by Fred) and added that the work better be done right and ready by Memorial Day.

Again her plan met with some judgment errors. Fred is not listed in the phone book, although there are listings for others named Kress, two of them Frederick. The Frederick Kress she disturbed that morning happened to be a recently hospitalized Korean War veteran who did not appreciate either her message or her tone and told her so.

We can only hope that one of these days her "best of intentions" and considerable energy will not bear the burden of haste or lack of prudent planning. Nevertheless, the May 10 cleanup went as scheduled without that lady's physical assistance, but with the help of former scout master Chimienti and his wife, working with Fred and me. Since it rained hard the day and night before, we could not paint those benches — with or without orders.

Finally, in an attempt to help more of us join the long-livers, Franklin Hospital Medical Center, 900 Franklin Ave. in Valley Stream, advertised that it would be giving free skin cancer screening tests May 5. Jim and Ann English and I took advantage of its generous offer, though with a little trepidation, since from time to time we have suffered from severe sunburns.

Luckily, the examination was painless, quick and professional. Mine was done by Dr. Kirshner, to whom I send my appreciation. Fortunately, we were declared skin cancer-free.

Audrey, the lady I spoke to to make our appointments, told me there is a plan to repeat this free service again next year during the month of May. Anyone wanting more details may call for information in April 2009 at 516-256-6397. We are all fortunate that there are now so many free health screenings. Take advantage so that you can stay healthy and happy — and maybe volunteer.

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