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Carmine Santa Maria is the greatest columnist in the world

Carmine can’t believe what he reads

Brooklyn Daily

I’m madder than Mayor Scrooge when he counts his money and ends up a nickel short over all the injustice in this city that I read about in American letters.

Look, you all know that the ol’Screecher reads just about everything that’s dropped on his front door and reports back to you all the interesting stuff so you don’t have to. And I read something really interesting in Gersh Kuntzman’s Daily News written by some guy named Denis (no, that is not a typo, that’s how he spells it!) Hamill who happens to be the bother (I mean brother!) of a famous writer named Pete.

Now, normally, I don’t agree with this guy, but in this case I think he should win the Wurlitzer Prize or something because he hit it right on the head.

In it, he reveals the extreme absurdity, heartlessness, and stupidity of the city’s Board of Health inspectors who went out and ticketed some guys trying to help people suffering from this hurricane we keep hearing about.

Now’s the point in the column where I cut and paste the first few paragraphs of the story for two reasons: 1) It is poignant, and the Screecher doesn’t do poignant; and 2) It’s the easiest way I know to make my word count.

“Even Scrooge wouldn’t do this. Bobby Eustace, a firefighter out of Ladder 27 in the Bronx, has been serving free hot food to the homeless and displaced and to relief workers and volunteers in Breezy Point, Queens, since two days after the hurricane hit.

“On Sunday, Eustace and dozens of fellow firefighter volunteers served 800 free hot meals from a steamy Army tent in this hemorrhaging beach community, where there were no longer stores or restaurants, where most people have no gas to cook with, no heat or hot water, and no hot food.

“That Sunday, a Freon-blooded [Carmine’s note: I gotta look that up!] inspector from the city’s Board of Health issued Eustace a notice of violation for not meeting the same food handling standards as, say, the Four Seasons. This is beyond outrageous. This is Emperor Bloomberg’s bureaucracy gone completely mad in a time of death and destruction in the week of Thanksgiving and when the decent people of this city have united to help the unfortunate. Even the Grinch who stole Christmas would have protested.”

Hamill ends his column with “Mayor Bloomberg should bury his head in shame in the sands of Breezy Point.”

I couldn’t have wrote it better myself!

Speaking of our taxing, scheming, fine-giving, money-grabbing mayor who delights in living to the letter of the law — except when it doesn’t agree with his agenda (like those darned term limits) — I received a call from a constituent at my boss Assemblyman William Colton’s community office, who received a double-parking summons on 86th Street below Bay Parkway the day before Sandy’s attack when everyone was buying food, water, socks, and other emergency items to prepare for her onslaught.

Now, I don’t need to tell you that on that day cars were parked, double-parked and triple-parked on our main shopping strips, leaving parking totally nil. So she grabs a double-parked spot when she saw a car leaving from, and thus her dilemma began.

Look, she knew she was double-parked like everyone else, and she rushed through her shopping for her family’s emergency needs, but she didn’t shop quick enough — his honor’s pride and joy were much faster, and she got a $115 ticket.

And here’s another parking horror story I heard.

I got a call from this lady who says she caught a traffic agent red-handed trying to make her quota.

I was sitting at my desk at Colton’s office with my hand on the phone so I can answer it the second it rings when it rang and I answered it.

On the other end was a woman who said she watched as a ticket agent walked right up to her legally parked car and immediately began writing a ticket. When she asked the agent what she was doing, the agent said that the required muni-meter receipt wasn’t showing in the window.

But it was!

When the woman on the end of the line pointed to it on the dashboard, the agent told her that she could detest the ticket online by pleading “not guilty.”

Me being me, I told her she had two choices: One) She could pay the fine; or Two) She could fight it.

But she told me that based on past experiences, even when she’s right, fighting it was a waste of time! So apparently this happens to this poor woman on a regular basis!

Finally, here’s an absurd news items I read that I must report back to you. I read in my flyer from the American Association of Retired Persons about a guy who was turned down for his health insurance on the grounds that he had a pre-existing condition. That condition? He had his kidney removed to save his daughter’s life!

That’s right, this retired teacher from Aitkin, Minnesota’s 31-year-old daughter was on dialysis three times a week due to kidney failure caused by some guy named Lupus. Her dad was screened, found to be in perfect health, and allowed to donate a kidney to his daughter who then no longer had to be on dialysis.

But now, the poor dad can’t get health insurance because of his “condition!”

So to sum up: Denis Hamill wrote a good story, hard-working people shouldn’t get parking tickets, and I can’t stand bad insurance companies!

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail him at DiegoVega@aol.com!

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