Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and

Sure, the idea sounds enticing: Long Island as the 51st state.

But what exactly would that mean in practice? What's the true Long Island State of Mind?

Once you start to think about it, this whole statehood business gets a

little complicated. So many questions have to be answered. So many issues have to be resolved. Yep, it goes a whole lot deeper than Mineola-versus-Riverhead.

It's a whole lot dicier than picking between Gov. Suozzi and Gov. Levy and calling it a day.

We'll need a state flag, a state bird, probably even an official state greeter. Most of all, we'll need a lot of help along the way.

Self-help. The kind Long Islanders are best at.

So in that spirit, please join in. Take your pick from each crucial category. Help define where we go from here. Send your answers to me at www.newsday.com/li. We'll tally 'em up. Provide some analysis. And answer the biggest question of all:

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How great a state is Long Island ready to be?


The LIPA pole

The cell phone tower

The DOT traffic cam



Paul DeGrocco

Howie Rose

Bill Korbel


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The piping plover

Circles the Duck

The osprey


Lindsay Lohan

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Lizzie Grubman

Amy Fisher


Rick DiPietro

Richie Kessel

Boomer Esiason


Charles Wang

Charles Dolan

Donald Trump


The Baldwins

The Lohans

The D'Amatos


Route 27, Sunday afternoon

Southern State Parkway during construction

Solo LIEers in the HOV lane.


"I've Been Screaming on the Rail Road"

"LNG and Ivory"

"Stuck Inside of Melville With the Malverne Blues"

And a few more just to get you thinking:

STATE SPORT: Road rage

LI MOTTO: Whatever's Latin for "You tryin' to cut ME off?"


MAITRE D': Jerry Della Femina



 Alternate suggestions welcome at



GANG BANGED: The Rolling 60s, a famously fearsome Crips affiliate, are best known for cornering the crack trade in West Las Vegas. So what are they doing on Long Island? Nothing good, say the Nassau detectives who've now busted eight alleged 60s in Roosevelt.


SAFE AT HOME: Ali Lohan, Lindsay's li'l sis, says she's being home-schooled in East Merrick, after getting trashed by meanie classmates on YouTube. "You can't trust anyone but your family," the 14-year-old aspiring pop star tells Access Hollywood, still too young to see the irony in any of this.


VROOM, VROOM: Jerry Seinfeld, 53, flips his Fiat in East Hampton. Edward Messier, 79, crashes his Toyota into the FasTracKids in New Hyde Park.

Michael Parisi, 52 and apparently confused by the whole "drive-through" concept, plows his Hyundai into an East Patchogue KFC, spewing debris all over the drumsticks and causing part of the building to collapse. Please explain: Why is driver's ed only for high school kids?


THEM'S THE BRAKES: How'd you like to be the mechanic who worked last on Jerry Seinfeld's flippin' '67 Fiat BTM? Oops!


ASKED AND UNANSWERED: A training camp weekend at Hofstra in the summer of '09? Does Woody Johnson really think THAT will mollify jilted Jets fans when

the training camp moves to Florham Park, N.J. ... Did "Project Runway," the fashion reality show, really win the prestigious Peabody Award? What's next? A Nobel Peace Prize for Naomi Campbell? A MacArthur genius grant for those idiot grown-ups on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" ... Now that Circles the Duck has made Suffolk legal history, any other little critters need a judge's order of protection? How 'bout the Fenway hawk? Alex Rodriguez can't be amused about poor little Alexa.

Are you ready for the Overexuberant Fan Defense? Yankee lover John Bunjaporte is already claiming that, after he and a buddy were busted in an attempted stadium-bunting boost ... Sorry, but wasn't that just rude? The Rangers clinching a playoff spot in a 3-0 Islander shutout right on the Isles'home ice? ... So 18-year-old Kevin Covais, the local "American Idol" alum, isreally moving West? What does L.A. have that Levittown doesn't? I mean, otherthan the abundant movie roles, the hot young actresses and the perfect weather 12 months a year.


NOW THAT'S LONG ISLAND! "It's not a place where you go to see stars, but a place where stars can come see the average family," Anthony Banas, co-owner of Patsy's Pizzeria in Syosset, testifying in federal court about his famously unpretentious clientele. Hey, Harry. Let those fame-sniffing Theater District Patsy's people change THEIR name!