Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

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

This isn't confirmed yet, but apparently some stores have not yet begun their Black Friday sales.

What are these napping merchants waiting for?


That's no way to bust open the door on holiday shopping.

There once was a time when holiday sales pretty much stuck to the days they were named for. Presidents Day sales happened, oddly enough, on Presidents Day. After-Christmas sales started, you know, after Christmas.

Then, big retailers discovered that the Friday after Thanksgiving really was the biggest shopping day of the year. And their instinct for more-more-more got the better of them.

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Trying to elbow aside the competition, stores started opening earlier and earlier on Friday morning. Some pressed that to the point of ridiculousness, swinging the doors open one second after midnight Thursday night.

"Technically, it's Friday now," their oh-so-clever managers tittered to themselves -- and to the long lines of bargain-hunting lunatics stretching out to the parking lot.

Which only encouraged the stores.

So this year, Target is starting Black Friday at 9 p.m., seriously cutting into dinner-digestion time. On Thursday. Kmart, Wal-Mart and Sears have pushed their openings up to 8 p.m. Thursday, stomping roughshod over the pumpkin pie and the after-dinner drinks.

Those lay-a-beds at Costco aren't opening until 9 a.m. Friday. But just you watch: If they hype it right, they can claim they're opening extra-early for Black Friday 2013.




1. Walt Whitman

2. Smith Haven

3. Broadway

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4. Green Acres

5. Roosevelt Field

ASKED AND ANSWERED: John Bruckner, National Grid's president of Long Island transmission and distribution, has been promoted to chief of the firm's U.S. electric operations? For such great work keeping LI connected during Sandy? . . . Don't Twinkies last forever, even though the brand won't? So we should stock up now for the next big storm? . . . Sandy-Dune Road? If Southampton piles up Sandy sand to raise Dune Road, shouldn't the storm at least get some credit? . . . How many LI school districts will dump their February breaks to make up for all the missing Sandy days? . . . What impact will that have on the ski economies of New Hampshire, Utah and Colorado? . . . LI cellphone providers say service is "pretty much back to normal?" And this is something to brag about? . . . How much good did the "odd-even" gas rationing really do? Or did it just add another not-today to all the post-Sandy waiting? . . . You understand that Gilberto Valle of Forest Hills is only an ALLEGED cannibal cop, right? Merely ACCUSED of plotting to abduct women and eat them? You're not jumping to any conclusions, are you? . . . Smithtown is promising to pick up storm debris by Christmas? Don't mean to sound impatient, but isn't Christmas, like, five weeks away?THE NEWS IN SONG: Are you tired of the family yet? "Shopping" by Barenaked Ladies tinyurl.com/shopmore


They're getting paid to be here. We understand that. But some out-of-state utility workers have really gone the extra mile reconnecting Long Island. Who did more than diesel mechanic Lee Snoddy, 38, of Turkey Creek, La.? Snoddy was in his truck in New Hyde Park on Tuesday when he saw a man grab a purse from an 80-year-old woman at a bus stop near Jericho Turnpike. Her 82-year-old husband gave chase but fell and hit his head. Snoddy ran from his truck, chased the suspect and retrieved the woman's purse. Then two of Snoddy's colleagues, Brent Bernard and Robbie Jarman, tackled the man and held him for police. Nassau cops charged Brian Maher, 29, with two counts of robbery. Thanks, guys. Come back any time.

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