Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

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

There's a lot of news, but there's only one story around here.

The sun is out. The temps are up. Sure feels like summer, you know.

We're told the season isn't here yet, not in a technical sense. The calendar insists spring's still with us for another couple of weeks. And truth be told, this little warm spell isn't nearly as sizzling as what is sure to come. But unless you haven't managed to pull up off the couch this weekend, you already know: The short nights and hot days are upon us, and no one wants to think about much else.

Benghazi? Are you joking? IRS and media subpoenas? Yeah, we'll get back to those. Gas leaks and Tim Tebow's dismal future? Do we have to? Even Syria and Jodi Arias suddenly feels like yesterday's news.

It's the perfect moment -- maybe the last this year -- to bask in the hope of extra sunshine and gentle warmth. Before the humidity goes crazy. Before the air gets sticky and damp. Before people's nerves get sunburned. Before the beach traffic is clogged.

Before official summer arrives, we already remember its many challenges. This is the summer of our dreams.

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1. Short sleeves or no sleeves?

2. Charcoal or gas?


3. Bikini or one-piece?

4. Burgers or dogs?

5. Heat or stupidity?

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Can PETA spell “emu”? What about “Weinkselbaum”? They’ll be needing ’em both just as soon the animal-rights zealots rev up over the death of Steve W’s runaway pet bird ...Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda? Are they all official advisers to Stony Brook’s new Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities? Who are the equivalent males guiding the university’s women’s center? ... Does anyone miss that tumbledown bluff house, now demolished, at Friendship Beach near Soundview Drive? Didn’t think so ... Will an extra 20K in reward money be enough? How much will it take to finally solve the 1986 murder of rabbinical student Chaim Weiss at Mesivta of Long Beach? ... No one in Great Neck could possibly do any better? Is that why Mayor Ralph Kreitzman, trustees Jeffrey Bass and Mitchell Beckerman and village justice Mark Birnbaum are all running unopposed? ... Would Dr. Beach please exit East Hampton at once? How can Main Beach stay such a “perfect blend of nature and built environment” if the popular sand ranker keeps declaring it “America’s Best”? ... Is that Peter Madoff’s estate, now on the market for $4.5 mil in Old Westbury? Is the U.S. Marshals Service anywhere close to paying off Daddy Bernie’s bills? ... Do you have any idea how cool it was helping Dwight Gooden write “DOC: A Memoir”? Our book comes out on Tuesday. I couldn’t be any happier about it or Dwight’s inspiring recovery. Hope you’ll agree.

THE NEWS IN SONG: Olé, olé. Olé, olé. “Hot, Hot, Hot,” Buster Poindexter and the Banshees of Blue, tinyurl.com/davidbust

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It's such a simple idea: Men and women who swim really well, waiting near the water's edge, prepared to leap in and rescue anyone in trouble out there. It's so personal. It's so direct. It's so low-tech, so low-controversy and, compared to the good that they do, so low-cost, no wonder hardly anyone ever asks, even in high-tax Long Island: “Can't we get along with fewer lifeguards?” On Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that state-park swimming pools and beaches on the island will get expanded hours this summer — and 68 extra lifeguards. In an era when there's hardly anything everyone can agree on, no one seemed to be arguing with that.

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