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Long IslandColumnists

No time for news - it's snowing on Long Island!

December, 19, 2009, Westbury: Frank Quijada Jr., 5,

December, 19, 2009, Westbury: Frank Quijada Jr., 5, and his sister Melissa Quijada, 3, make snow angels in the snow Saturday afternoon during the first major snow fall on Long Island. Newsday photograph by Mahala Gaylord. Credit: Newsday/Mahala Gaylord

It's a simple fact of our complex lives: Nobody cares about everything.

Some people are "American Idol" addicts or crazy sports fans. Others are obsessed with taxes or schools. A relative few are glued to politics, the economy or foreign affairs. The niches get narrower and narrower every day.

But the weather swallows everyone.

So bask if you will in this snowy moment of unity, all of Long Island bonded together by the pile of white stuff on the ground. When a forecaster at the National Weather Service first used the term "blizzard warning," then spoke the phrase "up to 20 inches" - well, 3 million people were suddenly one.

High winds? Low visibility? Snow Island!

"Will the accumulation be enough to keep the shoppers away from Roosevelt Field mall?" Not the hearty ones.

"Will the Southern State be a nightmare?" Count on it.

"How much will the neighbor kid charge for shoveling our walk?" Don't be a cheapskate. Just pay.

How high's it getting? When will it start to melt? The questions keep coming as the snow keeps falling. People talk of little else. The health care debate, the climate summit, Tiger's looming divorce - we'll get back to all of it eventually.

There's a snow emergency we're living through now.

BIG NUMBER:Half-a-million dollars bail for Bayport hothead and alleged Andrew Cuomo threatener Jack Geoghan! Where do they get these numbers at First District Court? How high would the bail have been if Cuomo were the governor? A cooler head, also known as Supreme Court Justice Carol MacKenzie, finally prevailed, lowering the Bayport man's bail to $50,000 cash. A serious allegation, certainly. But if this gets half-a-million, how much should the bail be when someone is actually hurt?

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: How soon til the debut of a spinoff group, the Jonas Sisters-in-Law? . . . Did the Labor Department say 7.2 to 6.8? At least the LI unemployment rate is heading DOWN . . . When Shinnecock casino promoter Fred Bess says "everything is negotiable," is that code for "It's the gambling business! Of course it's about the money"? . . . With the MTA threatening to yank subway passes from city school kids, how many retired transit cops would like to hand over their lifetime MetroCards? Come on, guys, lots of you never, ever, ever set foot in the subway. . . . What's the new LI slang for heroin? Doesn't junk sound hopelessly out of date? . . . New York, the unhappiest state? Could it be because people in the other 49 have no idea what they're missing? . . . How many of Tom Suozzi's big ideas - "New Suburbia," "Cool Downtowns," "Fix Albany" - survive the Mangano years? . . . Flipping his car, watching it burst into flames - then walking safely away? Was that guy at the Islandia LIE exit just lucky or the luckiest driver on earth? . . . What's James Cameron's avatar? A big-budget Hollywood director, giggling outside a busy box office? . . . As America starts to look more and more like Queens, some issues are not addressed in the Census Bureau's new ethnicity-diversity report: Who's the Helen Marshall of America? Who's the Richard Brown? For those who don't know, they are the borough president and district attorney, respectively.

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