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Long IslandColumnists

The news doesn't take a holiday

The news must be getting awfully tired. It never goes to sleep anymore.

The endless drama over health care. The botched terror attack over Michigan. The daily life-or-death tug-of-war over Barack Obama.

Party change in Nassau. Agent slaughter in Afghanistan. Plus all the usual hostility, destruction and celebrity. How much longer 'til Tiger roars again?

You'd better not even blink.

We have Mega Millions winners who didn't rush to claim the money. We have Rush rushed to the hospital. We have a stock market doing cartwheels into the future. We have employment numbers refusing to get up off the couch.

Why such frantic activity in such a supposed dead week? Did someone forget to schedule the holiday lull?

It wasn't so long ago that the news took an end-of-the year breather. It ran from just before Christmas to just after New Year's. Holding its usual place were wall-to-wall listings prepared weeks in advance. Biggest this! Baddest that! Now no one even cares who's Time's Man of the Year.

And suddenly, the canned stuff is being crowded into irrelevance. Minute by minute, day by day, just when you least expect it - here's the news.

DROP THIS: Times Square drops a ball. Las Vegas drops a guitar. What should LI drop on New Year's Eve? And don't say a duck. That's boring. E-mail me fresh suggestions. We'll decide by next year.

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Mega Millions - or mega-secret? Really, how did the $162-million couple manage to keep their mouths shut? . . . Catch a glimpse of the spiffed-up LIRR terminal in Brooklyn? Spears of sunlight, high-tech train board, gleaming bathroom fixtures - we shouldn't get used to this, should we? . . . As part of LI's battered-beach money from Washington, is there a special earmark for "security to prevent 'Jersey Shore' production company from shooting a sequel in Long Beach"? . . . What's scarier, a growling pit bull or a loaded gun? Can we assume that Hempstead iPod robbery suspect Carlos Mena voted canine? . . . Been feeling Paula Deen withdrawal? . . . Is this what counts as cheery fiscal news in these dark days? "New York Finishes 2009 with Some Cash on Hand." Some! . . . Rush and Obama, both in Hawaii, what's the chance? . . . Is Bloomberg already regretting his third term? Was Suozzi the lucky one in November? . . . Tough enough for the LI Colts? The high-school rugby team has room for 40 new players (coltsrugby@gmail.com) - but no bellyaching about scraped knees or elbows . . . What's a motorist supposed to do when an unmarked car with flashing police lights appears in the rearview? Make the same mistake as that Valley Stream man in his Lexus on North Hillside Avenue? Let four fake police officers abduct and rob you? . . . Is the Port Authority showing favoritism again to EWR over JFK and LGA? The Jersey port's Terminal B is getting $1 million in full-body scanners by March.

E-mail ellis@henican.comFollow at Twitter.com/henican

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