Monday Briefing: How voting can be therapeutic

If you haven’t done it, you may find there’s something liberating about voting in local elections. And I mean local elections, like the vote on the library budget or for fire commissioners.

For me, when that tax bill arrives I really feel as if I had a say in how it reads — instead of feeling oppressed. Naturally, I find the biggest complainers about their taxes don’t vote. More then anyone, they feel like they’re being taken for a ride by their local officials and are powerless to stop it. I’m not saying voting is the answer to anyone’s tax woes, but at the very least it could be therapeutic. And aren’t things stressful enough around the holidays?

You’ll have a chance to give it a try this Tuesday, as the vote for fire commissioners comes up.

Don’t know anything about the vote? Read our story to find something out about who’s running in your local fire district. And then stop at the polling place on your way home from work, even if your candidates are running unopposed. Your family may thank you for it.

• One way to fight the stress of the holidays is to embrace the holidays. And many people in Riverhead are doing just that, as the News-Review folder of possible pictures to appear in the paper is fast filling up with photos of snowmen, Santa Claus and even a bunch of asses going Christmas caroling.

• Like most football fans, I cringe when a head coach calls timeout just as the opposing team’s place kicker get set to follow through with a field goal kick. I doubly rejoiced when the oft-used timeout move cost Louisville a Thursday night game in 2007 against Rutgers, as the Rutgers kicker missed his “first attempt” at a game winning field goal just after Lousiville called timeout. He nailed the second try for the game-winner.

But what happened in Sunday night’s Giants-Cowboys game was different. Coming off a week when the Cowboys’ coach basically iced his own kicker by calling an untimely timeout against the Cardinals and went on to lose the game, Giants’ coach Tom Coghlin knew the Dallas placekicker — and perhaps the entire Cowboys team — was especially vulnerable. So he iced them good.

This timeout was perhaps the only one in my football-watching history I’ve agreed with. And it worked splendidly for the G-men, who went on to block the FG attempt that counted. Now the league should ban teams from calling a timeout after a placekicker gets set; I wouldn’t be able to handle what happened to the Cowboys last night happening to my team.

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