Column: A September to remember

careyNo bad rainstorms
“It always rains in Sep­tember,” declared my older brother Henry sometime in the late 1930s. He was no longer able to test his theory after 1944, when he died of war wounds in eastern France. It did seem in the 30’s as if we got a lot of rain around the time of the Autumnal Equinox in late September. And the wettest September of all was in 1938, when the famous no-name hurricane ravaged the east coast from here to Maine and Rye was severely hit.

This year, the sky has been continuously bright blue almost every day for the past two or three weeks, with the exception of one recent day when clouds hid the sky. I cannot remember in my lifetime so long a spell of fine weather. If rainstorms are normal in September, this September was an exception.

No new war
In 1914 and 1939, the month of September saw the start of wars that cost the contending countries countless lives and billions of dollars, all uselessly wasted except for keeping aggressor nations in check.

We are right now phasing out of two smaller wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And at least we have got to this point in time without attacking Syria militarily, although the president, at one point, dared the Congress to declare war against the Assad regime.

No compromise in Washington
I have heard the opinion expressed that the reason a Civil War was not avoided was politicians on both sides stopped doing their job. That job consisted of finding compromise with opponents no matter how hard it may be to explain to hardcore supporters and now matter what the risk of loss of partisan support in future primaries or elections. And so it is today.

And here in Rye, we should scrutinize our local candidates in an effort to determine which of them have the essential capacity to get along with opponents and retain the ability to bargain in order to reach compromises.

On Oct. 1, the start of the new federal fiscal year, it became possible for millions of Americans who have no health insurance to obtain coverage with the aid of government subsidies. The Affordable Care Act requires the creation in every state of new health insurance exchanges where people can shop for health plans.

Federal subsidies will help enrollees pay for the premiums based on their incomes. It has been estimated that, thanks to the subsidies, more than half of the uninsured Americans may pay less than $100 a month per person for coverage.

As this is written, the U.S. government has largely shut down.

Possibly not included in the shutdown is the pay of members of Congress. And this just when a majority in the House of Representatives, whose members have been covered by government health insurance to which cost they do not contribute, has been voting to deny health benefits to millions of needy Americans by delaying the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, the president and senate stuck to their guns and let the shutdown begin rather than yield to demands that millions of Americans be denied affordable health care.

Ending on a bright note
The very last day of September saw a remarkable theatrical performance in a monumental venue. This was the re-creation of the original musical “Flashbacks.” The show traces both historical and imagined events in the Town of Rye from the 17th century onwards. The location was the gorgeously renovated Capitol Theater, a majestic structure looking as good as new.

The director was Christina Co­langelo. Music and lyrics were created by Donna Cribari, libretto and lyrics by Camille Linen.