November 2nd, 2004

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This Day In History, 1990

In memory of my father, Joel David Burstein (1929-1990)

Daily News Strike Leads to Fatality

In the fall of 1990 the unions of the New York Daily News had been working under an expired contract for months. The newspaper, owned by the Chicago Tribune Company, had been constantly losing money for many years, and rumors were that the Tribune company was looking for a way to fold the paper. On Wednesday, October 24, 1990, the members of the pressman's union found themselves locked out, which lead to a major strike of all the unions.

A little over a week after the strike began, one of the proud members of the Newspaper Guild, copy editor Joel David Burstein, was picking up his strike fund check in the union's office when he collapsed of a heart attack. He was later pronounced dead at St. Clare's Hospital.

Burstein's tragedy was compounded by the fact that his own mother had died just the day before. One of Burstein's last acts was to post a notice about his mother's death at the union office, asking for people to give donations in her name.

The strike was resolved in March with the purchase of the newspaper by magnate Robert Maxwell. On Wednesday, March 20, 1991, the unions marched back to the Daily News building, led by Joel Burstein's five sons -- David, Daniel, Jonathan, Michael, and Joshua -- who carried the union's banner proudly.
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Voting

gnomi and I voted this morning. Our polling place is right around the corner from us, and voting started at 7 AM. However, since we were already set to go at 6:40 AM, we decided to walk over then and wait out the twenty minutes.

It's a good thing we did, too. We were voters #17 and #18, and while we were waiting to vote, the line got longer and longer. By the time we left, at 7:11 AM, the line was down the block.

Good sign, in my opnion.

I'll be taking the Limoliner to New York City this afternoon to spend the week with my Mom, and I'm going to help her get to the polls this evening. So I'll be seeing my first polling place again, where I last voted back in 1994. It's going to feel rather odd.
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Made it to New York

...and the instant I waked in the door, Mom and I went out to the polls. They let me into the voting booth with her so I could help her pull the levers and cast her ballot.

More when I can. Please note that my Internet access while here is unreliable; the best way to make sure you reach me is via my cell phone.

By the way, Mom looks very good. If I didn't know she had been in the hospital, I never would have guessed it.