The economy is tanking again.
Layoffs coming in both the public and private sectors.
Housing market continues to tank.
Food and gas prices are up, though.
So is the crime rate.
And the unemployment rate.
As a student of mine used to jokingly say when I'd ask him why he didn't bring a pen to class, "Times is hard, mistuh, times is hard."
Dunno if any of that has anything to do with this story, but...
A flurry of gunshots were fired into a crowd at a Brooklyn beach Thursday, wounding five people -- two of them gravely, officials said.
The gunfire erupted about 5:20 p.m. on the boardwalk near Brighton Sixth St., as hundreds of teens enjoyed the sand on a day off from school.
Police were still investigating what led to the shooting, questioning at least one person after the mayhem. No one has been arrested.
"It was chaotic," said a 48-year-old woman visiting the beach from Astoria, Queens. "It was hectic. It was panic. We feared for our lives."
A male and a female were rushed to Coney Island Hospital after the shooting. Their conditions were described as very critical. The ages of those two victims weren't immediately available.
Two men, one believed to be in his 20s with gunshot wounds to his ankle and elbow, were taken to Lutheran Medical Center.
"Just watched some idiot kid let off 8 rounds into a crowded beach," read one Tweet by @djslicknick. "Some people have no sense. I'm never going to Brighton Beach again."
Dozens of cops were on the scene hours after the shooting.
Guess we'll learn more later about this.
But the heat, the despair in the air, the anger - it doesn't bode well for the summer.
UPDATE: The NY Post has more:
Five people were shot and wounded — two critically — near Brighton Beach this evening as hundreds of youths swarmed the area with schools closed for "Brooklyn-Queens Day."
"It’s a bad combination of guns, heat, beer and angry young men," a police source said, pointing to empty malt liquor bottles strewn all over The Boardwalk.
Guns, heat, beer and angry young men.
Yeah - gonna be a long hot summer.