By Anessa V. Cohen

We have all watched problems unfolding in front of our eyes and thought, “There are so many better ways of solving these issues! I don’t know why the people in charge do not think of these things themselves.” If only I had a special red phone that I could pick up and say, “Listen, it’s me. Boy, do I have a great solution for you!”

I know what you all are going to say: “Dream on! Nobody wants to hear what you have to say! They just want to keep doing things the way they do them and suffer. This is how a bureaucratic society works–get with the program.”

Well, if I cannot have my red phone, and I cannot have someone in power hear about my ideas for change, then there is only one solution: I will tell all of you my ideas, so this way I can get them out, and maybe someone out there can figure out how to get those ideas to the right parties. Because you never know when a light bulb might switch on in the right noggin and cause the person to say, “That really is a great idea.”

For instance, how many catastrophic floods must we see at different points and states and adjacent tributaries of the Mississippi River to realize that the original flood plains of all the states through which it passes are going to get hit with floodwaters every time there are storms unless something permanent is done about it?

It’s amazing how the news crews tell you that within a day or two after the storm you should wait for those 20-to-40-foot water crests that will be arriving as they make their way downriver.

So, instead of that Keystone pipeline proposed by those Canadian oil CEOs who are bullying homeowners all along the surveyed trail of where they want this pipeline to go, we can reroute the funds we would have to spend on this project to a more environmentally positive project, such as creating what I call a Flood Spillover Pipeline.

What is this, you ask? Good question! My idea is to create pipelines from all the Mississippi River banks and their tributaries where major flooding is a chronic problem and use this new pipeline system to pump all those huge excesses of water out West to all those states that are constantly one step away from emergency drought conditions.

Just think about it: every time there is a storm on the Mississippi and they worry about the river cresting 20 to 40 feet or more, once this is built, they only need to open the spigot and away those extra floodwaters go, down the pipes towards those Western states that can now use the water for farming or sprinklers or whatever their hearts desire to augment their meager water supplies.

Just think about all the jobs that will be created in building this system, and no one would have any problem with environmental issues like they would with an oil pipeline! Just a thought.

Speaking of ideas, while we are discussing getting more water out West as we keep those flood plains around the Mississippi dry, how about building desalination plants along the entire coast of California? This idea will use a lot of ocean water that has been bothering us more and more due to those melting glaciers, and if they create enough clean drinkable water for California, we don’t have to listen to them fighting over water supplies while they continue their ceaseless new building. With desalination plants, they can make as much water as they want, and we do not have to hear about it ever again. Who knows–maybe they can use up some of that encroaching ocean water.

The one troublesome idea I have not worked out yet is how we will pay for all my new ideas. By my reckoning, even the tab figured on that Keystone pipeline will not be enough to pay for all this. But who knows, maybe somebody will come up with their own great idea as to how to pay for this stuff and then find someone among the powers-that-be who might listen and find these ideas innovative.

By the way, please don’t call me to discuss this any further, since I am exhausted from thinking up all these new ideas! v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage originator with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to


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