Staten Island Chuck has spoken and his prediction is "spring is coming." His prediction was met with cheers from the hundreds who gathered around his solar-powered cottage at the Staten Island Zoo in West Brighton on a Saturday morning when the temperature hovered below the 20-degree mark, adds The Staten Island Advance. Well you would never guess it from the frigid temperatures in recent weeks and snowfall this evening in Staten Island.
"They started arriving before the sun was up, chanting "Chuck, Chuck, Chuck," and eagerly waiting for his wake-up call, which came via ceremonial trumpet call, courtesy of John Franzreb III, at 7:30 a.m," added The Advance."Wake up Chuck," the crowd roared. "I want it to be spring." Chuck did not see his shadow, meaning spring is on the way. At least that's his prediction.
Noticeably absent from this year's ceremony, sponsored by Time Warner Cable, was Mayor Michael Bloomberg in what would have been the last official meeting between mayor and groundhog. "Maybe, Bloomberg was afraid Chuck would want one final nibble before Bloomberg's third term comes to an end, a replay of the infamous 2009 incident when Chuck took a bite out of Mayor Mike's finger," added The Advance.
Or maybe, he was was trying to avoid the striking school bus drivers who gathered outside the Zoo's gates, added The Advance.
In any event, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn proved a fine stand-in for Bloomberg, hoping Groundhog Day at the Staten Island Zoo becomes her annual rite if she is successful in her mayoral bid, adds The Advance.
"We had a little conference," Ms. Quinn said of a quiet chat with Chuck to those gathered on the frigid Groundhog Day morning. "He told me to give the mayor a big apology. He was having a bad day."