Cuomo’s nontraditional tree

It’s probably safe to say Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Christmas tree did not look like this when he was growing up in Queens.

Here is a tree his girlfriend, Food Network host Sandra Lee, has decorated in the Westchester County home she shares with the governor. She put a photo of it on her Twitter page.

Let’s just say it is not traditional.

Twitter reaction has not been kind. One critic calls it the “crack mountain Christmas tree” and another sounded a theme of “counterfeit Cartier.’’

Another posted a message openly worried what it could mean for the White House Christmas tree if Cuomo runs for president in 2016 and wins.

Lee tweeted the other night that the “white room’’ is done and that she is now on to decorating the family room.

She said she “did 7 trees again this year.”

That’s quite a few chances to please the differing decorating tastes of her boyfriend’s constituency groups, right?

Feds grab an unlikely cargo

Jewelry. Fur coats. Wide screen TVs. Kittinger furniture. Those are just a few of the big-ticket items often seized by federal agents.

What you may not know is that in addition to the routine, the feds also confiscate exotic fish, snakes and, yes, a little-known aphrodisiac from Madagascar.

It seems a truckload of the stuff – its called Pygeum Africanum – was seized in Lewiston a few years ago.

It’s a medicine that comes from the bark of a tree commonly found in Africa, and is viewed by users as an effective sexual stimulant.

Richard Kaufman, the federal prosecutor in charge of asset recovery in Buffalo, couldn’t resist mentioning the seizure as part of his annual briefing to the media this week.

He also acknowledged the difficulty he had in presenting the case to U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, a judge with a no-nonsense reputation.

“Imagine,” he said with a grin, “trying to explain that to Judge Arcara.”

Pointed remarks in Lancaster

The Lancaster Village Board at its last meeting decided to set a public hearing on a resident’s request to keep honey bees in her backyard.

The topic prompted some, ahem, stinging puns from some of the members of the board.

A deadpan Trustee Edward M. Marki asked that a notice be published in the village’s official paper so that all of Betsy Moll’s neighbors can “bee notified” about her request.

He paused for a moment, for effect, then waited for the groans that soon came from the audience.

Trustee Kenneth L. O’Brien III then added, “Which paper will get the notice, the Source or the Bee?” More groaning and tittering.

Later in the meeting, Marki mentioned that he has a honey bee hive in an old maple at his house and he’s never had a problem with the bees. “We need honey bees,” he said.

“Is that an endorsement?” Moll asked.

“It’s dripping with honey,” Marki replied.

The public hearing is set for Monday night. But anyone who’s allergic to puns should – heck, we can’t resist – bee forewarned.

By Patrick Lakamp with contributions from Tom Precious, Stephen T. Watson and Phil Fairbanks.