Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Rick Perry became a millionaire

Ex-head of National Arts Club O. Aldon James, twin brother sue landmark's board

Tuesday, August 30th 2011, 6:34 PM

Aldon James and his twin brother James in front of The National Arts Club.
Sam Costanza for News
Aldon James and his twin brother James in front of The National Arts Club.

The quirky ex-head of the National Arts Club and his twin brother filed suit Tuesday to save their apartments and their artwork in a bitter fight with the landmark's board.

O. Aldon James, along with sibling John and a third long-time resident, accused the club of "a mean-spirited, vindictive and wrongful campaign" to kick them out and start charging market rents.

The James brothers also charged administrators at the posh Gramercy Park outpost of wrongfully putting their extensive art collections up for sale.

Most of the objects were gathered during decades of compulsive hoarding, the pair acknowledged in their suit, and they aren't even sure which artworks stored inside the club belong to them.

"The NAC and its directors have cobbled together a host of irrelevant, embarrassing and scurrilous charges and now seek to hold a 'kangaroo court' to seal plaintiffs' fate," according to the 43-page lawsuit.

The club issued a statement complaining the suit will divert "substantial resources" to a court battle.

"Our action in Housing Court was brought to secure units that are being used in an unauthorized manner, and for which no lease was ever signed," National Arts Club President Dianne Bernhard said in the statement.

"We hoped that we could have made this process less painful and less costly for the NAC than it has been, but we have not been able to reach a resolution without litigation," she added.

Aldon James, 64, kept a menagerie of birds and other pets inside the building before he stepped down as NAC president earlier this year. He moved into his apartment in 1986, as did his brother.

The third plaintiff, Steven Leitner, 80, moved into his digs at the club in 1971.

All three received July 11 eviction notices from the landmark building once owned by New York Gov. Samuel Tilden. An NAC spokeswoman did not return a call about the lawsuit.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New York Times

New York Times

Sam Roberts notes: “…For a mayor who advertised his managerial expertise to win a third term, some of his administration’s own numbers show a clear slump in the performance of agencies Mr. Bloomberg oversees as the city’s chief executive.”

Michael Barbaro reports on how David Weprin skipped a debate with Bob Turner in their special Congressional election.

First Person: Giuliani on His Worst Day Ever

  • Bonnie Giebfried was a first responder during the September 11 attacks almost 10 years ago. On that day, she was twice entombed in sheared building fragments, and escaped twice. She transported people to safety and set up makeshift triage stations. She watched bodies hit the ground and suffered three asthma attacks.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s decision to not allow first responders to attend this year’s memorial ceremony at Ground Zero is a fresh wound for Giebfried.

  • Too bad all of the nasty, lying politicians didn't die, instead of the American people...

Manhattan BP Stringer

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined with City Council members, State Senator Tom Duane, education advocates and the Communication Workers of America (CWA) demand that the Verizon company repay the City of New York for profits it collected as a result of alleged actions in a scheme to defraud the Department of Education of hundreds of million of dollars in consultant cost.
See and listen to the following Videos:

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín (1)

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín (2)

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín (3)

Verizon under pressure to return $800K in funds allegedly taken in Dept. of Education scam

Wednesday, August 31st 2011, 4:00 AM

Verizon allegedly received $800,000 through Willard Lanham's swindle of the Department of Education.
Jefferson Siegel for News
Verizon allegedly received $800,000 through Willard Lanham's swindle of the Department of Education.

Telecom giant Verizon is under growing pressure to return $800,000 in profits allegedly obtained through accused Education Department swindler Willard Lanham.

Tuesday, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer led a group of elected officials and advocates in calling on the company to return the funds.

"Any company that does business with our city on the scale of Verizon should be a model corporate citizen. You must return the money now," said Stringer.

Verizon is implicated in a city investigation against Lanham, who is accused of bilking the Education Department out of $3.6 million. Lanham was contracted to wire public schools for the Internet.

The telecom giant "facilitated" Lanham's theft, according to an April report by special schools investigator Richard Condon.

The swirling controversy didn't stop the Education Department from this month awarding Verizon a $120 million contract to provide phone and Internet service to city schools.

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo insisted that the company did not participate in Lanham's schemes and said it is willing to return any inappropriate profits.

Education Department spokeswoman Deidrea Miller said the agency is in talks to recover the funds.

"We are currently in discussions with Verizon regarding repayment of the overcharges," said Miller.

NYT Mixes Up Slush Fund With Member Items

Member Items are Pork While the Slush Fund is the Subject of A Criminal Investigation

End the Slush A New York City Council fund that is supposed to help nonprofit programs is seldom divvied up based on need. It should be scrapped.

While today's NYT called for an end to the city council slush fund it did not mention the fact that their chosen candidate for mayor Speaker Quinn has been the subject of a federal investigation that is entering it 4 year. Slush Probers Eye Fraud Rap for Quinn, April 13, 2008. The NYT called for an end of the council's slush fund. What they really meant was an end to member items. The slush fund are illegally funds hidden inside the the city budget under made up non profit names. The NYT wrote about it on April 4 2008 Phony Allocations by City Council Reported.

In a 2008 NYT story Quinn said that she was upset that the slush fund was continued after she ordered it closed down a year before. Where did she think the member items she gave out after that years budget was signed, came from Santa toy bag? In a NY Magazine story also in 2008 Speaker admits she knew about slush fund for a while. The NYP in 2008 wrote QUINN: SLUSH FUND HELPED ME

Quinn Funded the High Line Through the Slush Fund and Got Campaign Contributions From Developers Whose Property Values Shot Up By the Building of the Trendy Park

The Godfather Hides Michael in Italy, Bloomberg Deep Six the DOI Investigation. . . The Media Covers Up

In 2008 Quinn blamed Her top finance staffer Michael Keogh who left right after the story broke to go to work for the lobbyist Bolton St. John where he work on the High Line one of Quinn pet project and campaign revenue generator the High Line. Today's NYT editorial also left the important information in the 2008 NYT article that explained that the speaker had hire a lawyer for herself and the rest of the councilmember to represent them against the federal slush fund investigation. It is clear that the media is covering up Quinn's city funded slush funds lawyer.

Blooomberg who wants to elect Quinn to follow him has had his DOI Commissioner look the other for over three years

What Ever Happen to the City Council Slush Fund Investigation?(True News)

Bloomberg downplays slush fund scandal, May 2, 2008

Lobbyists' Role in Council Slush Fund Scandal Probed

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Rachel Figueroa-Levin, the Soap-Making, Jewryican Stay-at-Home Mom Behind Twitter’s ElBloombito

Editor Note: Let me remind the Observer that it was the NYFrepress who coined the word Bloombito. It was not Rachel.

La Bloombita.

The Observer: That’s the spirit! So, besides Adam Sandler, where did you hone your Spanglish? Does it have anything to do with growing up Jewyorican, as you named your other Twitter handle?

Rachel: My father is Puerto Rican and fluent in Spanish. My mother is Ashkenazi Jewish and despite being married to my dad for 30 years doesn’t speak any Spanish at all. For me Spanglish is sort of a natural evolution from living in an English speaking country. Kind of like “Yeshivish” in the Jewish community. I grew up in an English only household but the languages of your ancestors have a way of sneaking into your vocabulary.

The Observer: Amen—or should I say ah-mein—to that. So tell us a little bit more about yourself? You mentioned your grandma out in Sheepshead Bay and your dad at the NYPD. You grew up in the city? Went to school here? What were you doing before you became an artisian soap maker?

Rachel: I grew up on Staten Island. In Willowbrook, within easy walking distance of that creepy mental hospital busted by Geraldo Rivera (another Jewyorican!!!). I moved to Manhattan when I moved in with my then-boyfriend (now husband/baby daddy). Before I was a soap maker I dabbled in opera (I’m a soprano), freelance graphic and website design, and writing. Now I make babies and soap. In a year or two I’ll probably be doing something else. I’m so incredibly lucky that my husband has a “real job” that allows me to just be creative without worrying about money.

Otherwise I’d be one of those starving artists. I’m a well fed starving artist.

The Observer: With plenty of time for Twitter, too! Seriously, with a new baby, how do you find the time for social media?

Rachel: I can feed the baby with one hand and tweet on my phone with the other. I have to. Between not being able to go out much during my third trimester (and the baby was 2 weeks late), a very cold winter with a newborn, and hurricanes, I’m pretty much a shut in. Thank G-d the weather is nice again!

The Observer: Did you write before, or did the blogging and twitter (and wit!) sort of just happen?

Rachel: I have always enjoyed writing. The wit I credit to my late grandfather Bernard Samith. He was a master of one-liners.

Do Not Ride Your Bike in the Hurricane (But If You Do, Don’t Forget Goggles) >>

The Observer: Were you worried about being outed? Surprised? How’d that happen?

Rachel: I put my @jewyorican twitter handle on the Bloombito profile. So I wasn’t outed… just discovered.

The Observer: Does that trouble, bother or worry you?

Rachel: Not at all. Like I said, I created this for friends so I wanted them to know that the profile was me. My personal twitter is public so anyone can see it. If people are really that interested in my daily happenings… that’s O.K. with me.

The Observer: So, the obvious question: Have you been offered a book deal yet?

Rachel: I have not. Is this something I should expect? You aren’t the first person to mention a book deal. I think it would be funny.

The Observer: It’s a thing, I guess, from Shit My Dad Says to the rash of Tumblogs-to-books. I noticed in the Daily News you’ve got a cook book in the works, so maybe you could parlay it into something with that. How many followers did your main account get thanks to this? Also,

Rachel: The only “book” I have ever written was for NaNoWriMo two years ago. I got maybe 300 new followers on my personal account.

The Observer: You mentioned NY1 and Inside City Hall. Are you politically active?

Rachel: I don’t know about active… I’m politically aware. I blog about it occasionally—but not much. I like political pundit shows—a little too much maybe. I’m also addicted to Hardball.

The Observer: Did you vote for El Bloombito?

Rachel: I did. To be honest, if he ran for a fourth term I’d probably vote for him again.

The Observer: Speaking of fourth terms, here are a few questions from Twitter readers (please respond in character):

Rachel: O.K., shooto.

The Observer: From @dsrbroadway, Is he seeking a quatro term?

Rachel: Yo no seeko un quatro term por que yo necesito to be paid more than uno peso per yearo. Tengo bills.

The Observer: From CFWard57, “Donde can yo vayo to learn Español as bueno as yours?”

Rachel: Watcho El Streeto del Sesame!

The Observer: From MikeZ37, “¿Quien es macho, Fernando Llama o Ricardo Montalban?”

Rachel: Ricardo Maltoban es el man.

This Transplanted Frank Lloyd Wright House Is About to Have a Very Ironic Weekend in The Hamptons >>

The Observer: All right. Back to you. What is your fondest non-El Bloombito memory of or experience from Hurricane Irene?

Rachel: My husband’s birthday was yesterday. Blew out emergency candles. My daughter also stood up without holding onto anything for the first time. That was fantastic.

The Observer: What was your weirdest hurricane provision?

Rachel: Coconut toasted marshmallows.

The Observer: And the question that’s on everyone’s mind: With Irene gone, is this the end, or just the beginning?

Rachel: Everyone is telling me to continue El Bloombito. I will for now, as long as it stays fun.

The Observer: Anything else you’d like to add/plug for/let the world know?

Rachel: I run a hyperlocal website for my neighborhood Inwood, In the Wood. My neighborhood is amazing and very important to me. All you stranded Brooklynites should come up here! No flooding!

mchaban [at] | @MC_NYC

Bachmann: D.C. Quake, Hurricane Message From God

N.Y. Gov. Flies Over Severe Flooding

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo flew over the worst-ever flooding the Schoharie Valley. The Mohawk River is also expected to crest at record levels, due to Hurricane Irene. (Aug. 29)

Puerto Rico Senator Roberto Arango resigns amid nude photo scandal; pics surface from gay app Grindr

BY Philip Caulfield

Monday, August 29th 2011, 9:04 AM

Puerto Rico Senator Roberto Arango, at right, with Bill Clinton, resigned over the weekend amid allegations that he appeared in nude photos on a gay dating smartphone application.
Andres Leighton/AP
Puerto Rico Senator Roberto Arango, at right, with Bill Clinton, resigned over the weekend amid allegations that he appeared in nude photos on a gay dating smartphone application.

A Puerto Rican lawmaker has resigned amid reports he appeared in sexually explicit photos featured in an iPhone application for gays and bisexuals, the head of Puerto Rico's Senate announced.

Sen. Roberto Arango, a Republican who represents the capital of San Juan in the Senate of Puerto Rico, abruptly quit this weekend after local media published photos of a man resembling Arango in sexually suggestive poses from a gay-only app called Grindr.

One photo shows the man naked from the waist up, using an iPhone to hide his face.

In another, the man is totally nude and bent over on a bed, exposing his rear to the camera.

A third image showed the man's face, which strongly resembled Arango's, according to local media.

Arango wouldn't say if the sexy shots were of him.

"I really don't remember having taken those pictures of myself, but it doesn't mean I didn't take them," he said in a recent interview with Puerto Rico's WAPA television. "I really don't remember."

Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz didn't release Arango's letter, but called his resignation "very lamentable."

Arango graduated from Lousiana State University and worked as a food importer before entering politics, according to his official website.

He was chairman of a business council for the national Republican Party and municipal director of the Republican Party in Puerto Rico, the site said.

Grindr is a guys-only gay dating app that uses GPS technology to locate potential hook-ups.

The photos of the man resembling Arango surfaced from unidentified tipsters, according to local news media.

Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of the gay rights group Puerto Rico for Everyone, said Arango voted for a proposal that would block same-sex marriage in the U.S. territory.

Arango's alleged horny escapades follow in the footsteps of several U.S. lawmakers who have resigned recently under similar circumstances, including former New York congressmen Anthony Weiner and Chris Lee.

With News Wire Services

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New York Braces For Hurricane Irene

First Posted: 8/27/11 07:47 PM ET Updated: 8/27/11 10:11 PM ET

New Yorkers are battening the hatches as Hurricane Irene bounds up the East Coast.

Mayor Bloomberg Friday ordered a mandatory evacuation for all residents of low-lying Zone A areas, and Far Rockaways, and the transit authority shut down all operations at noon Saturday. In advance of the storm, stores boarded up, lobbies gathered sand bags, volunteers organized evacuation centers, and residents stocked up on water, food (and plenty of alcohol).

The storm is expected to hit the city in earnest late Saturday or early Sunday, and New Yorkers were advised to keep off the roads and streets and stay indoors. Some eerie images have come out of this oncoming storm, as massive commuter sections like Grand Central are left completely desolate, and cabs roll down empty, wet streets.

A large, fallen tree blocks a road while it rest on some cars in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. Hurricane Irene bore down on a dark and quiet New York early Sunday, bringing winds and rapidly rising seawater that threatened parts of the city. The rumble of the subway system was silenced for the first time in years, the city all but shut down for the strongest tropical lashing since the 1980s. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bloomberg: NYC Evacuation Goes On

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a briefing on Saturday afternoon that the hurricane is a dangerous storm for people in flood-prone areas. He is telling holdouts that they put rescue workers at risk, too. (Aug. 27)

Chalk it up to the hacks: New York scraps $27 million education contract with Murdoch firm

Saturday, August 27th 2011, 11:19 AM

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the scandal shrowded News Corp. empire, lost an almost-sealed deal with New York schools after passionate protests.
Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the scandal shrowded News Corp. empire, lost an almost-sealed deal with New York schools after passionate protests.

ALBANY - The Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal has prompted the state to kill a controversial $27 million contract with one of the media mogul's subsidiary companies.

State Controller Thomas DiNapoli this week quietly rejected the Education Department's contract with Wireless Generation, a News Corp. affiliate.

Wireless Generation was to pocket $27 million of the state's $700 million in "Race to the Top" funds to develop software to track student test scores.

News Corp.'s British tabloid "News of the World" was shuttered last month amid a phone hacking and police bribery scandal.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is reviewing whether reporters from Murdoch's media empire hacked the phones of any 9/11 victims.

The controversy proved too much for the state to stomach.

"In light of the significant ongoing investigations and continuing revelations with respect to News Corp., we are returning the contract with Wireless Generation unapproved," DiNapoli's office wrote to the Education Department.

DiNapoli's office also cited an "incomplete record" about News Corporation's qualifications as a cause for concern.

A spokeswoman for the company declined comment Thursday, and said Wireless Generation had not received any notification from the state.

Steamed state education officials slammed DiNapoli, accusing him of caving to teachers' unions - whose members opposed handing over data to Wireless Generation.

"The controller has allowed political pressure to get in the way of vital technology that would help our students," Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman said.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bloomberg: Mandatory Evacuation for Some Areas

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in low-lying coastal areas ahead of Hurricane Irene.

Gunmen set Monterrey's Casino Royale on fire, killing at least 53 in latest Mexico violence

BY Mike Jaccarino

Friday, August 26th 2011, 1:31 AM

Smoke billows from the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Mexico, on Thursday.
Smoke billows from the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Mexico, on Thursday.

A blood-soaked "night of sadness" befell Mexico Thursday as the nation's violence-weary populace grappled with its latest spate of drug-cartel-related mayhem.

This time, two dozen armed, profanity-shouting gunmen burst into the Casino Royale in Monterrey, doused the gambling hall with gasoline as stunned patrons looked on - and then set the building ablaze.

Fifty-three died and more were injured in the casino-turned-deathtrap in the heart of the northern Mexican town.

However, authorities warned that the death toll could rise, as the gruesome, body-littered scene was still being addressed.

"This is a night of sadness for Mexico,"federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire said in a televised address after the attack. "These unspeakable acts of terror will not go unpunished."

President Felipe Calderon tried to rally his shaken countrymen by tweeting that the attack was, "an abhorrent act of terror and barbarism," that requires, "all of us to persevere in the fight against these unscrupulous criminal bands."

The Associated Press reported that the attackers burst into the casino without warning, told the customers and employees to get out of the building with shouts and profanities.

But many terrified customers and employees fled further inside the doomed casino, where they died trapped amid the flames and thick smoke that soon billowed out of the building.

It was the second time in three months that the Casino Royale was targeted. Gunmen struck it and three other casinos on May 25, when the gunmen sprayed the Casino Royale with bullets, but no was reported injured in that attack.

Last month, gunmen killed 20 people at a bar in Monterrey. The attackers sprayed the bar with rounds from assault rifles, and police later found bags of drugs at the bar.

Monterrey has seen bloody turf battles between the Zetas and Gulf cartels in recent months.

Once Mexico's symbol of development and prosperity, the city is seeing this year's drug-related murders on a pace to double last year's and triple those of the year before.

With News Wire Services

(Hans Maximo Musielik/AP)

Read more:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why Do Pols and Lobbyist Steal From Member Items Funds?

Because They Can Get Away With It!

After a 4 year investigation DOI and federal investigators have yet to take action on the city council slush fund scandal. Can you imagine what councilmembers fell they can get away with. We are still paying for lawyers to protect them from investigators for all of them (Except recent elected) including David Weprin who is running for congress. DOI which could not find anything wrong with the Citytime contract until the feds arrested 6 of NYC consultants has not after 4 years been able to find out who controlled the city council slush fund. The city's DA's elected by the same county organizations as the council members have also not been able to find out which pols were looting the slush fund. The Court of Appeals who quickly ruled on how to grade teacher has not been able to rule on Normal Siegel lawsuit to get to the bottom of who in the council controlled and benefited from the the slush fund. * DOI: Cover Up(True News) * What Ever Happen to the City Council Slush Fund Investigation?(True News)

Bernie Madoff Thought He Was Going to Help Teach Ethics at Harvard

8/25/11 at 1:30 PM

Bernie Madoff Thought He Was Going to Help Teach Ethics at Harvard

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Two years ago, we chuckled at the prospect of disgraced governor Eliot Spitzer lecturing on ethics at Harvard. But today, courtesy of Fox Business Network financial expert Charlie Gasparino, we have a new level of Harvard–related hubris. Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff claims in a series of rare prison interviews that he's been in talks to contribute to classes at the prestigious Harvard Business School.

Madoff said that Harvard is interested in his input to develop a course in business ethics. Now he tells FOX Business that the school’s focus is in “building an Entrepreneurial course” not just on his career as a swindler (though that will certainly come up), but also his pre-phony hedge fund days, when Bernie Madoff was considered one of the best traders on Wall Street. The course, according to Madoff, will focus “around my experiences building my market making and Prop trading business and my role in NASDAQ and electronic trading. I have been approached by number of other business schools but have only committed to Harvard.”

Wow, that's bold of Harvard! Or it would be if it was a real story. "The entire matter is not true," and HBS spokesman told FBN. "The business school is not working with Bernard Madoff on anything." Fantastic tales are a lot more believable when told from behind a fancy desk, aren't they?

Madoff: I'm a Victim, Too [FBN]
Related: The Bernard Madoff Tapes [NYM]

Bloomberg Defends NYPD Practices

As the NYPD denies that it trolls ethnic neighborhoods and says it only follows leads as it tries to stop terrorist attacks, the mayor on Thursday defended the police department's efforts. (Aug. 25)

Attorney General Eric Holder tells 9/11 relatives he's probing Rupert Murdoch for possible hacking

Thursday, August 25th 2011, 4:00 AM

Relatives of 9/11 victims speak to reporters after meeting with AG Eric Holder on Wednesday.
Elisa Miller for News
Relatives of 9/11 victims speak to reporters after meeting with AG Eric Holder on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder assured 9/11 relatives yesterday he's committed to investigating if reporters from Rupert Murdoch's media empire hacked victims' mobile phones.

The top federal prosecutor held a closed-door meeting with seven relatives at Department of Justice headquarters, while others joined via teleconference.

Holder called the prospect of hacking "disgusting" and "unconscionable," according to retired city deputy fire chief Jim Riches, whose firefighter son Jimmy died at the World Trade Center.

"I wouldn't want to be one of the hackers," Riches said later.

But Riches, who nearly died of a lung disorder after working recovery at Ground Zero, noted the federal government also said the air there was safe to breathe.

"We believe them for now, but we're 'show me' New Yorkers," Riches said. "We want to see the acts. We're not gonna just take your word for it. We want to see it done, and if not we'll be back."

Holder and FBI probers who briefed relatives withheld details of the investigation, which they called preliminary, relatives said.

During the News Corp. hacking scandal that brought down the British paper The News of the World, another English tabloid, the Daily Mirror, reported that phone hacking may have targeted 9/11 victims. Murdoch's News Corp. also owns the New York Post.

Investigators have not asked the families to provide victims' cell phone numbers. Their lawyer, Norman Siegel, asked Holder to do so.

Siegel asked the FBI to scour post-attack press reports for suspicious private information, and also investigate whether computer hacking occurred.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

East Coast Quake Rattles New Yorkers

In New York and across much of the East Coast, shaking ground and swaying buildings sent panicked people running for the exits, pouring into streets or diving under desks. (Aug. 23)

5.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Virginia, shaking felt in New York; White House, Pentagon evacuated

Originally Published:Tuesday, August 23rd 2011, 2:13 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 23rd 2011, 3:38 PM

Office workers evacuate their buildings along Water St. in Manhattan after feeling shaking from the earthquake that struck Virginia.
Andrew Theodorakis/News
Office workers evacuate their buildings along Water St. in Manhattan after feeling shaking from the earthquake that struck Virginia.

Shaken, not stirred

Do you think New York City could handle a major earthquake?

An earthquake centered 340 miles south of New York sent thousands of people running out of swaying office buildings across the city and briefly grounded flights at Kennedy and Newark airports.

It was the first major quake to hit New York in decades.


The initial government estimate was that the quake's magnitude was 5.9 on the Richter Scale with an epicenter located in Mineral, Va., near Richmond.

The quake, which hit at 1:51 p.m. and lasted only a few seconds, was felt up and down the Eastern Seaboard - as far north as Toronto.

"Wow, that was scary," said Nathan Buck, 41, a filmmaker who was editing an internet video on the 7th floor of a pre-war building in Harlem.

"I saw my globe start to wobble. At first I thought - is it me? Then a pile of CDs came crashing down."

In New York, City Hall and police headquarters were evacuated.

No problems were reported with the MTA's bridges and tunnels or the subway, but flights at Newark and Kennedy Airports were briefly delayed as a precaution.

Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington after the quake. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Gov Cuomo said there was no damage to the power grid or the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Thousands of frightened workers congregated on city sidewalks, afraid to return to their jobs for fear of aftershocks.

Mayor Bloomberg said he thought his desk in City Hall began shaking because of major construction in the historic building.

He and staffers hurried from the building, pouring down the iconic front steps and urging each other to run faster from what some feared was a building about to explode.

As it became clear that the shaking was not just limited to City Hall, the mayor and his aides relaxed and began joking.

"It could have been an exploding story in a tabloid for all I know," the mayor quipped.

"We so far have no reports of any damage any place and let's just hope that nobody got injured or killed in this."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was in the NYPD's 14th floor executive command center planning a 9-11 memorial service.

"We felt a rumbling and the floor shaking underneath," said his spokesman, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.

Mary Lupoli, 64, a supervisor in the NYPD's public inquiry office at 1 Police Plaza, said she thought the worst when the evacuation order came

"I kind of thought it could be a terrorist attack. It's THAT time," she said.

The 26-story federal courthouse in lower Manhattan began swaying and hundreds of people fled into the street.

Previous Page 12 Next Page

NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus Turns Up Heat On Vance In Strauss-Kahn Case

The state Legislature's Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus is dialing up the pressure on embattled Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., saying in a statement released just now that "leaks" associated with the case are troubling, as is the possibility that the DA's office will abandon the controversial case entirely. (UPDATE: Which the prosecution now has asked to do...)

diallo dsk.jpgAs I blogged earlier, state Sen. Bill Perkins of Harlem has already sent Vance a letter of his own today.

“We are deeply concerned about news reports that prosecutors are considering filing a Dismissal on Recommendation motion to drop all charges against Dominique Strauss-Khan. The fact that these reports were made public before District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. met with the alleged victim, Nafissatou Diallo is also very troubling.

"This is the continuation of a pattern of lack of respect for Ms. Diallo, including apparent law enforcement leaks that resulted in the disparagement of the complainant's character and mischaracterizations of some of her statements to third parties, among other things.

Read More

Ky. Penis Amputation Lawsuit Underway

Monday, August 22, 2011

Letterman Jokes About Website Death Threat

David Letterman is back at 'Late Show' after his vacation. Here's a peek at what he says in Monday's show about the threat against his life recently posted on a jihadist website. (Aug. 22)

likes, 0 dislikes

Top Comments

  • fuck jihadists and their stupid religious extremist agenda. their ruining the world. live in peace people who cares what religion other people are, its no reason to go "cut their tongues out"

Bronx Zoo Opens New Loitering Teens Exhibit

February 20, 1996 | ISSUE 29•06

The Bronx Zoo, long a trailblazer among the world’s zoological reserves, opened its exciting new Loitering Teens exhibit Saturday to the anticipation of zoogoers nationwide.

Enlarge Image"Loitering teens, indigenous to North America's urban areas, have been placed in the Bronx Zoo's kodiak bear pen for the public's education and enjoyment.", "Loitering teens have been known to roam in packs in the wild, as seen in this rare photo. (Photo courtesy of National Geographic.)"

“They are fascinating,” said Ronald Fehgr, 51, a member of the Bronx Zoo Board of Directors and the man who lobbied hardest for the exhibit. “The public will enjoy watching them hang out and smoke in an attractive natural setting.”

The loitering teen is indigenous to many commercial areas throughout the U.S., but this is the first time they have been captured and put on display.

They are recognizable by their large Starter-brand jackets, baggy and ill-fitting pants, sullen attitudes, piercings on their bodies, and red speckled faces.

The zoo’s 13 specimens were found in urban areas, caught by big game hunters in a city-wide dragnet. Many were lured into traps with the promise of free cigarettes and spare change.

“The first few groups died in captivity,” Zoo spokesman Gerard Makhfuio says. “That’s to be expected, so we weren’t too disappointed.”

The exhibit will eventually consist of a half-block of city-like facade including an arcade, fast-food restaurant and concrete park. For now, though, the loitering teens have been placed in the former kodiak bear holding pen, in a comfortable setting of rocks, caves and small pools of potable water. Plans to place a video arcade game inside the pen as soon as possible have already been approved by the zoo board.

“They appear to be comfortable in the rocky setting, but for the most part they seem to mope around a lot,” senior zookeeper Bernard Gilks says. “When the custodians come in to clean their cages, and put on some rock music, they perk up a bit. They definitely respond to music.”

Enlarge Image

One lesson zoo officials quickly learned was not to introduce parents into the teens’ cages. When this happened, according to one eyewitness, the teens became enraged, ran around the cage, and screamed repeatedly, “you just don’t understand me,” at the top of their lungs.

Also of concern to zoo officials are the mating rituals of the teens, who appear to be awkward and ill at ease around members of the opposite sex.

“We’re hoping to get them to mate,” Makhfuio says. “But as of now, all they appear interested in is shaking zoo patrons down for change and hiding from someone known only as ‘Johnny Law.’”

Still, wax statuettes of the teens were a best-seller over the weekend, and there has been talk of opening up a petting area for other humans to interact with them on a limited basis.

If visitor numbers continue to run as high as last weekend’s total, the Loitering Teen exhibit could surpass “Women In Our Midst” as the largest attraction in San Diego Zoo history.

Oil Falls on Prospect of Libyan Crude Return

International oil prices fell Monday on the prospect that exports from Libya will return to the market at a time of economic weakness.

Hurricane Irene Pounds Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irene cut power to more than a million people in Puerto Rico, downing trees and flooding streets on Monday, and forecasters warned it could be a major storm as it threatens Florida and South Carolina by the end of the week.
An inveterate multi-tasker herself, Judith is also working on developing a Level One trauma center for Saint Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan. It will serve as a response center for potential nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks: “N.B.C., that's become the buzzword in medical circles,” she adds. “The center will mean a physician from every different medical specialty will be on call 24 hours a day.” Judith also raises money for Cabrini High School for Girls in the Bronx, a template for educating at-risk women that has since been copied in states across the nation. And in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Judith rallied the Giulianis' friends to address the crisis in New Orleans. “When Katrina hit, I wanted to do a fund-raiser for inoculations and hospital supplies. I called Donald Trump and we put together a golf tournament. Donald was wonderful. We raised well over $1 million.”

DA eyes St. Vinny's 'go-for-broke plan'

Last Updated: 1:05 AM, August 21, 2011
Posted: 12:36 AM, August 21, 2011
It was an unholy vow of poverty.
The Catholic-charity-run St. Vincent's Hospital is under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's fraud unit, which is probing whether honchos purposely tanked its finances so it could be sold to a private developer, The Post has learned.
Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars went up in smoke during the center's collapse, and DA investigators are examining sky-high payments to top executives and private consultants at the hospital founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1849, said multiple sources familiar with the probe.
FLATLINED: St. Vincent's officials allegedly ran the now-defunct hospital's finances into the ground in order win approval to sell it off.
NY Post: G.N. Miller
FLATLINED: St. Vincent's officials allegedly ran the now-defunct hospital's finances into the ground in order win approval to sell it off.
Former CEO Henry Amoroso, once a top church official in the Newark Archdiocese, oversaw the runaway spending, which led to $1 billion in debt and bankruptcy before the hospital closed in April 2010. Sisters of Charity President Jane Iannucelli serves as vice chairwoman of the St. Vincent board.
Going broke allowed the hospital to get an OK from the state Health Department to sell to the Rudin family, which is building luxury housing on the site. Without bankruptcy, state officials would not have been permitted the hospital to shut down, the sources said.
"This was a well-thought-out plan," said Tom Shanahan, a lawyer for a group of former St. Vincent doctors and nurses suing St. Vincent's. "They wanted out and had to justify it to the state. They were running it into the ground."
DA Cy Vance's team is looking into whether vendors double-billed for services, gave kickbacks for contracts and hired relatives of hospital employees, sources said.
Two senior administrators each got more than $1 million after leaving their jobs -- and continued to be listed as employees on tax returns.
Virginia Sweeney, the top nursing officer whose employment ended in 2006, got paid $1.3 million between 2007 and 2009. Jane Connorton, the president who left in 2004, pocketed $1 million over the next four years.
Amoroso and Iannucelli did not return calls for comment.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said it had not been contacted by the DA's Office. "We are not aware of any investigation," said Brenda Adrian.

Read more:

Hurricane Irene Slams Puerto Rico; Could Hit US

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crowds Cheer As Rebels Enter Tripoli

Jesus Free After Killing Hooker

February 20, 1996

‘I am above the law,’ He says

ST. LOUIS, MO—Jesus the Christ, Son of Yahweh, is free on bond today after being arrested for the murder of Wanda Jimenez, 38, an East Side prostitute. Jesus confessed to the killing at His arraignment yesterday.

Enlarge Image

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” Jesus said to a hushed crowd of onlookers outside the municipal courthouse after His arraignment. “Hey, the bitch had it coming.”

The judge sympathized, ruling that he had grown to love Jesus through a 36-year-long “personal relationship” with the Christ cultivated through weekly church services.

“I consider Jesus to be my personal savior,” Judge Havish Greegham said. “I therefore cannot send Him to jail.”

According to police reports, at 1:16 a.m. Friday, Jesus had sex with Jimenez in an alley behind the Paradise Row adult movie theater on King Street. The victim was then beaten brutally about the face, stabbed 17 times in the chest and abdomen with a screwdriver, then strangled.

Said Police Detective Harold Trutmand: “The evidence indicates that Jesus assaulted the victim over a dispute, presumably the result of His refusal to pay for sex.”

Enlarge ImageThough he confessed to the murder of an East Side prostitute, Jesus the Christ (inset), is free on bond today. Judge Havish Greegham released the Christ, calling him his personal savior.

Christ, 32, is a traveling iconoclastic preacher and healer. He has a long criminal record in his native Middle East, including charges of incitement and heresy filed by the Roman government. He had previously been banned from a local temple by Pharisees for vandalism and public disturbance. He is also known to associate with tax collectors and adulterers.

Resurrected three days after His death, Jesus was revealed to be the long-awaited Messiah, or “Christ,” foretold in the Old Testament. According to official records, this was a holy event that created a new religion and transformed the history of the Western world. “Christians” today number over one billion.

Christians everywhere have come forward in support of Jesus. “He’s my personal savior and I love Him,” a smiling Cindy Hevertsen, 15, said at a rally outside the First Missouri Con-gregational Church. “And I’m sure God in His love will forgive Him for killing the hooker, or whatever He did.”

Added Hevertsen: “Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.”

The difficult role of prosecuting the Son of God has been assigned to County Prosecutor Sam Edlerbet. Outside his downtown office, a mob of 60,000 Christian protesters has backed up traffic for an eight-mile radius. Brandishing placards that read, “He died for you too, Christ Jailer,” “Edlerbet, spawn of Satan,” and “Iscariot, Pilate, Edlerbet—Burn! Burn! Burn!” the protesters create a constant roar of vitriol not unlike a raging hailstorm that permeates the walls and cubicles of every office building in the city.

Said Edlerbet: “I was hired by the County Board Chairman to prosecute illegal activity committed in the County of Brefford, and must put forth my best effort in the performance of that duty.”

Though Edlerbet did not admit to being frightened, his co-workers claim he has been “tense” since the legion of protesters firebombed his car, obliterated his suburban St. Louis home, and promised to “tear the flesh from his body and feed it to Lucifer’s jackals.”

Based on Biblical precedent, St. Louis District Attorney Frank Menchett is considering throwing out the charges on the basis of Jesus’s holy forgiveness from God.

Said Menchett: “A power superseding that of the State of Missouri is that of the loving grace of a heavenly deity, who may have an authority to forgive, overruling that of the governor of Missouri.”

Jesus’s summary judgment is set for March 1.