2005-02-11 / Community

Beachcomber

The New York Post obviously has a vendetta going against Congress-man Anthony Weiner. Perhaps it’s because the Post perceives that Weiner is a front-runner against its favorite mayoral candidate, Mike Bloomberg. In any case, there seems to be almost daily stories in the paper about Weiner’s finances, with the implication being that the Representative is somehow breaking the law, when he is probably not doing so. First, there was the story of the money that came in the form of money orders without the proper documentation. Then, there was a story about money the Weiner took as campaign contributions from the relatives of a Brooklyn rabbi who is accused of misappropriating funds. Think about that. Money from the family (not the rabbi himself) of a man accused (not convicted) of misappropriating funds. Then, there was the most-recent story of Weiner asking those who contributed to his House campaign to take back their money and resubmit those funds to his mayoral campaign. Is that illegal? No. In fact, the procedure was recommended by the campaign finance board. Yet the headline on the story, “Pol’s $witcheroo,” was designed to make it look that he had done an illegal act, especially to those who read only the headline and not the story underneath.

The Wave reported two weeks ago that Tribute Park Artist Patrick Clark said he had to call off an agreement whereby the Tile, Marble and Terrazzo Local Union 7 would donate about $40,000 in materials and labor to the project. But it’s not that clear cut. Clark clarified for The Wave that the union will no longer be contributing to the floor of the dome, but will be helping with the columns. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joanie Omeste said the union is still very much a part of the project, as did Brian Gillespie, a member of the union. “We wouldn’t just walk away from a 911 memorial,” Gillespie told The Wave last week.

The teenage thug who allegedly gunned down a young actress because she refused to back down while he was trying to rob her has a history of pointing guns at people. He had recently been paroled after serving time for pointing a gun on school safety officers and police who caught him with the weapon. He was lucky that the cops restrained themselves and did not shoot him when he pulled on them, but the actress was not so lucky. The justice system allowed him to be back on the street without serving his full term in jail. According to published reports, the thug had reported to his parole officer just hours before he and his friends went on the robbing and killing spree in Manhattan.

There are traditional 12-step organizations that address drug and alcohol addiction, gambling and spousal abuse. Now, there is an organization for those who spend too much as well. Called “Debtors Anonymous (DA),” the organization bills itself as a “fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strength and hope to solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive debting.” Those interested in local programs should call the DA organization at 212-969-8111.

While New York City survived well with 14 inches of snow last week, Raleigh, North Carolina did not fare as well with one inch of the white stuff. Highways were reportedly clogged with desperate drivers on January 27, when one inch of snow froze and turned to ice on local streets. There were more than 1,000 minor accidents on the streets and it took some commuters more than eight hours for a commute that usually took less than one hour. Some 3,000 high school students spent the night in their schools as bus service was cancelled because of the snow. The local weatherman, who had predicted flurries, apologized to the city’s residents.

The multi-billion dollar project to link JFK Airport and Manhattan has moved to the planning phase. While many locals see the unused White Pot LIRR line as a better bet for both the airport and for Rockaway (it would mean a 35 minute rail trip from the peninsula to Manhattan), there is little chance of that happening and the light rail link being studied seems to be the MTA’s best shot at linking the two. There is little doubt in anybody’s mind that the AirTrain as now constituted has been a failure in its first year in terms of moving airline passengers from the airport to Manhattan. Travelers who use that route now must schlep their luggage onto the AirTrain and then off at Jamaica’s Archer Avenue, where they can take a LIRR or subway train the rest of the way. What it would take to change that process to a “one-seat ride” that more visitors would use seems to be the newly-studied link between Archer Avenue and Manhattan.

Anthony Wiener on Mayor Mike Bloomberg: “I think that when the mayor closes his eyes and envisions the city, he envisions the skyscrapers of midtown, and I think that he has pursued an economic vision that has been focused on the big event, the big edifice.

City Councilman James Sanders Jr. is calling the mayoral race early. At a photo-op at Peninsula Hospital Center last week he referred to Speaker Gifford Miller as “Mr. Mayor.” Sanders then paused for emphasis and corrected his faux mistake. Miller has announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination to square off against Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

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