Barry Popik's blog
Four months ago, my wife's uncle was killed in a hit & run accident on a Manhattan street. The killer was never caught.
I wrote to DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall and asked for a simple accounting of Hit & Run statistics. This should be available on nyc.gov and 311. It's not difficult for the DOT to compile. It should be the DOT's job.
Someone here at Room Eight (a person who works for the DOT?) promised that it would take a long time, but I'd get something. I have not received anything from the DOT. Every week (or day), I read about another hit & run story in the press.
Sunday's New York Times article, "New York Library Officials' Pay? Shhh," is a long overdue brief look at the NYPL. The NYPL is a typical New York City nonprofit--overpaying top executives, underpaying the regular staff, and with a too-cozy relationship to local government.
I spent over ten years of my life in the New York Public Library, usually the 42nd Street branch. Using the NYPL, I solved the origins of "the Big Apple," "the Great White Way," and the New York "Yankees;" wrote a New York City dictionary-type website; and co-authored and contributed to numerous books.
Here it is, on YouTube, from a televised interview with Bill Maher. Yes, Schumer was joking when he said that all anti-Semites are Republican. But it's simply not OK for the senior senator from New York to make a bigot-like comment in public, and then laugh it off.
Over at the Daily Gotham, they think Chuck Schumer is God!
The NY city council voted to increase their own salaries. Shocking!
Here in Texas, the Austin city council did the same thing. The Austin American-Statesman was shocked at how swiftly this came about. I was shocked that the voters were given SEVEN ballot questions last week, for this and for that, but city council salary was not on the ballot.
Why can't the employers (the people) ever have any say in the salaries of the people they employ (politicians)? (Supposedly employ--politicians work only for special interests, not the people they serve.)
Always put salaries on the ballot for a vote! It's the only fair way to do it.
Follow the money. In the first week in November, Andy Cuomo received $33,000 each from these good citizens of South Carolina (NYS Board of Elections records):
GG OPERATING CO., LLC
200 WHITSETT STREET
GREENVILLE, SC 29601
SOHO ACQUISITION LLC
P.O. BOX 1417
GREENVILLE, SC 29602
Huh? Well, I checked "200 Whitsett Street," and the address is related to Island Capital and the Virgin Islands law firm of Tom Bolt.
This is from a web site:
You're the state comptroller, you steal $175,000, lie about the amount by over half, and (when caught--twice) you then pay it back. If you resign from office, you can avoid all theft charges? Does anyone else in the state get this kind of a sweet deal?
From Fred Dicker in Monday's NY Post:
For EnWhySeaWonk, courtesy of the Metropolitan Republican Club (I kid because I love):
The Metropolitan Republican Club, New York City Fire Department and The American Red Cross are sponsoring a CPR Class on
Tuesday, November 14th, 2006
The Sunday New York Times offers suggestions in its regional editorials for the GOP to get up off the mat. For the most part, the advice is obvious and common-sense. The NY editorial is the most poorly written--NY's GOP has always had Rockefeller Republicans and has never been far-right. When NY's Republicans act like Democrats, they do even worse. For me, the main Republican issues are security (post 9-11) and fiscal stability (avoiding bankruptcy and attracting businesses).
The editorials are these:
The City | Long Island | Westchester
The far-right Republicanism that has the South and much of the West in its clutch will not work well in New York.
I just got this e-mail:
I liked what I just saw this week. A sea of Republican red, thousands of people cheering, kids doing the Lincoln rail-splitting chop...
No wait, that was the undefeated Rutgers football team that I just saw. Congratulations! Great win over previously undefeated Louisville tonight on national tv!
Maybe Rutgers will play for the BCS championship, known as the "Big Apple Bowl," played annually in New York City in the Bloomberg Stadium on the west side of Manhattan...
Hey, what ever happened to those big plans?
Forget "Day One--Everything Changes." Always remember this one: "Follow the money."
A check of the last-minute donations shows some interesting contributions for the new Attorney General:
Arthur Martin Luxenberg...$16,666.66
LAWPAC of New York...$24,100.00
S.L. Green Leasing...$33,900.00
S.L. Green Management...$16,100.00
LAWPAC can buy the Attorney General? Everything changes, huh?
Arthur Martin Luxenberg can buy the speaker of the NYS Assembly (Sheldon Silver, employed by Weitz & Luxenberg for a still-undisclosed amount) and the Attorney General? Everything changes?
Why in the name of Mark Green is S.L.
The Republicans lost big. Even a knowing dishonest Democrat (with worse offenses than either Clarence Norman or Guy Velella) got re-elected easily. Blame Pataki? Today's New York Post thinks so.
What about Joe Bruno? Surely, he shares the blame for New York State going down the tubes? It's time to remember one simple formula for government:
Yes, there are (and should be) some differences between Republicans and Democrats. I believe that Republicans (post 9-11) are better for national security. In theory (though not in practice), Republicans are for smaller government, balanced budgets, and pro-business. If any party can fight the special interests and the pension bomb that's destroying New York State, it should (in theory) be the Republicans. Union money tends to go to Democrats.
OK, so there's "NYPD Pizza" (see prior posts). But last Halloween, Domino's introduced "Brooklyn-style pizza." Can Brooklyn sue?
People are invited to submit 30-second videos where you dress Brooklyn style, or talk Brooklyn style, or fold a pizza slice Brooklyn style. Winners get a trip to New York City, or the fake NYC in Las Vegas.
Actually, "Brooklyn style pizza" and "Brooklynese" both come from Little Italy and the LES, in Manhattan. There are Domino's all over Texas, and they've been promoting this "Brooklyn" thing all over tv. Help us, Marty Markowitz! Faux NYC sucks!
It's time, Mayor Bloomberg. If Hevesi's $5 million media buy gets him the election, it will be chaos. You cannot let this happen to New York State and New York City. Get your opinion in the newspaper by Monday.
L Magazine is offering new history columns from Matt Levy, "a licensed NYC tour guide." We all know how good those "licensed NYC tour guides" are, so let's look at this one.
The first statement from his first column is total lunacy:
"New York City, no stranger to superlatives, has countless reasons to boast of its pedigreed past; our list of firsts is long and lustrous. We lay claim to the first mixed drink, a Martini, which was handed to a happy client at Pieter Laurenzen Kock’s tavern at 1 Broadway. There is no recorded proof of who served the delicious drink (probably Pieter) or to whom, but we are sure it was shaken before 1664 when all this was still Nieuw Amsterdam. But it wasn’t called a Martini back then, wasn’t even called a cocktail – that word was invented here too, slightly outside of the city, in Betsy Flanagan’s tavern on the post road between Tarrytown and White Plains. General George Washington’s troops provided the gin and the French fighting for our Revolution brought the vermouth. Betsy herself mixed it up with a feather from the tail of pet red rooster in July of 1781. The tale is a bit apocryphal, but that’s how Betsy and George would have wanted it."