Thursday, October 31, 2013

Breaking News: Appeals court blocks ruling on NYPD stop-frisk policy

A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked a judge's order requiring changes to the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk program and removed the judge from the case.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the decisions of Judge Shira Scheindlin will be stayed pending the outcome of an appeal by the city.

The judge had ruled in August the city violated the Constitution in the way it carried out its program of stopping and questioning people. The city appealed her findings and her remedial orders, including a decision to assign a monitor to help the police department change its policy and training program associated with it.

The appeals court heard arguments Tuesday on the requested stay.

The appeals court said the judge needed to be removed from the case because she ran afoul of the code of conduct for U.S. judges by compromising the necessity for a judge to avoid the appearance of partiality in part because of a series of media interviews and public statements responding publicly to criticism of the court.

The judge had ruled that police officers violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of people by wrongly targeting black and Hispanic men with the stop-and-frisk program. She appointed an outside monitor to oversee major changes, including reforms in policies, training and supervision, and she ordered a pilot program to test body-worn cameras in some precincts where most stops occur.

The stop-and-frisk tactic has been criticized by civil rights advocates.

Stop-and-frisk has been around for decades in some form, but recorded stops increased dramatically under the administration of independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg to an all-time high in 2011 of 684,330, mostly of black and Hispanic men. A lawsuit was filed in 2004 by four men, all minorities, and became a class action case.

Supporters of changes to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program say the changes will end unfair practices, will mold a more trusted and effective police force and can affect how other police departments use the policy. Opponents say the changes would lower police morale but not crime, waste money and not solve a broader problem of a police force under pressure after shrinking by thousands of officers during the last decade.

The judge noted she wasn't putting an end to the stop-and-frisk practice, which is constitutional, but was reforming the way the NYPD implemented its stops.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On-Line Payment Options Convenient​ly Expanded!

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is pleased to announce that it can now offer anyone who has received a TLC issued summons  the convenience of both pleading guilty to and making an on-line payment for the  summons they have received.  The TLC’s on-line transaction system which, prior to this enhancement only allowed existing licensees to make their license renewal payment  on-line, has been expanded to enable anyone who has received a TLC issued summons to plead guilty to and pay that summons on-line, provided that no court appearance is required.  (Licensee must carefully check the summons to confirm that no appearance is required!) 


In addition, if you have an open summons for which a guilty verdict has been rendered but you have not yet paid the fine amount due, you can now pay the balance due on that summons on-line as well.

You may now both plead guilty to and pay the fine amount on-line for a summons that was previously payable by mail.  The on-line system will allow you to search for a specific summons or for all of your outstanding summonses.

To do so, please visit the TLC web site at www.nyc.gov/taxi.  You can access the on-line transaction system by using the selection items in the lower left hand corner of the web site’s home page or by accessing it directly at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/industry/lars.shtml

NSA tapped Yahoo, Google data centers

The Washington Post is reporting that the National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world. The New York Post cites documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with officials.


According to a secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, NSA sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters. In the last 30 days, the report Wednesday on the Post website said, field collectors had processed and sent back more than 180 million new records — ranging from “metadata,” which would indicate who sent or received emails and when, to content such as text, audio and video.

The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British counterpart, GCHQ. The Post said NSA and GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants.

White House officials and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA, declined to comment, the Post said.

In a statement to the Post, Google said it was “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers, and we are not aware of this activity.”

At Yahoo, a spokeswoman said: “We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.”

Halloween Parade Street Closures - Thursday, October 31, 2013

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed from 7 pm to 11 pm for the Village Halloween Parade:
  • 6th Avenue between Canal Street and 17th Street
  • Dominick Street between Varick Street and 6th Avenue
  • Sullivan Street between Broome Street and Spring Street
  • Broome Street and Spring Street between Sullivan Street and Varick Street
  • 16th Street and 17th Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue
 
The following streets in Brooklyn will be closed from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm for the Park Slope Halloween Parade:
  • 14th Street between 8th Avenue and 7th Avenue
  • 7th Avenue between 14th Street and 3rd Street
  • 3rd Street between 7th Avenue and 4th Avenue

This information is available on the DOT web site at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/weektraf.shtml.

Billionaire pays $10M to legally own ‘stolen’ Monet

A British billionaire who paid $43 million for what investigators say turned out to be a stolen Monet has shelled out even more dough to avoid being dragged — with the painting — into a Manhattan courtroom, according to a new report.


UK hedge fund manager Alan Howard bought the artwork — “Japanese Footbridge Over the Water-Lily Pond” —  in “good faith” in 2010, but it soon wound up at the center of the ongoing Manhattan criminal court conspiracy and tax fraud trial of former Imelda Marcos aide Vilma Bautista.

The low-profile Howard, whose worth is estimated at $2 billion,  has now paid another $10 million to a class action group in exchange for a legal release on any claims over the painting, according to the web site thesmokinggun.com.

He also struck a confidentiality deal barring the group from disclosing his name or taking action against the London art house that brokered the sale of the allegedly hot work of the Impressionist master, according to the site, which reported that Howard plans legal action against the dealer.

Bautista, 74, has been accused by Manhattan prosecutors of stealing the 1899 painting from former Philippines First Lady Marcos. She and two nephews were charged with conspiracy after they tried to sell the painting, and several others kept in Marcos’ New York townhouse, after Marcos’ assets were frozen by the new Philippine government.

The famously free-spending Marcos and her husband Ferdinand were forced into exile in 1986, and prosecutors said Bautista  kept the Monet hidden for more than two decades before fencing it. The artwork, believed to be the most valuable in the Marcos collection, did not show up on a list of items reported missing and suspected of being paid for with Philippine government funds.

Court records and testimony show that Howard bought the painting through dealer Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox. A spokesman said the deal was done in “good faith,” according to the Smoking Gun report.

Bautista pocketed more than $21 million in the $43 million transaction.

He knew the painting once belonged to Marcos and that Bautista was selling it – but he didn’t know that the aide had previously tried to unload the piece. That $35 million deal fell apart when the prospective buyer raised questions about Bautista’s authority to sell it.

Howard’s camp also questioned the painting’s provenance, and received a “letter of explanation” signed by Bautista that addressed the concerns.

The class action group paid by Howard in return for not dragging him into the case – comprised of about 10,000 people who claim they were victims of human rights abuse under the Marcos regime – had already won judgments against the Marcos estate and also has sued Bautista to recover the money she got from selling the Monet.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why ‘Clue’ is the ultimate cult Halloween classic

Before there was a Rihanna-stuffed “Battleship” movie and a planned Adam Sandler-led “Candy Land” flick, there was 1985’s “Clue.” At the time, making a movie from a board game seemed like an absolute absurdity. Which is why it’s no surprise that the big-screen adaptation of the whodunit board game was, by all accounts, a dud.


Critics panned it and audiences didn’t know what to make of the movie, which was released with three different endings shown in different theaters, to capture some of the mystery of the game.

Even its stars Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean and Martin Mull couldn’t lift it up, and it nearly faded into obscurity.

Since then, the film has found a cult following, with midnight screenings and events throughout the country all year long, including one tonight at The Actors Fund Arts Center, 160 Schermerhorn St., in Brooklyn, also featuring a costume contest, refreshments, a DJ and a Q&A with director/writer Jonathan Lynn and star McKean.

Here, Lynn runs down the five reasons why “Clue” has become the ultimate Halloween cult movie:


1. The Colorful Cast
The all-star cast, including the brilliant Tim Curry in the central role as Wadsworth, are all recognizable to us now, but in December 1985, when the movie came out, Lloyd’s “Back to the Future” was barely five months old, McKean’s “This is Spinal Tap” had been released just a year before and Martin Mull was a decade away from popping out in disguise as Gene Parmesan on “Arrested Development.”

“I didn’t want any of them from the beginning,” Lynn says. “I was English — I didn’t know who they were.”

He was a fan of Kahn’s and got Curry to appear in the film because the two had been school chums since they were 14. The pay wasn’t very good but Lynn ended up with the perfect ensemble anyway.



2. The Twist Endings
Lynn’s decision to include three different endings was clearly ahead of its time — especially in today’s era of viral campaigns and after-the-credits teasers. The studio’s hope was that people would see it once and then rush to see it again with the different ending; instead, audiences were just turned off.

“If the filmmakers didn’t know how they wanted to end the film, why would [the audience] go and see it,” Lynn says. “I constructed a story that you could find three logical explanations for, and that backfired badly.”

We won’t spoil the endings here, but fun fact: A fourth ending was shot where Wadsworth kills everyone, but the filmmakers thought it was too dark to include.



3. The Slappy Dialogue
“Clue” pumps along at a zippy pace, with banter that makes you forget how intractably slow the actual game is.

Colonel Mustard: “Why is J. Edgar Hoover on your phone?”

Wadsworth: “I don’t know, he’s on everybody else’s, why shouldn’t he be on mine?”

Most of that was on purpose, Lynn says. He modeled the snappy tempo on “His Girl Friday.”

“It goes unbelievably quickly. This is the pace we’re aiming at,” he says.

“In retrospect I think it went too fast.”

Almost none of the movie was improvised, save for Kahn’s famous line as Mrs. White about her “flames” of anger.



4. It's kind of like playing the game
While “Battleship” basically was an excuse to make a “Transformers” meets “Independence Day” knock-off, “Clue” actually follows the standards of the game. The weapons are there, each one suspected of being a murder device; the characters resemble their color-coded playing pieces; and the rooms are laid out similar to the game board — including secret passageways!

Working in the key details of the source material — something adaptation writers from “Super Mario Bros.” to “World War Z” seem to have a problem with — is an achievement in its own right.

“It was a very tricky writing job. I think I was the sixth writer who was hired by the producers,” says Lynn. “Within a straitjacket of those fixed rules I had to come up with a complicated and interesting and funny story.”



5. It's actually a cool story
Zaniness aside, “Clue” actually plays out like a pretty good mystery story. All of the endings are believable given the plot, and you never quite know what the characters’ true motivations for being in the mansion are until the final “real” ending.

It’s fun and silly, but with just enough dark-and-stormy night elements to make it spooky Halloween viewing material.

Lynn, who went on to direct “My Cousin Vinny” and “The Whole Nine Yards,” is still dealing with his first film’s new-found success.

“A lot of young people saw it as kids and absolutely love it,” he says. “It spoke to kids in some ways it didn’t speak to grown-ups in the 80s and the 90s.”

For more information on tonight’s event, go to: www.actorsfund.org/communityartsfestival

Firm to female staffers: Learn hard words

Smart women don’t show cleavage — or at least that’s what one high-powered Manhattan law firm is telling its female employees.


The legal firm Clifford Chance sent female associates a bizarre memo advising them to  stop giggling, squirming and showing cleavage while speaking in public, irking female employees who called the tips sexist, the legal news website Abovethelaw.com reports.

The memo urges lady lawyers to “practice hard words,” stop saying “like” and to button up, explaining “No one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage” and “Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe.”

It also offers tips on how to be more masculine while speaking, noting “lower your voice” and “take up space.”

The presentation tips were sent to female employees of the firm across the country, which angered  lady lawyers, who said it unfairly singles out women as air-headed and unprofessional.

“[F]emale associates are very upset by not only the elementary nature of the tips themselves, but the suggestion that these would only apply to women. We have never been a very female friendly firm, but this is beyond the pale,” one employee told the site.

Other tips on the memo include:
  • “Like” You’ve got to Lose “Um” and “Uh,” “You know,” “OK,” and “Like”
  • Don’t raise your pitch at the end of a statement if it’s not a question.
  • Lower the pitchsay “uh-huh” and match that pitch to how low you can go
  • Don’t qualify: “Kind of, sort of, just…”
  • Don’t giggle
  • Don’t squirm
It also offers “what not to wear” tips:
  • Don’t dress like a mortician: if wearing a black suit, wear something bright
  • Don’t dress like you do every day, wear something special
  • If wearing a skirt make sure the audience can’t see up it when sitting on the dais
  • If wearing a scarf, make sure it stays tied
  • Make sure you can stand in your heels, not trip, don’t rock back on them
A rep from the firm said the  tips came from one particular individual who found them helpful.

“The original presentation and associated tips represented a personal perspective, shared with a group of colleagues, some just starting out in their careers,” the representative said.

“We believe that it is important that women as well as men are given access to a range of different viewpoints and approaches; there is no Clifford Chance template on how people should present. The offense caused by a small percentage of the suggestions in the tip sheet was entirely unintentional.”

Chris Christie’s health is ‘normal’

Chris Christie’s camp finally released his medical records today, revealing that the NJ governor’s health is “normal” despite being overweight and battling high blood pressure.


New Jersey cardiologist Rachana Kulkarni called Christie’s physical exam “unremarkable,” adding that he has “normal blood work, normal cardiovascular test results and good functional capacity.”

“[Christie] has a history of hypertension for last 2 years and asthma for the last 30,” Kulkarni wrote in a letter.

“Both condition are well controlled under his current medical regime.”

Surprisingly, the doctor says Christie exercises four times per week, including aerobic and resistance training.

“He has adapted a healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet and regular cardiovascular exercise regimen,” she said.

“He has no medical limitations and is fit to serve as the Governor  of the state of New Jersey.”

The large-and-in-charge pol’s cholesterol is 139 and his blood pressure is 110/70. He’s never smoked and had a “normal” stress exercise test.

The doctor added that Christie has been “losing weight steadily” since he underwent lap band surgery in February.

Christie was challenged last week to release his medical records after his opponent in the race for governor — Barbara Buono — revealed that she was in “excellent health.”

His campaign stalled to release the records for more than a week.

Demolition of Sandy Hook underway

The demolition of Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 young children and six adults were shot to death last December, will begin on Friday under a cloak of secrecy meant to discourage souvenir-hunters, town officials said.


The town has required the workers handling the tear down of the building to sign agreements banning them from discussing any aspect of the work as Newtown officials attempt to fade out of the media spotlight that hit the commuter suburb after the December 14 attack.

Town officials aim for completion of the nearly 60-year-old school’s demolition by the one-year anniversary of the attack.

“We have people showing up here every day who want to see the school,” said Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra. “We are not a tourist attraction or a large city. We are a small town of 28,000 that just wants to be left alone to heal.”

The massacre by 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, a former Sandy Hook student, was one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history, and led to stricter gun laws in Connecticut, New York and other nearby states.

Town officials have barricaded the property around the school to keep members of the public and media away.

“We don’t want parts of the building showing up as collector’s items on eBay,” Llodra said.
Full-time security guards will be at the site during demolition, and contractors have also signed confidentiality agreements.

Bestech, an Ellington, Connecticut, company that specializes in removing asbestos and other hazardous waste, is on the job and planning to start tearing down part of the school Friday and through the weekend, town officials said.

Abatement work to inspect for and remove any hazardous material was underway on Thursday, but major demolition, which could include removal of parts of the building, was not due to occur until Friday, Llodra said.

Newtown School Board Chairwoman Debbie Leidlein said she was, “very relieved demolition of the old school is starting so a new school can be built.”

The new school is expected to open by December 2016. Town voters last month accepted a state grant of $49.3 million to demolish the school and build a new one on the same site with a different entrance site and driveway.

Sandy Hook School pupils have been attending a school in neighboring Monroe since the shootings.

The most photogenic man on Earth

Move over, Photogenic Guy. This dude’s got it all over you.


Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel has become the new darling of the Internet after he was snapped looking very good doing something that should have him looking the opposite.

McDaniel was pictured running through a pile of players, taking heavy hits, churning his legs, desperately holding onto the ball – AND – losing this helmet from a tackle in the Fightin’ Irish’s 14-10 win over USC on Saturday night.

This information is important, because the physical punishment he must have endured to get to the point where this photo was taken means he should really look something awful.

His face should be contorted; eyes popping out of his head, gritting his teeth, every vein and sinew of his face stretched beyond their limit, sweating and hideous.

Instead, he looks like this – smouldering and smizing (smiling with his eyes), cool and unaffected, like a movie star or a model pulling a Blue Steel face.

Needless to say, the Internet has some mad love for Cam McDaniel.

The original article appeared on News.com.au

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – October 26-27

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic from 12:01 am Saturday to 6 am Monday for deck work on the Manhattan-bound roadway. Motorists may use the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge or Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (tolled facility). Throughout this closure the Manhattan Bridge will accommodate 5 lanes of traffic inbound/westbound and two lanes outbound/eastbound. Brooklyn-bound traffic will use all regular lanes and ramps of the Brooklyn Bridge normally – there will be no reversal or change to the Brooklyn-bound traffic patterns.
 
The Willis Avenue Bridge will be fully closed to motorists and pedestrians on Saturday from 2 am to 6 am for swing span testing. Motorists may use the Madison Avenue Bridge at East 138th Street. Pedestrians and bicyclists may use the Third Avenue Bridge.
 
One tube of the Queens Midtown Tunnel will be closed from 1 am Saturday through 5 am Monday for necessary repair work. One lane will be open in each direction in the remaining tube. Trucks must use alternate route.
 
The Ninth Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal will be closed on Sunday from 7 am to 3 pm to replace damaged electric cable spool. 
 
The FDR Drive southbound service road between East 30th Street and East 34th Street will be closed from 6 am Saturday to 9 pm Sunday to facilitate crane operation. The FDR Drive entrance ramp will remain open.
 
The following streets will be closed on Saturday:
  • Lexington Avenue between 42nd Street and 57th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Tudor City Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Festival.
  • Cross Bay Boulevard between 159th Avenue and 165th Avenue in Queens will be closed from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm for the Howard Beach Halloween Parade.
 
There will be closures throughout the Bronx on Sunday between 8 am and 5 pm for the Tour de Bronx. Details are available on the DOT web site at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.
 
The following streets will be closed on Sunday:
  • 51st Street between 5th Avenue and 10th Avenue and 5th Avenue between 50th Street and 51st Street in Manhattan will be closed from 9 am to 3 pm for the Brotherhood of Our Lord of Miracles Parade.
  • Front Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 4 pm for the Taste of the Seaport.
  • Liberty Street between Broadway and Trinity Place in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Sons of Italy Freedom Block Party.
  • 6th Avenue between St. Marks and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn will be closed from 10:30 am to noon for the DOT Weekend Walks Halloween Fall Festival.
 
The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.
 
Detailed information on weekend street closures will be available on the DOT web site at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.

Exclusive: Marines fight to save face after ‘girly’ hat plan

The US Marine Corps is in damage control mode amid the controversy over new caps for its troops.


Marine brass flipped its lid after The New York Post reported Thursday that the Leathernecks, under an edict from the Obama administration, have been told to choose a “unisex” cap – known as a cover – and that a uniform advisory board was leaning away from the Marine’s iconic cover toward a style that the tough-guy troops have blasted as too feminine.

“The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover,” the USMC press office claimed in statement posted to its website, www.marines.mil, Friday.

“The President in no way, shape, or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover. We are looking for a new cover for our female Marines for one overriding reason: The former manufacturer went out of business.”

But that statement flies in the face of the “voting” form sent out to Marines about the cover change.

The form, obtained by The Post, clearly instructs the troops – both male and female — to choose one cap: either the new, slim, female-friendly “Dan Daly” style or the traditional cover that Marines have sported since 1922.

“Provide a vote for either option 1 or option 2 in the appropriate row of the first column below,” the form reads. “Option 1: Adopt the Dan Daly cap as the universal cap, OR Option 2: Adopt the current male frame cap as the universal cap (with some modifications to make it more comfortable but maintain the same distinctive look).”

In an accompanying “Background Information” memo, a “uniform board” – made up of enlisted Marines — points the finger squarely at the Dept. of Defense for the new directive.

“The Marine Corps is being “encouraged” by DoD to standardize on a unisex/universal dress and service cap,” the memo reads.

“They went to the trouble of making sure the word ‘encouraged’ was in quotes,” a senior Marine source told The Post. “Clearly it is meant as a dig, to say ‘this isn’t our idea, it’s the Administration’s.’”

The internal document also noted that the “Dan Daly” style – named for the legendary Long Island Marine who was twice awarded the Medal of Honor – was initially intended as the model for an “improved female cap.” It was then “suggested, via the on-line survey process, that [it] would make an acceptable “universal” cap for all Marines.”

The uniform board is clearly against any switch.

“None of the Working Group members liked the idea of a universal cover for all Marines. When polled, all 12 voting members of the working group voted for gender specific caps (male frame cap for male Marines and Dan Daly cap for female Marines,” the memo stated.

“The male Group members expressed a desire to maintain the current male frame cap, but agreed that it should be re-designed to improve the comfort of the cap. The Group members did not like the appearance of the Dan Daly cap on the male Marine. They said it looked like a “porter’s” cap, and couldn’t envision it with a broader crown.”

But, forced to choose one style or the other, the 10-male, 2-female board picked the Dan Daly – after the female head of the group broke a tie, according to the internal document.

“When they voted on a universal cap (either the Dan Daly cap or the male frame cap) it was a 50/50 split, with 6 members (5 males and 1 female) voting for the Dan Daly cap as the universal cap and 6 members (5 males and 1 female) voting for the male frame cap as the universal cap,” the memo noted.

“The Working Group head (a female) provided the tie breaking vote in favor of the Dan Daly cap.”
According to the documents, switching all Marines to the Dan Daly cover will cost more than $8.2 million. Adopting the traditional cap, with modifications, will save more than $284,000, because the
current female covers are more expensive.

The Marines are also being asked to vote on women’s hair braids and a supplemental allowance change, according to the memo.

Meanwhile, despite the sharp denial of a cover switch on its website, USMC spokesman Capt Eric Flanagan indicated in an email to The Post Friday that the choice is between one hat — or the other.

“There is currently an ongoing survey underway asking Marines about their preferences on which type of cover they prefer,” he wrote. “The results of the survey will assist the uniform board in making the final decision.”

About 7 percent of Marines are women, according to recent statistics.

“If the Marine Corps has ‘zero intention’ of changing the male cover, then why did they go to the time and expense to create a prototype male Dan Daly cover? Why bring in at least four Marines to model them for the photographs, in two different uniform combinations?” said the senior Marine
source. “Why have the Uniform Board vote on adopting the Dan Daly?”

“I smell bullshit.”

Join us for Pumpkin Fest on Sat, October 26 in Central Park

Pumpkin Fest
Central Park, Bandshell Area
Enter park at 72nd Street
Saturday, October 26, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm



What’s better than a spooktacular event for the whole family? One that’s free!

On Saturday, October 26th, NYC Parks will host Pumpkin Fest in Central Park, an annual event that celebrates the fall harvest season. Pumpkin Fest will feature a ghoulishly scary Haunted House, our popular Pumpkin Patch (can you say free pumpkins?!), and pumpkin decorating courtesy of Care.com. Other activities will include:
  • Live Quidditch matches (bring your own broom!)
  • Marionette Performances by CityParks PuppetMobile
  • Obstacle Course by the New York Road Runners
  • Pride of New York Farmers Market
  • Arts & Craft activities from Scribble Town and The New Victory Theater
  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Fitness classes for kids and adults, courtesy of Shape Up NYC
  • Iams PUP-kin Zone, featuring activities specifically designed for four-legged New Yorkers
  • Live music from Kidrockers and songs for seeds
  • Live performances from JestMaster and Big Apple Circus!
  • And much more!
Catch a sneak peek of the Haunted House on Friday, October 25th from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm!
Enjoy the frights and delights as the sun goes down!

For more information about Pumpkin Fest, visit www.nyc.gov/parks/pumpkinfest. This event is rain or shine.

See you in the park!

This event is presented by NYC Parks and sponsored by Care.com, Michaels, Honest Tea, Cabot, Iams, Radio Disney, Seamless.com, Happy Family Brands, DNAinfo New York, New York Knicks, The New Victory Theater, Scribble Town, Cinderella on Broadway, Motown the Musical, Z100, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and The L Magazine.

Hollywood star: I was racially profiled at Macy’s

The third black New Yorker suing the NYPD for an allegedly unlawful stop and search while shopping is an actor who starred with Sean Connery in “Finding Forrester” and in HBO’s “Treme” – and he is after only justice, not money, his lawyer told the New York Post.


“The bottom line is…this isn’t about money, this about proving a point,” said Robert Brown’s attorney, John Eleftrekais.

“This is just something that shouldn’t happen,” he said.

Brown, 29, who played a jazz trumpeter in “Treme,” says he was illegally searched by undercover detectives at Macy’s in Herald Square on June 8, 2013 after purchasing a watch.

“Police officers ran up to him, arrested him, and then kept him in a jail cell in Macy’s,” his attorney, John Elefterakis told the Post.

After handing over his ID, Brown “was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase,” according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.

The accusation is strikingly similar to what detectives allegedly asked a 19-year-old black student from Queens after he splurged on a $350 Ferragamo belt at Barneys this past April.

At the 19th Police Precinct Trayon Christian was asked “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the teen’s lawsuit filed on Monday.

Elefterakis added that they had no knowledge of two other similar cases pending against the NYPD for shop-and-frisks until the incidents at Madison Avenue shopping mecca Barneys were published in the press this week.

Brown, born in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, was educated at elite private schools including Poly Prop and Amherst College. A role opposite Sean Connery in the 2009 film “Finding Forrester” jumpstarted his acting career.

Brown says he was arrested after making a purchase from the Sunglass Hut within the store. He was detained by cops for over an hour and then released without being charged.

He is suing the NYPD and Macy’s over the incident.

The third woman who was stopped in a similar fashion is 21-year-old Brooklyn mom Kayla Philips who had bought a $2,500 Celine handbag at Barneys in February. She has filed paperwork to sue the NYPD for $5 million and is considering pursuing legal claims against the Madison Avenue shopping mecca.

A Macy’s spokeswoman said, “We are investigating the alleged claim because we were just made aware of this litigation. We do not comment on matters in litigation.”

Brown has also starred in “The Express” with Dennis Quaid about Syracuse University football great Ernie Davis and most recently graced the silver screen with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Don Jon.”

Meanwhile over 2,400 people have signed a petition calling on the rap superstar Jay Z to drop a lucrative partnership with Barneys over the alleged racial profiling incidents.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Opinion: The real reason behind the Government Shutdown~ and thoughts on the Debt Celing

Written by legal intern and Brandon J.'s News commentator Maya Wharton, follow her on Twitter @maya_Wharton

My name is Maya Wharton, I'm a legal intern and a commentator at Brandon J.'s News, and personally,  I think the government shut down is the most childish thing they've done so far in my whole 16 years of living.


The government shutdown is obviously adults having some hissy fit and now wanting the attention for everyone.
Let's not forget the fact America is on it's last strands on how high its can go in debt.

The most ridiculous part is that Obama Care doesn't sound that bad. Old people need benefits and the democrats are obviously pissed that now their losing money.
We all know it's because they're mad a black man is still in the white house, it's why they stopped electrical voting.

The government is not blockbuster and now they're trying to finalize the deal before America reaches maximum amount of being in debt. So now their trying to corner Obama in making a decision.
The only reason China is so high up because they were trying to compete against us. If we start using all that damn space in middle of America and use it to make our own things, imagine how much money we would make. Think about it... It's not a bad idea.

For Brandon J.'s News, I'm Maya Wharton.
 
 
 



Friday, October 11, 2013

Medallion Auction Notice

The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) wishes to announce that 200 Accessible Minifleet Medallions will be offered for sale, in lots of two, through the receipt of sealed competitive bids.  The TLC will receive bids in person on November 7, 8, 12, and 13, 2013, from 9:00 am through 12:00 Noon at its offices at 33 Beaver Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10004.  These bids will be publicly opened on November 14, 2013, commencing at 9:00 am at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007.  TLC’s offices and the auction facility are wheelchair accessible.
  • All interested bidders must submit their sealed bids on November 7, 8, 12, or 13, 2013 between the hours of 9:00 am and 12:00 Noon at the NYC TLC, 33 Beaver Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10004
  • All bid packages must be delivered by hand. Please be prepared to present an ID to enter 33 Beaver Street.
  • Bids will not be accepted by mail.
  • The deadline to submit bid packages is 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, November 13, 2013.
  • All 200 medallions (or 100 lots) included in this auction have been set aside for use with wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
  • The ten highest non-winning bids will be held for Reserve Status.
  • The minimum upset price for Accessible Minifleet Medallions is $850,000 per medallion, or $1,700,000 per lot.
Bid packages, bidding instructions, bidder requirements, ownership requirements, and further details are available online at www.nyc.gov/taxi and at all TLC facilities.  
Any request for a sign language interpreter or other form of reasonable accommodation for a disability at the November 14, 2013 auction must be submitted in writing, by telephone, or by TTY/TDD no later than November 8, 2013, to the Office of Legal Affairs at:
 
Taxi and Limousine Commission
33 Beaver St., 22nd Floor
New York, New York 10004
Telephone: 212 676 1135

Email:  medallionauction@tlc.nyc.gov

The man who allegedly beat Adrian Peterson’s son to death

NFL superstar Adrian Peterson’s son has died at a South Dakota hospital after he was allegedly beaten by the boy’s mother’s boyfriend, according to multiple reports.


The all-world running back was absent from Minnesota Vikings practice on Thursday to be in Sioux Falls, S.D., Stu Whitney of the Argus Leader reported Thursday.

It was first reported the victim was his 2-year-old, Adrian Jr., but the Nelson Peterson, the running back’s father, said it was another one of Adrian’s children, who is also 2.

We are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as deal with this tragic situation,” Nelson Peterson told former Vikings reporter Sean Jensen.

Joseph Patterson, 27, has been charged with aggravated felony assault and battery of an infant after he allegedly gave Peterson’s son “severe head injuries.” According to the report, law enforcement and emergency responders arrived at the apartment where Peterson’s son lives at 5:46 p.m. on Wednesday and found the child unresponsive. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors determined his injuries were consistent with abuse.

Peterson returned to the team Friday. He declined to address the situation specifically, but said he would play Sunday against the Panthers.

Peterson smiled politely while he took questions, but he spoke softly with a somber expression with dozens of cameras, recorders and media members surrounding him in the locker room, according to the Associated Press.

“I’ll be ready to roll, focused,” Peterson said. “Football is something I will always fall back on. It gets me through tough times. Just being around the guys in here, that’s what I need.”

The reigning league MVP is second in the NFL with 421 rushing yards and leads the league with five rushing touchdowns. He scored twice and rushed for 140 yards in Minnesota’s last game, a 34-27 win over the Steelers two weeks ago. The Vikings are coming off their bye week and face Carolina on Sunday.

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – October 12-14

The Queens-bound Upper and Lower Levels (4 lanes) of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge will be closed from 12:01 am Saturday to 5 am Monday to repair damage from a truck fire in August so that the full bridge can be re-opened to traffic. To facilitate Queens-bound traffic, the two Manhattan-bound lanes on the bridge’s lower level will be temporarily reversed to Queens. In addition, the single lane of the south outer roadway, open to passenger cars only, will be available for Queens-bound traffic. The two Manhattan-bound lanes on the upper level will remain accessible to Manhattan-bound traffic throughout the weekend, though no trucks. Motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible and to use other crossings.
 
The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic from 12:01 am Saturday until 6 am Monday. Motorists should use the Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Manhattan Bridge or Williamsburg Bridge. Throughout this closure the Manhattan Bridge will accommodate 5 lanes of traffic inbound and two lanes Brooklyn-bound. Brooklyn-bound traffic will access the Brooklyn Bridge from Pearl Street or Centre Street, using a contraflow configuration. There will be additional access to the bridge via the Park Row ramp from Frankfort Street from 6 am Saturday until 1 am Sunday, and on Sunday from 9 am to 11 pm.
 
There will be limited overnight closures of the eastbound Brooklyn Queens Expressway on Saturday from 1 am to 6 am, Sunday from 2 am to 7 am and Monday from 12:01 am to 4 am. During these hours, the eastbound BQE will be closed immediately after Exit 28A (Cadman Plaza West) until Exit 29A (Manhattan Bridge/Nassau Street).
 
The Ninth Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal will be closed on Sunday from 7 am to 3 pm to replace a damaged electric cable spool. Traffic will be detoured to the Hamilton Avenue Bridge. 
 
All overnight closures associated with recent roadwork on the Outerbridge Crossing have been completed. No further full overnight closures planned.
 
The Cross Bronx Expressway (Alexander Hamilton Bridge) eastbound exit ramp to the Major Deegan Expressway will be fully closed on Saturday and Sunday from 12:01 am to 9 am to facilitate NY State DOT construction activity. During full closure passenger cars will be diverted to the Jerome Avenue exit and trucks to the Webster Avenue exit and should follow the posted detour.
 
The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday:
  • Broadway between 54th Street and 47th Street and the Broadway pedestrian plaza between 48th Street and 46th Street will be closed from 10 am to 7 pm for the Times Square Music and Arts Festival.
  • Broadway between 110th Street and 116th Street (northbound) will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the 21st Annual Upper Broadway Fall Festival.
  • Front Street and Water Street between Peck Slip and Dover Street and Peck Slip between South Street and Water Street will be closed from 11 am to 9 pm for the Seaport Alliance Restaurant Mall.

The following streets will be closed on Sunday:
  • 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 69th Street and 44th Street to 47th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 5 pm for the Comite Del Desfile De La Hispanidad Parade.
  • Morris Park Avenue between White Plains Road and Williamsbridge Road in the Bronx will be closed from noon to 3 pm for the Bronx Columbus Day Parade.
  • 18th Avenue between 60th Street and 84th Street and 60th Street between 17th Avenue and 18th Avenue in Brooklyn will be closed from 10 am to 1 pm for the FIAO Brooklyn Columbus Parade.
 
The following streets on Staten Island will be closed on Sunday from 9:30 am to 11:30 am for the Staten Island Half Marathon:
  • Richmond County Ballpark Service Road between Wall Street and Bank Street
  • Bank Street between Richmond County Ballpark Service Road and Jersey Street
  • Jersey Street between Bank Street and Richmond Terrace
  • Richmond Terrace between Jersey Street and Bay Street
  • Bay Street between Richmond Terrace and School Road
  • School Road between Bay Street and Lily Pond Avenue
  • Lily Pond Avenue between School Road and Father Capodanno Boulevard
  • Father Capodanno Boulevard between Lily Pond Avenue and Graham Boulevard
  • Ferry Terminal Drive between Richmond Terrace and Bank Street
 
The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Monday:
  • 5th Avenue between 43rd Street and 79th Street, 44th Street to 47th Street between Madison Avenue and 6th Avenue, and 72nd Street to 78th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue will be closed from 8 am to 2 pm for the Columbus Day Parade.
  • Whitehall Street between Stone Street and Water Street and Broadway between Cedar Street and Battery Place will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Bowling Green Association Festival.
 
The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.
 
Detailed information on weekend street closures will be available on the DOT web site at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.

Exclusive: Rabbis beat me, stun-gunned my genitals: suit

The rabbis accused of pocketing piles of cash to kidnap and torture Orthodox husbands on behalf of divorce-seeking wives targeted a Brooklyn man in 1996, he claimed in a lawsuit.


Abraham Rubin said that Rabbi Mendel Epstein and Rabbi Martin Wolmark had him forced him into a van outside his synagogue before beating him and stun-gunning his genitals.

He was left bloody and half-naked on the side of the road — all to force him to agree to a religious divorce, or “get,” from his wife, he claimed in the suit.

Rubin’s 1997 lawsuit was dropped by both parties in 2000, and a Brooklyn DA probe was halted because “the victim could not identify any of his assailants,” said a spokeswoman for DA Charles Hynes.

“We were so upset that we couldn’t prosecute,” said one law enforcement source. “They did it in a place that was very dark and they were all wearing masks,” the source said.

“We wanted Epstein, but we just couldn’t prove it,” the source said. “It was all in a world we couldn’t get deep inside.”

Rubin’s allegations put Epstein and Wolmark on investigators’ radar, and on Friday he applauded the arrests.

“We are very, very grateful to the Creator that finally this happened,” Rubin said in a statement given to The New York Post.

“These imposters, these so-called rabbis, are a disgrace to our community,” Rubin said. “The masks have finally been taken off their faces.”

The two rabbis remain locked up in New Jersey after a federal sting caught them agreeing to take $50,000 from an agent posing as a “get”-seeking Orthodox wife.

In exchange, the rabbis promised to lure the agent’s “husband” into a warehouse and torture him into agreeing to the split, the feds said.

“We take an electric cattle prod… You put it in certain parts of his body,” Epstein was secretly recorded promising, the feds’ complaint alleged.

Borough Park-based social worker Elya Amsel, 60 — who still remembers visiting the battered Rubin at Maimonedes Hospital — said the arrests, “will raise the eyebrows of the whole gentile world.

“The Italians are nothing compared to what went on here with the Jews.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Peavy looks to extinguish Rays' must-win magic

ST. PETERSBURG -- The never-say-die Rays improved to 4-0 in elimination games this year, rallying from a three-run deficit to keep their season -- and the American League Division Series against the Red Sox -- alive for another day.
Yes, a Boston club that looked unbeatable the first two games at its own Fenway Park failed to complete the sweep. But the Red Sox, who combined to score 19 runs in Games 1 and 2, are still in control, up 2-1 in the best-of-five set.
"We're coming back hungry just like we did today," designated hitter David Ortiz said Monday of Boston's mindset. "We know this ain't over. We know we've got to come and play, make pitches, score runs. We've got to do whatever it takes to win the game."
The Rays have won four elimination games in a nine-day span and pulled off a dramatic win Monday on Jose Lobaton's walk-off homer -- against lockdown closer Koji Uehara -- that was symbolic of manager Joe Maddon's feisty club.
"It kind of showed the way this team is right now and the fact that we're not going to die," Game 3 starter Alex Cobb said of a Rays team that vowed to return to Boston for Game 5 after falling into an 0-2 hole. "You're going to have to take our last breath away from us, and we're still going to be fighting and screaming at the end. It's going to be a fun ride. I don't think it's going to be over anytime soon."
Tampa Bay, at home for the first time in two weeks, snapped a five-game skid in Division Series play. But Boston still has the edge entering Game 4 on Tuesday night (8:30 ET on TBS). The Red Sox also have history on their side -- teams up 2-1 in the Division Series format have gone 35-8.
"They are a resilient team. They said all year long they were going to keep coming," Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino said. "And we're still up 2-1. We are still in the driver's seat, we control our own destiny. We just got to go out there [Tuesday] and try to win another one."
Boston will send Jake Peavy to the hill looking to avoid a winner-take-all Game 5, and the right-hander threw a simulated game on Wednesday to try to stay crisp.
"Just doing everything I could possibly do to keep that feel," said Peavy, who last started Sept. 25. "If you watched [John] Lackey the other day, I think you saw the layoff can affect your feel and command a little bit. But at the end of the day, it will be no excuse. I'll get out there and figure out a way to get it done just as John did."
Tampa Bay will counter with right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who received the nod over Chris Archer despite a frustrating season in which he went 12-10 with a 5.17 ERA.
"Every elimination game we went into feels like just another game until we get out there and see the crowd and make some plays, and then we're a little more fired up. But we want to be in this situation," Hellickson said. "We know we can win three in a row. It's going to be difficult, but we know we can do it."

Rays: Price apologizes for tweets
Left-hander David Price apologized Monday for his Twitter comments following Game 2's ALDS loss.
"It's not the way anybody should handle themselves at any time. It's not the way anyone, especially myself, should handle something of that nature," Price said before Game 3 at Tropicana Field. "I am a person, I feel like, that takes pride in character. That was probably the exact opposite of that. I hurt a lot of people. I embarrassed myself. I embarrassed my family. I embarrassed this organization. It's not good. It's not good for baseball. It's not good for our team, especially at a time like right now."
Price realized he'd made a mistake "probably a couple of minutes" after firing off a post directed at TBS analysts Dirk Hayhurst and Tom Verducci. He read it over a few times, but his "emotions were just going so high. I knew that was nothing to tweet about."

Red Sox: Bullpen looking sharp
The setup crew has looked much more promising over the ALDS, with Junichi Tazawa following up a solid outing in Game 2 by recording a pair of outs in Monday's loss.
"You know, whether it's Taz, whether it's [lefty Craig Breslow], the fact they come in and throw quality stuff and throw strikes, that's the biggest thing," said manager John Farrell. "We don't really fear that they're going to compound the inning with erratic command."
Tazawa had an ERA of 3.29 or lower in every month but September, when he gave up six runs over 8 1/3 innings.

Worth noting
  • Fernando Rodney became the second Rays pitcher with a blown save in the postseason, joining Dan Wheeler in the 2008 AL Championship Series against Boston.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury became the third player in Red Sox history with consecutive three-hit postseason games, joining Kevin Youkilis and Nomar Garciaparra.
  • Red Sox outfielder Quintin Berry's steal of second base in the eighth inning improved him to a perfect 27-for-27 in his Major League career.

Tom Hanks reveals he suffers from Type 2 diabetes

Tom Hanks has been looking fit and trim while promoting his latest film, “Captain Phillips.” But the star reveled to David Letterman on Monday that’s he’s suffering from a serious health problem.
“I went to the doctor and he said, ‘You know those high blood sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36?,’” Hanks said on “Late Show With David Letterman.” “’Well, you graduated! You’ve got Type 2 diabetes, young man.’”
Hanks, 57, has a history of gaining and losing weight for Hollywood role. He reportedly packed on 30 pounds to play a beleaguered baseball manager in 1992’s “A League of Their Own.” He then lost more than 50 pounds for the 2000 island adventure, “Cast Away.”
Hanks’ yo-yoing weight could have played a part in the disease’s development, according to an expert. But Hanks said that his condition is controllable by watching his diet.
The actor joked to Letterman, “My doctor said, ‘If you can weigh as much as you weighed in high school… you will essentially be completely healthy… you will not have Type 2 diabetes.’ And then I said to her, ‘Well, I’m gonna have Type 2 diabetes. Because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school.’”
“What did you weigh in high school?” Letterman asked.
“I weighed 96-pounds in high school,” Hanks shot back.
CBS News’ Dr. Holly Phillips said of Hanks’ revelation: “In dramatic weight gain and dramatic weight loss, the equilibrium of the body is just completely off. So that might predispose him to developing Type 2 diabetes later.” She added, “He’ll have to watch what he eats very closely… he’ll need to exercise regularly but there’s no reason he can’t live a perfectly normal life.”

Tigers try to extend ALDS as A's eye series win

DETROIT -- The A's, leading this American League Division Series 2-1 and going for the knockout, and the Tigers, fighting for their postseason lives, have entirely different agendas for Tuesday's Game 4 at 5 p.m. ET on TBS.
For Detroit, the mantra is, "Remember 2012." For the A's, it's, "Write a new script."
With Doug Fister taking his sinker on the mound, the Tigers will try to relocate the full force of their mostly absent offense against A's right-hander Dan Straily. The mission is to get the series back to Oakland, where the Tigers took Game 5 of a rousing series last year behind Justin Verlander's brilliant shutout.
If it goes to a Game 5 this time, Verlander will be in the bullpen in support of Max Scherzer, assuming the Game 1 starter gets the call. Tigers fans would love to see that duo dealing in the same game with the season on the line. The A's would have their veteran ace, Bartolo Colon, ready to go, with rookie sensation Sonny Gray behind him.
Detroit ended a 20-inning scoreless drought in the fourth inning of Game 3 on Monday, but it was overpowered by the A's. Home runs by Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss and Seth Smith were the difference.
"We're on the verge of putting them out of the postseason," Reddick said, "but we're not going to change our one-day-at-a-time procedure."
The Tigers, during their three-run fourth, got an encouraging swing from Miguel Cabrera on one of the outs. The 2012 AL Triple Crown winner and Most Valuable Player unloaded his deepest drive of the series, but A's center fielder Coco Crisp ran it down at the warning track in right-center.
Jhonny Peralta, getting back in the swing of things as the Tigers' left fielder after his 50-game ban for violating the MLB drug program, contributed a two-run single in four at-bats. That was another positive sign, along with two hits by Prince Fielder.
"He swung the bat good [Monday]," Leyland said of Fielder, "and he hit another line drive at the shortstop real hard. He swung the bat exceptionally well."
Peralta made a relatively smooth transition from shortstop to left field, but a throw home on Crisp's sacrifice fly didn't pick up enough steam to nail Stephen Vogt.
"He knocked in two runs," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's why we put him out there, hoping we would get a little punch and he did that to tie the game up.
"He did fine in the outfield. When you put a guy out there that hasn't been out there, you're saying you're willing to accept what you get defensively for what you might get offensively -- and Jhonny got us a hit that gave us two runs. That's as simple as it is."
The Tigers are still searching for their first home run in the series, having produced a total of six runs. This was the second most productive offense in the Majors during the season, trailing only Boston in runs scored.
"We're going to have some mojo [Tuesday], be ready to go," Torii Hunter said, feeling the effects of a jammed left shoulder after it cushioned a fall in right field.
Hunter, whose single ignited the three-run rally, vowed to be in the lineup in his customary No. 2 spot in front of Cabrera.
"It's the playoffs, man," he said. "You played banged up if you have to, whatever it takes. I got X-rays; nothing's torn. Adrenaline takes over.
"We want to keep playing. It's 2-1, they're up. They have the advantage, but I don't think the pressure's on us. We just have to go out and play."
Hunter is more familiar than his teammates with the A's, having spent 2008-12 with the Angels, Oakland's AL West rivals.
"They're a good team," he said. "Good pitching, good defense, power, and they run the bases. Three home runs in the playoffs is a lot. Six runs is a lot in the playoffs."
Coco Crisp, the A's catalyst, warmed up in Game 3 with two doubles, a single, a stolen base, a run scored and an RBI. The A's are hoping Josh Donaldson (.167) and hitless Jed Lowrie heat up behind the leadoff man.
The A's scored as many times in Game 3 as the Tigers have in the series. Oakland's pitching staff has held the upper hand, keeping Detroit off the scoreboard in 25 of 27 innings.
"Obviously, we're happy to be at 2-1," said Moss, the A's home run leader with 30 during the season. "But with that team over there, there is no comfortable lead."
Last year, it was the A's who were down 2-1 at home, rallying for a dramatic 4-3 win in Game 4 with three ninth-inning runs. Crisp delivered the walk-off RBI single after Smith's two-run double.
The Tigers, a team with high expectations after reaching the World Series last year and adding Hunter and Victor Martinez to the lineup, are looking to create a happy ending to Game 4 for their hometown fans.
"We know what we have to do," Hunter said. "It's just a matter of going out and doing it."

Bikers have long history of terrorizing motorists

Disturbing video footage posted by biker packs on YouTube shows them pulling dangerous stunts everywhere from city highways to Times Square.
The packs usually involve hundreds of riders and include bikers standing on top of their motorcycle seats while popping wheelies speeding down the highway, menacing other drivers and halting traffic. They’re on regular motorcycles, souped-up ATVs and dirt bikes.
In one video, dozens of cyclists surround a car at an intersection and appear to be threatening its driver, with one of the riders going up to the vehicle’s passenger-side front window and punching it. The group then speeds off.
Several other postings feature footage from a 2011 Halloween ride through Times Square, with bikers in costumes tearing through the streets. At least some of the video was posted by Hollywood Stuntz, the group that organized the Sept. 29 ride in the city that wound up with a Manhattan driver being beaten to a pulp and four bikers busted so far.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – October 5-6

The South Upper (Brooklyn-bound) roadway of the Manhattan Bridge will be closed from 9 am to 6 pm on Sunday for the removal of construction sheds on the pedestrian walkway. During these times there will be two lanes eastbound to Brooklyn on the lower level, and two lanes westbound to Manhattan open to traffic on the North Upper Roadway.
 
One tube of the Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel will be closed from 9 pm Friday to 5 am Monday for construction work. One lane will be open in each direction in the remaining tube. Motorists should expect delays and use an alternate route.
 
One of two lanes on the South Upper Roadway of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge is closed until further notice.
 
The Outerbridge Crossing will be closed in both directions between 10 pm to 5 am Monday nights through Friday mornings and from 11:59 pm Friday to 7 am on Saturdays through October to facilitate Port Authority roadway repairs and paving. Motorists should plan alternate routes or follow posted detours to the Goethals Bridge.
 
The Ninth Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal will be closed on Sunday from 7 am to 3 pm to replace a damaged electric cable spool. Traffic will be detoured to the Hamilton Avenue Bridge. 
 
The following streets will be closed on Saturday:
  • Front Street and Water Street between Peck Slip and Dover Street, and Peck Slip between South Street and Water Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 9 pm for the Seaport Alliance Restaurant Mall.
  • 6th Avenue between 38th and 27th Street, 38th Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway, 27th Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue, and 32nd Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 3 pm for the Korea Times Parade.
  • 2nd Avenue between 54th Street and 43rd Street, 43rd Street and 44th Street between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue, 47th Street between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue, and 54th Street between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from 1 pm to 3 pm for the Nigerian Independence Day Parade and Block Party.
  • 3rd Avenue between 76th and 92nd Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 1 pm to 3 pm for the Ragamuffin Children’s Parade.
 
The following streets in the Bronx will be closed from 10 am to 11:30 am on Saturday for the 7th Annual Hunts Point Hustle:
  • Lafayette Avenue between Edgewater Road and Garrison Avenue
  • Garrison Avenue between Edgewater Road and Whittier Street
  • Whittier Street between Garrison Avenue and Spofford Avenue
  • Spofford Avenue between Whittier Street and Halleck Street
  • Halleck Street between Spofford Avenue and East Bay Avenue
  • Food Center Drive between Halleck Street and Hunts Point Avenue
  • Ryawa Avenue between Halleck Street and Manida Street
  • Manida Street between Ryawa Avenue and Viele Avenue
 
The following streets in Staten Island will be closed from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday for the Tour De Staten Island:
  • Richmond Terrace between Bay Street and Snug Harbor Road
  • Snug Harbor Road between Richmond Terrace and Cottage Row
  • Cottage Row between Snug Harbor Road and Henderson Avenue
  • Henderson Avenue between Cottage Row and Alaska Street
  • Alaska Street between Henderson Avenue and Richmond Terrace
  • Richmond Terrace between Alaska Street and Morningstar Road
  • Morningstar Road between Richmond Terrace and Richmond Avenue
  • Richmond Avenue between Morningstar Road and Lamberts Lane
  • Lamberts Lane between Richmond Avenue and Arlene Street
  • Arlene Street between Lamberts Lane and Park Drive South
  • Park Drive South between Arlene Street and Rivington Avenue
  • Rivington Avenue between Park Drive South and Richmond Avenue
  • Richmond Avenue between Rivington Avenue and Rockland Avenue
  • Rockland Avenue between Richmond Avenue and Latourette Park Bike Path (Forest Hill Road)
  • Latourette Park Bike Path between  Rockland Avenue and Richmond Hill Road
  • Richmond Hill Road between Latourette Park Bike Path and Arthur Kill Road
  • Arthur Kill Road between Richmond Hill Road and Clarke Avenue
  • Clarke Ave between Arthur Kill Road and Savoy Street
  • Savoy Street between Clarke Ave and Windemere Avenue
  • Windemere Avenue between Savoy Street and North Railroad Avenue
  • North Railroad Avenue between Windemere Avenue and Guyon Avenue
  • Guyon Avenue between North Railroad Avenue and South Railroad Avenue
  • South Railroad Avenue between Guyon Avenue and Midland Avenue
  • Midland Avenue between South Railroad Avenue and Father Capodanno Boulevard
  • Father Capodanno Boulevard between Midland Avenue and Lily Pond Avenue
  • Lily Pond Avenue between Father Capodanno Boulevard and School Road
  • School Road between Lily Pond Avenue and Bay Street
  • Bay Street between School Road and Richmond Terrace
 
The following streets will be closed on Sunday:
  • 5th Avenue between 36th Street and 56th Street, 36th Street to 38th Street between 6th Avenue and Madison Avenue, 39th Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue, and 56th Street between Madison Avenue and 6th Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from 12:30 pm to 3 pm for the General Pulaski Memorial Parade.
  • East End Avenue between 84th and 88th Streets in Manhattan will be closed from 10 am to 5 pm for the Gracie Square Art Show.
  • 8th Avenue between 42nd Street and 57th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Midtown North Community Council 8th Avenue Autumn Festival.
  • Broadway (southbound) between 106th Street and 96th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the 25th Annual Upper Broadway Harvest Festival.
  • John Street between Front Street and Water Street, Water Street between Fulton Street and Fletcher Street, and Front Street between John Street and Maiden Lane in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Deepavali Festival.
  • 3rd Avenue between Bay Ridge Avenue and 94th Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the 3rd Avenue Festival.
 
The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Sunday from 7:30 am to 6 pm for the MS Bike Tour:                                                 
  • West Street between West 54th Street and Battery Park Underpass
  • Battery Park Underpass between West Street and FDR Drive
  • FDR Drive (northbound) between Battery Park Underpass and Harlem River Drive
  • Harlem River Drive between FDR Drive and 10th Avenue
  • Canal Street between West Street and Holland Tunnel Entrance
  • West 178th Street between Cabrini Boulevard and Pinehurst Avenue
  • Pinehurst Avenue between West 178th Street and West 177th Street
  • West 177th Street between Pinehurst Avenue and Haven Avenue
  • Haven Avenue/West 168th Street between West 177th Street and Fort Washington Avenue
  • Fort Washington Avenue between West 168th Street and West 165th Street
  • West 165th Street between Fort Washington Avenue and Riverside Drive
  • Riverside Drive between West 165th Street and West 72nd Street
  • Riverside Drive between Seaman Avenue and Henry Hudson Parkway
  • West 72nd Street between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue
  • West End Avenue between West 72nd Street and West 59th Street
  • West 59th Street between West End Avenue and Joe DiMaggio Highway
  • 10th Avenue between Harlem River Drive and West 218th Street
  • West 218th Street between 10th Avenue and Indian Road
  • Indian Road between West 218th Street and West 214th Street
  • West 214th Street between Indian Road and Seaman Avenue
  • Seaman Avenue between West 214th Street and Riverside Drive
  • Henry Hudson Parkway (southbound) Riverside Drive and West 56th Street and West Street ??
 
The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.
 
Detailed information on weekend street closures will be available on the DOT web site at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.

A-Rod sues MLB and now Yankees team doctor, too

America’s favorite pastime has a seamy underbelly, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez claims in a bombshell new lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its longtime Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig.


Baseball officials have employed mob-like tactics to take down the faded All-Star who’s facing doping allegations, including one investigator exchanging a bag stuffed with $150,000 cash for stolen records, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit filed today.

Just hours after filing the Manhattan complaint, Rodriguez targeted Yankees doctor Christopher Ahmad and New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in a Bronx lawsuit, claiming the physician misdiagnosed a hip injury in October 2012.

The second suit alleges that Dr. Ahmad missed a “superior labral tear at the left hip” after giving A-Rod an MRI when he was suffering from hip pain.

The botched exam “allowed [A-Rod] to further injure himself” and subjected him to additional surgeries, the suit says.

The Manhattan complaint goes on to allege that the commission made a devil’s pact with the head of a clinic who was accused of giving drugs to underage athletes — paying the Florida man $5 million to nail A-Rod while promising to drop legal claims against him.

The suit accuses the MLB of conspiring with Anthony Bosch, owner of Coral Gables-based anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.

It says baseball officials bribed Bosch with $5 million “to buy his cooperation” in their takedown of A-Rod. Bosch is under criminal investigation for dispensing performance enhancing drugs to minors.

“MLB’s ethically challenged behavior seemingly reached rock bottom in their negotiations with Anthony Bosch,” the suit says.

Dozens of players including Rodriguez, 38, are allegedly connected to the clinic.

A spokesman for Bosch denied the allegations.

“He hasn’t been paid $5, let along $5 million,” the spokesman said.

MLB, during its “scorched earth investigation” into the doping allegations, has “engaged in vigilante justice,” according to the court documents, by bullying and intimidating “those individuals who refused to cooperate with their witch hunt.”

Selig’s investigators allegedly offered former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer $125,000 for client files.

When Fischer refused the offer, an MLB employee named Dan Mullin allegedly bought the “stolen documents for $150,000 cash, which was handed off in a bag at a Fort Lauderdale, Fl. area restaurant,” according to the court papers.

“Mr. Mullin’s actions should come as no surprise as – despite his role as an investigator for the MLB in this matter – he engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a witness whom he himself interviewed about the Biogenesis matter.”

MLB also allegedly intimidated the owner of a tanning salon.

Investigators had offered Peter Carbone $200,000 to cooperate and when he refused, “they harassed and persecuted him, including by impersonating police officers and forcing his car to the side of the road,” the suit says.

The court papers claim that A-Rod has become a sacrificial lamb in Selig’s dirty campaign to save his own tarnished reputation.

“Taking down Mr. Rodriguez would vividly demonstrate that Commissioner Selig had learned from the errors of his previous explicit or tacit tolerance of steroid use,” the suit charges.

Selig, MLB’s top dog since 1992, was dubbed the Steroids Commissioner in the media when special investigator former Sen. George Mitchell revealed rampant juicing within the sport.

Rodriguez was suspended in August for his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. The 211-game suspension is the longest non-permanent ban in baseball history. He was able to finish the season pending an appeal of the penalty.

The Yankees are not a named defendant in the suit. But Rodriguez says MLB’s witch hunt has “interfered with his contract” and caused him to “lose tens of millions of dollars in salary based on a faulty and prohibited investigation.”

The sullied slugger has already lost endorsements with Nike and Toyota.

A-Rod is asking for unspecified damages and attorney fees. He’s repped by celebrity attorney Joe Tacopina.

“My legal team is doing what they need to in order to vindicate me and pursue all of my rights,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

He called the suit, “entirely separate from the ongoing arbitration,” over his suspension.

MLB hit back at A-Rod’s accusations, calling the suit “desperate.”

“While we vehemently deny the allegations in the complaint, none of those allegations is relevant to the real issue: whether Mr. Rodriguez violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by using and possessing numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone,” the statement says.

The commission is also investigating whether A-Rod covered- up the violations “by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of Commissioner’s investigation.”

In his suit, Rodriguez does not deny using the substances.