Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cameras For Crooks And Honest Citizens Alike

Officials from both the NYPD and the Parks Department concur that pretty soon, security cameras will be as common as squirrels in New York City’s parks. They say this technology will be used to increase successful prosecutions of those arrested for criminal acts. They also believe these high-tech electronics are effective deterrents of crime. As one who’s read George Orwell’s 1984 (a recommended read in 2008), I’m leery about their concept and conclusions.

It’s a known fact that most inmates released from prison wind up committing crimes again. Sadly, too few are rehabilitated to live respectably within our society. Has a study ever been conducted to determine if crime might drop if sentences for convicted criminals were longer? Or, might the fear of longer sentencing be a more effective deterrent than hidden cameras? Maybe it’s time we got the answers to these questions. I suggest we examine all of our personal safety options before we’re all examined (on camera) ourselves.

The Intent Tenant of 54th Street

Horace Tumbell, a Manhattan resident of a rent-stabilized building at 261 West 54th Street for the last 23 years plans on staying just a bit longer. Despite the fact that a 39 story skyscraper is underway around him, he is not underway himself. That’s because Mr. Tumbell, the last of the building’s residents, is holding out for enough cash to buy a one bedroom midtown apartment (estimated to be $600,000-$900,000), hopefully on a more stable block. So far, a buyout settlement has been impossible for the two sides to agree on. The builder plans to refuse to renew his lease come October. Mr. Tumbell threatens to delay the project in court for years if they do. I wonder. In a few months, won’t the book and movie rights enable Mr. Tumbell to buy the new 39 story building?

The Lady And The Tramps In Charge Of Her Safety

In a story dated February 10th, it was reported that the Department of the Interior found gross and dangerous lapses regarding the security of our Statue of Liberty. All New Yorkers and all patriotic Americans should be appalled by these facts and motivated to write to their elected officials demanding swift action. As of now, it’s the National Parks Service’s responsibility to ensure Her safety. Maybe that should be changed … as of NOW.

Immediate action must be taken to correct past mistakes. Those apes in charge of Her safety must be reprimanded, reassigned or fired. Perhaps we need not worry about foreign terrorists who have talked about destroying this symbol of our freedom so much as government officials who fail to discuss and take immediate action NOW.

“I Love New York” Logo For Good, Not Bad

To their credit, New York City officials are looking into ways of banning the use of the city’s famous slogan from licensed novelties such as cigarette lighters and ash trays. These items are associated with unhealthy practices and no longer deemed by some to be things the city should be associated with. Perhaps the shot glass is next to go. Or better still perhaps, VH1’s “I Love New York” reality(?) cable show which ain’t exactly Disney … even if Disney is now on 42nd Street.

Gucci Knocks-Off “I Love New York” Ad Campaign

In an effort to promote the opening of Gucci’s newest/largest store in the world which will boast a Manhattan address, Gucci borrowed the Empire State’s graphic design theme for use on some of their items (Gucci Loves NY – with the word “Loves” replaced by the familiar red heart). Unfortunately for them, they forgot to request permission first. It’s expected that New York state officials will go easy on the company as profits from the sale of these items will be donated to charity. Seems like their expected pardon is … in the bag.

NYFD Parking Placards Are Hot Items

There’s been several car break-ins around firehouses in New York City. More often than not, the only thing stolen is an NYFD parking permit. This sign permits the vehicle to legally park in otherwise illegal areas, like at a pump; but only near a firehouse. Only an idiotic thief would steal it to use when it’s illegal use would be easy to detect by an alert NYPD agent. I mean, why not put a flashing red light on top of the car too attracting more attention? Citizens should keep their eyes open for an eBay “Buy It Now” deal at a steal of a price.