Saturday, June 14, 2008

Herpes Hits NYC Hard

26% of New York City adults now carry the virus that causes genital herpes. That’s 7% higher than the national average! "Sex in the City" is obviously more than just a television show to New York’s party people. The number of people with herpes simplex virus 2 is frightening because there’s no cure. What’s more, those afflicted are more easily infected with the HIV virus. HIV causes AIDS. Statistically, those with herpes are at two to three times greater risk of getting AIDS. Almost 50% of African-Americans and 35% of Hispanics have herpes. These numbers could (Should?) scare some to celibacy. I wonder what happened to the good old days when a boy could meet an old-fashioned girl, here. You know the type. A girl who only had V.D.!

Grass To Grow In Concrete Plant Park

Later this year, a 2.7 acre plot of land in the Bronx will be transformed from a deserted concrete plant to beautiful parkland along the Western shore of the Bronx River. The land has been abandoned since 1987. This is great news for the residents of the area and worth the $10 million to make it happen. Now, the city also has 7,600 acres of contaminated land scattered throughout the five boroughs. Mayor Bloomberg has asked Albany for financial aid to clean it up. No surprise, it’s been slow in coming. To speed things along, the mayor wants developers to be responsible for cleanup on sites and most significantly, released from any liability. Say what? Problems may arise down the road. Albany should think twice before granting carte-blanche approval to cart toxic waste. NYC acreage should not be reclaimed without responsibility.

Central Park Eagles Safe Thanks To Stool Pigeon

After more than 30 years, two bronze eagles stolen from a Central Park war memorial were seized by the Feds. Back in the 1970’s, a drug dealer used the “birdie banks” to conceal cash and drugs. Deciding that he would like the statues more at home, rather than at his place of business, he absconded with them. In the 1990’s, with a desire to redecorate his place no doubt, he sold them to an addict, later identified as jewelry dealer Brad Lempert, for only $200. The birds were confiscated at Lempert's office but he was not charged. Though replaced by replicas in 2003, these eagles will soon be remounted. Ornithology lovers take heart; but not the birds!

The Writing Is On The Wall

Archaeologists have found “graffiti” in ancient Rome and in other cultures around the world. Perhaps cave drawings done by our ancient ancestors, was nothing more than graffiti in it’s day. Throughout history, graffiti has been “expression” to some; an attack on society and personal property to others. 2007 in New York City saw just 773 arrests for graffiti, yet only 31 of 392 convicted wall painters spent time in jail. Usually, graffiti is considered a misdemeanor but taggers who do extensive damage (Or paint poorly?) may be charged with felony criminal mischief. Law enforcement and the courts will probably choose not to look at graffiti as a serious crime; the mayor’s “quality of life” campaign, be damned. If true, they’ll be expressing the wrong message to thousands of city taggers. They’ll soon believe that every can of spray paint is the tool to make their mark on society; every brick wall a canvas to get their message seen. Then things will get real colorful around here!