Monday, August 25, 2008

Welcome Housewarmings Eight Months Away

Our neighbors are moving down their respective blocks. Both the Yankees and Mets move into new homes in 2009. The Yankees will welcome fans to their baseball home opener in the Bronx at the new Yankee Stadium on April 16th. The Mets start their season at Citi Field in Queens on April 14th. Let’s hope their new digs are as great a place to visit and cheer as the old!

Mad Dog On The Loose

The WFAN sports broadcasting team of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo is no more. Chris opted out of the last year of his contract. The pair will certainly be missed for the information and entertainment they brought to New York City sports fans. After nearly 19 years, Chris will no longer play Mike’s lap dog. Inside sources say that the salary difference between Chris and Mike (about $200,000) was the main reason for the divorce. It fed Chris’ resentment and insecurity. In recent months, increased tension in their on-air debates was painfully obvious to regular radio listeners and viewers on the YES cable network. Chris is expected to sign a $3 million deal with Sirius. Together, the boys brought WFAN $15 million annually in advertising sales. That total is very likely to drop. Time will tell though if Mike’s ego can fill the Dog’s void to maintain the show’s popularity. As the “boys” were well known for their predictions, I’ll make one myself. A new “team” will bump Mike's time slot within the year. Like the Yankees, Mike, no team stays on top forever. To both of you, thanks for the memories.

A/C Bill To Bill A/C Abusers

The “greening” of New York City continues. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign a bill into law that will fine some stores from keeping their doors open when the A/C is running. He’s admittedly lukewarm to the idea himself. He believes it won’t make much of a difference. That's probably true. The new law will apply to chain stores with more than five locations and to businesses of 4,000 or more square feet. Fortunately, small stores and restaurants with outdoor seating will be exempt. The bill goes into effect 90 days after it becomes law. As a result, expect to see some store owner’s temperatures rise in 2009. First time offenders will get a warning; then $200 tickets for each subsequent occurrence. Bill supporters believe stores will save 20-25% on air conditioner electricity. Many affected owners claim that business goes down 20-25% when their doors are closed. They also believe energy costs won’t go down as suggested because their doors are always opening and closing. This new law makes you wonder just how intrusive government plans to be to save the planet.

Where Rock Belongs

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum is in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio? It’s true, but there’s good news on the way. The famous music museum is opening a 25,000-square-foot satellite museum in New York City’s SoHo district in November. Party on Big Apple!

Money-Making Metrocard Machine

For almost three years at a Penn Station MetroCard machine, three friends illegally received FREE fares totaling $800,000! Authorities claim it was the rarest of circumstances and combinations that enabled the trio to collect these fares undetected. They sold most of the LIRR and MTA cards to a long list of eager friends. Only a routine audit of a software glitch exposed the theft. New York City cops staked out the machine and eventually made their arrests. When they finally get out of prison, the three amigos would be well advised to walk the streets, not ride the rails. Easier to resist temptation that way.