Saturday, October 4, 2008

9/11 Still Hurts

Not every victim of the terrorist’s cowardly attack in New York City on September 11th died that infamous day. An estimated 664 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have died since. A partial review of their death certificates revealed that an unusually high number of these brave souls died of cancer. No official link has been made to Ground Zero yet. Expect a connection to be made soon though. Additionally, roughly 70,000 people suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder over the years. They say that, “Time heals all wounds.” Seven years is not nearly long enough for time to heal all of ours.

Renovated Plaza Doesn’t Please

Manhattan’s famous Plaza Hotel was formerly one of New York’s grand inns for the well-heeled. As a semi-converted co-op though, it reportedly leaves much to be desired. An estimated 50% of the new co-op owners are so dissatisfied with their properties that they’re putting them back on the market. More may follow. As the story goes, many apartments were purchased sight unseen. Promised improvements were never made. Additionally, the quality of the renovation work that was completed is in question. In case you’re interested, prices range from $1.8 million to $50 million for the ritzy city residences. Caveat emptor.

Ferry Man’s Ship Comes In

In 2003, a Staten Island Ferry crashed into the dock. It left James McMillan, 44, paralyzed. A jury awarded him $23 million. Now it’s up to the judge to determine the award. The jury based their decision on McMillan living another 25 years with necessary medical costs and for "pain and suffering." Let’s see if the judge agrees or torpedoes their judgment.

Taxi Owners Driven To Federal Court

Some taxicab owners believe that the hybrids they’re being forced to buy are "unsafe" to be used as taxis. They contend that modifying the new cars for cab use make them dangerous for drivers and passengers. In fact, partitions violate the vehicle manufacturer’s own safety recommendations. By law, as of October 1st, all new taxis purchased must be hybrids. Taxi Commissioner Mathew Daus responded to the owner's lawsuit saying, “I want to send a clear and unequivocal message to the riding public that hybrid-electric taxicabs are absolutely safe." Undoubtedly, future lawsuits by vehicle accident victims will show which side was right and who was being un-fare.

Ticket Writers Block-Box Solved

A new law is in effect to fine motorists $115 when they’re "behind the wheel and in the box.” It’s now a parking violation, not a moving violation, if you’re caught blocking traffic when the light changes in an intersection grid. Manhattan cabbies stand to get hit extra hard because of heavy New York traffic. NYPD officials say it’ll be easier now for cops and other traffic enforcement agents to write tickets. Mayor Bloomberg said, “We’re very serious about this. Don’t drive into the box if you don’t think you can get out of there.” Nothing we can do but "grid and bear it," people!

NYC Bans UN-safe Tours

Many believe the United Nations to be a corrupt, anti-American and very dangerous organization for much of the world. Now, city officials say the UN is perilous to New Yorkers because of the UN's failure to resolve fire hazards in their headquarters. When the UN decided to abandon certain mandatory repairs, the FDNY suggested that all public tours be stopped. As a result, all public school trips for the 2008-2009 school year have been cancelled. In 2007, the United Nations east side complex had its first safety inspection since 1952; a checkup they vehemently fought against. Unbelievably, a total of 866 fire code violations were found! Despite the report on their risky buildings, a UN spokesman voiced confidence that the building was safe and that they looked forward to welcoming the world’s delegates. The United Nations isn’t a very popular group with most Americans and for good reason. I’m sure more than one American wouldn’t mind having many of the foreign ambassadors and delegations gathered together in a “firetrap.” UN officials often fail to act quickly enough to protect troubled people the world over. With their care-free attitude regarding their own dangerous Manhattan digs, “it’s déjà vu all over again.”