Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ferry Settlement For Victim

Darius Marshall, 25, left home in October 2003. He never returned. Sadly, Marshall died in the Staten Island Ferry crash in 2003. This September, his family was awarded $2.3 million for their terrible loss. Marshall survived the 9/11 attack. He was standing near the South Tower when the jet struck the building. His family received word of the payment, also on 9/11. It’s hoped that the settlement will bring comfort and closure to his loved ones.

Billy-burg Bike Bashers

Babes on bikes are apparently riling many Jewish religious leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Hasidic community leaders complain that new city “bike lanes” in their neighborhood bring an unwelcome element into their neighborhood; "non-kosher cuties." They’re demanding that the city eliminate existing bicycle lanes on Bedford and Wythe avenues. They also want canceled any future lanes planned for the Hasidic vicinity. Bicycle lanes have proven to be a big hit with many New Yorkers throughout the city, including young hipsters from North Williamsburg. Religious law dictates that Hasids are not permitted to look upon women unless they’re fully clothed. That's a respectful doctrine for the Jewish followers of this religion. However, the extension of their faith into public streets seems a stretch. It's very sad how in many instances, the most religious among us reveal themselves to be the least tolerant of others. New York City is a beautiful multi-religious mosaic. No religious group should impose its will on its neighbors to deny them their freedoms. That just wouldn’t be kosher.

Police Holding Fire

“Stop or I’ll shoot” followed by the sound of gunfire has been heard less frequently around NYC recently. NYPD records state that shooting incidents were down12.6% in 2007 compared to 2006; however the number of bullets fired rose. Cops shot their weapons 111 times in 2007 versus 127 in 2006. They used 588 bullets in 2007 (136 during one occurrence alone) compared to 541 in 2006. 7 police officers were shot (3 fatally) and cops shot 19 people (all male, 10 fatally). Officers shot 39 dogs last year opposed to 30 dogs in 2006 (Can't let our city "go to the dogs," right?). Considering the tough job that police have, statistics confirm professional restraint by our men in blue. The police should be commended for their great service in New York City. When there’s trouble, theirs is one of the toughest jobs in our community. Don’t expect it to get easier for them anytime soon.