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A repository of random thoughts, odds and ends, and not-quite-fully-formed ideas.

Archive for April, 2009

When a reporter becomes the story


Two weeks ago, I wrote about a reporter whose errant tape recorder sparked an overly harsh response from Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference.

Now the reporter, Michael Harris, has written his own account of his moment in the lights: “How I went to cover a news story and quickly became the story.”:http://wwww.examiner.com/x-1527-NY-Government-Examiner~y2009m4d18-How-I-went-to-cover-a-news-story-and-quickly-became-the-story

It’s a good read.

FILE PHOTO: Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, greets Michael A. Harris after a speech at Pace University School of Law Feb. 25, 2004, in White Plains. ( Mark Vergari / The Journal News)

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 8:13 pm |
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Keeping students safe


Lindsey Bonistall was a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Delaware when she was killed in her off-campus apartment four years ago.

After her death, her family created PEACE OUTside CAMPUS — the Lindsey M. Bonistall Foundation. The name is a play on her favorite sign off, “peace out;” the mission is to keep college students safe in their off-campus apartments.

The second Lindsey Tournament featuring golf and food will be held next month to raise money for the foundation’s programs. The date: May 12. The place: The Canyon Club in Armonk.

More information “here.”:http://www.peaceoutsidecampus.org

PHOTO: University of Delaware student Lindsey Bonistall in early 2003. Courtesy of the White Plains Youth Bureau.

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 7:46 pm |

“Choose Life” plates to Supreme Court?


Elizabeth Rex has been pushing New York state to issue a “Choose Life” license plate as one of the speciality plates that the state offers.

So far, New York has declined.

Rex is promoting adoption — but the message is an anti-abortion one as well.

The “Choose Life” plates have spurred lawsuits not only in New York, where Rex’s Children First Foundation is in federal court, but also in states from New Jersey to California. Litigation has been filed on both sides of the issue.

Now a case from Illinois may be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Earlier this month, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society asked the Supreme Court to reverse a decision prohibiting the sale of “Choose Life” plates in Illinois.

“Our petition for review highlights the fact that litigation concerning the “Choose Life” plates over the last ten years has created a patchwork of conflicting decisions,” said Tom Brejcha, the president of the Thomas More Society. “We will be greatly surprised, as well as disappointed, if the Court fails to grant review.”

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 4:30 pm |


Where is Texas?


The Washington Post has a funny item about the State Department classifying Texas as a country. The governor has been talking about seceding, but the state’s still part of the union.

“The State Department, listing the countries Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has visited and the frequent-flier miles she’s piled up (more than 50,000 so far), notes that she’s taken trips to Europe, the Netherlands, Mexico, the Middle East, Asia and Texas.”

More “here”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/16/AR2009041603912.html

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 2:16 pm |

Listen to this


The video of 47-year-old Susan Boyle performing on “Britain’s Got Talent” is fast becoming a hit.

The unemployed church volunteer sings “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables.”

I watched it yesterday with some colleagues and it catches you by surprise.

“I found it very nerve-wracking to begin with but once I settled down and began to sing, I thought that the audience accepted me a bit more,” Boyle told the BBC. “Then I sort of relaxed and began to enjoy it.

If you haven’t already seen it, “enjoy.”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY&feature=related

And check out Paul Potts singing “Puccini.”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
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Virginia Tech ad: “Whose sister is next?”


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Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
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Buying guns in Virginia


This from Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

“Omar Samaha, a Virginia Tech graduate, who attended the event and whose sister Reema was among the victims of the shooting, recently purchased ten weapons at a Virginia gun show with no background check performed.  The weapons he purchased without a background check include a Glock similar to the one that killed his sister.

Although federal law requires gun dealers to conduct background check on people purchasing weapons, it exempts so-called “occasional sellers,” who often conduct business at gun shows.  The loophole provides criminals with easy access to firearms without having to worry about any background checks.

A study released in December 2008 by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, which Mayor Bloomberg co-chairs, showed guns recovered in crimes across state lines were more likely to come from Virginia than all but five other states.  The report also showed that states that have yet to close the gun show loophole are sources of guns used in crimes in other states at more than twice the rate of states that require background checks for all sales at gun shows.

An April 2008 bi-partisan poll conducted jointly by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and the Tarrance Group and commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 87 percent of Americans and 83 percent of gun-owners support requiring background checks for all sales at gun shows.”

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 12:10 pm |

Bloomberg lobbies for gun checks


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Arlington this morning calling for the closing of Virginia’s gun show loophole.
Joining him are relatives of the Virginia Tech shooting two years ago and Tatyana Timoshenko, the mother of slain Police Officer Russel Timoshenko.
The 23-year-old died in the summer of 2007. five days after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in Brooklyn
He had been on the force for a year and a half.

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 11:35 am |
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Bloomberg gobbles energy?


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might have to turn some attention to how much energy he consumes, after this Associated Press article.

‘Environmentalist’ NYC mayor a big energy consumer

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants wind-powered city buildings and a green Empire State Building, but admits that the only way he saves energy at his private homes is by using efficient light bulbs.

The billionaire mayor says he also turns off lights that aren’t being used and likes to open windows when it is warm instead of using air-conditioning.

In addition to a Manhattan townhouse, Bloomberg owns homes in upstate New York, Colorado, Florida, Bermuda and London.

Bloomberg had sought to cast himself as a national environmental leader when he was testing his appeal as an independent presidential candidate for 2008.

He acknowledges that he uses a lot of energy, but tries to “make it as little as possible.”

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 3:49 pm |


Pollution linked to low birth rates


As if we didn’t have enough reasons to try to ease traffic jams, here’s another.

New Jersey researchers have found that the higher an expectant mother’s level of exposure to traffic pollution, the more likely her baby would be small.

“Our findings suggest that air pollution, perhaps specifically traffic emissions during early and late pregnancy and/or factors associated with residence near a roadway during pregnancy, may affect foetal growth,” Professor David Rich wrote.

More “here”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7988619.stm from the BBC.

When will Albany agree to a deal on the MTA?

Posted by Noreen O'Donnell on Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 4:53 pm |

About the author
Noreen O'DonnellNoreen O'Donnell For the last 20 years, Noreen O'Donnell has written about Hillary Clinton's run for the Senate, rebuilding Ground Zero, the Korean immigrants who travel north each day from Queens to work in nail salons, deadly runaway fire trucks and other stories in Westchester and Putnam counties. Now she's a columnist.

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