Tag Archives: New York City

Victoria’s Secret saves the National Guard

From Wired:

On Monday night, Hurricane Sandy hit the armory of the New York Army National Guard’s 69th Infantry Regiment, leaving the soldiers without power, hot water, or anything but the most rudimentary means of communicating with the outside world. So the next morning, the Regiment’s officers made an emergency plea — to the producers of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

As they had done for the last three years running, the lingerie company was holding its annual television event at the Regiment’s historic armory, located at 25th street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. For the show, the producers had hauled in eight massive 500 kilowatt generators. Of course, the producers said, we’d be happy to help. Hours later, the lights flashed back on.

“We were dead in the water until Victoria’s Secret showed up,” says Capt. Brendan Gendron, the Regiment’s operations officer.

But that wasn’t the only thing the lingerie company was better at than the National Guard:

The soldiers were still having communications problems, though. Many of the local cell towers were down, and so was the armory’s internet’s connection. Luckily, Shapiro had answer for that, too. For the show, he had leased a T1 line connected to a microwave dish on the roof. “We plopped two routers in their command center,” he says, “and now they’re sitting on our internet backbone.”

The troops also needed help distributing food. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had begun bringing tractor-trailers’ worth of emergency provisions to the armory. It was up to the troops to break up the pallets, load them in military trucks, and bring them to the seven distribution centers in Manhattan where the Salvation Army would hand out meals to Hurricane victims. One problem: the 69th didn’t have a fork lift. So again, they turned to the Victoria’s Secret crew.

You gotta love it when the private sector saves the government’s ass in a crisis.

But you really have to appreciate when it’s done by a bunch of people whose job typically consists of making sure scantily-clad girls look good walking down a runway in boa-feathered wings.

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Bloomberg cancels marathon in face of criticism

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg caved to growing criticism this afternoon when he announced the New York Road Runner’s Marathon would be post-poned.

In a press statement issued from City Hall, Bloomberg said “The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination”

“We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, so we have decided to cancel it.”

It’s a far cry from his earlier statements. “There are lots of people who have come here,” he said to CNN. “It’s a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you’ve got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind.”

The 26.2-mile race route, which would have begun on Staten Island — one of the most devastated of boroughs — would have snaked through Brooklyn and Queens before cutting across the Queensboro Bridge onto Manhattan Island. The race route was expected to run past at least one gas station that had reported long lines of people holding gas cans, potentially posing a stark juxtaposition for photographers shooting 40,000 carefree runners streaming by.

And oddly enough, marathon runners would have been able to complete the course from Staten Island faster than most people were able to drive from Queens. The record run of two hours, five minutes and six second was veritably dwarfed this week by one commuter’s seven hour drive.

At least one hotel on Staten Island had said they would refuse to evict displaced residents to honor reservations made by runners.

“How do I tell people who have no place to go, that have no home, no heat, that you have to leave because I have to make room for somebody that wants to run the marathon?” asked hotel owner Richard Nicotra.

One ESPN columnist notably criticized Bloomberg in an editorial. “While there’s a lot at stake here for marathon organizers, athletes, sponsors, vendors and various others involved with the event, there’s even more at stake for the thousands of people who are still without power, forced out of their homes, can’t get out of their homes or otherwise are waiting for assistance to get their lives back in order,” wrote Mario Fraioli.

“Canceling the race isn’t about being unfair to the runners — it’s about being fair to a city and its residents that need every available resource to put itself back together, and for this reason, the show mustn’t go on.”

What will become of The NYRR’s three generators sitting at the marathon finish line in Central park remains an issue many will be watching.

“These are our private generators. We are not draining any resources from the city’s plan to recover,” Road Runners spokesman Richard Finn had angrily insisted.

However, it seems some common sense and decency is seeping into the race organization.

“It’s clear that the best thing for New York and the best thing for the marathon and the future is, unfortunately, to move on,” said Mary Wittenberg, chief executive of New York Road Runners. “This isn’t the year or the time to run it. It’s crushing and really difficult. One of the toughest decisions we ever made.”

George Hirsch, chairman of the board of Road Runners told the press that officials huddled all day Friday, hoping to devise an alternate race. They considered replacing the marathon with a race that would only cover the final 10 miles of marathon, starting at the base of the Queensboro 59th Street Bridge on the Manhattan side. But the plan was scrapped as unfeasible.

“We still want to do something, and we’re going to do something, but it won’t require generators or water.” Hirsch said.

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Kottke.org suspends posting

One of my longtime subscribed reads has sadly had to indefinitely suspended operations post-Sandy. Jason Kottke writes:

Publishing on kottke.org is suspended until further notice. The situation in New York and New Jersey is still dire** so posting stupid crap seems frivolous and posting about the Sandy aftermath seems exploitive. Information is not what people need right now; people need flashlights, candles, drinking water, safety, food, access to emergency medical care, a warm place to sleep, etc.

Anyway, we’ll be back in a few days hopefully.

** I say “still dire” because I think the perception among people not in the NY/NJ area is one of “oh, the storm has passed, the flooding is subsiding, and everything is getting back to normal”. But that’s not what I’m hearing. What I’m hearing is that there are large areas that have been without power for 4-5 days, people are running out of food and gas, food and gas deliveries are not happening, etc. Things are getting worse (or certainly have the potential to get worse), not better, especially for those without the resources to care about which cool restaurants are open or how much an iPhone car service is gouging its customers or which Midtown office they’re gonna work on their startup from.

My deepest sympathies go out to Kottke and other bloggers who are enduring the dire situation still ongoing in New York City and the surrounding boroughs. We anxiously await your firsthand reports of the struggle to keep civilization together in the wake of the worst disaster the Internet-centric generation has ever experienced.

Drop by his site and click some ads to show your love.

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Innocent bystanders: redefined

The latest mass shooting in NYC illustrates an interesting wrinkle in the state’s rush to claim monopoly rights to gun ownership. Namely that they then become the perpetrators of mass shootings, in the midst of chaotic enforcement attempts:

Reuters’ Lily Kuo is reporting eight bystanders were wounded in total, not nine. But if The Times’ figures about the bullets are accurate, the total number of injured wouldn’t affect the story that police bullets accounted for all injuries, because all of Johnson’s bullets would be accounted for. The problem is, the available information keeps changing. Earlier in the day, The Associated Press and others were reporting that Johnson only fired three shots at Ercolino, not five, which would have two of his rounds unaccounted for. The AP’s report now says five. Based on the latest information from The Times, however, and a little math, it looks like stray police bullets are to blame for most, if not all of the injured bystanders.

The details still seem to be coming slowly on this latest American gun-involved tragedy, but keep in mind that while the statist control freaks whine on and on in the aftermath, it was their own enforcers who ended up slinging bullets into innocent bystanders in pursuit of the bad guy.

Highly trained, professional, yadda yadda. And they nearly re-enacted the Boston Massacre.

It’s only a matter of waiting until these innocent bystanders receive the statist’s most ignominious label in the ongoing war on bad people: collateral damage.

Update: There’s surveillance video of the chaotic scene.

Litigious update: Begin the countdown clock on one of these dumbstruck bystanders hitting the city with a lawsuit. Between nine people set up with some hospital bills related to NYPD GSW, someone’s bound to not be taking it like a champ for Mayor Blammo and his anti-anti-anti-everything crusade that’s driving New Yorkers bonkers:

The NYPD said the two officers fired a total of 16 rounds. Johnson’s handgun was able to hold eight rounds and at least one round was still in the clip, police said. It’s possible he had a second magazine, CBS 2′s Dick Brennan reported.

Police said it is unlikely that Johnson fired during the shootout. One witness told investigators that Johnson fired, but ballistics tests don’t back that up, authorities said.

[…] The wounded victims included five women and four men, ages 20 to 56, authorities said.

So the police shot first, and then kept shooting. Warm up a jury.

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New York City map of 2011 gun seizures

It’s the mothafuckin’ NYPD,
in the land of the mothafuckin’ unfree,
violating 685,000 of you me and… thee,
to get 770 dangerous guns off the streets.

Hit the baseline WNYC:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly argue the main purpose of stop-and-frisk is to get guns off the street. Out of more than 685,000 stops in 2011, about 770 guns were recovered. That means about one tenth of one percent of all stops result in the seizure of a gun.

But those guns are not showing up in the places where the police are devoting the most stop-and-frisk resources.

Using data from the New York City police department, WNYC mapped all street stops by police that resulted in the recovery of a gun last year. The digital map shows an interesting pattern. We located all the “hot spots” where stop and frisks are concentrated in the city, and found that most guns were recovered on people outside those hot spots—meaning police aren’t finding guns where they’re looking the hardest.

Hardest hit: the poorest areas of black and latino communities,
excuse my uncanny truth rhyming abilities,
I’m not an entitled man here to tax your facilities,
but fight this shit and I guarantee some tranquilities.

Prohibition does nothing but make a thing proliferate,
and so the net is clearly widening as we wait,
so why do we continue to vocally deliberate,
when all we need to do is re-liberate?

From Cleveland, with the Constitutional educate

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