Friday, April 1, 2011

On closing the Dump

"Roll up your windows"

That's what we'd say when we drove by: "roll up your windows." Whether I was with my mother or brothers, or sister, driving on the highway that cut through those huge mountains of filth, we'd all say "roll up your windows" to each other. But it didn't matter. It got in anyway.

The smell. It got in the car. That awful, putrid smell.

I was about 8 or 9 when I moved to Staten Island. I don't remember much about my life, especially the early years, but I will never forget that smell. It got in. Through the vents. Through the doors. It stuck to you. To your hair. To your clothes. It came in waves - sometimes you'd think it was gone, but it came back, stronger, overwhelming.

(I once dated a girl who lived near the thing and the waves that came were awful. It infected everything. It came from everywhere. Like a mold growing in every corner of the house it was ubiquitous and inescapable.)

But we rolled the windows up anyway, on our wood-paneled station wagon, and continued to travel to school, or to Brooklyn, or wherever it was we were going - as fast as we could - and, sometimes, wondered why we came out here, moved out here to (what seemed like) the end of the universe. It was the '80s and there wasn't much down there except long-haired freaks, and we certainly didn't look like them, or fit in there, but we soldiered on. And we kept driving. With the windows rolled all the way up.

And those mountains on either side. Those pulsating hills of refuse. They were alive.

Sure, now it looks like a postcard. But back then, those hills - man, they were alive. Birds, so many birds: swooping down like B-52 bombers, feasting on five boroughs worth of leftovers. A generation of dirty diapers. Carcasses and all. So many birds - seagulls, I guess - just swooped down and ate it up, shatting all over the place as they swept.

There were trucks too. All over the place. Bulldozers, I think they are called. Pushing and piling the mounds of garbage while the birds were feasting. They flew in circles as the trucks plowed, and shat on the windshields and all over everywhere as they swooped.

Fences lined the outskirts of the landfill and plastic bags, random ephemera, just meandered, trying to escape, and smacked up against it and stayed there.

Now they call it a park. They say it is capped. They say it sinking. They say it's not sinking. The politicians sat up on those hills and issued platitudes, and patted themselves on the back, and they called it a park, and said it's not sinking.

They probably got kick backs, money, favors, whatnot. The government contract to cap the entire landfill was probably a few million dollars and I'm sure some of it made it their way. Lining their pockets as the local boys lined the dump with their "impenetrable seal." Everybody gets a piece of the action, the grease the makes the machine run.

But, now they call it a park and they'd like to change the name. They call it a stain. An unfortunate blight on this otherwise pristine place, this place that should never have been sullied with so much for so long. And they say that the stain is removed and it is gone, and we should change the name and move along, and forget it.

But it's there. You can see it. It's hiding. Right there under the cap. Under the "impenetrable seal." It's still there.

And it's still alive, man. So alive. Pumping out methane gas. Years and years worth of dead, rotting, filth. It's pulsating. Tons of it. Right there. Big gigantic heaps, suffocating, trying to breathe underneath that cap.

We can call it something else. We can change the name. We can put a big cover on it. Pretend it doesn't exist. But it's still there. It'll always be there.

As long as we live, work, play in this sacred place it will haunt us like a vision from the past, or loom over us like an impending storm. Or, it will just hide there. Lie dormant. Under the cap. An ever present reminder that we need to "roll up the windows" - fast. We have to stop it from getting in.

Even if we can't. We'll still try.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Boomerang Situation

Well, here we go. The following is a fascinating performance by Staten Island's own Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino. The former West Brighton(!?) resident and star of The Jersey Shore was invited, for some odd reason, to appear on TV last night and roast Donald Trump along with other professional personalities and comedians.

It didn't go so well.

The general consensus following the 'performance' by The Situation was that he bombed, not just bombed but tragically bombed. He was, in fact, booed, heckled and almost cut short of his poorly-delivered spiel. Head roaster Jeff Ross even parachutes in to save him at the end. Too little, too late though.

One important note - about the entire show - is that the 'actor' was chided by almost every member of the roast squad before he came on (a regular roast occurrence) so a return of fire was in order. But Mike's aim was not just misguided, it actually boomeranged back to himself.

The following video will probably be removed because, well, it's illegal. But, that's YouTube's problem. Enjoy while it lasts:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Painful look back at Willowbrook

Last year, the federal government made the unprecedented step of apologizing for the infamous medical study where US government researchers were instructed to "deliberately infect prison inmates in Guatemala with syphilis."

In a joint statement from last October, Secretary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged and expressed deep regret for the horrific experiments.
"Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health. We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."
But more information and an additional mea culpa may be forthcoming as the federal government just yesterday announced the formation of an "International Research Panel to consider the standards for protecting human subjects in scientific studies."

The request to form this commission allegedly came directly from President Obama himself in the wake of the recent revelations of Guatemala. The primary goal of the commission will be to assess current standards and rules involving the research of human subjects.

But also, the commission will include a "fact-finding investigation into the 1946-48 research" which includes the disturbing experiments done at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island.

An Associated Press look at old medical journals uncovered the following:
At nearby Staten Island, from 1963 to 1966, a controversial medical study was conducted at the Willowbrook State School for children with mental retardation. The children were intentionally given hepatitis orally and by injection to see if they could then be cured with gamma globulin.
As the AP story mentions, some of these studies were covered by the media, but only with the mention of finding new cures. Some clarification of the facts and an apology for Willowbrook may soon be coming from the US government.

A few words for the teachers of PS 57

There's a state budget squeeze in capitals all across the country. Everyone and everything is a potential candidate for the fiscal chopping block. Places like New Jersey and Wisconsin have riots literally breaking out over drastic cuts to the salary, benefits, and - in some cases - the very existence of public employee unions as governor's try to close bulging budgetary gaps.

Here in New York, a recent Times piece details the "worst-case" scenario for teacher layoffs in city schools. In reality, the plan to cut 6 percent - or 4,675 - teachers from the city payroll is a dramatic overstatement. As these things usually go, the city will fire much less educators than predicted, and everyone comes out looking like a hero.

But it's sad still, that some people will lose their jobs - these very stressful, poorly paid jobs.

According to the Times at least two NYC schools are immune from the impending budget bludgeon. One happens to be Public School 57, right across from the parking lot of Home Depot, off Targee Street, in the Park Hill section of Staten Island.

From the Times:
About 320 schools would see no layoffs, because they have not hired new teachers recently. Some schools, like Public School 130 in Bayside, Queens, and P.S. 57 in the Park Hill neighborhood of Staten Island, have employed the same teachers for many years.
Who works in this neglected school, in a desperately neglected neighborhood, with mostly impoverished children? And, in addition, who works in this school for "many years"? (A school that has a rating of 2 out of 10 on Who works there?

Here's what one parent said about the school a few years back on the web:
From what I've witnessed so far, the new principal has been doing a great job. However, the school's test scores speak for themselves. Also, I was quite disappointed to see my daughter come home yesterday with a book from 1964(!)...
Whoever works at this place is doing God's work. Congratulations on keeping your job. We're glad your not getting fired. And we're sorry. Sorry that we have not given you the attention, funding, and support you need/desire/deserve/have earned.

Sorry your school is crumbling. Sorry the guy on Forest Avenue gets all the attention. Sorry we haven't helped. (We don't live that far away. We have a few free hours in the afternoon, I'm sure we could come over, maybe after school, sweep up the lunchroom, play basketball with the kids... something.) The children needs us. The children need you. This is unacceptable. You've been shouldering the burden - a burden no one person should be expected to shoulder - with the lack of resources, and the budget cuts, and the threats of termination.

This doesn't help, though. These words. Just empty promises. Words on a screen. One day, maybe, we hope that we can really do something to make a difference. Until then, we wish you luck and strength.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mike Grimm attacks Planned Parenthood

Congressman Mike Grimm joined the GOP's crusade to help balance the federal budget by bulldozing social programs for poverty-stricken Americans (and other random people who just happen to not vote for them).

After an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts by the Obama Administration last year, Republicans have been trying to trim federal spending in conveniently Democratic and liberal sanctuaries.

This time, Grimm teamed up with pro-lifer Mike Pence to vote on an amendment to cut off every single federal dollar to Planned Parenthood and deny much-needed health care and family planning to thousands of women all across the country.

The Pence amendment, which has little chance of actually passing, would deny a myriad of services such as HIV and cancer screenings to women, specifically in poor communities. Manhattan Congressman Jerry Nadler has even deemed the legislation unconstitutional, telling Politico that it targets and punishes a specific group.

"If Planned Parenthood or anyone else is doing terrible things and ought to be punished, that’s up to the courts,” Nadler said.

But, unfortunately for Andrew Breitbart, Planned Parenthood doesn't do anything illegal. The organization promotes health and sexual wellness to women through counseling and treatment - "90 percent" of which is preventive and primary care, not abortion.

Still, Grimm is taking a cavalier stance on this controversial issue.

"I understand the argument," Grimm told NY1. "However, I think that the people of the United States feel very, very strongly that none of their money, no federal funding, should go for abortions or for counseling for abortions. And that's really the heart of the issue."

First off, that's probably not true. Secondly, the only American people you represent live out on Staten Island. You've been in office for two months and you're making decisions on behalf of the entire country for an issue like abortion. Slow your roll, Mr. Grimm.

In addition, Staten Island is not rabidly conservative on social issues. Abortion barely came up in the campaign, if at all. And it's not clear if Grimm is taking this stance on moral or fiscal grounds. So it's likely there will be some backlash against the congressman for his Pyrrhic, symbolic gesture. (A similar move to defund NPR failed last year.)

Even if the doomed legislation was enacted, the rescued federal funds would be paltry in comparison. Planned Parenthood estimated that it received about $79 million last year in the legislative funding (called Title X) which goes to groups that provide abortion.

The war in Iraq cost $3 trillion; tax cuts for rich people $81.5 billion over two years; 13.9 million people are unemployed and Congress devoted a three-hour debate to defunding a successful program and imposing their moral certitude on poor people.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Method Man talks 'Where I'm From'

Hey, check out this French(?) video of Clifford Smith, also known as Wu-Tang's Method Man, talking about growing up on Benzinger off Jersey Street on Staten Island. Among other things, Meth talks about meeting members of the legendary Wu crew in the 8th grade after moving here from Long Island.

Good video. Great subtitles. Makes us wish we paid more attention in high school French class: "Je me rappelle que RZA etait la..."

Worst parents ever talk to Joy Behar

What happens when you pretend to abandon your 6-year-old daughter at the 120 Precinct in St. George? You go on the 'Joy Behar Show.'

Below is the mind-boggling video of Annette Gerhardt and Gerardo Santiago, the dipshit parents who had the brilliant idea of using the busiest police station on Staten Island as a method acting studio. The subplot was to terrify their child Enayla until she learned to behave in school.

The West Brighton couple claims they were just pretending to ditch their kid, and were hoping the cops would have nothing better to do and join their dysfunctional family improv sketch. Apparently the police were a little busy. They called The Administration for Children's Service instead.

Oh, and by the way, the Advance points out that the duo was arrested in 2010 when police found a half-pound of marijuana in their Sunnyside apartment. The charges were expected to be dismissed in June, provided the two "stay out of trouble." Good luck.

Notice in the interview with Behar that the mother claims she got this ingenious plan from a friend who did the same thing to her 4-year-old at the 123 Precinct on the South Shore - and it worked. Lady, have you ever been to Tottenville? People would do improv with farm animals.

Santiago also tells Behar that a number of talent agents are interested in working with their child as an actor. So maybe there's a screenplay at the end of all this: 'Honey, I Dumped the Kid (at the 120).'

Friday, February 25, 2011

OMG: Albany's Brangelina

You guys hear about the latest pseudo-celebrity romance news from Albany? It's the most exciting Staten Island political gossip since Vito Fossella left his family to spend more time with his other family.

It turns out that State Senator Diane Savino is totally hooking up with State Senator Jeff Klein. The story was so juicy that the New York Post called the pair 'Albany's Brangelina.' Get it, because... actually no it doesn't make any sense at all. (In the same piece the Post also called them Klavino, which is even worse because it sounds like a venereal disease.)

Anyway, once the beans were spilled all over the Page 6 gossip column Savino finally fessed up to the Advance.

"He's a nice, white, Jewish lawyer senator. It's hard to beat that combination."

OOOOH! You go girlfriend!

In legislative news, after being crowned 'Albany's Brangelina' New York State lawmakers quickly passed a resolution allowing the lovebirds to adopt 15 orphaned children from Utica and Buffalo.

Budos Band MF Doom mash-up

Look what we found on the internets! Have you ever heard the Wale song that samples "Chicago Falcon" from the Budos? Well, if not, you should be ashamed of yourself. But even better, maybe, is a similar loop set to the lyrics of the infamous rhyme-slinger and metal mask wearer, MF Doom. It doesn't quite have the same break beat of Wale's track - and is pretty bare bones mash-up - but it syncs up pretty well and it's effin' DOOM, man. It's worth a listen. In fact, we fully endorse this. Enjoy:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Raekwon performs at Stretch & Bobbito reunion

So Raewon has a new album coming out with, like, a shitload of guests. Ghostface is on four tracks, so it's worth the money. But recently, Rae and Masta Killa showed up at a reunion for the '90s underground radio pioneers Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleeker Street.

Here's a quick video of Rae performing the first few verses from 'Protect Ya Neck.' Stunning. Is there a better cultural artifact to come out of this borough, ever? I don't know - we'll leave that query to the detectives over at Secret Staten Island. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boro Pres Plays the Victim

Borough President James Molinaro got all huffy when reporters asked him about a lucrative government position he had probably helped secure for his girlfriend recently because she needed a job:

"No one would be making anything of this if she was dating Joe Blow from Tottenville," Molinaro told the Advance about his girlfriend's fictitious relationship with Joe Blow.

The woman - who has the unfortunate task of making love to a weeble-wobble - will now be raking in $110,000 a year from your tax dollars.

However, a very telling quote came down at the bottom of the Advance piece:

"They are picking on her because she is my girl friend. My grandson would not be spending five years in a maximum security prison if he wasn't my grandson."

His grandson, a thug who couldn't obey a restraining order, is currently serving time in jail. During the ordeal, Molinaro even scolded District Attorney Dan Donovan for handing the case over to a special prosecutor instead of doing the "Staten Island thing" and simply letting his grandson loose.

But, according to Molinaro, this is completely the fault of whoever "they" are - the people who seek to damage his reputation.

Way to play the victim card, Molinaro. Now go back to whatever it is that borough presidents do - oh yeah, nothing.

Local Artist Doesn't Know Shit About Art

So this artist Scott LoBaido, who paints American flags all over the Island, has a new exhibit or something. Whatever, good luck.

He seems to make a big spectacle of himself and his art work but the underlying substance is pretty much non-existent. He's kinda like the painter of light for Fox News viewers.

It was surprisingly predictable when a local newspaper asked him if his manic fixation with the American flag had anything to do with Jasper Johns' iconic American flag pieces.

"People think because you’re an artist, you know everything about art. Some people can’t understand that a contemporary artist is unfamiliar with others in his field."

OK? Well, you don't need to know "everything about art" but maybe you should know something about an artist who is famous and pretty well-known for doing something extremely similar to what you are currently producing. Ya think?

Anyways, moving on, the artist addresses his "controversial" nature on Staten Island:

"I have my haters because of my expressed opinions. I’m cool with that. Don’t want everyone to like my work or my persona."

Speaking for ourselves here - and that's all we can really do - we don't hate you because of your opinions, as shallow and simple-minded as they may be. If your juvenile political beliefs make some half-decent artwork well, good for you then.

We hate your art because it is tacky and pandering and doesn't deserve anything more than a kiosk at the Staten Island Mall. If you don't understand this then fine - but don't operate under the mistaken belief that we are against your politics because no one really gives a shit what you think about the "ground zero mosque."

Monday, February 14, 2011

White Guns on the South Shore

A recent report from the Advance shows that Staten Island has the highest gun ownership per capita compared to the rest of the city.

Not surprisingly, these gun owners live predominantly on the Island's suburban South Shore neighborhoods, where deer are prevalent and crime is low.

Some see a correlation:
"Gun advocates are aware of the irony at work here. They point to the perennial pattern in the borough's crime rate, where statistics show the South Shore's 123rd Precinct is one of the city's quietest. It accounts for only 3 of the borough's 43 shooting murders over the past five years. In contrast, the North Shore's 120th Precinct handily leads the borough in gun violence."
But does gun ownership alone account for low crime rates on the borough's Southern shore?

These overwhelmingly white neighborhoods are safer because they are free of conflict, high on home ownership, and consist mostly of one and two-family dwellings.

According to Census results from 2000, the South Shore is monolithically white - 89.1% white/non-Hispanic. Add in Hispanic and Asian and you have about another 9%. That leaves the figures for black non-Hispanics on the South Shore at 0.9% - that's about 1,300 out of the total 152,000.

Compare these demographics to the North Shore neighborhoods which in contrast stand at only 50% white non-Hispanic and 21% black. In addition, owner-occupied homes stand at only 52% compared with 48% rented.

Income-wise the percentage of families living under the poverty level stands at only 2.5% on the South Shore. The North Shore is at 13% - with some Census tracts earning a medium income as low as $17,019.

There is no magic bullet theory to explain low crime rates on the South Shore. But taking in to account the various statistics relating to demographics and income goes a lot further than simply saying that gun ownership alone alleviates the problem of crime.

Relying on guns to explain the discrepancy in crime rates is dangerously simplistic and myopic. This view leads to the mistaken belief that both ownership and carry permits should be allowed anywhere including bars, churches, and political rallies. It's doesn't work - just ask Arizona.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Anatomy of a Backlash

When the Black Eyed Peas performed during Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show one detail was obviously askew: it was terrible. The over-amplified montage of Peas songs interspersed with special guests and robot dancers was just bad - and everyone agreed, at first.

But a funny thing happens on the way to general consensus, a new phenomenon called backlash/anti-backlash. The initial judgement of spectators and critics feed off each other and form a gigantic wave of disapproval that seems almost unwarranted and misguided. An then, seeking a fresh outlook on the situation, writers reconsider and the reverse happens.

First, capturing the blind outrage of the moment, The Village Voice's Rob Harvilla posted his take just hours after the game, in the midst of the zeitgeist of halftime pop star backlash:
So the Peas wore porno-Tron outfits, don't so much sing as just yell at you semi-rhythmically, have no good songs other than "I Gotta Feeling," and had to literally airlift Usher in just so they had one guy available who could do the splits.
Yup. That pretty much about does it. But this is the Internet, where less than 24 hours later another music writer had - surprise - a different take on the half time extravaganza.

This second writer (at a newly-minted pop music apologist retreat) was posed with a consistent, nagging challenge: how to say something new, interesting, and controversial about a universally accepted truth.

"If You Hate The Black Eyed Peas, You Hate America" sounds like a satire piece, one that intentionally pokes fun by ridiculing music snobs and riding the the anti-backlash wave at the same time. But with stats, figures, and derisive asides the piece plays as a sugar coated pop music apology rather than an insightful analysis.

From the piece:
Crackers don’t like the Black Eyed Peas.
Dumb. And also, not very funny. Reading on...
Much of the vitriol against the Peas returns to the idea that they are not “real musicians and real artists,” in contrast to the Who and Paul McCartney, two previous halftime performers.
Really? Most vitriol I hear comes from well-versed electronic music fans who think the group are just vapid hook-and-meme generators. Sounds more like a wild reach at a counter attack.

There is, of course, some value in re-assessing the other side of an opinion in an attempt to discover any overlooked granule of worthiness in something as clearly simplistic as the Black Eyes Peas. But using multiculturalism and rockist arguments as a crutch without addressing the actual merits is perpetuating this phantom notion that everything has two sides, all pop culture has intrinsic value.

The now-common practice of re-evaluating and second guessing everything breeds an environment where the new Kayne album is not actually good, the president might be a Muslim, and Ronald Reagan is a great American hero.

In the 21st century there are no truths we hold self-evident.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Obama streaker can't get naked for two years

Remember Juan Rodriguez? He's the 24-year-old Staten Island resident who harassed the President of the United States in his birthday suit with the intention of winning $1 million.

Well, Rodriguez got naked, but didn't get (all) the money, and now he's on probation leaving him unable to get naked in public for at least two years without facing stiff legal penalties. Rodriguez was sentenced on three misdemeanor counts in a Philadelphia court on Friday. At the trial he revealed why Philadelphia was his premiere destination for nude streaking.

"Philadelphia has a history of streaking," Rodriguez said. "I didn't pick Philadelphia out of the hat."

A 'history of streaking?' Genius. He's only set to received about $100,000 of his precious bounty. That should be enough for the unemployed father of three to support his family for about 18 months. Then he could wait six months and streak again. Go for the gold, young man. Go for the gold.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Boro Pres drop F-bomb

We haven't had much time to post lately but it came to our attention that some people haven't seen this clip and we decided to share it.

It's Borough President James Molinaro doing what he does best - mainly embarrassing himself with his mouth. He apparently was unaware he was on live television and was in the midst of performing his elected duty of cursing someone out. It's not quite the profanity-laced tirade of James Oddo (Google it) but the incident does at least solidify the perception of the Island as a bunch of clueless rubes.

Well done Mr. Boro President!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grimm start for local congressman

We weren't big fans of Mike Grimm on the campaign trail, but he is our congressman now and we'd like him to function like a nominally cogent human politician. So far - and, it's only been like 2 weeks - Grimm has stumbled over himself a few times.

It started with Grimm's reaction to the failed assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Grimm's solution was to arm members of Congress so next time, more people get shot.

But when "two dozen" protestors gathered outside his office Monday to protest the attempt to repeal health care reform, Grimm responded like a seasoned amateur.
Grimm called the demonstration “nothing more than political grandstanding.”
Mr. Grimm, this is not a campaign, these are your constituents now, you have to at least pretend to listen to them. And, we are not sure if you know this but not that many people out here even give a shit about you or what you do. You should be grateful that "two dozen" people know what your name is.

Congressman McMahon, the person he has replaced, faced a lot of criticism and prostests from people like the Tea Party. But as hard as they worked to block his reelection, he never dismissed them and what they did as "political grandstanding."

That's two strikes on our count, Mr. Grimm. And if you don't come up with any solutions (see health care) but continue your tactics of obstruction you've got a real painful two years ahead of you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The elusive local angle on Arizona

By now, every publication and their great-grandmothers have spoken on the horrible tragedy in Arizona, where a lone gunman without a coherent motivation mowed down 13 people during an informal congressional meet-and-greet outside a Safeway in Tucson, killing 6 including a 9-year-old newly elected student council member.

To give the story a local marinade our trusted newspaper posted a piece that includes a statement from the Staten Island Tea Party, and gently dissects their reaction to the tragedy. The question we have is: why?

The local chapter of the Tea Party has nothing to do with Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, or this Salvia-addled lunatic in Tucson. It seems the local Tea Partiers don't even have much in common with the Tucson Tea Party, which is much more concerned with issues such as illegal immigration.

For instance: after the shooting, the Tucson Tea Party has obsessed over any perceived incremental attempt to limit their access to high capacity clips, weapons, bullets, ammo, guns, guns, guns.... Second Amendment "remedies" so to speak. We do not believe this is a specific priority of the local Tea Party, but then again, maybe some one should have asked them.

Instead of focusing on an actual issue - ANY issue - the news cycle quickly devolved into partisan talking points about who is to blame and if all the "heated rhetoric" was responsible for the atrocity. Again, not helping anybody. If we want that argument, we can get it on cable news, talk radio, blogs, NY Post...

By the way, the Democratic "spokesman" also made haphazard connections and allegations in this piece. Just balls of obfuscation.

How could a local news outlet have handled this more effectively? Well, how about asking local political activists whether they align themselves with the so-called "heated rhetoric." And not just mamma grizzly Sarah Palin - whose coded ramblings are not fueling anything except a reality TV career - but people like Sharron Angle, who made the inflammatory statement about "Second Amendment remedies."Or what about newly-elected Congressman Allen West, a man whose chief of staff defiantly declared "if ballots don't work, bullets will?"(This individual has since been "replaced.")

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Keep your pants on, Staten Island

It comes only once a year. Today is the day when dozens of 20-somethings engage is the dumb, pointless stunt of riding the NYC subway with no pants on. Why do they do this? Because it's 'sooo crazy and hilarious, man' - right?

This idiotic "participatory event" is organized the attention-seeking group Improv Everywhere and you can find very detailed instructions on how exactly to ride the subway without pants on their Web site. Because that needs explaining.

Here is a sample:
You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, “I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt.”
Unsurprisingly Staten Island is left off the day's itinerary, probably because we don't have a subway. But if anyone finds someone riding Staten Island Railway in the tighty whiteys please take a picture.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Local man Googles 'how to kill my mistress'

Rosario DiGirolamo pleaded guilty this week to the murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend, Amy Giordano, after investigators found the incriminating evidence in an old Google search.

Amy's body disappeared back in 2007 when the New Jersey man murdered her in a Hightstown, NJ apartment then stuffed her torso into a suitcase before dumping it into the swamp of Clay Pit Ponds in the Charleston section of Staten Island.

DiGirolamo, who had been married to another woman, was reportedly unable to keep up with both families and decided to dispose of one of them. He left their 11-month-old son behind in the parking lot of a Delaware hospital with a note attached.

The note had insinuated it was the mother who abandoned the child.

The evidence that led to DiGirolamo's confession was a Google search executed just days before the killing: "lethal karate blows to the back of the head."

His defense lawyer had maintained the man's innocence up until the discovery of this search on his laptop.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Ferry Fight

The Staten Island Ferry is such a romantic night time ride, especially on the holidays when everyone is in a thankful, giving mood, love is in the air.... hey, wait there's a fight!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Did a Democratic operative hack into local Tea Party Web site?

There was a story that came to light Monday about the local Tea Party stepping up into the political realm of Staten Island by infiltrating the Republican County Committee which selects the nominees for GOP ballot line - or something like that.

The move is kind of a no-brainer. The group is just a bunch of disgruntled Republicans anyways, so why not try to replace the current GOPers in power?

Of course they will get a shit ton of resistance from the Island's establishment - but hey, screw them, right? What have they done for us lately?

However, there was one interesting, overlooked nugget buried in the report by New York Observer's David Freedlander, who seems like a real awesome dude.

Here is the excerpt, referring to an e-mail note that the Tea Party was preparing to send out to it's 2,000 (yeah, right) members:
The note has not yet been sent out to Tea Party members. It was discovered on the group's website by John F. Lavelle, an active local Democrat and son of a longtime Democratic  power broker. He told The Politicker that he found the page by signing in as an administrator and taking a guess as to what the website's password was.
His first, and correct guess, was "Constitution."
Sounds like amateur hour espionage to us. Weird though that the Tea Party hasn't responded to this blatant form of thievery from an Island Democratic operative. Aren't these the same people who compared President Obama's new health care overhaul to white "slavery" - really. They do have a tendency to bloviate a bit.

Then the Advance ran a story also, without mentioning the whole Lavelle/hacking pseudo-scandal. But wait there's more: