CHAPEL HILL For as long as anyone can remember, Christmas trees adorned with lights and ornaments have greeted holiday season visitors to UNC Chapel Hill's two main libraries. Not this year.
The trees, which have stood in the lobby areas of Wilson and Davis libraries each December, were kept in storage this year at the behest of Sarah Michalak, the associate provost for university libraries.
Michalak's decision followed several years of queries and complaints from library employees and patrons bothered by the Christian display, Michalak said this week.
Friday, December 05, 2008
O.J. Simpson was sentenced Friday to at least 15 years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping in a failed attempt to recover sports memorabilia from two collectibles dealers. There will be the possibility of parole after six years, Judge Jackie Glass said.
The FDNY will be slashing nighttime staff at a handful of firehouses around the city in a belt-tightening move that critics say threatens to increase response times and that has residents and union officials seeing red.
The department expects to save $9 million by deactivating three engine companies and one ladder for the overnight shift when the plan goes into effect on Jan. 17.
This is the worst single month's job loss report in 34 years...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Skittish employers slashed 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34 years, catapulting the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, dramatic proof6.7% represents a 15 year high in unemployment. Not good as we head into the Holiday Season.
the country is careening deeper into recession.
Keep your chin up America. If you're more than 5 years from retirement, keep investing... Save, save, save... And for God's sake, if you can't afford it, don't buy it!!!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
The state commission charged with finding new sources of revenue for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is releasing its report today, which recommends tolls on the East River bridges and a payroll tax for everyone in the region.
Led by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch, the commission announced its recommendations with Governor David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg at his side.
Instead of raising fares by the proposed 23 percent, which the MTA had earlier discussed, Ravitch suggests an 8 percent increase on fares.
But the report also recommends implementing a toll on the East River crossings. In the past, East River tolls never got past the proposal stage. With the economy in recession and the MTA's $1.4 billion budget deficit, lawmakers may be forced to give in to the idea.
Ravitch recommended that the tolls only be instituted if the proceeds go toward increasing bus services, which the committee found to be a major weakness of the transit system.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
In one of the biggest heists in American history, the Daily News "stole" the $2
billion Empire State Building. And it wasn't that hard. The News swiped the 102-story Art Deco skyscraper by drawing up a batch of bogus documents, making a fake
notary stamp and filing paperwork with the city to transfer the deed to the property.
A further disturbing aspect of it all is this:
The massive ripoff illustrates a gaping loophole in the city's system for recording deeds, mortgages and other transactions. The loophole: The system - run by the office of the city register - doesn't require clerks to verify the information.
So, we ARE a City being run by careless and lazy employees... I KNEW IT!
Read it all.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
The Capitol Visitors Center, which opened this morning, may have tripled its original budget and fallen years behind schedule, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found a silver lining for members of Congress: tourists won't offend them with their B.O. anymore. "My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true. "But it's no longer going to be true, noted Reid, thanks to the air conditioned, indoor space. And that's not all. "We have many bathrooms here, as you can see," Reid continued. "Souvenirs are available." $621 million well spent.
U.S. intelligence agencies warned their Indian counterparts in mid-October of a potential attack "from the sea against hotels and business centers in Mumbai," a U.S. intelligence official tells ABCNews.com. Intelligence agencies warned Indian counterparts of potential attacks in Mumbai.
A second government source says specific locations, including the Taj hotel, were listed in the U.S. warning. One month later, Nov. 18, Indian intelligence also intercepted a satellite phone call to a number in Pakistan known to be used by a leader of the terror group, Lashkar e Taiba, believed responsible for the weekend attack, Indian intelligence officials say. The Indian intercept also revealed a possible sea-borne attack, the officials say.
While U.S. combat casualties in Iraq were at an all-time low in November 2008 – five reported combat deaths -- coverage of the war was sparse in The New York Times and The Washington Post compared with previous election cycles, an analysis of the Nexis news database shows.
In The New York Times, four front-page stories mentioned Iraq in the headline in November 2008 compared with 13 in November 2006, the last time a national election was held -- a drop of 70 percent. Most of those front-page stories in The New York Times concerned a security pact between U.S. and Iraqi officials.
Similarly, The Washington Post ran just four front-page stories with Iraq in headline in November 2008 compared with 15 in November 2006 -- a drop of 73 percent. One of last month’s reports focused on arms shipments from Bulgaria to Kurdish officials, while the other stories concerned the new security accord approved by the Iraqi Parliament.
Hmmm... So the main stories are about diplomacy... Not war... And five combat deaths? Quite the non-story... THANK YOU to our troops.
This is a derelection of duty. But it is not surprising.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Wow... Since FOCA looks like it is going to be passed under President-elect Zero, this is a very intriguing situation... Good for Bishop Loverde!
(CNSNews.com) - Bishop Paul Loverde of the Roman Catholic diocese of Arlington, Va., said last week that if the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) should become law and a Catholic hospital in his diocese is forced to provide abortions, he would refuse to let the hospital comply, but he would also not close the institution.
Though there are no Catholic hospitals in his diocese, the bishop nevertheless was defiant: “I would say, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to close the hospital, you’re going to arrest me, go right ahead. You’ll have to drag me out, go right ahead. I’m not closing this hospital, we will not perform abortions, and you can go take a flying leap.’ ”
Mumbai, India was the scene of a multi-day siege. The likes of which we never could have imagined. The attacks and their success were highly disconcerting. Indian police and special forces were not prepared. Police in Mumbai do not carry guns... I believe this attack was planned in Pakistan by groups close to Al Qaeda and Kashimirist separatists. It would not surprise me if the Pakistani government was also involved. This attack on a Democratic government that is soft on anti-terror, is a clear message that the hard policies we presently have on terror are the way to go. I can only hope that Mr. Change will not make us less safe.
All in all, this will not help relations on the Subcontinent.
This article from today's Wall Street journal is an excellent synopsis of what is a very intricate attack and an intriguing story.