New York City
At the southeast corner of Manhattan's Union Square is a home-spun memorial attached to a traffic-light pole, with flowers, photos of a stunningly beautiful young woman—and a handwritten plea for justice from her anguished family. Fortunately, city authorities have not removed it. Here are the details from New York's DNAInfo, June 21:
Family of Actress Killed in Hit-Run Holds Vigil on Her 22nd Birthday CHELSEA — As the investigation into the Union Square hit-and-run death of Roxana Sorina Buta continues, the aspiring actress's friends and family celebrated her life Thursday in an emotional ceremony on what would have been her 22nd birthday...
From the Village Voice, June 11:
NYPD Slammed With Lawsuit Over Handling of Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths
On July 10, 2011, Clara Heyworth was walking to meet her husband when she was fatally struck by motorist Anthony Webb, who was driving with a learner's permit, not a license. He also might have been drunk and speeding at the time of the incident. Webb was arrested at that time.
Readers of World War 4 Report will know that we are implacable enemies of the pathological global car culture, pillar of petro-oligarchical rule, and support the ultimate abolition of the internal combustion engine. And readers will know that your chief blogger is a long-suffering New York City bicyclist. So we would really like to take heart in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial measures to accommodate bicycles. But since the very start, it has all smelled suspicious to us. The "congestion pricing" plan to charge motorists to enter Manhattan struck us as a prescription for turning the island into a sort of Manhattanland tourist theme park; the closing of large sections of Times Square to cars has coincided with administration of this "public" space being turned over nearly completely to the Times Square Alliance BID; plans to bar cars from the East Village's Cooper Square are similarly concomitant with delivering the historic plaza over to Cooper Union college and New York University as a virtually privatized space. Now, the plans for a bicycle-sharing program vindicate our worst fears...
Your chief blogger is a proud native New Yorker, but World War 4 Report vigorously dissents from the celebratory triumphalism around the still incomplete World Trade Center 1 finally achieving the status of the city's highest building. As we have pointed out repeatedly, apart from marring the skyline with another Fucking Ugly Building (in the straightforward nomenclature of the New York Psychogeographical Association), apart from the entrenchment of the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy that is expropriating the working class from New York City, apart from the insult to the 9-11 victims of office space towering over their resting place—the hubristic gesture of building the new WTC higher than the original is almost explicitly a challenge to terrorists to attack the site again, necessitating a permanent police state in Lower Manhattan. And AP's April 30 report on this dystopian "achievement" is riddled with all-too-telling errors and obfuscations. To wit:
From NY1, April 29:
Seven Family Members Die After SUV Plunges From Bronx Parkway
Police say seven Bronx family members spanning three generations died Sunday afternoon after the sports utility vehicle they were riding in flipped over a Bronx River Parkway railing and plunged about 100 feet onto non-public property of the Bronx Zoo.
An April 9 report on WNYC Radio informs us that last year, 21 bicyclists were killed in vehicle crashes in New York City—but only two drivers were arrested. Local district attorneys, when pressed to cite convictions for cyclist deaths, gripe about how cyclists and their advocates don't understand how tough it is to call a traffic crash a crime. The most maddening quote:
NYPD Issued Almost 50,000 Bicycle Tickets in 2011
The NYPD doled out 48,556 summonses to bike riders in 2011. That figure was reported by Executive Officer of the Transportation Bureau, John Cassidy at a hearing held by the NY City Council Wednesday on NYPD policies for traffic investigations.
The New York Police Department, under fire from New York City Muslims, has announced that it is ending its program of NYPD-CIA collaboration launched after 9-11. Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the CIA officer working as a special assistant to the department's intelligence program will leave his post in April after nine months. The program has been under scrutiny since it was revealed in a series of stories by the Associated Press, prompting the CIA's own Inspector General to conduct an investigation. The Inspector General's probe found there was insufficient oversight of the program, which included sending plainclothes "rakers" into mosques and Muslim communities. Muslims not suspected of any wrongdoing were put in intelligence databases.