Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ObamaCare site in NY state refers coverage seekers to Brooklyn Cupcake shop

10/30/13, "ObamaCare screw up sends callers to cupcake shop," NY Post, By Tara Palmeri and Beth DeFalco

"Thanks to ObamaCare, New Yorkers can now get health insurance with rainbow sprinkles.

In yet another bungle for the botched government insurance rollout, the state Health Department has mistakenly listed numerous non-health-related business as enrollment sites — including a Brooklyn cupcake shop that has been besieged by callers.

I have nothing to do with this,” said Carmen Rodriguez owner of Brooklyn Cupcake in Williamsburg. “I run a very busy establishment, and I’m like, what is going on?”

Because of the mistake, her bakery has gotten 150 calls from people seeking medical-insurance information.

“There has to be somebody who can help with ObamaCare; that’s their own mess,” she said.

New Yorkers shopping for medical coverage under ObamaCare are being directed by the state’s health-exchange Web site to 288 locations where so-called navigators can offer personal assistance.
They are reaching places such as Rodriguez’s shop because the erroneous listings contain the businesses’ accurate addresses, phone numbers and even languages spoken.

The cupcake maker is at her wit’s end.

“I don’t want to be listed, because they are calling my telephone off the hook,” she said.

In nearby Red Hook, the dispatcher for a limo company was equally puzzled at finding his company to be among those listed as enrollment sites.

If you want me to get you a car, I can help you out,” said Allen Amor of Apex Car & Limo. But ObamaCare? Sorry, wrong number.

Marco Abad, of Zambrand Auto Repair in Sunset Park, said he didn’t even realize his business was among those listed.

“That’s something crazy, because we fix cars over here,” he said.

Amar Git, owner of Desi Deli in Hell’s Kitchen, said he couldn’t possibly help navigate ObamaCare because he doesn’t have insurance himself.

“How can it be? How can I help?” he asked rhetorically.

A receptionist at a supposed navigator site that is actually Crystal Skin Care on Mott Street hung up on a Post reporter.

A clerk at the nearby Dragonland Bakery, another listed site, said no one there spoke English.

One of the places listed at least dealt in health issues — though they were not an enrollment site.

“I’m frustrated, I’m not registered to be a navigator!” said an exasperated Patrick Wu, manager of the Bowery Pharmacy at 95 Bowery. “I don’t know why my name is on the list.”

He said he has fielded about 50 calls since the national health plan launched on Oct. 1 and they’re interfering with his ability to do his job.

A Health Department spokesman insisted only a few businesses were listed by mistake and the list was being corrected.

The spokesman, Bill Schwarz, also said that in some cases workers in the affected businesses aren’t aware that the owners had joined the navigator program.

Many of these enrollment sites are located in settings — small businesses, libraries, etc. — where New Yorkers go to shop or recreate. As such, some employees of these locations may not be fully aware of the enrollment- assistance efforts,” he said." via Free Rep.

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

First in line for tickets to World Series game 6 in Boston

10/29/13, "Baseball fan Bryan McGovern of Quincy, Mass., sits among those first in line for game-day tickets outside Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox will face the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the World Series on Wednesday," ap

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NY Times Sports Columnist says Redskins name change 'has to start with us in the media'

10/28/13, "NYT Sports Columnist: Redskins Name Change ‘Has To Start With Us In The Media’," NewsBusters, Paul Bremmer

"Like the steady beat of a drum, the liberal media’s war on the Washington Redskins’ name continues. On Saturday’s CBS This Morning, co-anchor Vanita Nair broached the topic during a discussion with The New York Times sports columnist Bill Rhoden. Nair asked if the Redskins might really change their name, and Rhoden replied with certitude, Oh, they’re going to change it. And I think it has to start with us in the media.

So it’s the media’s job to pressure professional sports teams into changing their names? Rhoden repeated his brash call to liberal activist journalism: [See video below the break.]
"There will be legislation; eventually the name is going to be changed, but I think that it has to start with us in the media to just stop using the name."
Wow. Rhoden actually wants legislation to compel the Redskins, a privately-owned venture, to change their name. That would be government coercion on the level of ObamaCare. But as it stands right now, it’s up to owner Daniel Snyder to change the name, and he has said he doesn’t want to change it.

To those who follow the liberal media, it’s not news that they are fans of political correctness. But it’s a little jarring to hear a journalist talk as if it is the media’s job to force political correctness onto one particular organization, possibly under penalty of law. What happened to just reporting on the facts?
Rhoden made it crystal clear how he felt about the Redskins’ name:
"[T]he name has outlived its usefulness. I mean, we all realize it’s not appropriate, some people are offended, and we have to move on. There’s only one person who doesn't realize it, and he owns the team."
He talks as if Snyder is the only one who doesn’t want to change the name. There have been differently-worded polls that have produced conflicting results as to whether Native Americans, or the public at large, want a name change. However, there have not been any polls that show overwhelming opposition to the name ‘Redskins.’ The Dan Snyder-versus-the-world picture that Rhoden paints is not accurate.

This was not the first time Rhoden mixed sports with liberal activism. Last December, he expressed his wish that the NFL would ban its players from owning guns. In April 2011, he called for the NBA to suspend Kobe Bryant for Game 1 of a playoff series after Bryant mouthed the “gay F-bomb” at a referee.

Below is a transcript of the October 26 segment:

VANITA NAIR: I want to talk to you about the other controversy right now involving the Washington Redskins' name. Where is this right now? I mean, is there a possibility they really could be changing this name?

BILL RHODEN, New York Times sports columnist: Oh, they’re going to change it. And I think it has to start with us in the media. Probably for the last 10 years I’ve not used it in a column. And I think that whether it’s here or wherever else, I think once we stop using that name and we recognize it's a racist name, I think that is what's going to resonate. There will be legislation; eventually the name is going to be changed, but I think that it has to start with us in the media to just stop using the name.

NAIR: Well, I think the fact that Oneida Indian officials will meet with NFL officials next week in New York City is a good indication that this is happening.

RHODEN: Oh no, it’s going to happen. This has become sort of the movement for a lot of young people of this generation who have gotten radio campaigns, Internet campaigns, because you know it’s just – the name has outlived its usefulness. I mean, we all realize it’s not appropriate, some people are offended, and we have to move on. There’s only one person who doesn't realize it, and he owns the team.

ANTHONY MASON: Well, but his neighbor has registered a trademark for Washington Bravehearts for use – for entertainment and the nature of football games. Do you think there’s a tie here?

RHODEN: Good luck with that. (Laughter) Let's come up with something else.

MASON: You don't like that one, huh?

RHODEN: Nah, I don't like that one.""

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Budweiser Clydesdales enter Busch Stadium before World Series game 4

10/27/13, Budweiser Clydesdales enter Busch Stadium in St. Louis before World Series game 4, Red Sox v Cardinals, ap

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

NYC subways overrun with homeless and panhandlers who crowd out and menace persons attempting to use the system for transportation

10/27/13, "Beg Apple: Subways overrun with homeless," NY Post, Gary Buiso
"It’s an express train — to the bad old days. Cops are giving homeless people and panhandlers in the subways the kid-glove treatment, arresting subterranean scofflaws far less frequently than just two years ago, data show.

The ranks of the homeless, meanwhile, have swelled to 1,841 this year — a 13 percent increase over last year’s tally, the city’s Department of Homeless Services says.

For straphangers, it has created an atmosphere of fear.

I feel threatened, especially taking the train at night,” explained Brooklynite Lortashia Smith, who said she has been followed off trains several times. “The police can definitely do more.”

The NYPD said panhandler/peddler arrests in the subway have increased over the past year, with 409 pinched so far in 2013 versus 395 in 2012. But those numbers pale in comparison to 2011, when it was reported that in a six-month span that year, a whopping 930 panhandlers and peddlers — the two are not separated in the data — were arrested. “There’s been a drop-off,” acknowledged one police source.

The NYPD refused to provide full-year data for 2011, when cops were busy cracking down on underground quality-of-life issues as part of a Transit Bureau initiative called Operation Moving Target.

At that time, the NYPD explained arrests were up because of a targeted effort by the Transit Bureau to tackle quality-of-life offenses, which can lead to worse crime.

Late Saturday, an NYPD spokesperson said a comparison to 2011 data is not “apples to apples” because the department removed arrests for soliciting and selling MetroCard swipes from the panhandler/peddler category last year. One city leader said the stop-and-frisk backlash could be to blame for the drop.

Police are much more hesitant to be proactive and approach people who may be committing low-level crimes because of anti-NYPD sentiment that’s been growing in political circles,” said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who chairs the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. “If you are too afraid to approach, then crimes like loitering, open containers and aggressive panhandling will go unpunished.”

That, in turn, can be dangerous.

“Once you allow low-level crimes to fester, more dangerous crimes follow,” Vallone added. Peaceful begging is allowed above ground, after state and federal courts ruled the state’s 1964 anti-loitering law unconstitutional.

But in the subway system, where the MTA establishes its own rules and regulations, all panhandling — peaceful included — is illegal, according to the agency.

The Department of Homeless Services said it maintains an outreach team dedicated to finding specialty housing for subway hobos.

Straphangers told The Post they’ve noticed an alarming increase in vagrants and beggars.

Straphangers can’t actually get a seat on the subway because they are taking up the subway space,” said Brooklyn commuter Robert Scarborough. “They don’t wash. They have an aroma.”

Even panhandlers are scared. “There’s more people down here,” noted Sarah Colon, who said she has been homeless ever since Hurricane Sandy. “The city’s not doing what it’s supposed to be doing. They need to make the shelters better than what they are now.”

Things could get a lot worse.

“I believe this can turn into ‘Mad Max’ down here,” said Maurice Solomon of The Bronx. “It’s a safe haven — it’s warm for them, and people give them food.”" photos NY Post, Seidman. via Free Rep.

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Cardinals over Red Sox in World Series game 3 via obstruction

10/26/13, "Allen Craig, center, was tagged by Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but the umpire Dana DeMuth signaled that Craig was safe because of obstruction," final 5-4 St. Louis, getty

10/26/13, "The Cardinals’ Allen Craig, trying to score after a wild throw, tripped over third baseman Will Middlebrooks. An obstruction call against Middlebrooks gave St. Louis the winning run in Game 3 of the World Series," final 5-4 St. Louis, getty

Newsday (Long Island and NYC area) back page, Sunday, 10/27/13

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Friday, October 25, 2013

Three alarm fire in Wrigleyville destroys Clark St. building

10/25/13, "Wrigleyville fire demolishes Clark Street building," abclocal.go.com, WLS

Clark St.,Ganci pic
"A big fire that erupted right next to the el tracks Friday evening is still burning right now. The fire is confined to one building containing three businesses in the 3300-block of North Clark Street in Wrigleyville.

A three-alarm fire response was struck just before 7 p.m. Friday night in the 3300-block of North Clark Street, just south of Wrigley Field.

Investigators believe the fire started in a hookah bar near Clark and School.

With flames and thick smoke pouring from the building, firefighters poured water on it from above and below. At one point the roof collapsed, creating a backdraft type situation as neighbors like Lee Larkins watched from across the street.

Despite the fire Red line CTA trains continue to run through the area right next to the building. Neighbors heard the commotion and quickly filled the street to see what happened.

The congested neighborhood just two blocks south of Wrigley Field is filled with bars and restaurants and residential units. Firefighters were able to contain most of the damage to the building where it started.

The single story structure holds three businesses, including Roadhouse 66, which was supposed to host a fundraiser for Kat Vallera's charity music for Lombok.

As firefighters fought to bring the fire under control, part of the building and the roof collapsed at 3330 N. Clark. In fact, part of the roof exploded into the street in a backdraft situation. No injuries were reported, but firefighters say they rescued a dog.

Fire trucks blocked much of Clark Street for several blocks north and south of the fire on Friday night. The #22 Clark bus was rerouted, but the CTA Red and Brown Lines were still running, despite proximity to the fire.

One passenger reported feeling the heat from the fire in a CTA train as it passed.

"As we passed it, there was a huge fire. It was so close to the train that our skin - people were saying - and I felt it as well - our skin actually got hot as we passed the fire it was so close," said Lawrence Well, CTA passenger.

Initially, the fire was reported in the rear of 3330 N. Clark, a one-story commercial building. The Chicago Fire Department tweeted that Roadhouse 66, Samah Hookah Lounge and Thai Classic were the businesses affected. The fire broke out around 5 p.m." photo above, Ganci via Twitchy


10/25/13, "Three-alarm fire burns in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood [photos]," Twitchy.com
Good photos

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bud Selig says of Mariano Rivera, "Clearly unequivocally, he's the greatest relief pitcher of all time."

10/24/13, "Mariano Rivera gets World Series sendoff at Fenway," USA Today, Steve Gardner

Ortiz and Rivera
"The now-former New York Yankees closer who retired at the end of this season, was presented the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award for his contributions to the game.

Rivera's numbers are staggering – a record 652 career saves, a 0.70 postseason ERA and 13 All-Star games, including the All-Star MVP award this year.

"Clearly unequivocally, he's the greatest relief pitcher of all time, and did it in a way that was remarkable," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "All records we have said are made to be broken, but this is one that I'm very confident will stand the test of time."

Rivera also holds the distinction of being the last player to wear the No. 42 that was officially retired in 1997 in honor of Jackie Robinson. "And he wore it with great class," Selig added, calling Rivera "one of our great stars of this generation.""...photo USA Today, Deutsch

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2013 World Series times and channels on XM and Sirius radio

10/23/13, 2013 World Series channels on XM and Sirius radio

World Series times and channels on XM radio (click on X, scroll down)
World Series times and channels on Sirius radio (click on X, scroll down)

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Bud Selig to present Historic Achievement Award to Mariano Rivera before World Series game 2. Last recipient was Ken Griffey Jr. in 2011

10/23/13, "Bud Selig to give Mariano Rivera Historic Achievement Award before Game 2," Newsday, Erik Boland, Boston

"All season opposing teams paid tribute to Mariano Rivera. MLB commissioner Bud Selig will do so Thursday.

Before Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway Park, the 43-year-old Rivera, who retired this year after 19 seasons, will be honored during a pregame ceremony where he will be given the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award. Rivera plans to attend along with his wife, Clara, and three sons, Mariano Jr., Jafet and Jaziel.

Rivera, baseball's all-time saves leader with 652, recorded 44 saves with a 2.11 ERA in 64 games in his final season. Thursday night will mark the first time MLB has given the award since Ken Griffey Jr. received it in 2011. Past recipients are Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Ichiro Suzuki, Roberto Clemente, Rickey Henderson, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr. and Rachel Robinson."


Ed. note: The article mentions Rivera's regular season stats but leaves out his 141 postseason innings in which he achieved a .70 ERA. His work wasn't geared to the 'save' stat but he had 42 postseason 'saves.' He also had 8 wins. The 141 innings are the equivalent of two additional years of relief pitching @70IP per year, and were sandwiched within the 19 calendar years cited in the article. This work was done against the toughest competition, under the greatest pressure, and while others were resting on the couch in preparation for the next year's regular season stats.

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

'Ma'am, your burger has been paid for.' Paying for the person behind you at a fast food drive through is going viral-NY Times

10/19/13, "Ma’am, Your Burger Has Been Paid For," NY Times Sunday Review, Kate Murphy

"If you place an order at the Chick-fil-A drive-through off Highway 46 in New Braunfels, Tex., it’s not unusual for the driver of the car in front of you to pay for your meal in the time it took you to holler into the intercom and pull around for pickup. 

 “The people ahead of you paid it forward,” the cashier will chirp as she passes your food through the window. 

Confused, you look ahead at the car — it could be a mud-splashed monster truck, Mercedes or minivan — which at this point is turning onto the highway. The cashier giggles, you take your food and unless your heart is irreparably rotted from cynicism and snark, you feel touched. 

You could chalk it up to Southern hospitality or small town charm. But it’s just as likely the preceding car will pick up your tab at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through in Detroit or a McDonald’s drive-through in Fargo, N.D. Drive-through generosity is happening across America and parts of Canada, sometimes resulting in unbroken chains of hundreds of cars paying in turn for the person behind them

This is taking place at a time when the nation’s legislators can’t speak a civil word unless reading from Dr. Seuss. “We really don’t know why it’s happening but if I had to guess, I’d say there is just a lot of stuff going on in the country that people find discouraging,” said Mark Moraitakis, director of hospitality at Chick-fil-A, which is based in Atlanta. “Paying it forward is a way to counteract that.” 

While confusing in the context of paying for the car behind you in a drive-through, “pay it forward” means to repay a kindness by being kind to someone else rather than the person who was kind to you. 

The expression was popularized by the best-selling novel “Pay It Forward” by Catherine Hyde Ryan, which was published in 1999 and was quickly adapted into a film starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. The protagonist does three good deeds and asks the beneficiaries to do three good deeds and so on. 

Whereas paying it forward in drive-throughs occurred maybe once or twice a year a decade ago, now fast-food operators said it might happen several times a day. 

“This is an example of goodness gone viral,” said Ms. Ryan, who since the publication of “Pay It Forward” has become somewhat of a clearinghouse for random acts of kindness. “People bring me their pay-it-forward stories, and I’ve been hearing about the drive-through phenomenon a lot lately.” 

Perhaps the largest outbreak of drive-through generosity occurred last December at a Tim Hortons in Winnipeg, Manitoba, when 228 consecutive cars paid it forward. A string of 67 cars paid it forward in April at a Chick-fil-A in Houston. And then a Heav’nly Donuts location in Amesbury, Mass., had a good-will train of 55 cars last July. 

Serial pay-it-forward incidents involving between 4 and 24 cars have been reported at Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Del Taco, Taco Bell, KFC and Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Maryland, Florida, California, Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, North Dakota, Michigan, North Carolina and Washington. 

More typically, though, it’s one customer acting alone and perhaps routinely. “We have a lady who always pays it forward in the drive-through, every day,” said Aaron Quinton, co-owner of Old School Bagel Cafe, in Tulsa, Okla. “I point at the person behind and she just nods.”

The anonymity of the drive-through makes it especially easy to pay it forward because it dispenses with any awkwardness and suspicion about motives. The payer pulls away before the next car pulls up and discovers a gift that is impossible to refuse. 

If you paid for someone inside a restaurant, they would see you,” said Jessica Kelishes, a marketing representative for an auto parts distributor, who pays it forward at Del Taco, McDonald’s and Starbucks drive-throughs in Banning, Calif. “I just do it out of kindness rather than for recognition.” 

She said her kindness stemmed from feeling blessed and wanting to share her good fortune. But others have told drive-through cashiers they wanted to pay it forward in gratitude to drivers who waved their car ahead of them in line or after noticing in the rearview mirror a woman weeping into her steering wheel, and wanting to make her smile. Cancer survivors have done it in appreciation of life, and new parents have done it to celebrate their baby. 

But more often there is an expressed desire to do something good at a time when so much else in the world seems so dishearteningly bad. It’s a stark contrast, and perhaps a backlash, to the seemingly unremitting reports of unkindness in the news — politicians shutting down the government, N.S.A. spying, teenage suicides resulting from cyber-bullying, vicious slayings at a mall in Kenya, gas attacks in Syria. 

“It’s about giving, and letting people see not everybody is bad, and there are nice people out there and maybe we can turn it around,” said Connie Herring, an optical technician in St. Pauls, N.C., who pays it forward at drive-throughs at least once a week. 

But her generosity has its limits. “I don’t do it at Starbucks because I did it there once and that one time ended up costing me 12 bucks,” she said. “You can’t pay it forward if you’re broke.""

"Kate Murphy is a journalist in Houston who writes frequently for The New York Times." via Free Republic


Ed. note: Stories about everyday life in cars are interesting to me. Cars are supposedly bad, but MLB wouldn't be what it is without them. MLB might exist, but no one would be at fields or stadiums. By the way, if you want to 'pay forward' at Chick Fil A, don't forget they're closed Sundays.

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Sunday, October 13, 2013

NY City cab drivers hit with surprise Oct. 1 tax for ObamaCare paperwork and 'navigators'. Cabbies are obviously racist because they say the tax is unfair. Low income people who don't want to redistribute their earnings to back room dealmakers are obviously racist

Expected 'redistribution' to ObamaCare 'navigators' and others estimated at $10-$15 million. The cost will be passed on mostly to evil Manhattan taxi users anyway.
10/13/13, "Cabbies furious over ObamaCare tax," NY Post, Michael Gartland
"It’s highway robbery! City hacks now have to shell out 6 cents per fare so they can pay for tutorials on ObamaCare, The Post has learned.

“Nobody’s happy about it,” said Charbel Sfeir, a yellow-cab driver since 1984. “It’s not fair. The money’s going to go to paperwork for ObamaCare. I don’t need to pay them do to paperwork.”

The hack tax, mandated by the city Taxi and Limousine Commission, went into effect Oct. 1 and requires that drivers pay for “disability insurance and health-care navigation services.

The TLC has placed the Taxi Workers Alliance, a drivers union, in charge of administering the fund, and a final contract is being hammered out.

“This is a good thing,” said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the TWA. “This is going to give services to a population that’s been exploited.”

When cabbies first heard about the surcharge, they understood it to mean that it was going to pay for actual health insurance. But drivers now say they’ve been taken for a ride.

I thought the 6 cents would go to health care,” cabby Placida Robinson said. 
And it’s hardly chump change. David Pollack, executive director of the Committee for Taxi Safety, estimates it will cost cabbies $10 million to $15 million annually and calls it a “scam.”

“This is totally out of the TLC’s jurisdiction,” he said. “It’s not in the City Charter, and it’s illegal.”

And the new tax is redundant. It’ll pay for disability insurance, a service yellow-cab drivers already pay through workers’ compensation, hacks said.

Pollack contended the disability insurance is itself redundant, because drivers are already covered through workers’ comp that they’re required to pay for.

Desai shot back, saying: “Workers’ comp is for on-the-job injuries. There are drivers who have to get kidney dialysis. They can’t get workers’ comp.”

But only $30 per driver will go into the disability fund, noted Pollack, who said the TLC awarded the TWA the contract only in return for its complicity with city policy on issues like the Taxi of Tomorrow, a plan that a court rejected last week.

“This was a sweetheart deal,” he said.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky said the contract was awarded through “a highly competitive process,” and he predicted the tax “will ensure that drivers get appropriate coverage under the Affordable Care Act.”

“What better than the premiere drivers organization to understand the needs of the driver community?” he said."...image of taxis from NY Post, via Free Republic


Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

David Ortiz chats with Miguel Cabrera prior to ALCS game 1

10/11/13, Red Sox David Ortiz talks with Tigers Miguel Cabrera during team workouts before ALCS game 1. final 10/12/13, ALCS game 1, Tigers over Red Sox 1-0. photo Boston Globe

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Saturday, October 12, 2013

On line for tickets to the 1924 World Series, Senators v Giants

"Elsie Tydings bought tickets for Washington’s first World Series, in 1924." NY Times (Senators over Giants)

10/12/13, "Who's on line first?" NY Times, Samantha Storey

"Before the modern convenience of buying tickets with the smartphone in your palm — or, before that, the phone attached to the wall — you often had to work to see postseason baseball. Perhaps you mailed in a request, only to receive an apology note a week later explaining there were no tickets left. 

Or maybe you spent hours on the sidewalk outside the stadium ticket office in unkind autumn weather. In a series of pictures from the Times photography archives, we look at the old-fashioned way of buying tickets."...

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Friday, October 11, 2013

Canadian environmentalist pleads guilty to setting 20 wildfires in US West from 1996-2001. Carried fuel up mountain at Vail Ski Resort, hid it in snow for later arson

10/10/13, "Canadian environmental activist pleads guilty to arson attacks in U.S. West," Reuters

"A Canadian environmentalist pleaded guilty on Thursday to setting a string of fires across the U.S. West that torched a ski resort and other buildings in what the Justice Department has called the "largest eco-terrorism case" in U.S. history.

Rebecca Rubin, who surrendered to authorities a year ago after a decade on the run, was accused of helping the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front carry out 20 acts of arson across several U.S. states between 1996 and 2001.

Rubin, 40, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of arson and conspiracy as part of a plea deal that prosecutors said could see her spend between five and 7-1/2 years in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced in Portland on January 27.

Prosecutors have said that the arson campaign stood out for the number of fires set and damage caused, which was estimated at more than $40 million.
The charges against Rubin were consolidated from cases filed in Oregon, Colorado and California.

Rubin, shackled at the ankles and wearing blue prison togs, pleaded guilty of involvement in an arson attack on the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Facility near Burns, Oregon, in 1998 and a similar facility in California in 2001. The horses were released in both incidents.

She also admitted involvement in the attempted arson of U.S. Forest Service Industries in Medford, Oregon, and pleaded guilty to eight counts of arson for the 1998 torching of a Vail ski resort in Colorado.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Peifer said the Vail plan "was motivated by environment and animal welfare concerns" and that she had carried fuel up the mountain, where it was hidden in the snow for later use. She did not participate in the actual arson that took
place later, he said.

Rubin did not speak in court other than to enter her pleas and to repeatedly say that she understood all the proceedings and provisions of her agreement and was not coerced.

In 2007, 10 other defendants in the group pleaded guilty to various counts and received prison terms from 37 to 156 months. Two others charged in the case remain at large."
via Junk Science

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

42 best GIF's of #42 Mariano Rivera. John Kruk is #2

10/8/13, "The 42 best GIFs of number 42, Mariano Rivera," Pinstriped Bible, Andrew Mearns

Well, crap. Rivera pitched in the Yankees' organization for my entire life. J.R. Murphy's life. Mike Trout's life. There have been so many terrific memories associated with Rivera that it can be difficult putting them all together. Nevertheless, I have made an attempt by creating my top 42 favorite Mo GIFs. It's been a long journey since 1995."...

Thanks, Andrew!

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Monday, October 07, 2013

To Joe Maddon, the crack of Jose Lobaton's home run off Red Sox closer Uehara reminded him of same sound he heard listening to Cardinals baseball on KMOX radio growing up in Hazleton, Pa.

10/7/13, Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon in his ALDS game 3 post game interview on MLB Network tv recalled Jose Lobaton's walk-off home run tonight v Red Sox closer Uehara approximately as follows:

I heard that sound (imitates sound of crack of the bat), that sound you'd hear listening to the Cardinals on KMOX (radio) laying on the floor in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Maddon grew up in Hazleton, Pa.


50,000 watt radio stations like KMOX sold baseball nationwide


10/7/13, "Rays beat Sox, force Game 4," Boston Herald, Scott Lauber
Rays beat Sox, force Game 4

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Sunday, October 06, 2013

PNC grounds crew prepares field for workouts before NLDS game 3

10/5/13, "PNC Park ground crew water the infield before baseball workouts by the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals in Pittsburgh. The Pirates face the St. Louis Cardinals in the third baseball game of the National League Division Series Sunday in Pittsburgh," ap

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Friday, October 04, 2013

Pittsburgh Pirates fans watch on big screen outside PNC Park

10/3/13, "Fans gather outside PNC Park in Pittsburgh to watch a large television showing the broadcast of Game 1 of the National League division series in St. Louis between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals," final 9-1 Cardinals, ap

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

YES Network viewership continued to decline in 2013, spiked for Rivera, Jeter, Pettitte moment-Richard Sandomir, NY Times

"His (Rivera's) goodbye game attracted 258,000 viewers, a little above the season’s average. But from 9:45 to 10:15 p.m. — from Rivera’s entrance into the game to his removal after a mound visit by Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte and the cathartic aftermath — viewership soared to a peak for the game of 585,000." 

10/1/13, "YES Viewers Say Their Goodbyes," NY Times, Richard Sandomir

"The Yankees’ 85-77 record prevented them from making the American League playoffs. A disappointment, yes, but grounds to shun them? No.

Yet a staggering 111,000 viewers disappeared from the Yankees’ telecasts for each game on the YES Network, leaving an average of 244,000 devoted souls to watch. That 31.2 percent plunge suggests deep dissatisfaction with a team that played most of the season without many of its stars and fielded lineups filled with the likes of Zoilo Almonte, Luis Cruz, David Huff and Brennan Boesch. 

That brief moment aside, this is unhappy, unknown territory for YES, which started in 2002, a little late for the dynasty years but in time for plenty of highly rated Red Sox games and one World Series championship. YES has never televised a losing season by the Yankees, but the surprisingly large abandonment by viewers made this year feel like one. 

As a corporate progeny of the team, YES needs spectacular, star-driven winning as its business rationale. Fans have come to expect the same. 

This season might have stripped YES’s Yankees viewership to its core viewers, without casual and fair-weather fans....

In 2008, when the Yankees last failed to make the playoffs, they had an 89-73 record. They finished third in the A.L. East, but their star lineup was largely intact, featuring Alex Rodriguez with 35 home runs and Jason Giambi with 32. The season was disappointing enough to produce a nearly 11 percent drop in average viewership on YES, to 405,000. But when the Yankees rebounded in ’09 to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, nearly all the lost viewership was recovered. 

A look at Yankees viewership since 2007 shows a troubling trend that did not start with this year’s disappointing finish. There were 454,000 viewers six years ago, but 210,000 — nearly half — have since departed. 

Part of that drop might be attributable to fans being bored with winning and the empire slowly fraying. Some fans might have switched to watching on laptops and mobile devices; that use is not measured by Nielsen. There could be a quirk in the way Nielsen measures television viewing. Or fans might be watching less of each game, which reduces viewership. 

Mike Axisa, the editor in chief of the Yankees blog River Avenue Blues, said: “My generation of fans, when I was 11 or 12, when the Yankees started getting really good, were easy to hook on to and a lot of fans jumped on the bandwagon. Now, the interest just isn’t there.” 

Things could be worse. The Mets’ viewership on SNY also took a big dip. But there was good reason: they finished with their fifth consecutive losing record. And their viewership fell 29 percent from last season, to 139,000. Since 2007, a winning season for the Mets that finished in a collapse, viewership has fallen by 55.7 percent.

Then there are the Houston Astros, who this season lost an Amazin’ 111 games. 

On Sept. 22, a Sunday afternoon Astros-Indians game on Comcast SportsNet Houston attracted no viewers, at least according to the way Nielsen measures such things. It is entirely possible that a few dozen Astros players’ wives and children were watching. But then things managed to get worse: CSN Houston, a partnership of Comcast, the Astros and the N.B.A. Rockets, is in crisis. 

Last week, Comcast filed an involuntary Chapter 11 petition, saying that the network, which has not received wide distribution in the Houston market, was insolvent. Jim Crane, the Astros’ owner, has vowed to fight Comcast, but he conceded Monday to The Houston Chronicle that the team returned half its rights fees in May and June to keep the network afloat and had received no payments since. 

YES has no solvency problems, and even the loss of almost one-third of Yankees viewers will not affect its finances much. Its monthly subscriber fees are locked in and will rise annually despite the vagaries of viewership. 

At worst, the lost viewership could eat into advertising sales, but those sales represent barely 20 percent of YES’s revenue. 

Still, many viewers have suddenly joined a pinstriped diaspora. And YES might not lure them back until the Yankees retool with more compelling and charismatic stars."...


Fox owns controlling interest in the YES Network at 49% with option to increase to 80% in 2015. Yankee Global Enterprises,  Goldman Sachs, and other investors own the remainder:

"Under the terms of the deal, which were announced last week, News Corp. will pay about $1.5 billion for a 49% stake in YES, which broadcasts live Yankees baseball and Brooklyn Nets basketball games. (That amounts to little more than chump change for News Corp., which has a market value of $58 billion, and is currently sitting on $12 billion in cash.) After three years, News Corp. has the right to increase its stake to 80%, according to a statement released by the company and Yankee Global Enterprises, which owns the Yankees and also a stake in YES, along with Goldman Sachs and other investors. The deal, which will keep Yankees baseball on YES through 2042, allows Goldman Sachs, which was an early investor in YES and owns 30% of the network, to cash out some of its stake."

Labels: , ,

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon

2013 MLB playoffs schedule, XM and Sirius radio channels

10/1/13, "2013 Major League Baseball playoff schedule," FanSided.com

Playoff times and channels on XM radio (click on X, scroll down)


Playoff times and channels on Sirius radio (click on X, scroll down)

Stumbleupon StumbleUpon