Saturday, December 11, 2004

Nanny Problem? Come On.

Last night I heard on the news that Bernard Kerik had abruptly withdrawn as nominee to head the Homeland Security Department and I thought, what's the real deal here? By the late news the media was reporting he had a "nanny problem". I seriously doubt that. Isn't it amazing that having a nanny problem is now a legitimate way to bow out of a government job?

Anyway, there must be more to the story. From his appointment to the board of the company that manufactures Taser stun guns, which lead to his making a $6.8 million dollar profit on stock options he was given for free, just for being a board member, to his personal finances (bankruptcy, etc.), to his thug years in Saudi Arabia, you had to know there was more dirt out there on this guy.

Here's the latest scoop, from Newsweek.

My guess? We've only seen the tip of the Bernard Kerik dirty ice iceberg.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Conservation, anyone?

Yesterday while walking around the Wachusett Reservoir I saw three mink swimming. A first for me -- I've never seen a mink that wasn't being worn as a piece of clothing. They were bobbing in the water, tiny eyes, ears & mouths, diving & having fun. I've had several great wildlife spots in the past year -- the huge red-tailed hawk that almost caused me to drive off the road in Oneonta, New York; the magestic bald eagle perched in the tree along the East Branch of the Delaware River in Margaretville, New York (again, I almost came acropper swerving into the breakdown lane for a good view); a deer standing 10 yards above me on a ridge above a trail along the Wachusett Reservoir.

Given my love of wildlife, I've joined a new organization:, a self-described "New Coalition of Conservationists". We are the true conservatives. Click on the link to join.

Hawk's Nest Destroyed in NYC

Hawks' Nest, a Fixture in New York, Is Destroyed

A nest constructed a decade ago by red-tailed hawks 12 stories above Central Park, creating an unlikely wildlife habitat that has delighted bird lovers from around the world, was removed yesterday, apparently by workers for its host co-op apartment building.

City officials and naturalists reacted with anger, even though there appeared to be little legal recourse for the nest's destruction.

Experts said that the fate of a family of uncommonly large and resilient birds, which have reproduced prolifically from the nest, had been thrown into doubt. So was that of the nest's most famous red-tailed resident, Pale Male, who arrived at the building in 1993 and, according to detailed records kept by several bird-watchers, has sired 23 youngsters.

"I am so outraged that they would do this without so much as a by your leave," said Mary Tyler Moore, who has lived for 15 years in the co-op at 927 Fifth Avenue, at 74th Street, where the nest was built in 1993 above a cornice in clear view of Central Park.

"These birds just kept coming back to the edge of the building, and people kept coming back to see them," said Ms. Moore, who recalled at first craning her neck outside one of her windows to look up at the bottom of the nest. In more recent years, she said, she has strolled frequently across Fifth Avenue to Central Park for a better view.

"This was something we like to talk about: a kinder, gentler world, and now it's gone," Ms. Moore said last night.

Exactly why the nest was destroyed was unclear. A man who answered a call to 927 Fifth Avenue's management office last night said no one was available for comment.

But Ms. Moore said other residents of the building had objected to large bird droppings and, occasionally, the carcasses of pigeons - which hawks prey upon - that landed on the sidewalk in front of their lobby. She said her husband had attended a recent co-op board meeting, and had been informed of its all-but-unanimous decision to remove the nest, even though he had objected to the move.

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