City Island Issues


This Week in Her and History


This Week in History, Dec 22 - Dec 28

Dec 22, 1956
First gorilla born in captivity. On this day in 1956, a baby gorilla named Colo enters the world at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, becoming the first-ever gorilla born in captivity. Weighing in at approximately 4 pounds, Colo, a western lowland gorilla whose name was a combination of Columbus and Ohio, was the daughter of Millie and Mac, two gorillas captured in French Cameroon, Africa, who were brought to the Columbus Zoo in 1951. Before Colo's birth, gorillas found at zoos were caught in the wild, often by brutal means. In order to capture a gorilla when it was young and therefore still small enough to handle, hunters frequently had to kill the gorilla's parents and other family members.

Dec 23, 1888
Van Gogh chops off ear. On this day in 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor while staying in Arles, France. He later documented the event in a painting titled Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Today, Van Gogh is regarded as an artistic genius and his masterpieces sell for record-breaking prices; however, during his lifetime, he was a poster boy for tortured starving artists and sold only one painting.

Dec 24, 1979
Soviet tanks roll into Afghanistan. On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan, under the pretext of upholding the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty of 1978. As midnight approached, the Soviets organized a massive military airlift into Kabul, involving an estimated 280 transport aircraft and three divisions of almost 8,500 men each. Within a few days, the Soviets had secured Kabul, deploying a special assault unit against Tajberg Palace. Elements of the Afghan army loyal to Hafizullah Amin put up a fierce, but brief resistance.

Dec 25, 1914
The Christmas Truce. Just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and commence to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. At the first light of dawn, many of the German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man's-land, calling out "Merry Christmas" in their enemies' native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

Dec 26, 1946
Bugsy Siegel opens Flamingo Hotel. On December 26, 1946, in Las Vegas, Nevada, mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel opens The Pink Flamingo Hotel & Casino at a total cost of $6 million. The 40-acre facility wasn't complete and Siegel was hoping to raise some revenue with the grand opening. Well-known singer and comedian Jimmy Durante headlined the entertainment, with music by Cuban band leader Xavier Cugat. Some of Siegel's Hollywood friends, including actors George Raft, George Sanders, Sonny Tufts and George Jessel were in attendance. The grand opening, however, was a flop. Bad weather kept many other Hollywood guests from arriving. And because gamblers had no rooms at the hotel, they took their winnings and gambled elsewhere. The casino lost $300,000 in the first week of operation.

Dec 27, 1932
Radio City Music Hall opens. At the height of the Great Depression, thousands turn out for the opening of Radio City Music Hall, a magnificent Art Deco theater in New York City. Radio City Music Hall was designed as a palace for the people, a place of beauty where ordinary people could see high-quality entertainment. Since its 1932 opening, more than 300 million people have gone to Radio City to enjoy movies, stage shows, concerts, and special events. Radio City Music Hall was the brainchild of the billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who decided to make the theater the cornerstone of the Rockefeller Complex he was building in a formerly derelict neighborhood in midtown Manhattan. The theater was built in partnership with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and designed by Donald Deskey. The result was an Art Deco masterpiece of elegance and grace constructed out of a diverse variety of materials, including aluminum, gold foil, marble, permatex, glass, and cork. Geometric ornamentation is found throughout the theater, as is Deskey's central theme of the "Progress of Man." The famous Great Stage, measuring 60 feet wide and 100 feet long, resembles a setting sun. Its sophisticated system of hydraulic-powered elevators allowed spectacular effects in staging, and many of its original mechanisms are still in use today.

NYC Weather Warning


The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for New York City until 6:00P Thursday. The advisory is for sustained winds up to 25 mph and gusts of 45 to 50 mph.

During periods of high winds, residents should use caution when walking or driving high profile vehicles. Winds at these speeds can cause flying debris, turn unsecured objects into projectiles, and cause power outages.

To prepare, charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies and turn refrigerators and freezers to a colder setting. Always stay clear of downed power lines.



Although NYC Department of Environmental Protection claims our air is the cleanest it's been in 50 years, many City Island residents smelled the smoke filled air as a result of a Yacht fire near pilot street.

FDNY units and firefighters were in abundance and the fire in the boatyard was quickly placed under control. Even after the fire was extinguished, fire trucks continued responding. Luckily there were no reported injuries.

City Islander Raymond Reyes Jr was kind enough to share after he took this video:

Beheader Identified


British intelligence officials have reportedly identified the British Jihadi fighter who is suspected of murdering American journalist James Foley, according to The Sunday Times.

The masked man with a London accent is known to fellow fighters as “Jihadi John”, was seen in the shocking video of Foley’s death released by the Isis extremist army last week.



Although many opt to stay quiet, not complain, or talk about it, commuting to and from the job is very important for most working people. Researchers have explored the effects of commuting time on the psychological health of men and women.

They have used data that includes variables known to determine psychological health, as well as factors which may provide compensation for commuting such as income, job satisfaction and housing quality.



Event: Society of the Silurians 2013 Journalism Awards
When: March 11, 2013, 6:00pm (deadline)

Classroom Guns


Parents, students and teachers, start worrying about guns inside the classroom because they’re already there.
Teaching fire arms safety may be the only issue people on both sides of the gun control debate can agree on.

Some have suggested bringing guns to class would suppress free speech and academic freedom because people may be hesitant to address controversial subjects for fear of someone using their weapon in an emotional moment.

Queens fifth-grader brought gun to school

St. Paul Schools: Gun Found In Student’s Locker




A fan's guide to the Seahawks



King Juan Carlos has announced that his son Prince Felipe will begin a new era of hope for the people of Spain. Meanwhile, Spanish people take to the streets to demand a national referendum on the future of their monarchy.

After reigning for 40 years on the throne King Juan Carlos of Spain has finally announced his intention to abdicate. The 76 year old King is stepping aside for Prince Felipe, his 45 year old son to take over the reigns.

This was preceded by a long running corruption investigation and King Juan Carlos has experienced health problems recently.

Devastating Hurricanes


A senior executive, who is experienced in forensic engineering, investigation, mitigation, response, repair, and rehabilitation and is a regular reader reached out and suggested I produce an information piece on people who are not evacuating in the face of Hurricanes. Hurricanes are unpredictable and can blow in any direction. Irma is now the mother of all hurricanes.