Today in Legal Proceedings: Braunstein and Lidle and Miss America, Oh, My!
In the criminal-justice system, as you know, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the police, who investigate the crimes, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. Then there are the shyster defense lawyers, who try to convince juries that deranged and confessed torturers should get off; NTSB air-safety boards, who can’t quite figure out who was flying the plane that crashed into the buildings; and Miss America, who entraps sexual predators. Yesterday was a busy day for all of them, and these are their stories. Da-dum.
the morning line
The Starrett Sale Is Dead!
• That $1.3 billion Starrett City deal? Yeah, not gonna happen. The Housing and Urban Development secretary is blocking the sale of the subsidized enclave to Clipper Equity. The deal’s vocal opponents included Bloomberg, Cuomo, Spitzer, Schumer, Clinton, and, apparently, God. [NYDN]
• Meanwhile, the demolition at the future Atlantic Yards site begins in earnest, with Ratner aiming the wrecking ball at twelve buildings on Pacific, Flatbush, Vanderbilt, and Dean — all within next week. Is it good-bye, weird Guyanese JRG Fashion Cafe? [NYP]
• The dancing-rat drama is far from over. In fact, it’s amping up: After its initial gaffe, the Health Department came down like a hammer on three more joints (this time, for variety’s sake, Pizza Huts) owned by the same franchisee; the parent company, Yum Brands, then voluntarily closed ten more. [NYT]
• And dentist Lawrence Rosenthal is suing Cory Lidle’s estate for $7 million dollars, because the Yankee’s fiery death had inconvenienced him. This, mind you, is the same Rosenthal of the BadDentist.com infamy. Litigious, much? [amNY]
NTSB Confirmation: Lidle’s Plane Crashed Turning to Avoid LGA AirspaceThe National Transportation Safety Board issued a detailed update this afternoon on its investigation into the October 11 crash of a light plane that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flying instructor, Tyler Stanger. The update fills in some gaps while confirming the broad outline of the tragedy as it has already been reported: The two — and the NTSB still doesn’t know which of them was actually piloting the Cirrus SR-20, and it probably never will, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway says — were on a jaunt up the East River and attempted a U-turn to the left to avoid restricted airspace around La Guardia.
early and often
Planes Over Manhattan Not the Best Idea, Pataki Finally RealizesCory Lidle’s death yesterday was a tragedy. But some good might come from it. A mere five years after 9/11, as New York’s Chris Smith reports, it finally prompted Governor George Pataki to ask the FAA to ban uncharted private aircraft from flying over the city. Smith has Pataki’s statement in Early and Often.
Lidle Tragedy Wakes Pataki From Slumber [Early and Often]
the morning line
Plane Crash, Gay Bash, and Mary Jo Kopechne
• Not much new was revealed overnight about the plane crash that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and gave a jolt to the UES. Turns out the hit building’s tenant list is full of semi-boldface names including, weirdly, the Mets’ third-base coach Manny Acta. [NYT, NYDN, NYP]
• In a repellent turn to a repellent story, a suspected racial-bias attack turns out to be a gay bash turns out to be a robbery. Four Sheepshead Bay youths are charged with luring a man via e-mail to a Plumb Beach cruising spot to rob him; the victim broke free, fled, and was struck by a car. Prosecutors say the hate-crime tag still applies. [amNY]
• Rep. Chris Shays, the GOP congressman from Connecticut, achieves the impossible by somehow managing to lower the discourse level of the Foley scandal. How? By bringing up, apropos of nothing, Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick incident. Early and Often’s take here. [NYDN]
• The Columbia Queer Alliance is puzzled by the light attendance of the public-makeout event it staged on the university’s Low Library steps. The turnout reportedly shrank ten times compared to last year’s, despite an effort to involve the shy and the single (who were offered apples to kiss). [Bwog]
• And the Post’s Andrea Peyser unleashes a jaw-dropping attack on “sluttish, revolting monster” Madonna for “raping Malawi” (by adopting an African child). Choice quote: “Madonna has traveled far beyond her… loser antics to grab attention — and flesh.” Don’t worry, a slave auction gets mentioned too. [NYP]
it just happened
UES Plane Crash: The Latest NewsHere’s what we know about the Upper East Side plane crash. Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle owned and piloted the plane; he died in the crash, and his passport was found on the street near the crash site. The FAA says Lidle had a fuel problem and issued a Mayday shortly before the crash. The FBI says that Lidle was the only person on the plane, contradicting earlier reports suggesting there was at least one passenger. News reports say there’s at least one other fatality, but there are no specifics. There’s no word on injuries within the building, although two apartments are said to have suffered serious damage, and the scar to the building’s façade is self-evident. The evacuation proceeded smoothly; the 50-story tower emptied within minutes.
Some coverage: New York’s Michael Idov reported from the crash scene. CNN has been covering all the latest developments. In September, Lidle discussed his love of flying — and his newly purchased airplane — with the Times. The FAA has the plane’s registration on file. The Yankees Website offers Lidle’s stats. And ESPN has a grim and rather long list of athletes who died in plane crashes.
UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: 7Online.com is reporting that Lidle was carrying a passenger, a flight instructor, who was the other fatality. In a press conference, Mayor Bloomberg said that the plane left Teterboro airport at 2:30 p.m., circled the Statue of Liberty, and headed north up the East River, in compliance with air-traffic rules. Then the plane lost contact with controllers, he said, and was seen on radar flying near the 59th Street Bridge. A 911 call about the crash arrived at 2:42 p.m. Bloomberg also said no further fatalities were found in the apartment building.