• Of the top twenty American newspapers, the circulation of New York ones suffered less than others over the past few years. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
• We hear ... that gossip Website Jossip.com is up for sale. [NYP]
• And that ESPN The Magazine is beefing up its fashion coverage. [WWD]
Lindsay Lohan has been hanging out a lot with Courtenay Semel, the daughter of Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel and a "power lesbian." Also her dad, Michael Lohan, played Joseph in a Times Square Nativity scene. Dennis Miller and Jon Voight are among the Rudy Giuliani supporters in Hollywood. The Spears line continues: Britney's 16-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, is pregnant. Is Damon Dash's junk mind-blowing? A woman is claiming that he made her bipolar when he exposed his genitals to her.
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A significant portion of New York's wealthy and powerful will migrate north this weekend for the Yale-Harvard football game. The notoriously competitive teams are both undefeated, making this one of the most important games in history. And a good excuse for getting toasted! Among the revelers will be Governor Pataki, who graduated from Yale in 1967, and who plans to booze it up at his house in Garrison, New York, before taking his party up to New Haven to tailgate. Whoooo! "We've got everything ready — great food, good wine and beer," he told the Sun, adding that drinking the brewski is how he spent a large percentage of his undergraduate years. He'll mingle with Harvard friends before the game, he says, but when the game starts, it's all business. "None of us are particularly good losers," he said. Now that's a shocker.
Harvard-Yale Game Is Hottest Ticket in Years [NYS]
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Scanning through the 9/11 coverage today, we found it hard not to notice a dominant trend: We're moving on. The Times puts up a story about Mayor Bloomberg playing psychologist to a cheering city. The Post's main story focuses on families setting up homes downtown and making lower Manhattan a "Verve Center." Channel 4 and NPR ran upbeat interviews with Eliot Spitzer, Jon Corzine, and George Pataki about the development downtown. Notably, only the Daily News chose to wallow — respectfully printing all of the names of the dead but also neglecting to publish one word about the recovery of the site and the neighborhood. For details on memorial services throughout the day, see here.
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Former governor George Pataki is set to launch a consulting firm, in the model of Giuliani Partners. It'll be called the Pataki-Cahill group and will be based out of the Manhattan offices of the law firm Chadbourne and Parke, where Pataki and his longtime aide John Cahill have been working. Except Pataki's brand of advice will be environmental rather than security-based. In other words, he's trying to follow in the footsteps of both Al Gore and Rudy Giuliani. You know, several years later. Ever the bridge builder, that Pataki.
Green Pataki Taking a Cue From Giuliani [NYS]
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It could be that George Pataki's pidgin-Spanish support for a Vieques bombing halt during his 2001 reelection campaign wasn't just a ploy for the Latino vote; it may also have been sound real-estate strategy. Last week a waitress at Trade Winds, a restaurant on the Puerto Rican island, told a reliable source that the former governor had just passed through with news of purchasing a house there. Apparently Pataki, who agreed in January to phase out his controversial, state-provided, $20,000-a-week security detail, wasn’t rolling with his usual entourage. “It's the first time he's been down here not surrounded by security guards," the waitress noted. Then again, who needs bodyguards when there are "no mas bombas"? —Daniel MaurerREAD MORE »
• Heatherette designer Traver Rains turned 30! And, apparently, his "Wild West" surprise party started on time and everyone invited actually got inside. [Fashionista]
• Calvin Klein has high hopes that CK in2u will replicate the success of CK One. [NYT]
• Giorgio Armani will design uniforms for Russell Crowe's Australian rugby team. [British Vogue]
• A brutal fire in the Bronx engulfed a four-story house filled with immigrant families, killing eight children and one adult. Witnesses relate terrible images of children tossed out of the windows in a last-ditch attempt to save them. A basement space heater is cited as the cause. [NYT]
• A Barack Obama fund-raiser scheduled for tomorrow in midtown has caused what the Daily News terms a "ticket-buying frenzy." The $100 event at Grand Hyatt will be aimed at "younger people" — for the moneyed elders, there's a $1,000-a-head reception at the same hotel, but earlier. [NYDN]
• Know those ubiquitous, slightly nagging TV ads telling women to vaccinate against the human papillomavirus? Funny thing: None of the city's STD clinics and immunization centers have the vaccine. [MetroNY]
• And now he's a lawyer: George Pataki is joining Chadbourne & Parke, a law firm housed in 30 Rock, as a consultant on environmental issues. Wait, wasn't he supposed to be running for president? [NYP]
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So there it is on today's front page: "State Approves Major Complex For Brooklyn; Vote on Atlantic Yards Caps 3-Year Conflict." And it is correct that the Public Authority Control Board — really George Pataki, Joe Bruno, and Sheldon Silver — yesterday signed off on Bruce Ratner's $4 billion stadium-and-skyscraper project. But what was truly "capped" was a farcical, corrupt political process and three years of irresponsible, lazy coverage by the Times.
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In 2003, George Pataki expected the superstructure of Freedom Tower to have reached its full 1,776 feet by this September. In 2004, he presided over the cornerstore-laying for the building. And yesterday, finally, the first steel beams were installed there. (How is this different than that otherfirst-things-being-installed ceremony a few weeks ago? We seem to recall that one involved concrete rather than steel.) Two beams were the result of yesterday's work — there'll be 27 in total — and they top out some 40 feet below street level. So thanks, Pataki, for that awesome leadership. You've shown the terrorists!
Pataki Finds Satisfaction in New Roots at 9/11 Site [NYT]
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• Where did that come from? The city now projects a $1.9 billion surplus — its largest ever — for the fiscal year that began in July, citing an awesome real-estate market and "sound management decisions" by the mayor. A City Council member even uttered the words "tax cuts." Keep talking. [amNY]
• The police have identified the fourth man who was in the car on the receiving end of NYPD's 50-bullet hailstorm. There's a chance, they say, that the witness may have run off with a gun; he thus appears to be the cops' last hope to somehow justify the shooting. Meanwhile, survivor Joseph Guzman, shot eleven times, denies from the hospital bed having any weapons (according, it must be said, to Al Sharpton). [NYDN]
• Say hi to the much-discussed taxi-fare hike: "Wait time" is now 40 cents a minute, not 20. Count on a temporary cab shortage, as most cars spend the day in line to get their meters adjusted (earning nothing in the meantime). [Newsday]
• Governor Pataki and Governor-elect Spitzer both came out in favor of downsizing New York's hospitals (we're about to lose five in the city, nine statewide). The only real news in that sentence is Spitzer's pronouncement, as Pataki was behind the whole initiative to begin with. "The commissioners did an outstanding job," the Times quotes Pataki saying — via satellite from, of all places, Kuwait. We didn't know they had an early primary. [NYT]
• And this, from the Department of Unenforceable Ordinances: Starting tomorrow, the City Council will make it illegal to toss rechargeable batteries in the trash. The toxic, cadmium-filled things must go back to the manufacturer for recycling. For the remedy — a $50 fine — to kick in, the violator has to be literally caught in the act, the likelihood of which strikes us as extremely slight. [NYP]
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So the big Pataki-pushed plan to overhaul the New York State health-care system is out, and the first order of business is to close nine hospitals statewide — five of them in the city. The doomed hospitals are St. Vincent's Midtown and Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan, Victory Memorial in Brooklyn, Parkway Hospital in Queens, and Westchester Square Medical Center in the Bronx. They're all plotted on the (somewhat squished) subway map above, so if you live near any of those red Xs, you might want to start taking your vitamins. (Those two Xs in midtown, we must say, make us pleased the company provided flu shots. Thanks, Bruce!)
Code Blue for Hosps [NYDN]
Best Hospitals 2006 [NYM]
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George Pataki wants to make the most of his remaining tenure in Albany. And now the state comptroller — that would be our old pal Alan Hevesi — is accusing him of trying to push through, as the gate closes on his governorship, a number of stalled initiatives that will result in billions added to the state's debt.
Financially speaking, New York State is a pretty deep shade of red as it is — there's $3,515 of Empire State debt for every adult resident, compared to $707 in Texas. So maybe this comptroller dude has a point about adding even more. But the problem, of course, is who knows? Is Hevesi the Comptroller ringing the bell on Pataki the Governor's fiscal irresponsibility (you know, like a comptroller is there for)? Or is Hevesi the Dude Who's the Target of Like Three Investigations just lashing out at Pataki the Guy Who Ordered One of Them?
Which makes us realize: Yeah, this guy's toast.
Hevesi Says Pataki Pushing Billions of New Debt in Final Months [amNY]
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We're almost beginning to feel bad for Alan Hevesi, who's clearly about to get dragged over some serious coals in the wake of a misdemeanor so bland it didn't even cost him a reelection. First the governor-to-be Eliot Spitzer withdraws his support and (in his current capacity as the attorney general) launches a probe into Hevesi's wife-chauffeuring ways. Now, governor-not-much-longer-to-be George Pataki is matching Spitzer in the pile-on, unilaterally granting his own investigator subpoena power. The move, which allows the special counsel to collar witnesses and drag them to court if there's ever a trial, is a setup for a State Senate removal proceeding — a rare procedure that will likely end up arranging Hevesi's eviction from Albany. It's also a clear signal to all state authorities to cooperate with the investigation. That said, the trial is unlikely to start this year, because then it would only affect Hevesi's current term. But that's okay: Don't forget that Spitzer's AG investigation is still ongoing, too. Isn't it nice when the incoming and outgoing administrations can agree on something?
Hevesi Inquiry Expected to Get Added Power [NYT]
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Breaking: Tinsley Mortimer shops for her own groceries! Kevin Federline is broke, steals food and booze from a restaurant. Emily Pataki failed the bar exam. How Kennedyesque. Former Tom Cruise sparring partner Brooke Shields is going to his wedding, perhaps as a publicity stunt. Nicole Kidman probably isn't pregnant, Ivanka Trump maybe had a boob job, but Tom DeLay definitely nominated about-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Time's Person of the Year. Dave Chappelle bowed out of a gig for HBO, and HBO isn't happy. Axl Rose brought some strippers to Soho House. Borat's cultural learnings may soon be available in a Barnes & Noble near you. (Meantime, he'd do well to avoid getting into a fight with fellow Kazakh Wladimir Klitschko.) Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance at a London concert; the crowd liked him. George Gershwin and Ed Bradley were honored at Lincoln Center, where it is discovered that Mr. Gershwin used to be quite the ladies' man. Liza Minnelli played a $1 million bat mitzvah pro bono. A former America's Next Top Model winner ditched Tyra Banks as her manager, changed her last name. Angelina Jolie was going to adopt an Indian kid, but Madonna scared her off.
Alan Hevesi's 35-year career in New York politics is, as we all know, melting down (hitting a pothole? getting pulled over? stalling out? various other automotive metaphors?) over revelations he used a state employee to ferry his sick wife around the state. But here's the thing: Maybe what he did ain't actually so bad. According to the new Village Voice such droits de politician are more or less par for the course across in Albany. Astonished? Us either. Early and Often's Jon Dolan lays out all the dirty details.
Everyone's a Passenger in New York Politics [Early and Often]
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