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Michael Bloomberg

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Bloomberg Succeeds in Prying Guns From Warm, Live Hands

• Bloomberg's novel anti-gun initiative — going after out-of-state dealers — is paying off. (It also shows an unusually, um, national-minded thinking from a city mayor). Six gun stores in outlying states have agreed to let court officials monitor their sales; twelve more are being sued into agreement. [NYT] • The Daily News has a cover story that would drive O. Henry to suicide: A Staten Island woman gets the news of her fiancé's death in Iraq, followed two hours later by a FedExed engagement ring from him. We don't normally fall for the human-face-of-war stuff from our tabs, but Christ. [NYDN] • D.J. Carl Blaze of Power 105.1 is in the hospital after getting shot "at least 13 times." The details are murky, and the shooter took Blaze's $20,000 gold chain, but the hail of bullets appears far too excessive for a robbery. [NYP] • A Brooklyn rabbi was cuffed and jailed on child-molestation charges last night, after the lawsuit against him made the papers earlier in the week. The alleged victim is a 9-year-old who claims to have been abused for two years. Neighbors say the rabbi "doesn't fit the criteria." [WNBC] • Demolition is set to begin in a couple of hours on the iconic, conical Revere Sugar Refinery in Red Hook. Thor Equities, which is also building on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint and Coney Island waterfronts, snatched up the factory in a less-publicized deal for $40 million. [amNY]

President Mike?

In this week's cover story, and on the heels of the weekend's news that Hillary Clinton is moving yet another step closer to maybe, eventually admitting she's running for president, New York's John Heilemann considers the possibility of a Bloomberg White House bid in 2008, reporting that the mayor is seriously considering a run and that political pros thinks he'd be a serious contender. Inspired, Daily Intel took to the streets — well, took to Madison Avenue immediately in front of the office — for our first-ever 20-Person Poll. How would Mayor Mike fare in some hypothetical matchups? According to some random pedestrians, not so badly — as long as Hillary doesn't run. Matchup No. 1: Michael Bloomberg vs. Hillary Clinton Clinton: 15; Bloomberg: 5 Matchup No. 2: Michael Bloomberg vs. Barack Obama Bloomberg: 12; Obama: 8 Matchup No. 3: Michael Bloomberg vs. John McCain Bloomberg: 13; McCain: 6; No answer: 1 Matchup No. 4: A three-way race between Bloomberg, Clinton, and McCain Clinton: 14, Bloomberg: 4, McCain: 2 His American Dream [NYM]

Caiman Island

• The 2008 battle lines are just being drawn, and already they look ugly. Richard Collins, a principal donor to Rudy Giuliani's political action committee, also turns out to be the main man behind Stop Her Now: a PAC devoted to tainting the presidential prospects of Guess Who. While not illegal, the situation is ever-so-slightly uncouth, especially as Collins has taken to describing himself as Stop Her Now's "chairman." [NYT] • Seems Mike Bloomberg may actually be overdoing the anti-cop stance after the Queens 50-bullet shooting. The mayor said that the cops should face a Queens jury — a reference to the Albany trial in the Diallo case; the statement didn't sit too well with the officers' families, since there aren't even any indictments yet. Everyone else kinda loves the Angry Populist Mike, though. [NYP] • The belt-tightening program for the New York State health industry, created by a Pataki-led panel, has finally released its report, and the plan would shut down five hospitals in NYC, eliminating 7,000 jobs. City Hall calls the proposal "reasonable," and Spitzer isn't commenting. The rest of us will try extra hard to stay healthy. [NYDN] • Not that anyone expected otherwise, but Coney Island's Astroland Amusement Park has been sold to a huge developer, Thor Equities. The original owners, the Albert family, will keep the octogenarian Cyclone. The rest of the park will close after the 2007 season for "renovations," which we somehow doubt include an expanded Shoot the Freak pavilion. [NYDN, amNY] • And, it wasn't exactly a crocodile in a sewer, but a two-foot caiman in a cardboard box is close enough. The cops found the "feisty," in their words, reptile abandoned on a Brooklyn street. In a lovely touch of local color, its jaws were kept shut via a double-knotted sneaker shoelace. [AP via IHT]

The Inexplicables

• Mayor Bloomberg seems to be making all the right moves in the wake of the 50-bullet NYPD hailstorm that killed an unarmed man in Queens. The mayor called the shooting "unacceptable or inexplicable" during a meeting with the city's black leaders (including Al Sharpton and Charlie Rangel) — unusually strong language considering that all the facts aren't officially in yet. [NYT] • Firefighters doused a fire in the basement of a Bed-Stuy apartment only to find a man's body duct-taped to a bed. It's unclear whether the flame killed the victim or was intended to hide the crime. [WNBC] • Even the most radical proponents of graffiti-as-legit-art would have a hard time defending one Patrick McCormick, whose fifteen arrests alternate between graffiti offenses (his artless tag, seen all over town, is "MAP") and things like robberies and the murder of homeless people. He is now back behind bars after pleading guilty to a relatively mild crime of smashing a subway window with a hammer. What a guy. [NYDN] • In Trenton, the heirs of a wealthy couple that donated $35 million to Princeton in 1961 want the money back. Their reasoning hinges on a claim, which they're taking to court, that the university is misusing the endowment. It's safe to say there goes that honorary degree. [NYP] • And the Whitney is jumping on the High Line: The museum has inked a tentative deal with the city to build a downtown expansion that will also function as the entrance to the trippy park. This appears to mean that all talk of expanding its uptown space is now officially over, and the meatpacking district has ornery UES landmarks boards to thank. [amNY]

Bloomberg Breaks Mayoral Precedent, Suggests Police Attack on Unarmed Man Was Perhaps a Bit Much

Bloomberg just held a press conference about the Queens shooting over the weekend in which cops fired some 50 bullets, killing one unarmed man and injuring two others. "It sounds to me like excessive force was used," said the mayor, and this quote gets headline treatment in the Times. It seems a little obvious that this was excessive, doesn't it? Well, yes. But, then again, it also isn't Giuliani's famous Patrick Dorismond quote: "[The media would] not want a picture presented of an altar boy, when in fact, maybe it isn't an altar boy, it's some other situation that may justify, more closely, what the police officer did." Ah, the march of progress. Mayor Says Shooting Was 'Excessive' [NYT] Giuliani Cites Criminal Past of Slain Man [NYT]

Dan Doctoroff Wanted Olympics, Gets Contaminated Land

There's a well-worn truism about investing in land: It's one thing they're not making more of. Well, Mike Bloomberg is set on overturning that adage. The Bloomberg administration is exploring ways to make more land — or, more precisely, to revamp New York City's current land use, with an eye on potentially freeing up a whopping 1,700 acres for the future generations. The seventeen-member panel, led by our old friend Dan Doctoroff, is especially interested in reclaiming polluted and toxic lands — so-called "brownfields" — through new technologies. Which lands and which technologies? We'll find out by mid-2007, when the panel's findings are made public. Somehow, however, we're sure they'll find plenty of development targets. Doctoroff is, of course, already famous for two massive rezoning projects — Manhattan's far West Side, tied to the failed 2012 Olympic bid, and the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront. Which means he already has plenty of experience with toxic land. Bloomberg Administration Is Developing Land Use Plan to Accommodate Future Populations [NYT]

Breaking: Bloomberg Is Rich!

The busybodies at the New York Sun have calculated our mayor's worth, and they think he's got more than four times what's previously been reported. In September, Forbes put Bloomie on its list of 400 wealthiest Americans at No. 44, with a paltry $5.3 billion. But today's Sun says the mayor's good for about $22.5 billion "and possibly more," making him "perhaps, the wealthiest resident in New York City." Whoa. Bloomberg LP is privately held and doesn't have to report its earnings; we're not entirely sure where its founder gets the extra $17.2 billion or where the Sun gets its figures (although we're sure Mel Gibson has a theory on both). But that's some impressive number-porn. Just for context, this kind of money places the mayor ahead of Rupert Murdoch and the Google guys. It's also a potentially big ka-ching for every good cause in the world, since Bloomberg has made noises about giving his fortune away when he retires. Or he could just buy the presidency. Bloomberg's Worth May Have Soared to Near $20 Billion [NYS]

Bloomberg: Yo Soy Un Berliner

This was a year of firsts for the Latin Grammys, held yesterday at Madison Square Garden: the first year in New York, the first time a woman (Shakira) swept the top four categories, and the first time the ceremony proceeded almost entirely in Spanish. And the most spectacular victim of that last development was Mayor Mike "Boriqua" Bloomberg. The mayor had tested his Spanish at an earlier City Hall press conference, rolling out the impressive "Hoy me siento muy orgulloso al anunciar que la 7a. entrega Anual del Latin Grammy se realizará por primera vez en la Gran Manzana." Sadly, he fared a little worse at the telecast. We'll let the implacable Times tell the tale:
New York City's mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, spoke Spanish when he arrived onstage behind a chorus line of women in red, though he seemed unaware that "Hasta la vista" is a good-bye, not a greeting.
Great. Just what we need: another mayor who doesn't know how to say good-bye. Awards Celebrate a City Pulsing With Latin Sounds [NYT] Bloomberg press release [Univision]

Seek and Ye Just Might Find

It's only two days since Mayor Bloomberg vowed — for the second time — to devote more attention, time, and manpower to sweeping lower Manhattan for 9/11 debris, including human remains. And today brings a brutal reminder that more than mere conscience-cleaning formality is at stake: Three more victims were identified from remains found at ground zero. The city released the names of two; one of them, miraculously, turned out to be Karen Martin, a flight attendant on American 11 stabbed by the hijackers for putting up resistance. The other, Douglas Stone, was a passenger on that same flight. Their families had submitted DNA samples back in 2001 but hadn't heard anything in years; their reactions, as told to the Daily News, betray mostly surprise. "This is really nice," said one relative. "This comes out of the blue," said another. So why isn't the Bloomberg administration trumpeting this news as a major forensic success and a large step toward closure — all thanks to our managerial mayor? Because the city appears to have had all the pieces of the puzzle in place for quite some time -- the remains and the families' DNA samples -- without bothering to do anything about it. Oh, wait. The Bloombergians are trumpeting it anyway. We'll spare you the unseemly chest-beating, but read the last paragraph of the News article if you just can't help yourself. More 9/11 Vics ID'd [NYDN] Earlier: Bloomie Promises a Thorough Search, Again

Bloomie Promises a Thorough Search, Again

Every time New Yorkers start to think of ground zero as your run-of-the-mill star-crossed construction site, along comes a brutal reminder that it's not. And then we do our best to forget the reminder. In 2002, when Con Ed workers pulled a Secret Service bulletproof vest out of a manhole a block from where the Towers stood, Bloomberg vowed a more thorough search for human remains. That search, as Daily News reported then, never actually transpired. Then, a few weeks ago, Con Ed workers again found debris and remains, including a foot-long human bone. And Bloomberg's reaction again? Vow a more thorough search! "It's very possible that something slipped through the cracks," the mayor said yesterday, in a torturously unfortunate turn of phrase. So what's he gonna do now?

Bloomberg Gets Frisky, or Not

Mayor Bloomberg and Diana Taylor got naked in the back of a car. (And it wasn't as exciting as you'd think.) A special-effects guy lost a hand while filming Leo DiCaprio's Blood Diamond. Kelly Ripa says Katie Couric avoids her. Someone took pictures of Jennifer Aniston; Aniston's bodyguard gave chase. A 16-year-old girl posted vaguely illicit photos of herself with Vincent Gallo on her blog; the world got creeped out. Molly Sims and her boyfriend are on the rocks. Barbra Streisand's contract requires bomb-sniffing dogs, "neatly dressed" security guards. Bono buys overpriced jeans because David Beckham does. CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante's adult son made a weird bomb threat on Martha's Vineyard. Ron Perelman had dinner; so did Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson. Liz Smith thinks Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be Time's "People of the Year." People hate Ann Coulter, unless they love her. Everyone hates Heather Mills. "Page Six" refutes reports that Emily White is Giacchetto's ghostwriter, which was reported on "Page Six." The residents of 25 Tudor City Place have an overzealous super and will have a nasty co-op meeting. It's good to be the "Let's get ready to rumble" guy.

Bloomberg Pimps, in Brooklyn

Another day in New York, another presumably doomed campaign against Bloombergian gentrification. This time it's in Red Hook, where residents, business owners, and local electeds say Mayor Mike is "pimping" their waterfront. Seems there's a plan to turn the local piers into a fenced-off world of restaurants, condos, and family-friendly attractions, including, possibly, two salvaged historic ships for tourists to visit — what the Brooklyn Papers is calling a "Disneyesque theme park." Right now those piers host the city's last operational cargo port, run by American Stevedoring, whose director of operations theorizes that the plan — which would evict the company from the city-owned property is just part of a scheme to get union jobs out of New York City. But we most like this quote from a Red Hook resident: "The history of maritime trade is as old as prostitution," he told the Papers, "and it looks like the maritime trades are about to be prostituted." Of course, given the new Fairway, at least they're high-priced whores. Mickey Mouse Plan [Brooklyn Papers]

Ask a Newsstand Guy: Even More Cig Taxes?

New York's pricey smokes might be getting even pricier, with word in today's Post that the city wants to raise its cigarette tax — currently $1.50 per pack — by another 50 cents. We stopped by Mushtaf Ahmed's newsstand, at Third Avenue and 49th Street, where — as a stream of customers stopped by for sodas, candy, and cigarettes — we asked him what this will mean for the city's smokers. Do you think you'll be selling fewer cigarettes? I think definitely the people who generally smoke less, occasional smokers, it affects them, because anybody who smokes occasionally, they will stop. But anyone who is habitual or addicted, he will smoke. The chain smoker won't stop, but the people who smoke a little will stop.

Middle-Class Housing? In New York?!

• Mayor Bloomberg announced the city is buying a 24-acre parcel of land in Long Island City on which to build middle-class housing. Jerry Speyer preemptively bids to buy it in 50 years and turn it into luxury condos. [NYS] • Con Ed technicians working at the ground-zero site yesterday discovered human remains and two wallets in an underground junction box that was allegedly searched years ago. Families groups, no doubt, are thrilled. [NYDN] • Now a handwriting expert says Brooke Astor's signature on the 2004 codicil that bequeathed millions to her son was most likely forged. As if Astor family gatherings weren't awkward enough lately. [NYT] • A job fair intended for Irish immigrants living illegally in the United States is instead drawing mostly Americans interested in working in Ireland, presumably seeking cheaper Guinness. [NYT] • Jeanine Pirro is trailing Andrew Cuomo by 21 points in attorney-general race, new polls show. Campaign strategists now seeking a scandal that will actually win her sympathy. [NYP] • Alas poor Mets. Sigh. [NYDN, NYP]

Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger, Up a Tree

• Now this hasn't happened in a while: Rapper Fabolous is in stable condition at Bellevue after getting shot in a Manhattan parking garage. The would-be assassin and his three friends, who fled in a vehicle, were quickly arrested after running a red light. Update: Now Fabolous is under arrest as well. Developing, needless to say. [AP via amNY] • The Gubernator toured Bloomie's turf yesterday, not two weeks after the mayor's Cali visit. Says the Times in the vintage Times deadpan, "The two men seem to be genuinely fond of each other." We know they're both post-ideological moderate Republicans and all, but this love-in is giving us the heebie-jeebies. [NYT] • You may remember Dean Faiello as the guy who allegedly (a) impersonated a doctor, (b) botched a cosmetic surgery, (c) killed the patient to cover it up, and (d) buried her under his New Jersey house. Well, feel free to remove "allegedly" from that litany. Faiello pleaded guilty in exchange for a twenty-year prison stint. [NYDN] • Queens assemblyman and union leader Brian McLaughlin is expected to surrender today to federal corruption charges. The rap is a rather shopworn classic: contractor bid-rigging, with a side of possible expense-account abuse. [WNBC] • Finally, in case anyone cares, and some of you must, Rangers 4, Devils 2. Oh, come on, people, it's one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports. Or so we're told. [Fox Sports]

Bloomberg Bets Cheapo St. Louis Mayor

Mayor Bloomberg and his St. Louis counterpart, Francis Slay, have made the traditional my-sports-team-is- taking-on-your-sports-team-so-let's-show-off-our-local- delicacies bet, dependent on the fate of the Mets-Cardinals series (finally) kicking off tonight, as Gothamist notes this afternoon. So what are the local delicacies in question? Should the Cards win, Bloomberg will send over a tasty — if not quite healthy — Big Apple cornucopia: Italian subs from Leo's Latticini and Mama's of Corona, ice cream from Eddie's Sweet Shop in Forest Hills, a pizza alla vodka and the Smokin' Goodfella pizza from Goodfella's Pizzeria on Staten Island, a case of Brooklyn Lager, and a tub of lemon ice from the Lemon Ice King in Corona. Generous, right? Now consider what Mayor Slay is promising Bloomberg in the event of a Mets win: "two Imo's thin-style pizzas, toasted ravioli from the Pasta House Company, and a gift basket from Bissinger's Chocolate." Is it our imagination, or is that obviously stingy? And, more than that, does it have anything to do with the Gateway to the West? Come on, St. Louis, throw in some barbecue or custard or something. A Nelly CD, at least? Mayor Bloomberg and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay Announce Friendly Wager on National League Championship Series [NYC.gov] Mr. Met Wants A Better Bet Friendly Wager [Gothamist]

Bloomie's Lawyer Digs Oil, Cigs, Japanese Food

The corporation counsel is the city's top lawyer, and Michael Cardozo, who fills this role for Mayor Bloomberg, has a stock tip for you: diversify. According to recently released financial-disclosure forms, Cardozo — formerly a senior partner at Proskauer Rose — has amassed a wide-ranging personal portfolio, holding positions in more than 140 stocks and mutual funds. Cardozo has stock in Benihana (smart: it's doubled since last year), Winnebago (also up, but he shorted it), and shopping-mall sensation Build-A-Bear Workshop (where you make your own teddy bears; Cardozo shorted it). He's also got stakes in several in major defense contractors (Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications), Big Oil (Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil), and several gold-, silver-, and uranium-mining outfits around the world. Cardozo also holds stock valued between $5,000 and $34,999 in the Tisch family–controlled Loews Corporation's tobacco subsidiary the Carolina Group (it makes Newports). We'd advise him, given his employer, not to try enjoying that investment in a bar. — Geoffrey Gray

Madonna in Malawi; Trump in Traffic

Madonna really has adopted a Malawian kid, and today his name is David, not Luca. Donald Trump got boxed in by a UPS truck. Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King enjoyed the Streisand concert, as did other famous people. The Babs heckler is a stalker, according to Ken Sunshine. And Keith Olbermann's bloggy stalker claims he stood her up. Tara Reid had a bad boob job, isn't always drunk. Cindy Adams tells random baseball stories. Regis Philbin and Michael Eisner had lunch. Mike Bloomberg went to new Hearst building, has never been to new Bloomberg building. Vince Vaughn broke up with Jennifer Aniston last week, now makes out with other chicks. Ex–San Francisco first lady Kerry Kennedy is dating Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar. Kimberly Guilfoyle had a baby. Cindy Adams wore a wig to the airport. Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey got in a fistfight while shooting Grey's Anatomy, then they had a meeting. Hugh Hefner plays dominoes with his girlfriends, and that's actually not a euphemism. Mike Bloomberg will close two lanes of Park Avenue to test-drive an Audi. A Blender writer will listen to "We Built This City" 324 times, for no apparent reason.

Upstate Car Wreck Kills Couple, Breaks Hearts

• A 10-month-old girl is newly orphaned, and in critical condition, after an SUV crossed the median in Orange County and rammed her parents' rental. That the father was the founder of Fandango.com and the mother a rising-star neuroscientist may raise the item's profile, but the fact that they were high-school sweethearts makes it completely devastating. [NYDN] • Affordable housing may be coming to the Lower East Side, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, and elsewhere: Bloomberg wants to make his tax break for developers dependent on the low-cost caveat. Ah, how times change: We remember when half of Dumbo's inhabitants lived there for free. [NYT] • In psycho-killer news, Mark Chapman was denied parole for the fourth time, one day after his victim John Lennon's 66th birthday; and Andrew Goldstein, a schizophrenic who pushed a woman under the N train in 1999, pleaded guilty, saying he knew what he was doing. We guess that's progress? [amNY, NYT] • In what continues to be Stephen Colbert's week of total media domination, Colbert County in Alabama opens "The Stephen Colbert Museum and Gift Shop." Don't read the linked article too carefully, because the author completely sells out a potentially funny bit from a future show. [Montgomery Adviser via Radar] • New bike routes are coming to the city. Except that this is New York, not some hippy-dippy Portland, so our bike lanes are actually "shared lanes" and are basically streets with some stenciling on them. We're sure it's just a coincidence that these new-style stencils look like chalk outlines of flattened bikers. Right? [StreetsBlog]

Chefs Tortured by Possible Foie Gras Ban; De Niro Versus Trans Fat

• In New Jersey, where a big distributor of foie gras is based, a legislator proposes banning the delicacy. Anthony Bourdain ain't gonna take it: "It's like beating up on Julia Child." [AP] • "Some day a real rain will come and wash all the trans fats off the streets"? Bloomberg attempts to rope Robert De Niro into the debate. [Newsday] • Alain Ducasse moves to the former Lespinasse space in the St. Regis hotel and plans decanters modeled after Louis Vuitton trunks. [NYT] • Ruth Reichl: Coming to a multiplex near you. [NYP] • The new face of caviar: scannable sturgeons and fish biopsies. [NYT] • Starbucks rips off the Egg McMuffin. [Dow Jones] • Greenpoint's Café Grumpy rents its back room out to hipstervangelists. [NYDN] • Del Posto, Craftsteak, and Buddakan called out as the principal hells of the meatpacking district: "The assholes are eating assholes. The cocks are eating coxcombs." [Gawker]