Facing unholy approval ratings last week, Governor Spitzer stopped pontificating about his driver’s-license plan and dumped it. Pope Benedict XVI announced that he’d bless the city with a visit next spring, with stops at Saint Patrick’s, ground zero, and Yankee Stadium. Hillary Clinton was accused of playing God with her Iowa town-hall meetings by handing out preapproved questions. City cops very publicly declined to endorse their onetime overlord Rudy Giuliani for president. Alpha editrix Judith Regan sued News Corp., claiming that she’d been canned to protect information about former police commissioner (and ex-flame) Bernard Kerik “that, if disclosed, would harm Giuliani’s presidential campaign.”
Mayor Bloomberg hosted Nancy Reagan at his Upper East Side home. Reporters were invited to, then kicked out of, a Union Club speech by First Brother Jeb Bush. A city councilman proposed a $1,000 fine for feeding pigeons. (His advice to bread-crumb bearers: “Feed [them] in your house and let them crap all over the place in your living room.”) Merrill Lynch named John Thain, a Goldman vet turned NYSE chief, its new CEO. Linda Stein’s accused killer claimed her confession had been coerced. Officials announced that the Big Apple’s first “green” school would grow in Battery Park City. Weathermen predicted an unseasonably warm Gotham winter.
Striking Broadway stagehands gave Jennifer Garner the week off from Cyrano; disappointed tourists, deprived of Little Mermaid and Phantom seats, moped through the theater district. Jorge Posada received $52 million to stay behind the plate in the Bronx for four years, Mariano Rivera wasn’t sure if $45 million over three years would be enough to keep him in pinstripes, and A-Rod, sans agent, turned up in Tampa to make amends with the Steinbrenners. Knicks guard Stephon Marbury blew off the team during a West Coast swing. And Garden deity Mark Messier—who’s said for the record that he’d love to run the Rangers one day—blubbered like a baby through his Hall of Fame induction speech.—Mark Adams