Monkey Loose at La Guardia!Breaking! There’s a monkey on the loose in La Guardia Airport! We repeat, monkey on the loose! The Times’ City Room blog reports that the primate disembarked from Spirit Airlines flight 180 from “the Miami–Ft. Lauderdale area.” It’s running amok in the main terminal, but we suspect they’ll catch it quickly: Based on its point of origin, we have to assume it’s traveling down the moving walkway about ten miles per hour under the limit, and with its left blinker on.
UPDATE: The Times was a bit monkey-happy on this one. There was a contraband primate on a flight, apparently, but it was never on the loose. Nonetheless, please continue to enjoy the above picture.
A Monkey on the Loose at Laguardia [City Room/NYT]
the morning line
Mike Bloomberg, Independent
• The political world is waking up to a queasy query — is Mike Bloomberg a Ross Perot or a Ralph Nader (or, one hopes, neither)? Of course, the man himself is no help: He still says he’s not running. [NYT]
• Rudy Giuliani’s campaign, meanwhile, seems to be aiming squarely at the high-school-hooligan vote. First it comes out he’d been booted off the Iraq Study Group for truancy. Now his former South Carolina campaign chairman has been indicted for — are you ready for this? — selling crack. [NYDN]
• If you tried leaving the city last night, you’re, well, probably still here. The three area airports canceled hundreds of flights because of the major thunderstorms blazing from here to the Midwest. [WNBC]
• The new city regulation requiring fast-food places to post calorie count on their menus is now not going into effect until the legal fight over it plays out. So far, it’s had the opposite effect — Quizno’s and White Castle deleted all nutritional info from their Websites altogether. [amNY]
• And two female marriage-license clerks are allegedly terrorizing Bronx couples by refusing to do their jobs and closing the office early. Maybe they’re stealth Dworkinites. [NYP]
the morning line
New Jersey and Stewart Airport, Perfect Together
• The Port Authority has permission from New Jersey’s acting governor to buy or build two new airports outside its normal area of operations. The first one will be Stewart International, 65 miles from New York; next up, Atlantic City? [NYDN]
• The plan to open a secular Arabic-studies school in Park Slope is nearly dead in the face of a massive and misguided outcry from parents and media who thought it would be a madrassa; the Sun, for instance, suggested we “break out the torches and surround City Hall to stop this monstrosity.” [NYT]
• An eBay official is testifying in the Peter Braunstein case to list the items the crazed ex-journalist bid on in preparation for his crimes: firefighter gear, handcuffs, a gas mask, potassium nitrate, a Detroit cop badge, a FDNY sticker, and a camcorder. [WNBC]
• A unique surgery healed a Long Island 3-year-old from a case of the permanent giggles doctors dubbed the Joker Face. (It’s actually a very rare form of epilepsy, caused by a tumor on the hypothalamus.) [Newsday]
• And we’re shocked — shocked! — to report an intern scandal in the halls of power. Republican Mike Cole has become the first-ever assemblyman to get officially censured for spending a night in a female intern’s apartment. Granted, he was merely watching the NHL playoffs there, with a bunch of other people present, but still. [NYP]
the morning line
Not Leavin’ on a Jet Plane
• Jet Blue, the generally beloved low-cost carrier, made a lot of people’s shit lists last night: It stranded hundreds of JFK passengers on the tarmac — on immobile planes — for up to ten hours. On Valentine’s Day. Let’s hope, at least, some romance bloomed in the forced close quarters. [amNY]
• The Daily News is issuing a Cesar Borja mea culpa. The paper that had lionized the late cop the most says it had no factual basis for calling him a “volunteer” (he wasn’t) or implying he had rushed to the WTC site on 9/11 (he didn’t). [NYDN]
• In a development the Post — and just about only the Post — finds “shocking,” it turns out Hillary Clinton had signed a $200K contract with a consulting firm headed by a prominent South Carolina politician days before said politician endorsed her. [NYP]
• That classic New York boogeyman — stray sidewalk electricity — is back. This time, the victim is a pet. Not even twenty minutes of mouth-to-mouth CPR could save the terrier named Boston Bob, apparently electrocuted when he stepped on a manhole cover. [NYDN]
• And speaking of classic boogeymen: Apparently, Son of Sam’s apartment in Yonkers is a bit of a tourist destination — with a Times profile that eerily smacks of a real-estate listing. (“Apartment 7E, a studio with sweeping views of the Hudson River …”) [NYT]
in other news
Stewart Airport: Good for Everyone, Great for Rich People
As you may have heard, the Port Authority is planning to soup up sleepy Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York — that’s about 55 miles up the Thruway — and turn it into the area’s fourth major airport. (The already-crowded Kennedy, La Guardia, and Newark airports are projected to reach capacity in 2020.) Moving to the big leagues will be a major change for the now-underused airport, which currently touts its appearance in an upcoming Denzel Washington movie as a primary claim to fame. But more than just easing congestion for all of us and giving New Windsor something to brag about, the transformation of Stewart will also have one more major effect. The new airport will significantly benefit the area’s posh exurbanite community; local VIPs will be able to dash to L.A. and back to their organic-squash farm without the hassle of swinging by Teterboro. The Catskills: soon to be just like Aspen.
4th Major Hub for Air Traffic Moves Ahead [NYT]
the morning line
One Day, Everything Will Be Named for the ‘Daily Show’ Host
• The Post has “Mob scion” Chris Colombo on tape waxing nostalgic about the days of former New York A.G. Dennis Vacco: “Spitzer is the worst. Vacco was the best. He didn’t care about anything. I had a hook in him.” Oh, the election ad that would have made. [NYP]
• So there’s JFK, La Guardia, Newark and … Stewart? With the Spitz’s blessing, the Port Authority is about to buy an underused airport 60 miles north of the city and turn it into the region’s fourth international hub. Pataki, apparently, hated the idea. [NYT]
• We suppose it was inevitable: The issue of how to list the names of WTC victims on the 9/11 memorial — alphabetically, at random, in weird associative clusters — is now fodder for hysterical TV ads running on NY1. [amNY]
• So there’s this $140 million police-radio system the MTA had been installing in the subways for ten years. It’s done, but the cops won’t use it: Everything sounds “as if you’re talking through a glass of water.” A $140 million glass of water. [NYT]
• And the Daily News somehow “learned,” unprompted by any recent developments, that Thor Equities is planning to redevelop Coney Island as a “glitzy playground” — a plan in the works for years. Let’s not tell the paper about the whole WTC memorial thing; it might upset them. [NYDN]
Coffee, Tea, or a Stained-Glass Window?
For sale: a modernist landmark. Asking price: just $1 million and change.
American Airlines is building a new terminal at Kennedy Airport, and to do so, one of its existing homes — Terminal 8 — must come down. And that means the destruction of a 317-foot-wide stained-glass window in the building — once the largest stained-glass window in the world — unless flight attendant Eileen Vaquilar Clifford can help it.
the morning line
Friendly Skies, Unfriendly Runways
• More reasons to avoid Newark Airport: First a plane plops down on a narrow taxiway instead of a landing strip. Now two jets clip each other’s wings on a runway while one is taxiing and another is being towed. No injuries, but what the hell? [amNY]
• A teenage trick-or-treater was killed in a hit-and-run after being chased onto Harlem River Drive by a knife-brandishing attacker. In a moment of discord, the Times puts the victim’s age at 13, the AP at 15, and the Daily News at 16. [NYT, AP via amNY, NYDN]
• In other Halloween news: Two million took to Sixth Avenue to gape at 50,000 costumed marchers, one reveler got stabbed after catching his girlfriend parading with another man, and, of course, someone had to come to school in a Hitler costume, which he’s now defending as “satire.” Lovely. [NYDN, NYP]
• George Steinbrenner was rushed to the hospital after reportedly fainting while watching his granddaughter perform in a college play. He’s fine, but the performance got canceled amid the ruckus. It may be worth noting the granddaughter was playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret. [WNBC]
• Historical, yes; preservationist, not so much. The New-York Historical Society wants to build a glassy 23-story tower behind its palatial HQ as part of a renovation. The haughty neighbors are predictably up in arms over blocked park views. Perhaps they could drop that annoying hyphen as a compromise? [NYT]
the morning line
Work Hard. Fly Right. Land Wrong.
• A Continental pilot misses the runway at Newark, and the Post, still giddy from yesterday’s circulation figures, lands a scoop. The jet skidded to a stop on a short, narrow taxiway instead of a proper landing strip. Everyone’s puzzled as to why and how. [NYP]
• Bloomberg spent Monday in Connecticut, spreading his independent, bipartisan, post-ideological magic — in other words, shilling for Joe Lieberman while trying to convince the voters he’s not laying groundwork for a presidential bid at all. [WNBC]
• Over 2,000 HIV-positive needy people will avoid a steep rent raise in their subsidized housing — but only at the last possible minute and after a heated battle in court. Housing Works, which you know as a kind of high-end Goodwill, sued the city on the tenants’ behalf. [amNY]
• OMG! There’s a barge in the East River! And there’s a swimming pool right on the barge! How darling! And just in time for, well, the time of year when you won’t get us into an outdoor pool with a shotgun. [NYT]
• Finally, a public service announcement: The Empire State Building will keep its observation decks open unusually late — until 2 a.m. — all through the holidays. So feel free to reenact your favorite moments from An Affair to Remember — or King Kong, if that’s your fancy — in bitter December cold at 1 a.m. [NewYorkology]