Monthly Archives: December 2013
A scheming newlywed husband duped his wealthy Manhattan bride into withdrawing $744,000 from her trust fund to pay off his supposed gambling debts to mobsters when in reality he lavished the money on his New Jersey mistress, the scorned wife alleges in a stunning lawsuit against the duo.
“Steven Lalicata was stealing the money to live a double life,” Candice Feinberg, 39, claims in her $10.7 million Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit against her estranged hubby and his lover.
Earlier this month Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Anil Singh refused to let the alleged mistress, Englewood, NJ resident Diana Fernandez, out of the case.
Fernandez, 30, a Bank of America employee who allegedly boasted of Lalicata’s fellatio skills in a text to his wife, according to the suit, had pleaded ignorance about her boyfriend’s scheme to the judge.
But Judge Singh didn’t buy her story, finding that the facts of the case “are clearly sufficient” to show that Fernandez played a role in the elaborate ruse.
The scheme started shortly after Feinberg, a divorced mother, married Lalicata, who had been working at Beach Bum Tanning Salon on the Upper West Side [what could possibly go wrong? – Ed] in March 2011.
Shortly after he said “I do” Lalicata allegedly conspired with a cousin and a friend to concoct “an elaborate scheme to steal large sums of money” from Feinberg.
After Lalicata claimed that the Howard Beach gangsters were threatening to hurt him, his wife dipped into her trust fund to bail him out.
Feinberg is the daughter of retired garment industry executive Herbert Feinberg who is credited with inventing seamless panties.
Toward a Feminist Postcolonial Milk Studies (Actual Title)
The author of this “academic” article is one Greta Gaard, described as:
Greta Claire Gaard (born 1960, Hollywood, California) is an ecofeminist writer, scholar, activist, and documentary filmmaker. Gaard’s academic work in the realms of ecocriticism and ecocomposition is widely cited by scholars in the disciplines of composition and literary criticism. Her theoretical work extending ecofeminist thought into queer theory, vegetarianism, and animal liberation has been influential within women’s studies. A cofounder of the Minnesota Green Party, Gaard documented the transition of the U.S. Green movement into the Green Party of the United States in her book, Ecological Politics. She is currently a professor of English at University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a community faculty member in Women’s Studies at Metropolitan State University, Twin Cities.
Roger Kimball discusses Miss Gaard’s article and its sponsoring organ, American Studies Association. In brief, he sees the ASA, its demand for the boycott and banning of Israeli scholars, its profoundly anti-American animus and even its giving daylight to this bit of dribble as proof that the days of taxpayer-subsidized higher education are numbered.
God, I hope he’s right. In the meantime, if you’re wondering why that brilliant scholar of yours has a graduate degree and no job prospects, wonder no longer.
Paul Banwell, a BAAPS spokesperson and surgeon at his practice Banwell Clinic in East Grinstead, said: ”About half of the patients I see in my practice want the operation for function, due to discomfort and problems with exercise, cycling and riding. The other 50 per cent want it purely for aesthetic reasons and to boost their self-confidence.’
He added: ‘I think these statistics reflect general trends in cosmetic surgery. In particular, they reflect a trend in my own practice. I have seen an even higher increase – one of more than 200 per cent in last 12 months.
Is it possible that there’s been a sudden doubling of women seeking this surgery “for function”, or have women discovered a way to get free cosmetic surgery? Is it possible that you and I will be paying for this next year? Count on it: to deny them would be gross sexism.
A mother-of-two has been beaten to death while house-sitting for millionaire friends in their £1.6million mansion in an idyllic seaside village used as the backdrop for ITV’s Midsomer Murders.
The 55-year-old victim, Valerie Graves, died after suffering a serious head injury in the six-bedroom detached property in Bosham, near Chichester, West Sussex.
The divorcee, of nearby Bracklesham Bay, was found dead at 9.50am on Monday after house-sitting with her partner, mother and sister while the owners were on holiday over Christmas.
Police are yet to make an arrest in connection with her death and have not ruled out that she could have been murdered in a botched burglary.
Tom’ll figure out what I already have: the boyfriend did it.
UPDATE, Jan. 2nd: I was close – the police are concentrating on the victim’s ex-boyfriend.
City bans all smoking in public parks, including cemeteries and Boston Common, immediately. The ban extends to e-cigarettes, because “ordinary, decent citizens just can’t stand the sight of anyone even pretending to smoke a cigarette”, Mayor Thomas Menino told FWIW – “we call it visual/mental pollution, and studies have shown it’s almost as deadly as observing someone sipping from a 20-oz soda cup.”
Boston Council members admitted that the primary purpose of the ban is to discourage smoking. No mention of when the citizens who gave politicians a limited power to make decisions for them extended their grant to include personal health, but “mandatory flossing is next”, Mayor Menino promised. “Have you any idea of the cost to society of tooth decay?”
Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands
Icebergs and spectacular glaciers, sightings of orca and sperm whales and the opportunity to get close to human-sized penguins and elephant seals are among reasons expedition cruisers are attracted to the stark landscape of the “Great White Continent.” What you won’t find here are many people.
There will be even few people to Bloomberg readers to chat up now that the global warming scientists trapped in ice down there are abandoning ship and preparing to be evacuated by helicopter. “This just proves our theory that Antarctica’s ice is melting”, expedition spokesman Alan Stone told FWIW, “er, somehow – it just depends how you look at it.”
Probably not, given the inaccuracies of computer models (see, e.g., global warming) but if everything cooperates, Thursday and Friday should be a doozy. Keep your shovel by the ready or, for you Greenwich residents, the martinis stirred and the number of your plowman handy.
I’m heading out of town now to be thwarted once again by hooved rats with brains the size of peas, should be back tomorrow night. I don’t do “Amateur Night”, so look for me bright and early New Years Day.
The WSJ reports on areas as geographically diverse as Oklahoma, Colorado and California, where home owners are now back above water. It sounds sort of like Greenwich writ large: some areas; Riverside comes to mind – are way above the old record levels, others; mid country, for instance, still lag.
All real estate, like politics, is local.
Values are up more than 13% from their 2007 high in Oklahoma City and by more than 6% in the Denver metro area. Prices are back to all-time highs in 10 of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of price data from Zillow, an online real-estate information service. Prices are within 5% of their previous peak in San Jose, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Dallas.
The 10 metro areas enjoying a full-scale rebound are based on figures for the entire region. The Wall Street Journal also analyzed Zillow price data individually in more than 4,400 cities and towns in the country’s largest metro areas. Nearly 10% of municipalities have seen prices reach new highs this year when compared with their previous peak, and prices are within 5% of their previous highs in 300 more.
These cities are largely exceptions, and prices in many parts of the U.S. are still well below their peak. In some 1,500 cities, values are still at least 25% lower than their previous highs. Nationally, values fell 23.8% between 2007 and 2011 before rebounding 9.9% after hitting bottom in late 2011; they are now 16.3% below the high of the last decade, according to Zillow.
The Zillow data also reveal the extreme variation—even within a particular metropolitan area—of the housing boom, bust and recovery. Prices are up 40% from their prior highs in Palo Alto, Calif., which is just 50 miles from San Pablo, a working-class suburb north of Oakland. Values there are still 54% below their peak. While 38% of all Bay Area ZIP Codes are back above their prior peaks, prices in another 18% are more than 25% below their previous highs, according to the Zillow data.
Chris R sends along this notice of auction for some of the late Malcolm Pray’s car collection. Star of the show, 1937 Delahaye 135
Stephanie’s in St. Bart’s again, looking great. And apparently she’s made up with Buddy Hackett again, who can be seen in the lower right corner, oiled up like a pig. Sooeee.
Former New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has used social media to hint at a comeback.
The politician, whose embarrassing sexting scandals saw him resign from Congress in 2011 and lose the mayoral election this year, wrote on his Facebook page that he ‘hopes to keep the band together.’
‘What’s next? I’ll keep you posted on my plans. But I hope we keep the band together,’
To Facebook friends and followers, he gave words of thanks for their support and for being ‘an amazing resource.’
The response was less than enthusiastic.
‘Hey, bro! Don’t you have some personal issues to deal with before you get back into public life?’ wrote one.
Another requested that he ‘Please do not contact me again!’
All politicians are narcissists, it seems to me, but Wiener is truly their poster boy.
Much to the chagrin of man-made global warming activists who want to tie every weather event to so called ‘global weirding’, 2013 has turned out to be one of the “least extreme” weather years in U.S. history. See: New Study: ’2013 ranks as one of the least extreme U.S. weather years ever’– Many bad weather events at ‘historically low levels’
‘Whether you’re talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the US are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels.’
Extreme Heat: The number of 100 degree days may ‘turn out to be the lowest in about 100 years of records’
Hurricanes: ‘We are currently in the longest period (8 years) since the Civil War Era without a major hurricane strike in the US (i.e., category 3, 4 or 5)’ ( last major hurricane to strike the US was Hurricane Wilma in 2005)
The latest data show both tornadoes and now wildfires in dramatic decline.
Now’s the time for the religionists to shriek, “single events have nothing to do with long term trends”, and I agree, but since it is those same religionists who cite every hurricane, every tornado, every wild fire as “proof” of global warming, I can’t resist the temptation to slap them in the face with contrary data.
Policy can’t change weather.
Towns all over Britain are blowing millions of dollars on wind turbines that are generating almost no revenue and will take hundreds of years to pay for themselves, reports the UK Telegraph.
The Telegraph reports that UK localities are spending hundreds of pounds installing wind turbines in an effort to boost renewable energy generation and fight global warming.
“Some turbines generate so little energy they would take hundreds of years to repay their original value” reports the Telegraph. “Experts argue that the failure of some wind turbines to recoup their value shows how small wind turbines are a poor way to generate renewable energy.”
In fact, only three out of a handful of localities that responded to the Telegraph’s inquiries had wind turbines with payback periods of less than ten years.
The locality of Eastleigh, Hampshire spent nearly $50,000 installing a wind turbine in 2005, but the inefficient turbine only generates about $21 worth of power every month — meaning the payback period on this turbine is 190 years.
In Leeds, officials spent about $102,000 on a wind turbine in 2009 at an inner city sports facility, but the turbine did not generate any power last year. In Derbyshire, a $147,000 turbine was built in 2004 but has not produced power since September 2011.
“Wind energy is an experiment, and sometimes the lessons learnt are hard and dearly bought,” Dr. John Constable, director at the Renewable Energy Foundation, told the Telegraph. “The truth is that foolishly ambitious targets and silly levels of subsidy have overheated the wind industry, resulting in defective technologies and poor installations.”
Constable added that smaller wind turbines were only expected to last up to 15 years, meaning that virtually none of the ones the Telegraph investigated would pay for themselves.
One Welsh turbine was sited in such a calm area that it only generates about $8 worth of electricity every month — a 452-year payback period.
“If this project had been started when Elizabeth I was on the throne, it would only be reaching break-even point now, sixty years into the reign of Elizabeth II,” Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the Daily Express. “It would seem that the turbine’s installation was nothing more than an obscenely expensive vanity project, with unwitting taxpayers footing the bill.”
Here in the US the same inanity is going on, also courtesy of the taxpayer. Here’s a list of windmill projects in Massachusetts, ranging from a wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard that will dwarf the Hyannis project that has the Kennedys so worked up, to a convent’s single pole to a UMass gesture towards green. If the authorities at GHS really want their students to study alternative energy, they’d do better assigning them to study the economic benefits of these windmills, rather than dick around with a token solar installation on the gymnasium’s roof.
“The excuses simply don’t cut it and what UPS and FedEx and others should do is offer refunds right away to consumers whose Christmases were made less cheery because of late delivery,” Blumenthal told WCBS 880. “There’s an implicit obligation when a company promises on-time delivery for a holiday to make sure the gift arrives for Christmas, not a day after because it’s certainly a real downer if they’re deprived of on-time delivery.”
UPS carefully plans how it will handle the holiday peak. Extra resources such as additional cargo planes had been lined up as “hot spares”—company lingo for aircraft that could be fired up quickly in case of a logistics emergency. But it ran into a confluence of factors. Retailers have been encouraging online sales, which have grown much faster than retail sales overall. And retailers likely contributed to the logjam by offering some of their best discounts late in the season in a final push for sales. Many chains dropped prices on the final Saturday before Christmas to levels below what they were offering on Black Friday, according to Simeon Siegel, an analyst with Nomura Equity Research.
That, coupled with retailers’ promises of just-in-time deliveries, encouraged many shoppers to put in orders at the last minute. People buying from more than 70 retailers including Toys “R” Us Inc. and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., whose online shipping is handled by eBay Enterprise, were able to place Web orders as late as 11 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23, a full 24 hours later than last year.
The result was a surge in online sales shortly before Christmas. UPS had been forecasting an 8% average rise in its daily shipping volumes during the holidays. But online sales in the last weekend before Christmas jumped by 37% from the year before, according to data from IBM Digital Analytics. On Monday Dec. 23, growth in online orders spiked by 63% from the year before, according to Mercent Corp., which works with more than 550 retailers. By comparison, overall sales of holiday goods rose 2.3% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, according to preliminary data from MasterCard Inc. Spending Pulse unit.
To cope, retailers shifted more orders from shippers’ ground delivery to their air networks to get gifts to customers in time to put them under the tree.
Mercent CEO Eric Best said some of his clients experienced delays.
“It’s easy to blame UPS, but it’s the retailers that are pushing these next-day shipping offers in the final hours of the shopping season,” Mr. Best said. “Retailers are driving consumer expectations to get stuff they ordered by the next day and the later shoppers wait, the harder it is to predict.”
None of which eases the disappointment of buyers whose Christmas gifts arrived a day late, but it seems that UPS executives and managers put far more effort into planning for the Christmas rush than the Chief Executive of the United States did for his namesake healthcare program. Where’s Dick’s outrage on that?
After a prominent retired Israeli general spoke out against IDF withdrawal from the Jordan Valley, Israeli media reported that the Obama administration’s head envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk, convened a meeting of Israeli security officials. He pressured them to drop their objections to the plan and make media appearances in support of it to help sell a skeptical Israeli public on the benefits of a reduction in security.
Hey, it works here, but Israel doesn’t have a captive press, as Obama does.
While millions of Britons clean their homes after the Christmas period a retired couple will be using a 88-year-old hoover which also paints, grinds coffee – and even minces meat.
Mary Waite, 61, and her husband Ivor, 63, have been using their Piccolo multi-purpose appliance since it was given to them as a wedding present in 1976.
Remarkably, the plastic and metal gadget, which does four household chores in one, was built in 1925 but still works today and has never broken down.
It was made by German company Hammelmann Werke in the early 20th century and was promoted as the future of household appliances.