Culver City Observer -

Look What's Happening In New York

 

November 26, 2015



By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Let’s say you are in River Edge, New Jersey and let’s say it’s between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Well, let’s say you’d better drive to another town because by ordinance the 7-Eleven is closed. I know 7-11 is normally open 24/7 but when 500 residents sign a petition citing quality of life concerns, strange things happen at city hall.

New York City is limited by state law to 150 red-light cameras and 140 speed cameras. What’s a speed camera? Many of us just do not know or ever heard of speed cameras. The legislature passed a law that speed cameras can be located only near schools. They can only be activated 30 minutes before the start of the school day and shut down 30 minutes after dismissal. Now that revenue is falling off, crafty city officials plan to move 30 red-light cameras to new secret locations as they play cat and mouse with drivers who have figured out where the “gotcha” gadgets are hidden.

Oh, my. Citizens of the Big Apple or, as it is also known, New York City, recently paid David Ranta a settlement of $6.4 million for spending 23 years behind bars because it is alleged New York Police Detective Louis Scarcella trumped up evidence. The Ranta case was one of more than 50 conducted by Scarcella that were officially scrutinized by the DA for alleged malpractice. To be continued as more information becomes available.

Ever wonder what happened to the SS United States? The historic cruise ship is moored in Philadelphia and needs $60,000 per month to stay afloat, according to the conservancy trying to maintain the famed ship. If the project is unsuccessful the SS United States could be headed to the scrap heap.

Theodorsia and I were touring Northern California in September and stopped in Santa Rosa to see the Charles M. Schulz Museum regarding the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, with characters Lucy, Linus, Sally, Snoopy and Charlie Brown. It is amazing. Do yourself a favor and stop, but not on Monday when it’s closed. Call (707) 579-4452. It’s at 2301 Hardies, at the corner of West Steele Lane.

You just know Cousin Neil is going to tell all you ladies about the medicine Duavee which, according to Public Citizens’ September 2015 issue of Worst Pills, Best Pills News, contains two active ingredients which may increase the risk of blood clots. I just renewed my print version, but for $12 a year you can read the about the more than 500 updated drug profiles, breaking news, alerts and more on the Web (www.worstpills.org).

From the Wednesday, September 23 Ukiah Daily Journal, soon Mendocino County will be taking on line requests for public documents, so presumably that’s launched by now. Requests may also be submitted directly through the next request website. A video can be found at http://www.nextrequest.com/#video.

Please excuse me while I get refocused. As a former U.S. Army Armored Cavalry Sergeant I take a lot of pride in the military. Sooooo, quoting from the Army Times, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point is ranked the Number 2 top public college in a report from the U.S. News and World Reports 2016 edition of Best Colleges.

The report, released September 9, also ranked West Point at No. 3 for engineering programs overall, No. 2 for civil engineering and No. 4 for mechanical engineering. West Point was ranked No. 22 Best Liberal Arts College overall among both private and public colleges. The academy ranked No. 1 among high school counselors’ picks for national liberal arts colleges and No. 2 for top public colleges.

Recently there have been articles regarding a self-driving car, but did you know that for years John Deere has been selling tractors that practically drive themselves for use on farms in America’s heartland? The farmer drives the first curved row to teach the layout to the tractor’s guidance system, but after that the tractor is allowed to finish with no hands on the steering wheel. Deere is selling auto-steering and other self-guidance tech in more than 100 countries (Andrea Peterson-Washington Post).

Doctor Oz says, “Brushing too often (or too hard) can cause excessive wear and tear on your pearly whites.” Surprisingly, your toothbrush’s rough bristles aren’t only to blame – your toothpaste can also be a culprit. Most brands contain abrasive compounds such as calcium carbonate and hydrated silica to remove plaque, food debris and surface stains; however, when toothpaste is used too much, the compounds may strip away enamel, especially if you have just eaten something acidic. Brushing twice a day is good enough, and don’t forget to floss!

According to The Economist, the Chinese launched intelligent trainers (shoes) that log the user’s movements with a motion sensor. Is it possible the CIA or the FBI is using this discovery in athletic shoes already?

Anaheim in 2014 voted to institute district – based elections in which council members must live in the area they represent and be elected only by voters in that district.

Recently Fullerton officials have settled a lawsuit alleging their city at-large elections violate the California Voting Rights Act, and have agreed to create a district – based system that would then need voters’ approval, per the Los Angeles Times.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at http://www.culvercityobserver.com by placing Rubenstein in that website’s search box.

 

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