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1  General Category / Sports / Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal on: November 10, 2011, 01:28:01 pm
Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal
      
The Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal involved allegations in 2011 against former Pennsylvania State University football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and allegations of a university cover-up of those incidents.[1] Sandusky, a longtime defensive coordinator under head coach Joe Paterno, retired in 1999 but retained access to Penn State's athletic facilities. A 2011 grand jury investigation reported that Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant, told Paterno in 2002 that he had seen Sandusky performing a sex act on a 10-year-old boy in Penn State football's shower facilities. Paterno then reported the allegations to Penn State athletic director Tim Curley. In November 2011, Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts of molesting eight young boys over a 15-year period. In addition, Curley and university Senior Vice President Gary Schultz resigned after being charged with failing to report the incident to police and lying to a grand jury regarding what they knew about the incident. Paterno and University President Graham Spanier were not charged, but both received criticism for their handling of the allegations. On November 9, Paterno announced he would retire at the end of the season, but hours later, Paterno and Spanier were formally removed from their positions by the Penn State Board of Trustees.
 
   
Background
Sandusky was a defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team for 23 seasons, under head coach Joe Paterno, a position he retired from in 1999.[2] In 1977 he founded The Second Mile, a children's charity, in State College, Pennsylvania;[3] he retired from that organization in 2010. In 1998 he was investigated by Penn State officials for sexual abuse of a child; that incident was not reported to any law enforcement agency.[4] Upon his retirement from the college Sandusky negotiated status as coach emeritus which included an office in, and access to, Penn State's football facilities.[5]
Investigation and charges
/wiki/File:Gerald_Sandusky_Sexual_Abuse_Findings_of_Grand_Jury.png /wiki/File:Gerald_Sandusky_Sexual_Abuse_Findings_of_Grand_Jury.png
/wiki/File:Gerald_Sandusky_Sexual_Abuse_Findings_of_Grand_Jury.png /wiki/File:Gerald_Sandusky_Sexual_Abuse_Findings_of_Grand_Jury.pngIllustration of victims, people with knowledge of crimes, and official responses as of November 9, 2011
On November 4, 2011, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly indicted Sandusky on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys, following a three-year investigation into allegations that he had inappropriate contact with a 15-year-old boy over the course of four years, beginning when the boy was ten years old. The boy's parents reported the incident to police in 2009.[6] A Pennsylvania statewide investigating grand jury identified eight boys singled out for sexual advances or sexual assaults by Sandusky from 1994 through 2009.[7][8] At least 20 of the incidents allegedly took place while Sandusky was still employed by Penn State.[9] The mother of one of the alleged victims said that Sandusky personally admitted to inappropriately touching her son while showering with him on campus in 1998. However, Ray Gricar, Attorney General of Centre County at that time, declined to press charges.[10]
Sandusky was arrested on November 5 and charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse as well as eight counts of corruption of minors, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, seven counts of indecent assault, and other offenses.[11] Two Penn State administrators were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse by Sandusky. Senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, who oversaw the Penn State police department, and Tim Curley, the athletic director, were found to be not credible by the grand jury.[12][13]
Despite the history no criminal charges were brought against Sandusky until after an investigation initiated in the Spring of 2008 when the mother of one of the boys (identified in court papers as "Victim 1") reported the abuse during his freshman year at Central Mountain High School in Clinton County, Pennsylvania. According to court papers Sandusky had been having a relationship with Victim 1 since 2005 or 2006 when the boy was 11 or 12 and the relationship involved "inappropriate touching." Sandusky had met the boy through the Second Mile program. Sandusky retired from Second Mile in 2010.[14]
According to the indictment, in 2002 Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary walked in on a ten-year-old boy (described in court papers as "Victim 2") "being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky"[15] in the Lasch Football Building on the Penn State campus.[14] The next day, he reported the incident to Paterno, who informed Curley. Ultimately, the only action Curley and Schultz took was to order Sandusky not to bring any children from Second Mile to the football building—an action that was approved by school president Graham Spanier. The indictment accused Curley and Schultz of not only failing to tell the police, but falsely telling the grand jury that the graduate assistant never informed them of sexual activity. Since no formal police investigation was conducted at the time, the identity and exact age of Victim 2 is not known. The only formal law enforcement investigation began in December 2010 when McQueary testified before the Grand Jury.[14][2]
Although Penn State prohibited Sandusky from bringing boys onto the main campus in 2002, Sandusky was allowed to operate a summer camp under his name from 2002 to 2008 at a satellite campus near Erie where he had daily contact with boys from fourth grade to high school.[16]
Sandusky is currently free on $100,000 bail pending trial. He could face life in prison if convicted of the charges.[17] Curley and Schultz appeared in a Harrisburg courtroom on November 7, where a judge set bail at $75,000 and required them to surrender their passports.[18]
Media reaction
While Joe Paterno was not accused of legal wrong doing by the grand jury,[7] advocates for sexual abuse victims have called for charges to be brought against him for not contacting the police himself.[19] On November 7, Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said that though some may have fulfilled their legal obligation to report suspected abuse, "somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child," and that, "I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us."[20]
Further, criticism and condemnation of Penn State leadership and Paterno himself, including calls for his dismissal, followed reports of these arrests for their role in "protecting Penn State’s brand instead of a child",[21][22] and allowing Sandusky to retain emeritus status and unfettered access to the university's football program and facilities despite knowledge of the allegations of sexual abuse.[2] In an interview with WFAN, noted sports reporter Kim Jones, a Penn State alumnus, stated that, "I can't believe [Paterno's] heart is that black, where he simply never thought about [Sandusky's 2002 incident] again and never thought about those poor kids who were looking for a male mentor, a strong man in their life."[23] Current TV commentator Keith Olbermann called for Paterno to be immediately fired, saying that "he failed all of the kids—the kid kids and the player kids—he purported to be protecting."[24]
On November 8, 2011, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg published a rare full-page, front-page editorial calling for the immediate resignation of Penn State President Graham Spanier; it also called for this to be Joe Paterno's last season.[25] The same day, an editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called for the resignations of both Joe Paterno and his assistant coach Mike McQueary.[26]
Maureen Dowd, writing a syndicated op-ed, criticized Penn State for allegations that several members of its staff, from the University President down to a graduate assistant, covered up sexual abuse by Sandusky. Dowd compared the alleged cover up to the Catholic Church's reaction to the Catholic church sex scandal.[27]
Impact
Penn State officially banned Sandusky from campus on November 6.[28] The Penn State University Creamery also removed an ice cream flavor named after Sandusky from the menu.[29][30] Later that day, Tim Curley was placed on administrative leave, and Gary Schultz resigned to go back into retirement.[31]
On November 8, 2011, Penn State's Spanier canceled Paterno's weekly Tuesday news conference, which was to have been the coach's first public appearance since Sandusky's arrest. Paterno reported that Spanier canceled the press conference without providing Paterno with an explanation.[32] That same day, The New York Times reported that Penn State was planning Paterno's exit at the close of the college football season. Based on interviews with two individuals briefed on conversations among top university officials, the Times reported: "The Board of Trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Mr. Paterno’s exit, but it is clear that (he) will not coach another season."[33]
The following day, the Associated Press reported that Paterno had decided to retire at the end of the 2011 football season.[34] In a statement announcing his retirement, Paterno said: "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."[35]
After the charges came to light, Spanier issued a statement in which he said Curley and Schultz had his unconditional support, and saying they "operate at the highest levels of honesty."[36] Spanier was criticized for expressing support for Curley and Schultz, and failing to express any concern for Sandusky's alleged victims.[2]
Several Penn State students, angered over Spanier's role in the 2002 incident as well as his statement of support for Curley and Schultz, created a Facebook page, "Fire Graham Spanier," in order to call on Penn State's Board of Trustees to fire Spanier.[37] An online petition at change.org calling for Spanier's ouster garnered over 1,700 signatures in four days.[38] On November 9, The Express-Times of Easton, Pennsylvania, first reported that the Board of Trustees had given Spanier an ultimatum—resign before that night's meeting or be fired.[39][40] Later that day, the board voted to remove both Spanier and Paterno effective immediately.[41][42][43] Following Paterno's ouster, rioting occurred near the Penn State campus in reaction. Approximately 10,000 students and others gathered to support Paterno, with some tipping over news trucks[44] and requiring police to use tear gas. No major injuries were reported.[45]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Sandusky_child_sexual_abuse_scandal
2  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: In Skyscraper at Ground Zero, Sentiment Trumped Numbers on: November 10, 2010, 03:50:00 pm
(Page 2 of 2)



Even so, the building’s economics are still nothing to write home about. One World Trade Center is going to cost somewhere on the order of $1,300 a square foot to build, more than double the cost of most new skyscrapers. And because it is what’s called Class A office space, meaning that everything is top of the line, maintaining the building is also going to be very expensive. My real estate sources say they believe that the Port Authority will need to charge $130 a square foot to break even on the building.

Related
Times Topic: Freedom Tower (1 World Trade Center)But of course the Port Authority can’t possibly charge anything close to that — not in this real estate market or any market in the foreseeable future. The average rent for a downtown high-rise is $55 to $60 a square foot. Even if the Port Authority were able to charge higher, Midtown rents, it would still only be getting, at best, $80 a square foot.

A few weeks ago, the news leaked that the Port Authority was negotiating with Condé Nast to become a tenant in the building. Because Condé Nast is one of the most glamorous companies in New York, it would be a boost to the prospects of 1 World Trade Center to have it in the building. But it won’t be economical: the Port Authority told me that, assuming a deal goes through, Condé Nast would most likely be paying the current market rate for downtown space — that is, less than half what it needed to break even. It will also undoubtedly be locked into that rate for many years. Luring Condé Nast downtown is going to be expensive for the Port Authority.

Not surprisingly, the Port Authority disagrees with my analysis. It points to the fact that it has close to $1 billion in insurance proceeds that it is using to defray the cost of the building. And it says its break-even number is much lower than $130 a square foot.

“It is not going to get a typical developer’s rate of return,” conceded Rich Gladstone, the Port Authority’s point man on the project. “But it will be cash-flow positive.” He insisted that the commuters who pay their $8 a day to cross the George Washington Bridge would never have to support 1 World Trade Center. Of course that’s easy to say now, with the building still two years away from completion.

Still, the Port Authority made another recent move intended to ensure the success of the building. It sold a small piece of the equity in 1 World Trade Center — around 5 percent — to the Durst Organization, for a reported $100 million. It is a great deal for Durst, one of the biggest and savviest commercial developers in New York. (It built the Bank of America Tower, for instance.) Its investment values the building at $2 billion, far less than it cost to build, so if it rises in value, Durst gets the upside. And in return for its $100 million, Durst gets to manage the building for the Port Authority, an arrangement that will allow it to reap fees for everything from finding tenants to reconfiguring office space. It is also a deal filled with a certain, undeniable irony, which has not been lost on anybody in New York real estate circles.

You see, Douglas Durst, the company’s 65-year-old patriarch, has been one of the few people willing to criticize 1 World Trade Center on the record. When the Port Authority was negotiating with those government agencies back in 2006, Mr. Durst told The New York Times that saddling “already overburdened taxpayers of New York with the rent necessary to pay for it makes no sense at all.” He even took out advertisements opposing the project.

When I called Mr. Durst this week, he did not appear to be exactly embracing this newest addition to the New York skyline, even though it was going to put money in his company’s pockets. “I’ve always been against it,” he said. “I have always felt that the private sector should develop and build office buildings” — not government agencies. He pointed out that the original World Trade Center, which had also been built by the Port Authority, took several decades to become even modestly successful. But, he added, since 1 World Trade Center was a done deal, it made more sense to have a company like his operating the building instead of the Port Authority.

“There is a constant need for new office buildings,” he said, in defense of the new building. “The fact that Condé Nast is going to go down there shows that there is demand for it.” As it happens, Condé Nast is currently a tenant in another Durst building, in Times Square, but Mr. Durst insisted that was merely a coincidence. To make the building work, he’ll need a few more coincidences along those lines.

We talked for a while longer about the building and its finances. Mr. Durst said he expected it to become cash-flow positive “by 2018 or 2019,” which struck me as awfully optimistic. Then, before hanging up the phone, he said, “I want to reiterate that, as in the Times Square redevelopment” — another initiative he initially opposed before coming around and making a fortune — “I was against it before I was for it.”

Timing is everything.

3  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: In Skyscraper at Ground Zero, Sentiment Trumped Numbers on: November 10, 2010, 03:49:14 pm


Mark Lennihan/Associated Press
The site of 1 World Trade Center, on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
4  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / In Skyscraper at Ground Zero, Sentiment Trumped Numbers on: November 10, 2010, 03:48:28 pm
In Skyscraper at Ground Zero, Sentiment Trumped Numbers

By JOE NOCERA
Published: September 17, 2010

Timing is everything.

I had originally planned to write this column last week, on the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people who were working in the two buildings that awful morning. The topic is the economics of 1 World Trade Center — the building, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, with one of the most tortured construction histories in New York history — that is finally being erected at ground zero. When it is finished, it will stand 1,776 feet in the air, making it the tallest building in New York.

With an expected completion date of 2013, 1 World Trade Center is the most expensive skyscraper ever constructed in the United States, with a price tag currently estimated at $3.3 billion. By contrast, the spanking new Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan cost about $2 billion. That is pretty much the going rate for building new skyscrapers in New York City. Just to break even, 1 World Trade Center will require rents far higher than the going rate in Midtown, much less downtown New York, where the building is located and where rents are considerably lower.

Since 1 World Trade Center is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, it seems fair to assume that any shortfall between the building’s annual rental income and its carrying costs will most likely be borne by the people who pay the toll to cross the George Washington Bridge, or use the Lincoln Tunnel, or ride the PATH rail system, all of which the Port Authority controls. It also seems fair to say that no private developer in his right mind would build a $3.3 billion high-rise office building in a marketplace that tops out at $2 billion. Only a government entity would do such a thing. My plan was to question whether 1 World Trade Center really made sense for the city and its taxpayers.

But I blinked last week. Even nine years later, the events surrounding 9/11 remain so emotional that it seemed somehow sacrilegious to ask tough questions about 1 World Trade Center on the day of the anniversary. Although the Port Authority claims it changed the name from Freedom Tower precisely because it wanted the building to be viewed as a commercial office building and not a civic symbol, it is difficult to rid the building entirely of its symbolism.

It is, after all, going up on the same hallowed ground where the twin towers once stood. Part of the reason it costs so much is that its first 200 feet are reinforced concrete and steel — designed to deter future terrorist attacks. (Another reason is that it will have a 408-foot spire, allowing it to reach that 1,776 foot mark.)

But as I discovered this week, I’m not the only one who’s been blinking. It turns out that there are plenty of people, including former New York State officials and New York City developers, who believe that 1 World Trade Center is folly. “An emotionally induced misuse of money,” said one such person. “You can only understand this as a political statement,” said another. “It makes no sense as a commercial real estate endeavor.”

Not one of these people, however, would go on the record; there was simply no percentage in it. As a result, the notion that a government agency would spend $3.3 billion constructing an uneconomical high-rise in a depressed market has drawn far less scrutiny than it deserves. Better late than never.



When the twin towers went down, New York City lost 10 million square feet of office space. But the initial impetus to rebuild had less to do with reclaiming that lost office space and more to do with showing the terrorists that we wouldn’t be cowed. Over time, however, as the rebuilding got bogged down in disputes over design and financing, it gradually became clear that the city didn’t really need the 10 million square feet it had lost on 9/11. It had a glut of office space. Rents were falling. Especially after the bubble burst in 2007, commercial real estate developers struggled.

Yet there was never a moment when anyone in government was willing to question whether 1 World Trade Center — with its 2.6 million square feet of office space — still made sense. Former Gov. George Pataki pushed the Freedom Tower — a name he came up with — with every fiber of his being. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg never wavered in his support. Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer came into office professing to be more skeptical of the project, but did nothing to stop it.

In those earlier years, the building’s economics were even worse than they are now. In 2006, with no potential tenants in sight, the Port Authority actually negotiated deals with federal and state agencies to occupy parts of the building at above-market rents. In other words, taxpayers were going to take a hit so that the building could have some occupants. Thankfully, those deals eventually disappeared.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/18/business/18nocera.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=nocera&st=cse
5  Art & Graphics / Art & Graphics / Re: Original Artwork on: July 07, 2010, 04:49:15 pm
Awesome!!
6  General Category / Humor / "You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You": Great Handbook from Top Comics on: July 07, 2010, 01:36:17 pm
"You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You": Great Handbook from Top Comics
By a Plethora of Top Comedians
BuzzFlash.com's Review (excerpt)
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In these pages Fred Armisen offers help telling your dad you’re a lesbian—give him the phone number and he’ll do it for you. Mindy Kaling provides guidance on ending things with your mistress—dude, you totally have to kill her. Rainn Wilson offers insight on contacting that girl you dreamed about last night—he has created all-purpose web portal for such interactions. Amy Sedaris identifies the best way to a man’s heart—bone saw through the chest cavity.

Aziz Ansari, Judd Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bamford, Todd Barry, Samantha Bee, Michael Ian Black, Andy Borowitz, Michael Cera, Vernon Chatman, Rob Corddry, David Cross, Larry Doyle, Paul Feig, Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo, Daniel Handler, Todd Hanson, Tim Heidecker, Ed Helms, Buck Henry, Mindy Kaling, John Lee, Thomas Lennon, Al Madrigal, Aasif Mandvi, Marc Maron, Adam McKay, Eugene Mirman, Morgan Murphy, Bob Odenkirk, John Oliver, Patton Oswalt, Martha Plimpton, Harold Ramis, Amy Sedaris, Michael Showalter, Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, Sarah Vowell, David Wain, Eric Wareheim, Rainn Wilson, Lizz Winstead"

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