Closing Parks Could Cost State Millions: Feds

Federal officials have warned Gov. David Paterson’s administration that New York could lose millions of dollars in funding if it goes forward with plans to close dozens of state parks and historic sites.

The National Parks Service warned Paterson in a letter that closing any state parks that receive federal funding could jeopardize the state’s eligibility to receive future money from the agency. The agency also warned that it could request all federal funds be withheld, including money for education and transportation.

In an open letter Friday, the governor said he would ask the commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to meet with National Parks Service officials to make certain that any spending reductions don’t jeopardize the state’s eligibility for funding.

“In an environment when we have to cut funding to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and social services, I trust that the National Park Service understands that no area of State spending, including parks and historic sites, could be exempt from reductions,” the letter said.

In a letter dated March 31, the agency’s regional director for the northeast region, Dennis R. Reidenbach, wrote to the governor, saying that because most of the state parks and sites had received money under the Land and Water Conservation Fund or the Federal Lands to Parks Program, closing them would be a violation of rules.

“The public has no less need for recreation opportunities and access to open space in times of economic hardship,” Reidenbach wrote in the letter.

The letter was posted on the Facebook page of U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, an upstate congressman, earlier this week.

The Paterson administration plans to close 41 parks and 14 historic sites because of a projected $9 billion deficit.

The National Parks Service has offered to help Paterson’s staff find ways to avoid shutting the parks while still dealing with funding shortfalls.

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Long Island Infant Dies After Becoming Tangled In Blinds

A 2-year-old child on Long Island died Saturday after becoming tangled in and suffocating from the chain cord of venetian blinds.
Police were called to the family’s home in Holtsville just before 3 p.m. Friday. When police arrived, the father was administrating CPR on his 2-year-old son, Brendon McCarthy. McCarthy was transported via ambulance to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he died Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
Police are still investigating how the child got tangled in the cord.

A 2-year-old child on Long Island died Saturday after becoming tangled in and suffocating from the chain cord of venetian blinds.
Police were called to the family’s home in Holtsville just before 3 p.m. Friday. When police arrived, the father was administrating CPR on his 2-year-old son, Brendon McCarthy. McCarthy was transported via ambulance to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he died Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
Police are still investigating how the child got tangled in the cord.

Black and white meets new technology at photo show

Traditional black and white is sharing the spotlight with color and new digital formats at a major international photography show that runs through Sunday in New York.

“There are two different audiences, but they are certainly coming together more than they have in previous years,” said Stephen Bulger, a Toronto gallery owner and president of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), which organized the show.

“For the most part, people who were collecting black and whites in the 1970s and 80s were not interested in color at all. Then they were worried about the longevity of it. But now the camps are coming together.”

The show, which opened Thursday, features works from more than 70 major photography galleries, including a wide range of museum-quality work, modern and 19th century photographs, photo-based art, video and new media.

The New York show is the longest running and among the most important exhibitions of fine art photography.

The works range from those of digital media artist Shirley Shor, whose alternating images of a man’s and a woman’s face is listed for sale at 20,000 dollars, to the 1856 black and white still life of early French photographer Adolphe Braun.

“It is only a bouquet of flowers, but the range of tones between black and white is impressive for the period, and this photo remains intact after 150 years,” said Paris gallery owner Jonas Tebib, who lists the print at 6,000 dollars.

The highest price tag of the show goes to a unique 1921 print by US photographer Edward Weston, who died in 1958. This is the first time Weston’s photograph of a naked woman’s bust is shown in public, and the owner is asking for 650,000 dollars.

Andy Warhol’s black and white photographs from 1976 to 1979 are displayed by Steven Kasher Gallery, which is also showing the first ever prints of autochrome prints, from the National Geographic collection dated 1907-1925.

Mayoral Candidates Stress Importance Of Voter Turnout

New York DecidesMayoral candidate William Thompson stumped through Brooklyn Saturday morning with fellow Democratic candidates John Liu, who is running for city comptroller, and Bill de Blasio, who is running for public advocate.

They greeted voters and held a “get out the vote” rally in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Thompson also campaigned with Senator Charles Schumer at the Grand Army Plaza Farmers Market in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

A Marist Poll released Friday shows the mayor leading Thompson 53 percent to 38 percent among likely voters, but the Democrat said he thinks the mayor still has cause for concern.

“This is all about turnout and really a question of who comes out and votes,” said Thompson. “So I think he’s concerned, not just because his votes may stay home, I think he’s concerned about the change that people in New York City are indicating all across the city. They’d like to see a new mayor, they’d like to see change in City Hall.”

The mayor attended Saturday a “get out the vote” rally in Flushing, Queens and Halloween parades in the Bronx and Queens.

Mom, Boyfriend Arrested in Death of Brooklyn Boy, 4

A Brooklyn mother and her boyfriend have been charged with murder in the beating death the woman’s 4-year-old boy.

The victim, Jayden Lenescar, was found unconscious in the living room of his mother’s apartment in Crown Heights Friday.

Officers responding to an emergency call from the boy’s mother, Myrna Chenphang, 25,  took him to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner says the cause of death was blunt impact injuries to the torso and extremities. His death was ruled a homicide.

After the autopsy results were released, Ms. Chenphang and her boyfriend Steven Dadaille, were each arrested and charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault, the police said.

Jayden’s father tells the Daily News on Saturday that he hadn’t seen his son in two weeks. Mackenzy Lenescar says he has no idea what happened to the boy and detectives said they don’t think he was involved.

The city’s Administration for Children’s Services is also investigating.

Man Charged in LI Church Robbery

ISLAND PARK, N.Y. (WPIX) – A Long Island man has landed himself a spot behind bars for allegedly stealing religious artifacts and donations to the poor from a Roman Catholic church in Island Park, Nassau County police said.

Michael Czarnecki, 53, is accused of breaking a back window of the Sacred Heart church on Long Beach Road Friday night around 10:40 p.m.

He is accused of making off with items from the institution’s “poor boxes.” In addition, he allegedly stealing various artifacts worth an undetermined amount of money.

Czarnecki is being charged with burglary and criminal mischief. He was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Sunday.

Kerik Corruption Trial Postponed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (WPIX) – The first of three federal trials for disgraced, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has been postponed. Jury selection was to begin Tuesday in the corruption case; but that’s now been pushed back to Oct. 26., according to a report by the Associated Press.

Prosecutors contend Kerik, 54, accepted renovations on his Bronx co-op as part of a quid pro quo arrangement with a company looking to do business with the city.

The second trial will deal with tax evasion, while the third will focus on claims Kerik lied to the White House, when he was being considered by the Bush Administration back in December 2004 for the post as the first Secretary of Homeland Security.

Kerik’s defense team is reportedly banned from making specific references to the 9/11 terror attacks, that made Kerik out to be a national hero. The judge ruled such references were irrelevant to his case.

It’s still not known if Kerik or former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, his mentor and former business partner, will testify.

Kerik served as the NYPD Commissioner from 2000 to 2001. Before that, he headed up the city Department of Correction for three years.

If convicted, Kerik is looking at a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.