WHY YANKEES CAN’T SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST THIS YEAR. KLAPISCH, S-1 50 Cents TUESDAY August 23, 2011
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Doctor stabbed daughter, cops say An allergist has had her medical license suspended after being accused of stabbing her teenage daughter with a screwdriver more than 100 times. Authorities say Dr. Sylvia S. Lee of Emerson was angry at her adopted daughter for failing to properly wash her dog’s clothes. Lee had offices in Wayne and Old Bridge. She admitted she had a problem and had hit the child in the past, including when the girl brought her masking tape when she had asked for Scotch tape. She faces felony charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. — Complete story on L-1
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Doubts sink maid’s sex case
Troops loyal to Gadhafi not going without a fight
Former IMF chief may go free today By JENNIFER PELTZ and TOM HAYS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK — For all that had been revealed as prosecutors moved Monday to drop their sexual assault case against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn, they said they couldn’t answer the central question: what happened between him and a maid in his luxurious hotel suite. In a 25-page court document, Manhattan prosecutors described the lies and inconsistencies they said had shattered the housekeeper’s credibility, delved into DNA evidence they said showed sexual contact but not necessarily a forced encounter, discussed why they saw medical findings as inconclusive and discussed their findings in sometimes exhaustive detail. But in a footnote, they noted that the rundown didn’t “purport to make factual findings” about whether there indeed was an attack, as the maid has claimed. “Rather,” they said, “we simply no longer have confidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.” With that, the district attorney’s office asked a judge to put an end to a case that created a worldwide sensation. A formal dismissal is expected at Strauss-Kahn’s court date today, though the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, is asking the judge to boot the DA’s office off See CASE Page A-4
Survey charts the generation gap Remember when the initials LBJ referred to President Lyndon B. Johnson? Today, according to this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, they make teenagers think of NBA star LeBron James. That is just one of more than 70 references on the compilation intended to remind teachers that college freshmen born mostly in 1993 see the world in a much different way. The list’s authors also note that technology has only accelerated change and further compressed the generational divide. — Complete story on A-4
4 alleged insurgents killed in Pakistan Four alleged insurgents were killed by a suspected U.S. missile strike Monday in a militant stronghold near the Afghan border. The area is home to militants from the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban and foreign Islamist fighters. Elsewhere, a fleet of NATO trucks carrying fuel to Afghanistan were attacked and set ablaze by militants near the Pakistani border. — Complete story on A-9
3 years for ex-CEO from Saddle River The former head of the Duane Reade drugstore empire was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $5 million for his role in exaggerating the company’s financial performance. U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts, sitting in Manhattan, called Anthony Cuti of Saddle River “a gifted, arrogant, driven, entitled individual,” who “bullied people into committing fraudulent acts to make the company look better than it actually was” to increase his executive compensation. — Complete story on L-9
MLK monument opens on Mall Monday’s opening for the $120 million Martin Luther King Jr. memorial had little fanfare, but that will change on Sunday, when more than 250,000 spectators are expected for the official dedication. Sunday’s ceremony will coincide with the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Other monuments in the capital honor African-Americans’ contributions to American life and culture, but the memorial, which contains a 30-foot sculpture of the civil rights pioneer, is the first on the National Mall. — Complete story on A-8
www.northjersey.com ä For the latest on the uprising in Libya and other breaking news.
Libyan rebel fighters firing toward forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi during fierce gunfire Monday in Tripoli.
‘Captured’ son free as gunfire rattles Tripoli By THOMAS ERDBRINK and LIZ SLY THE WASHINGTON POST
TRIPOLI, Libya — Forces loyal to the fugitive Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi struck back Monday against the rebel fighters who had swept euphorically into the capital the night before, forcing them to retreat from several strategic locations and tempering hopes that the battle for Tripoli was all but over. The dramatic appearance Monday night of Gadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam at the Rixos hotel, where the Tripoli-based press corps remains trapped, contra-
dicted the rebels’ assertion the day before that they had captured him and cast into doubt their claim of controlling 80 percent of the capital. Video footage recorded by the Reuters news agency showed al-Islam being greeted by supporters. “To hell with the ICC,” he said, in reference to the International Criminal Court, which has issued a warrant for his arrest. “We assure the people that things are fine in Libya.” The BBC and CNN quoted him as telling reporters that government forces had lured the rebels into a trap and “broken the back” of the opposition
army and that pro-Gadhafi forces are back in control of the city. The confusion made the assertion impossible to confirm, but with gunfire and explosions echoing ominously through the streets and Gadhafi’s whereabouts still unknown, it was clear that the capital was far from secure. President Obama and other world leaders declared an end to Gadhafi’s nearly 42-yearlong rule and hailed the courage of the Libyan people. The leaders said they were looking forward to cooperating with a new Libyan government, which presumably
would be led by the opposition’s Transitional National Council. Obama cautioned that “the situation is still very fluid.” “There remains a degree of uncertainty, and there are still regime elements who pose a threat,” the president said. But, addressing his remarks to the Libyan people, he said: “The Libya that you deserve is within your reach.” How close was in question, however, as the uncertainty on Tripoli’s streets appeared only to mount as the day wore on. The mystery surrounding Gadhafi’s whereabouts and the See LIBYA Page A-6
Builder seeks $1B to complete ‘Dream’ Downplays risk of bonding project in Meadowlands
Auto repairs often sacrificed
Survey says economy takes toll on owners’ wallets, mechanics By KAREN ROUSE STAFF WRITER
Just as scorching temperatures began baking North Jersey, the air conditioner in Abdul Muhammad’s 1993 Honda Accord gave out. The Bergen County father hoped it would be a simple Freon fix, but his mechanic gave him the news: The compressor was busted. With parts and labor, he was looking at a $250 bill. With his wife and daughter planning a trip to a family reunion in Jamaica, Muhammad decided the job would wait. “It came down to my car, or helping them on their journey,” Muhammad said during a visit to AutoZone in Hackensack. “I
said, ‘I’m going to roll the window down and pray for coolness.’ ” When it comes to vehicle repairs, drivers across Bergen and Passaic counties are following a national trend: They’re choosing more discriminately which repairs they are willing to pay for and when — largely because of the weak economy, according to drivers, auto mechanics and experts. A recent survey by the AAA automobile club found that due to the economic climate, one in four motorists could not afford to do a $2,000 repair, while one in eight could not manage a repair over $1,000. North Jersey shop owners are painfully aware of the trend. In
By JOHN BRENNAN STAFF WRITER
DON SMITH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Instead of fixing his car’s air conditioning, Abdul Muhammad is saving the money for a family reunion. the last two months, Tim Pillon, “People are doing the safety, customer service manager at the bare minimum,” Pillon said Globe Tire and Auto Service in as his workers replaced a Hackensack, said customers are woman’s flat tire last week. “On postponing less urgent repairs. See REPAIRS Page A-6
The potential operators of American Dream Meadowlands — the project formerly known as Xanadu — are seeking to raise as much as $1 billion in public financing and tax breaks this fall, with the goal of resuming construction of the $3.8 billion project by the end of the year. Kurt Hagen, a senior vice president for Mall of America, said Monday that while the plan may remind some North Jerseyans of the failed EnCap project just a few miles to the south, there is a critical distinction between the two projects. “This is not public funding, it’s public financing,” Hagen said. “I know there were a lot of mistakes made in that [EnCap] project, and no one will want to make that mistake again. That’s a good thing, See BOND Page A-6
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FROM PAGE ONE
A-6 THE RECORD
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2011
Lautenberg calls for Gadhafi trial By ERIK SHILLING STAFF WRITER
Sen. Frank Lautenberg joined other lawmakers Monday in urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to prosecute Moammar Gadhafi for his role in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270 people. Thirty-seven New Jersey residents were among those who died. Several of their relatives said Monday that they welcomed Lautenberg’s call for the Libyan leader to face a full accounting of justice in the International Criminal Court in The Hague if he is captured. Lautenberg, D-N.J., also said that Gadhafi should be prosecuted for his role in the La Belle discotheque bombing in West
Cites role in 1988 Lockerbie bombing
Berlin, Germany, in 1986, in which 79 Americans were killed. American officials have suspected for years that Gadhafi was at least partially responsible for both attacks. “Justice for the U.S. victims of terrorist attacks committed by [Gadhafi] and his regime must remain a top priority for our country,” Lautenberg said in a letter to Clinton. “Should [Gadhafi] be arrested and sent to the ICC, he must stand trial for his terrible crimes against our fellow citizens.” Bert Ammerman of River Vale lost his brother Tom in the Lockerbie explosion. Ammerman said that prosecuting Gadhafi would be an acceptable alternative to his first choice, “elimination.”
“If he’s arrested, he should be tried for international crimes against humanity, absolutely,” Ammerman said. He added that Gadhafi’s increasingly untenable position could mean that closure in the case may now be nearer than ever. “We’re almost there,” he said. “The last chapter has been written, and it means our loved ones didn’t die in vain.” Eileen Walsh of Glen Rock, who lost her father, brother and sister on the plane, said that Gadhafi’s potential capture was less important than the re-capture of the convicted Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. The Scottish government released al-Megrahi from prison in 2009 after doctors said he had three months to live. He has since returned to Libya,
where he appeared last month alongside Gadhafi at a televised rally in Tripoli. “I think Gadhafi should be tried, but, personally, I think we should see alMegrahi back in jail because he’s been proven guilty,” Walsh said. “They let this guy get away with murder.” Mary Kay Stratis of Montvale, who lost her husband on the Pan Am plane, agreed that al-Megrahi should remain among the top American priorities. “It’s hard to ignore the atrocities against Americans that Gadhafi is guilty of, but we want to not lose sight of al-Megrahi,” Stratis said. Stratis and Walsh also applauded the Libyan people for their ongoing revolt, but Walsh said that seeing Libya in the news dredges up painful memories. “It just makes you relive the whole thing,” she said.
Obstacles block path to democracy By HANNAH ALLAM
CAIRO — Consolidating the capture of Tripoli is only the first of myriad obstacles the rebel leadership must overcome to build a democratic Libya from the rubble of Moammar Gadhafi’s rule, analysts said. In a region rife with cautionary tales of failed democracy experiments, Libya’s National Transitional Council seeks to build the exception — an Arab state with an inclusive government, a commitment to human rights, and legitimacy at home and abroad. The council members’ success, experts said, hinges on whether they can prevent a campaign of score-settling and persuade Libyans to unite around their shared experience of life under one of the world’s most capricious dictators. How the rebels treat members of the former regime — such as deciding whether to prosecute them in Libya or through referral to the International Criminal Court — will be an early test of their principles. “Truth and reconciliation is going to be necessary, but it’s also going to have to be forgiving and generous,” said Lisa Anderson, president of the American University in Cairo and a renowned Libya expert. Human Rights Watch already has documented episodes of rebels engaging in vengeful violence, though the council’s overall commitment to human rights is “wildly impressive,” said the organization’s special adviser Fred Abrahams. He said the potential for a revenge spree remains high as Gadhafi’s regime crumbles and loyalists melt back into the population. Mustafa Abdul Jalil, head of the transitional council, threatened to resign if revenge acts proliferated. Abdul Jalil said he trusts the leaders of the rebel forces but is concerned they’ll be unable to control their troops. On the political front, opposition leaders will have to cobble together an interim government that gives ample space to two key constituencies, analysts said. The first is young Libyans, who were at the forefront of demonstrations. Demographic studies show that 75 percent of Libyans were born under Gadhafi’s rule; he’s the only leader the vast majority of citizens have ever known. The second key constituency is the Islamists, a category that encompasses both seasoned jihadists but also a new generation of Libyans who are “much more politically Islamist and much less cosmopolitan” than their parents, Anderson said.
Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam speaking outside of the Rixos hotel in Tripoli early today. Al-Islam, who was earlier reported arrested by Libya's rebels, turned up at the hotel where foreign journalists stay in Tripoli, then took reporters in his convoy on a drive through the city.
From Page A-1 indications that his loyalists were still capable of mounting resistance in the capital raised echoes of Baghdad in April 2003, when Saddam Hussein slipped away from advancing U.S. troops and later served as a lightning rod for disgruntled regime loyalists. Rebels in Tripoli said they were confident that Gadhafi was still in the capital, and they erected checkpoints around the city to ensure he did not slip away. “We are winning. It is safe,” rebel fighter Abdel Azouz said as the sound of explosions and gunfire echoed down the telephone line. “There’s just a few dirty rats here and [those] who don’t want to give up.” Azouz acknowledged, however, that Gadhafi loyalists were in firm control of the fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound on the southern edge of Tripoli, where Gadhafi purportedly lived. NATO has targeted the compound so frequently that few Libyans believe he has been staying there
recently, but the rebels suspect that he may be hiding in a house in the area. The compound is about a mile from the Rixos hotel, where journalists are effectively being held hostage by pro-Gadhafi gunmen in the lobby who are refusing to let them leave. It is also possible that Gadhafi is not in Tripoli but had taken refuge perhaps weeks ago in the southern city of Sabha or the central coastal town of Sirte, his hometown and most staunchly loyal stronghold. He has not been seen in public since June. With the focus now on the capital, it was unclear when or whether the rebels would be able to dislodge Gadhafi’s supporters from Sirte, a heavily guarded garrison town that lies on the coastal highway between the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi and Tripoli. Speaking in Benghazi, council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil acknowledged that Sirte was going to be a tougher challenge than even Tripoli. He said he was hoping the town’s residents would rise up, as many in Tripoli did, something that seems unlikely given that most of the area’s res-
idents are members of Gadhafi’s tribe. The Transitional National Council is planning to head to Tripoli soon, Abdel Jalil said, but he offered no specifics. As night fell on Tripoli, it was unclear whether anyone could be said to be in control. Many of the rebel fighters who had surged into the capital the night before retreated to Zawiyah, the town from which they had begun their advance the day before, seemingly spooked by the prevalence of loyalist snipers. Several firefights erupted near Green Square, the symbolic heart of the city where revelers had gathered the night before but which stood largely deserted Monday. And there were other indications that the battle elsewhere still has not run its course. A rebel spokesman in the city of Misrata said a Scud missile, apparently fired from Sirte, had exploded in the sea, causing no casualties but serving as a reminder that Gadhafi’s forces still have considerable weaponry at their disposal. It was the third Scud to hit Misrata in a week, said the spokesman, Mohammed Ali.
Repairs: Auto mechanics pinched by economy From Page A-1 a brake job, if the pads are worn out, they’re grinding — they’ll do the brakes,” he said. As far as changing the dirty brake fluid? “They’ll hold off on that,” he said. At Washington Garage, a Bergenfield auto repair shop that Timothy Shanahan’s family has owned for 80 years, stories of delayed maintenance have become common. “It’s almost a daily occurrence now,” said Shanahan. “They’re like, ‘I know I should have gotten this situation [fixed]. How can you help me?’ ” he said. “They want me to cut the bill in half and they pay some this week and pay some next week. In better times we could do that,” said Shanahan. “Now I don’t have that [financial] cushion.” Cathleen Lewis, spokeswoman for AAA New Jersey Automobile Club, said putting off work could just exacerbate problems. Drivers, she said, are saying: “ ‘Let me get another 1,000 miles out of my oil change.’ … ‘I’m sure I could get a little more distance out of my tires.’ ” “So, you don’t change your tire. You have a blowout. You’ve dented the rim. Now you have to replace those tires, plus the rim,” Lewis said. Shanahan said he sees customers slammed with higher costs because they put off the initial problem. “When you neglect a car and it’s showing signs of needing repair, the car can almost become vindictive,” he said. “If the
Car costs got you down? Ronald Montoya, consumer advice associate for Edmunds.com has these suggestions: ä Consider going to a personal mechanic or a corner garage instead of a dealership for service. “At some point, you have to weigh that against what it would cost” at a dealership. “There are plenty of mechanics that are familiar with certain brands.” ä If you are concerned about quality, ask mechanics if they use original factory parts or after-market parts. “The thing about after-market parts is there are some good ones out there, but you don’t know what you’re going to get.” If they use original factory parts, “it’s a way for [customers] to get a higher quality part, but at a lower labor rate.” ä Be careful not to “over-service” your car. “You hear, ‘Change your oil every 3,000 miles.’ ” The truth is that across the board for all 2010 vehicles, oil can be changed every 7,700 miles. Check your driver’s manual. “It may end up saving you money.”
brakes are squealing ... the mechanism is telling you, you only have about 1,000 miles, if you ignore that, the vehicle will continue stopping but eventually you will wear out the braking [system],” he said. “Now you’re grinding steel against steel. Now you need brake rotors. For the $200 you didn’t have before, now it’s $350 … because of the problem you ignored.” Kevin Tynan, director of automotive research at Bloomberg Industries in Princeton, said delayed maintenance correlates with high gasoline prices. Gas prices in New Jersey were averaging $3.52 per gallon last week, according to NewJerseyGasPrices.com. “You get sort of a certain budget for au-
with their cars has changed. “People are looking at vehicles as appliances” that perform a function, he said. “That could be a trend with the way the macroeconomic conditions feel at this moment. If credit was easy and the money was flowing, it may be a little different,” he said. “Right now if feels like consumers don’t want to get [emotionally] tied to their cars.” They want to pay it off, he said. “The consumer with no monthly car payment and a car that runs and gets them where they want go, that’s the sign of status now — not the SUV,” said Tynan. Mike Mayer, owner of Mayers Auto in Little Ferry, put it plainly: “Nobody is working. Nobody has money to fix cars.” He said the slowdown in customers taking care of repairs has been damaging to his business. He laid off four workers, leaving himself and his son to carry the auto repair shop. And he is struggling to pay his telephone bills, he said. “They’re not coming in,” he said of the customers. “They got no money.” He said the decline in the American economy has him longing for another era. “Gimme the Reagan years,” Mayer said. “It was a busy shop. People had money. People were working.” Motorists would tell him to detail their cars, he said. Now what he hears is, “I’ll hold off.”
tomotive related things, and if you take some more of the budget for preventative maintenance, what you start to see is the consumer stretch out the time between tire replacements, brake pad replacement, oil changes,” Tynan said. The AAA survey also found that drivers like Muhammad are keeping their cars longer, rather than taking on new car payments. Tynan said the average age of a car is now 10.2 years — the longest recorded. In 2001, it was 8.3 years and by 2008, it was 9.4 years, he said, citing figures from R.L. Polk & Company, which tracks auto data. He said the relationship people have E-mail: email@example.com
The American Dream Meadowlands financing plan includes three key elements related to a public/private partnership: ä At least $300 million in bonds that could be issued by East Rutherford, the Bergen County Improvement Authority, the Meadowlands Commission or other governmental bodies. ä As much as $300 million more in similar bonds tied to annual parking revenues; neither would put taxpayer dollars at risk, project developers say. ä As much as $500 million in tax savings after the former Xanadu project opens as incentive to attract more investors and revive the dormant project.
From Page A-1 from the public’s standpoint.” Bondholders lost hundreds of millions of dollars on Bergen County Improvement Authority-issued bonds when the EnCap project fell apart in 2008, because the money was to be repaid from annual revenue streams when the project opened. New Jersey taxpayers lost more than $50 million, as well, because the state Department of Environmental Protection put up that additional money with repayment to be made in similar fashion. Under the concept laid out by Hagen, the state would not risk any taxpayer money if a public entity is used — whether the Borough of East Rutherford, the BCIA or the state Meadowlands Commission, for instance — as a conduit to issue tax-free bonds. Bergen County officials said last week that the BCIA would consider issuing at least $300 million in bonds for the project — but only if county taxpayer dollars were not at risk. Hagen said that potential bondholders would risk losing everything if the project failed, because various revenue streams from the project would be the only method of repayment. “They would need to do due diligence, have their own bond underwriters look at it and have faith in the project and faith in us,” Hagen said. The same would be true of a separate tax-free bond issue for as much as $300 million, to be repaid by a portion of the project’s annual parking revenue. While many malls don’t charge for parking, Hagen said that if the project didn’t charge a fee, it would become a “free park-and-ride” for commuters, who could then take a train from the project site to Secaucus and beyond. He said a fee of $3 to $5 is being considered and that company officials are working on a “complex formula” to figure out how much shoppers would have to spend to obtain a parking refund. The American Dream funding plan, however, also calls for $200 million to $500 million in tax breaks through the state Economic Development Authority. Whether that is a taxpayer expense, or how much of that figure should be considered as such, is in the eye of the beholder. The developer, which may submit its application to the EDA next month, would pay only 25 percent of its annual tax bill each year until about 20 percent of the new construction costs had been recouped. Supporters include state Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, sponsor of a law that last month made American Dream eligible for the incentive. Lesniak called the tax break a “no-brainer with no risk” on Monday. Lesniak was referring to the fact that, unlike with EnCap, the state wouldn’t put up any money. Under the law, if the developer would have built the project without the incentive, the state would be able to keep all the tax money that was due. But an American Dream spokeswoman has insisted that would not be the case in the Meadowlands. Lesniak backs that assertion, saying the poor economic climate and difficult lending environment have slowed development statewide. At this point, a broad range of dollar figures — $200 million to $500 million — is being discussed for a potential tax break because it is unclear whether all of the proposed $1.9 billion in new construction costs is eligible, Hagen said, adding that a portion of the $1.9 billion spent by two previous developers conceivably could be eligible, too. East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella said that he would be “just as happy” to see a county or state entity handle the bonding role — no matter how ironclad a guarantee East Rutherford had that it would be protected in the event of a project failure. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: northjersey.com/brennan Twitter: @BergenBrennan