MURPHY, WRIGHT PROPEL METS TO 9TH-INNING WIN OVER PHILLIES. S-1 50 Cents FRIDAY July 6, 2012
9 9 °/7 7 °
Sunny and hot
A strong afternoon thundershower
Fired lifeguard says no to returning
GWB flag taken down early on July 4 to avoid OT By KAREN ROUSE STAFF WRITER
On the most patriotic day of the year, Peter and Ruth Adler looked out from their Fort Lee apartment on Wednesday expecting to see Old Glory waving from the George Washington Bridge, a vision that had inspired feelings of national pride every Fourth of July for as long as they could remember. Instead, what they saw seemed like
ing early in the day Wednesday.
an odd twist on the “The Star-Spangled Banner”: The flag was not there. Alarmed, Ruth Adler called the Port Authority to ask about the whereabouts of 450-pound banner – the world’s largest free-flying flag — and was told that the agency, which has been scrutinized for excessive spending, was suddenly clamping down on overtime. “They said the reason [they] took it down is they didn’t want to pay overtime, which means people would have
to come back in the evening to roll it up,” she said. “Twelve-dollar tolls on the busiest bridge in the country [and the Port Authority] can’t afford to pay a couple dollars extra on the hanging of the flag? “We do have soldiers in Afghanistan who are protecting our freedom, and they are serving, and it’s just a way of honoring them,” she said. “They’re out there preserving our freedom, and we’re See FLAG Page A-8
‘OH, MY GOD! A CAR’S IN THE HOUSE!’
A judge granted $1 million bail Thursday for Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman but questioned his honesty and suggested he had plotted to leave the country when he was out of jail the first time. The judge referred to Zimmerman with words like “conceal” and “flee” more than a dozen times in an eight-page order that lets him out of jail while he awaits his murder trial in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The judge’s doubts could hurt a Zimmerman attempt to dismiss the case by claiming he shot Martin in self-defense. The judge had revoked Zimmerman’s $150,000 bond last month after prosecutors said Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had and he failed to disclose a passport. — Complete story on A-11
Man acquitted of beating priest
Stars & Stripes forever? Not quite
The lifeguard fired this week for leaving his post to help a drowning man was offered his job back Thursday. His answer: No, thanks. Tomas Lopez, 21, was fired this week by a management firm paid by Hallandale Beach, Fla., to protect its shore. A supervisor said Lopez was terminated because he left the protected area on the beach. The incident took place where swimmers are warned they swim at their own risk. The supervisor said Lopez’s actions placed swimmers in his patrol area in danger and could have gotten the compaANTHONY QUINTANO/ANTHONYQUINTANO.COM ny into legal trouble. — Complete story on A-12 The George Washington Bridge flag fly-
Zimmerman free on $1 million bail
Safety issues eyed in boating tragedy
Crowded yacht tips, killing 3 kids By FRANK ELTMAN THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A jury acquitted a man Thursday of assaulting a priest he says molested him more than three decades ago. The verdict came after defendant William Lynch took the witness stand and acknowledged punching Jerold Lindner several times on May 10, 2010. After pleading not guilty, Lynch said he hoped to use the case to publicly shame Lindner and bring further attention to the Catholic Church clergy abuse scandal. “I honestly thought I was going to jail,” he said after the verdicts were read. “It turned out better than I expected.” — Complete story on A-4
Ex-Net Jason Kidd signs with Knicks One day after missing out on 38-yearold point guard Steve Nash, the Knicks went a bit further and agreed to terms with 39-year-old Jason Kidd on a reported three-year deal. While not the offensive player that Nash is anymore, Kidd provides the Knicks with a seemingly perfect fit to join the backcourt and mentor Jeremy Lin — if Lin returns. Kidd spent the last 4½ seasons in Dallas after being dealt away by the Nets, whom he led to the NBA Finals twice. He picked up a championship ring two years ago with Dallas. — Complete story on S-1
OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — A yacht that capsized with 27 friends and family members aboard on an outing to watch Fourth of July fireworks was severely overcrowded and doomed to tip over, safety experts said Thursday as the skipper blamed the tragedy on a wave that came out of the dark. Three children died after becoming trapped Wednesday night TARIQ ZEHAWI/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER in the cabin of the 34-foot vessel Steve Shayne of Teaneck looking at the damage done to his home after a car drove through the front door off Oyster Bay, on the north shore early Thursday. The driver fled and was later apprehended by police and arrested. Story, L-1 of Long Island. Sal Aureliano, who was at the helm of the Candi I, told TV’s News12 Long Island that he saw two lightning bolts and then a wave suddenly hit. “It turned the boat around,” he said, his voice cracking. “It just turned the boat. I didn’t see it. It “Everything just happened so fast,” he was dark. I didn’t see it.” said. Aureliano’s nephew David AuOn May 10, 2011, out on a training ride for one of the more than 100 triathlons he reliano, 12, and two girls, 11-yearold Harley Treanor and 8-year-old The seconds it takes to has done across the past 15 years, Klein Victoria Gaines, died. The 24 othgo from freedom to free left his Tenafly home only to encounter er passengers, adults and children, the bicyclist’s worst nightmare. When his fall are impossible to were rescued from the water, front tire exploded, he lost control of his measure, speeding up more than seems possible bicycle. His body hurtled forward, flipping mostly by fellow boaters, and were not seriously hurt. yet slowing down at the over the handlebars. His helmet made “The next thing I know, we’re same time, an illogical sickening contact with the pavement. His ELIZABETH LARA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER brain was telling him he had to make it to turning, and we just kept turning, combination in which our Triathlete Robin Klein is competing safety, to get out of the road, but his body and everybody was in the water. It brains have no time to TARA think, yet can process an this weekend after a bike accident wouldn’t respond. His limbs were numb, was chaos,” said Aureliano, who SULLIVAN entire life flashing in rapid nearly paralyzed him. didn’t answer the door to The Asunable to answer his brain’s commands. sociated Press. images. He couldn’t move. Aureliano, of Huntington, N.Y., Robin Klein was on his bicycle, his 60- him across that barrier, mere seconds tak“I was never so terrified as that mosaid his brother-in-law owned the year-old legs pumping him down a hill on ing him from total control to total terror, ment,” he would describe in an essay he Route 9W, when a front-tire blowout just taking his brain into this bizarre time wrote a few weeks later. “Would I ever be boat but that he was steering it beacross the New Jersey state line pushed warp. See SULLIVAN Page A-6 See YACHT Page A-8
A comeback tougher than any triathlon Tenafly man returns from devastating injury
Ex-con caught after Streak comes to an end fleeing traffic stop A man wanted for a parole violation after serving 12 years in prison for attempting to shoot two police officers in New York was arrested in Mahwah after running from police after a Route 17 traffic stop, authorities said Thursday. Paul G. Samwell, 38, of Beacon, N.Y., ran across six lanes and was found hiding in a garbage bin after he was stopped for speeding Wednesday, police said. The Mahwah police said New York parole officials had told them Samwell was “a very dangerous individual.” — Complete story on L-1
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It can’t stay this hot forever
The average temperature for the 16 months prior to this June was above the historical average for those months.
Trends say July should get better
By JAMES M. O’NEILL STAFF WRITER
60 50 40
30 20 J F 2011
J F 2012
Note: Average is based on values from 1981-2010. All data are preliminary Source: New Jersey state climatologist R.L. REBACH/STAFF ARTIST
Amid Thursday’s 96-degree temperatures, and the 95degree day on July Fourth, something might have gotten lost. After 16 straight months where the average temperature exceeded the norm, June looks as if it may have been something unusual on the weather front: ordinary. The average temperature for the month, 70.1, appears to be exactly what it should be, according to records of each June for the past 30 years. And that, climatologists say, is remarkable after a streak of months where even in KEVIN R. WEXLER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER the dead of winters, New Jersey seemed to be getting Carlos Ramirez working through warmer. That factoid may be of little comfort to Margaret Dazle, the heat to remove part of a roof See HEAT Page A-6 on Eighth Street in Prospect Park.
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FROM PAGE ONE
FRIDAY, JULY 6, 2012
Yacht: Overcrowding eyed From Page A-1 cause he has more maritime experience. The cause of the accident was under investigation, but it could have been overcrowding, the weather, the wake from another vessel or a combination of factors, said Nassau County Detective Lt. John Azzata. The area was crowded with boaters watching the fireworks, he said. The Silverton yacht, built in 1984 but purchased recently, was under 60 feet of water Thursday, and officials worked to raise it. The yacht company filed for bankruptcy in April, and no one was available to say what the maximum number aboard should be. Police and the Coast Guard would not say how many of those aboard were adults and how many were children. Safety experts said most boats have a manufacturer’s plate that lists capacity by number of adults and by total weight. So theoretically, a boat could safely handle more passengers if some were children. Phil Cusumano, a Boston-based safety instructor and yacht captain with 35 years of experience, said there is no question the boat was badly overloaded. He said he would limit a vessel of that size to six adults. Other boating sites suggested a maximum of 15 passengers. “Twenty-seven is just crazy,” Cusumano said. “I wouldn’t dream of doing that. I wouldn’t do it at the dock, much less take it out on the water. It would tip over with the first turn.” Each Fourth of July, vessels crowd the Long Island Sound shoreline to watch public and private fireworks displays. When the shows end, the exodus can be the nautical equivalent of a highway traffic jam. Scott Menzies, who said he positioned his 20-foot motor boat in the area to take in the celebration but did not see the accident, estimated there were at least 1,000 vessels on the water. “It was pretty crazy,” he said. However, conditions on the water were calm during the fireworks and afterward, Menzies said. Though there was some rain around 10 p.m., conditions were in “no way bad enough” to capsize a large boat on their own, said David Waldo, an expert boater who was also on the water Wednesday night.
Police boats on Thursday on Oyster Bay in Long Island Sound, where a yacht sank after capsizing the night before. 287
New York City
Long Island Sound
Yacht capsizes, killing three Oyster Bay 495
Waldo, executive director of the WaterFront Center, a non-profit sailing school in Oyster Bay, called the number of people aboard the yacht “alarming.” School sailboats around the same length have a capacity of seven, he said. “It’s just asking for a situation where things can go wrong and compound on themselves,” he said.
Witness saw wake hit
have had a life jacket for each person on board, but it was unclear if it did. Under state law, children under 12 are not required to wear life vests if they are in the main cabin, where the three victims were. WABC-TV interviewed a witness on a nearby boat who said she did not see any life vests on the two dozen people who were thrown into the water. The witness, Danielle Barbone, said people on her boat yelled at those floundering in the sea to swim over. “We just started plucking them out like ants,” said Barbone, adding that one of those rescued was the mother of one of the girls who died. “She was screaming her daughter’s name.” Mike Treanor, who was related to some of the victims, answered the door at his suburban home in nearby Huntington. “It’s a family tragedy,” he said.
Another boater told Newsday he saw the yacht turn and then tip over after it was hit by a wake. “It was like in slow motion,” said Sammy Balasso, of Oyster Bay. “All of a sudden, a lot of bodies were in the water.” Balasso said he put the spotlight of his 38-foot speedboat on the capsized vessel and threw all the life jackets he had into the water. He said he rescued 20 people. “Everybody was panicking,” Balasso said. “People were saying things like ‘Why?’ ” This article contains material from Azzata said the boat should the Los Angeles Times.
Flag: Half a holiday on GWB From Page A-1 not hanging the flag. It just seemed wrong.” The Adlers fired off letters to Governor Christie and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, who oversee the bi-state agency, as well as U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez, Democrats from New Jersey, and local news media. They also reached out to state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, who had noticed for herself, while attending a party along the Hudson River, that the flag was missing and that the bridge’s towers were not illuminated. Weinberg said Thursday that she contacted Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority, which operates the Hudson River crossings, to get the story behind the flag flap. “What he told me is apparently they have a crew on from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., so the flag went up a little later than usual because it was raining in the early morning,” she said. “They didn’t want to keep a crew past 3 o’clock.” She said Baroni explained that the issue was overtime costs. “He said, ‘I’m going to find out how much it would cost’ ” to keep a crew on duty to put the flag away, Weinberg said. She said she also asked Baroni to find out why the towers were not lighted and whether the half-day flag display was part of a new policy. She said the agency could have just left the flag in place until the next morning.
Baroni did not return a call for comment. A Port Authority spokesman, Ron Marsico, said Thursday that “the flag has been flying that way for a number of years … like a one-shift thing. “It flew that way last year,” he said. “It flew that way the year before, one shift. It runs one shift. … It may be in some years where they do it on the morning shift” or an afternoon shift. He said the flag was out between 8 a.m. and around 2 p.m. When asked if it was taken down because of concerns over overtime, Marsico abruptly said he had other phone calls and hung up. A call to Christie’s office was not returned.
Cause on social media
As he headed back to New Jersey, the flag appeared oddly tangled up. “We all noticed it was getting shorter and shorter,” he said. “They were actually pulling it up as I got under it; it was entirely pulled up into the bridge. I couldn’t figure out why they were pulling it up at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.” Quintano shared his displeasure on his Facebook page. “I think that should be there all the time,” he said Thursday, referring to the flag. “I don’t understand why our patriotism is only temporary.” Peter Adler said he and his wife have lived at The Regency on Center Avenue in Fort Lee for a decade and look forward to seeing the flag on patriotic holidays. “The Port Authority charges a lot of money,” he added. “I don’t know what they’re doing with all that money.” The agency has come under scrutiny for its spending. Investigations by The Record have uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to executives at the agency. The Port Authority has also been criticized for recently raising the cash toll on its Hudson River crossings to $12. That rate will increase to $12.75 at the end of this year. The flag has traditionally flown from the bridge on patriotic holidays, including Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day.
Anthony Quintano, a South Hackensack resident and a social media manager for NBC News, was one of the lucky few who got out to the bridge early enough on Wednesday to snap a picture of the flag. Quintano said he searched on Twitter on Wednesday morning to see if anyone had posted a picture of the flag. He found one, and headed out to snap a photo of his own. “My whole purpose of crossing the bridge was to take a picture of it,” Quintano said. He experienced the thrill of riding under the 90-by60-foot flag as he drove into New York. Unfortunately, he didn’t make his return trip fast enough. Email: email@example.com
Con Edison, union resume talks NEW YORK — Consolidated Edison and the union representing its employees went back to the bargaining table on Thursday, four days after contract negotiations collapsed. Meanwhile, a noisy protest continued near Union Square in Manhattan. A crowd of around 300 union employees stood in front of
the Con Edison headquarters, some playing drums and trumpets. Others were performing the “tomahawk chop” heard at Atlanta Braves and Florida State games; this time, the war chant was referring to Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke. The negotiations broke down last weekend. On Thursday, the company put out a full-page ad
blasting the union. “We believe it is important to communicate with our customers and let them know why the union employees are not at work,” Con Edison spokesman Alan Drury said. Con Edison has been replacing union workers with managers and that three of them suffered injuries. — The Associated Press