Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Plane Truth

Well, kudos to the NY Times for putting the good old GPS on Mike Bloomberg's private plane-and tracking the mayor's whereabouts to Bermuda on December 25-26th: "On the day after Christmas, a request came into the Bermuda airport: a private plane needed to be pulled out of its hangar and readied for takeoff. The pilots seemed a bit anxious to depart. This did not strike airport employees as unusual; the owners of private aircraft are frequently in a rush. But there was something memorable about this plane. Word had trickled out that its owner was Michael R. Bloomberg, said a person told of the conversations."

What a shock! And the Bermudans are loose lipping: "Mr. Bloomberg and his aides refuse to talk about it. But the residents of Bermuda have taken no such vow of silence. They say that Mr. Bloomberg’s plane arrived on the island, where he owns a large waterfront vacation home, sometime after midnight on Christmas morning. They spoke on condition of anonymity, for fear of inflaming the mayor and the local authorities, who prize discretion for visiting dignitaries."

Puzzle solved!-that's if anyone had any real doubts about where the mayor was when the snow was honing in on NYC. It is also understandable why Bloomberg may not have seen any  compelling need to declare a snow emergency: "It was, locals said, a spectacular time to be in Bermuda. Weather reports show a high of 65 degrees on Dec. 25 and an “above normal” temperature of 69 on Dec. 26. One resident called that day “gorgeous.” Back in New York City, it was considerably colder, hitting 32 and 30, respectively, with snow on the way."

But what of the testimony of-as Andrea Peyser calls them-the seven dwarfs yesterday at the city council? "The mayor's Seven Dwarves -- Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Zippy, Clueless and Doc -- materialized before the City Council yesterday to talk about snow.
And like a guided tour of Disney World on hallucinogenics, the crew treated skeptical, but docile, council members to fantastical explanations as to why, two weeks after the Blizzard that Ate New York, there remain eye-high brown piles pocking the streets of Brooklyn."

And then there's the unbelievable assertion that the mayor was kept out of the snow emergency loop: "Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty (Happy) was first to swallow the administration Kool-Aid. He said that as a blizzard with hurricane-force winds barreled down on the five boroughs, including several that are not Manhattan, he and Janette Sadik-Khan (Grumpy) -- psycho bicycle lady who runs the Transportation Department -- made a decision, on their own, not to declare a snow emergency. Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith (Clueless) swore that the two pinheads who were then running the city never bothered to tell Mayor Bloomberg or Goldsmith himself of their decision. So, if the mayor was off in Bermuda, which he may or may not have been, and Goldsmith was on vacation, which he was, who was in charge? I have to hand it to the Dwarves. They concocted a story. And stuck to it."

Clearly, what we heard yesterday was a well rehearsed fable. We'll give Peyser the last word on the Incredible Shrinking Mayor:: "Goldsmith apologized, but why? He admitted no wrongdoing. "We owe you and all New Yorkers for that lack of performance our administration's apology and my personal promise not to let it happen again," he said. If only Mayor Bloomberg did so. But he wasn't there."