Some big players turned out for the Bank of America tower ribbon cutting ceremony in 2010. Al Gore was there. His investment management company is a tenant of the 55-story building advertised as the most sustainable building in the country. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was there too. Along with developer Douglas Durst, whose company got almost $950,000 in incentives from a state agency for the structure’s innovative, energy saving design. The B.O.A. tower received a platinum LEED rating – the highest score for building energy and efficiency.
New York-based journalist Sam Roudman found data published last fall by the city showing that the B.O.A. tower uses more energy and produces more greenhouse gases than some of the city’s historic buildings. The discrepancy between green ideals and reality raises new questions for more than fifty-thousand LEED certified buildings in the U.S.. Sam’s article “Bank of America’s Toxic Tower” is in the New Republic.
Phillip Patterson is a sixty-three year old retiree from Philmont, New York who’s spent the past 7 years working on a handwritten volume of the entire – almost 800,000 word King James Bible. Phillip suffers from AIDS and related illnesses, often making the quest slow-going, though he sometimes logged up to eighteen hours of writing a day. He just recently finished the epic manuscript.
In July of 1965, New York City Detective James McDonnell was called to the Western Union Office at Grand Central. A man posing as a detective was there with a 14-year old runaway boy. The kid’s father suspected something fishy when asked to wire twice the amount necessary to fly the boy home and called the cops. McDonnell quickly figured that the sharply dressed man was impersonating a cop and called for back-up.
The magnitude 5.8 earthquake that rattled the east coast back in August triggered speculation about whether the controversial gas drilling technique called fracking may have been responsible. Fracking involves drilling thousands of feet into the shale deep below the earth’s surface, then fracturing the earth by pumping millions of gallons of sand, water, and chemicals into the shale to release natural gas. So far, contamination of groundwater supplies has been the focus of those opposing big energy’s push to expand fracking.