After Diabetic Woman’s Arrest, a $125,000 Settlement

Her decision to smoke a marijuana cigarette outside a Manhattan bar where she was attending a bachelorette party landed Jaime Rutkowski in jail, threatened her life and lead to a lawsuit that on Monday yielded $125,000 from the city.

On Oct. 16, Ms. Rutkowski, who has diabetes, said she was thrown to the ground and arrested on charges of possession of marijuana outside a club on Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side.

Stress elevates her blood sugar levels and at the nearby police station house, the blood sugar meter she uses was confiscated. She relied on the meter to determine how much insulin to inject into her system from an insulin pump inserted in her stomach. An overdose could be life-threatening.

The police eventually called for an ambulance more than three hours after Ms. Rutkowski had been taken into custody. Emergency medical technicians found that her sugar level was almost four times the normal level, dangerous enough to take her to Bellevue Hospital Center.

Ms. Rutkowski and her lawyer, Joel Berger, filed a suit against the city and the officers involved in part because they hope it will alert the the Police Department to the needs of diabetic prisoners.

“The settlement is so high because a woman nearly died,” said Mr. Berger.

Mr. Berger also said Ms. Rutkowski’s crime was “trivial.” He added: “Almost any jury was not going to be exactly shocked by the nature of the offense. They’re not going to view this as the crime of the century.”

Ms. Rutkowski was charged with a class-B misdemeanor and received an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which means that she was not fined and that after one year her case will be dropped and sealed.

Elizabeth Thomas, a spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department, said, “We believe the settlement is in the best interest of all the parties.”

The Police Department’s aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession laws has led to an increase in arrests for possessing small amounts of the drug. While many of those arrests result in fines but no jail time, they do typically result in spending a night in jail.

“They could have killed me over a joint,” Ms. Rutkowski said. “Something needs to be done.”

Mr. Berger said the police did not have a specific protocol to deal with diabetic patients, something that he believes needs to be addressed. “Police officers need to understand that when they arrest a diabetic, there are potentially life-threatening effects,” he said.

Ms. Rutkowski said she would use money from the settlement to pay student loans and to further her education. A graduate of Temple, where she studied chemistry, she said she’s interested in pursuing a degree as a doctor of veterinary medicine. “I’m going to try and make something good out of a terrible situation,” she said.

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A Musically Inclined Feline Mews Her Last

Ketzel, who won a prize for piano composition in 1997 and went on to be featured in a book, “The World of Women in Classical Music,” died Wednesday in Manhattan. She was 19 and lived on the Upper West Side.

Ketzel was a black-and-white cat.

That would explain why, like many other musicians — Midori, Liberace, Mantovani and Madonna, for example — Ketzel went by only one name, except when the occasional royalty check came in. The first, for $19.72, was for a performance in Rotterdam. The check was made out to “Ketzel Cotel.”

“We thought, how are we going to cash this?” recalled her owner, Aliya Cheskis-Cotel. “Luckily, at the bank, they knew my husband and knew our credit was good, and they allowed us to cash it. We told Ketzel we could buy a lot of yummy cat food for $19.72.”

Ms. Cheskis-Cotel’s husband, who died in 2008, was Morris Moshe Cotel, who retired as chairman of the composition department at the Peabody Conservatory in 2000 and became a rabbi. “He said she was his best student and her fame surpassed his,” Ms. Cheskis-Cotel said.

Ketzel (“cat” in Yiddish) was a one-hit wonder among composers — she never wrote another piece. And her career was launched only because she launched herself onto the keyboard of Professor Cotel’s Baldwin grand one morning in 1996.

He was playing a prelude and fugue from “The Well-Tempered Clavier” by Bach, as he did every morning — he worked his way through a different prelude and fugue each day, as a kind of warmup exercise.

On the morning in question, Ketzel leaped onto the piano, landing in the treble. She worked her way down to the bass. Professor Cotel was startled, but grabbed a pencil and started transcribing. He was impressed by the “structural elegance” of what he heard, Ms. Cheskis-Cotel said. “He said, ‘This piece has a beginning, a middle and an end. How can this be? It’s written by a cat.’”

It was a model of brevity, shorter than Leroy Anderson’s “Waltzing Cat” or Zez Confrey’s “Kitten on the Keys.” But Professor Cotel set it aside — until he received an announcement seeking entries for the Paris New Music Review’s One-Minute Competition, open to pieces no more than 60 seconds long. “He said, ‘I don’t have anything that’s less than 60 seconds and my students don’t,’” Ms. Cheskis-Cotel recalled, ” ‘but I’ll send in the piece by the cat.’”

Professor Cotel explained the composer’s identity in the entry, but the judges were not told that; they were shown only the music. They awarded “Piece for Piano, Four Paws” a special mention.

“We gave the piece serious consideration because it was quite well written,” Guy Livingstone, one of the judges, said in 1997. “It reminded us of Anton Webern. If Webern had a cat, this is what Webern’s cat would have written.”

That led to an exchange of letters between Professor Cotel and the Webern biographer Allen Forte. Along the way, Professor Cotel said he realized that Ketzel’s “exquisite atonal miniature” used only 10 pitches of the chromatic scale. “The two missing pitches are G natural and B-flat” — the opening notes of Domenico Scarlatti’s famous Fugue in G minor, known as the “Cat’s Fugue.”

Ketzel’s piece had its concert premiere at Peabody in 1998 and was later performed in Europe and heard on public radio. And once it was performed at the Museum of the City of New York, with the composer in attendance.

“I said, ‘I’m bringing Ketzel to the performance,’ ” Ms. Cheskis-Cotel recalled. “They said, ‘No, you’re not.’ ”

But she did.

Ketzel’s composition was the next-to-the-last piece on a two-hour program. Ketzel sat quietly in her carrier in a back row in the auditorium as the big moment approached.

“Finally, when it was time for her piece to be performed,” Ms. Cheskis-Cotel said, “the pianist announced, ‘The next piece, believe it or not, was written by Ketzel the Cat.’ From the back of the hall, Ketzel went, ‘Yeeeowww.’ The people were on the floor, but of course she knew her name.”

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Groups Spent $1.8 Million in Same-Sex Marriage Push

The final push by gay-rights groups to legalize same-sex marriage in New York now has a price tag: $1.8 million.

That was what New Yorkers United for Marriage, the coalition of advocacy groups that helped persuade the Legislature last month to allow gay couples to wed, spent on lobbying in May and June, according to a new disclosure filing.

The vast majority of the spending, nearly $1.5 million, went toward television and print advertising, according to the filing, which was posted online by the state’s Commission on Public Integrity on Monday.

As Albany lobbying goes, the $1.8 million spent by the marriage coalition is significant, but hardly extraordinary. In comparison, the Committee to Save New York, a group of business leaders supportive of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s agenda, spent $7.4 million from January through April lobbying in favor of the governor’s budget and his recently enacted proposal to limit local property taxes.

The disclosure filing by the Committee to Save New York for the period covering May and June had not been posted as of Monday morning, nor had the most recent filings for several groups that opposed the same-sex marriage bill, including New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and the National Organization for Marriage.

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Second Death in Staten Island Pool Accident

A second man has died from injuries he received while participating in a training exercise at a Staten Island public pool last Wednesday, according to a pastor at the man’s church.

Paul Tallaksen, an associate pastor at the Salem Evangelical Free Church on Staten Island, said that the man, Jonathan Proce, 21, died on Sunday at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital.

Mr. Proce and Bohdan Vitenko, 21, were discovered face down at 8:25 a.m. Wednesday in the Lyons Pool in Tompkinsville, officials said. Adrian Benepe, commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation, which operates the pool, said lifeguards on duty immediately tried to resuscitate the men. The men were taken to Richmond University Medical Center, where Mr. Vitenko was pronounced dead at 9:45 a.m. Mr. Proce was later transferred to New York-Presbyterian, Mr. Tallaksen said.

Witnesses said the two men had been doing underwater exercises in which they held their breath — possibly, a parks spokesman said, in advance of joining the military.

Mr. Tallaksen said that Mr. Proce, an off-duty city lifeguard, was planning to join Air Force’s pararescue unit and had already passed an entrance test. “He was waiting for the date to be assigned,” Mr. Tallaksen said.

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Complaint Box | No, You Can’t Run With Me

“Can I run with you?” A bearded guy is suddenly keeping pace with me and yelling over the low volume of my headphones.

I thought the street was deserted. Visions of the worst flashed in mind: he will tackle me and drag my unconscious body into one of the warehouses lining the sidewalk. I glance behind us. Two of his friends stand by the curb … doubled over in laughter.

This guy is mock-jogging with me. Or is he jog-mocking me? I sigh, point to my headphones and pick up the pace. He falls back. I’m alive, but deeply annoyed.

I’ve been running through different New York neighborhoods for seven years, sometimes seeking out less populated, more dubious routes in exchange for a few moments of solitude. It’s not a prudent move for a single, female jogger but at no time is it more necessary — though, invariably, less successful — than in the heat of summer.

Nonrunning New Yorkers get claustrophobic starting in July. They go outside. They stand on street corners. They sit on stoops. They heckle me.

Growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, I became addicted to running at the age of 12. I would cross my street, round the corner into a tidy neighborhood, wave to one barking dog and two nameless neighbors, trace the outskirts of the local golf course, then repeat in reverse.

I found similar routes in Pittsburgh, where I went to college, and after that in Brooklyn, where I’ve lived for the past seven years — routes that gave me the right amount of isolation in the midst of a metropolis. But I won’t be able to find that balance of people and quiet for another two months.

Lately, I run before or after work, down my Brooklyn street, past a group of rowdy seniors saying hello to the walkers but hooting at me. The constant car waxer at the curb makes the “psst, psst” sound I use to call my cat. A pug on a retractable leash wanders across the sidewalk, creating a trip wire.

I head to Prospect Park but it is no better than any of the other parks at this time of year. It is so packed with strollers, Big Wheels, in-line skaters and bikers that we joggers are too busy dodging obstacles to give one another the requisite runner’s nod. Best to gaze straight ahead, as if the entire three-and-a-third-mile loop is one big, crowded subway car.

Up in Williamsburg, the red rubber track at McCarren Park is ridden with stray soccer balls, boccie balls and handballs from nearby games in progress. Plus it’s Williamsburg, so you’re being judged no matter what you’re doing.

Central Park is a mix of disoriented tourists and a particularly fit brand of harried, mean Manhattanites, their anger heightened by the throngs of sightseers. My cute blonde friend Cheryl was doing six miles there last summer when someone threw a tree branch at her. Knowing that, I always dress in drab, baggy T’s and hats, hoping to escape notice.

Solitude and I have a fair-weather relationship. New York’s general lack of it is what drew me here in the first place, but sometimes I crave it — and city running, in any other season, satisfies that craving. I don’t see stick-wielders out in winter weather. I wave to one barking dog and two nameless neighbors shoveling their walks, but remain alone in my motion.

Maybe the non-runners are just as sick of seeing me. In a city that is home to one of the world’s great marathons, a city that thrives on purpose, destination and end game, jogging probably comes off as wishy-washy. It’s done at a steady speed, for it’s own sake, and only brings you back to the place you started. But to be fair, I run almost every day, no matter what the weather, so if turf is determined by length of occupancy, these are my streets too.

Wendy Toth lives in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn and is the editor of

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Kitchen Cleaning Services – Why restaurants should take advantage of them

Our nation seems to have some sort of obsession with cookery all of a sudden, with chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver having television shows and fancy restaurants and Heston having his crazy dishes, which has left many people in Britain wanting to follow in their footsteps and getting interested in food and some people going so far as to open their own restaurants, according to some shows. One of these is something called the ‘The Restaurant Inspector’ in which a man finds faults in restaurants and brings them to the attention of both the viewing public and of course, the owners themselves. There have been many different complaints, ranging from a bland menu to poor quality food but one of the most common and also most concerning complaints that recurred was that of basic hygiene.

Theres already many different ways in which restaurants are kept in check with basic food hygiene, ranging from courses that specialise in the cleaning of commercial kitchens to plenty of health and safety inspectors making unscheduled visits from time to time means, this means that there is no excuse for poor hygiene in restaurants.

Having poor hygiene in a restaurant is not only dangerous to the customers and the staff, but also can be dangerous to the businesses prospects, because any sort of bad case of food poisoning thats found on your premises can lead to an investigation and can cause a negative image in the eyes of your potential customers. It seems obvious to many that keeping a clean kitchen is imperative to the business, and as a result there are many companies who offer commercial kitchen cleaning services in order to maintain a high standard of hygiene for the restaurant. These services will not only completely clean the kitchen and serving areas of your eatery at the end of each day, but may also clean the kitchen periodically whilst you’re staff are cooking. Another service the kitchen cleaners may provide is the training needed to teach one of your staff to become a dedicated kitchen cleaner. With so many options available to restaurant owners, there really is no excuse for poor hygiene in a kitchen environment, when they can easily hire a service that can perform all their cleaning tasks.

If those eatery owners on the television had one then they wouldn’t have lost so much business and wouldn’t have had the inspectors scathing visit to deal with.

Expert on all things from interior design to advertising and philosophy. Find more information relating to Deep Kitchen Cleaning & Commercial Kitchen Cleaning here.

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Why take out School and Office Cleaning Services?

With education cuts being one of the key talking points and concerns of students, parents and teachers alike, its got me wondering about what it is that people look for when trying to choose a school for the children. Previously, I have explained that despite the major efforts in trying new learning techniques that you won’t be able to hold a youngsters attention unless they find themselves in a fun environment and that still stands as my view on it, there may be other factors I have yet to consider.

These factors however, may not address the needs of childrens learning but more the appearance of the school itself. Because there are so many schools vying for the best students, a school may have to try its best to look presentable to the parents who are deciding where their children go.

One easy way to make a school look presentable is by using a professional cleaning service. While this sounds quite obvious, its surprising to think that many schools don’t understand the importance of basic presentation, or in some cases hygiene, and think of how many students they may have lost, fines they may have collected and potential investigations that could have happened in schools all because of something as simple as not having a dedicated cleaning service.

Its not something that just affects schools either, think of the importance that a cleaning service can have on a business, whether its to hook in a potential business contact, or to keep the workforce happy, its easy to see why so many people are taking this easy yet effective step to boost their businesses potential. With so much competition around nowadays it seems like using services which perform small yet effective tasks are going to be the defining factor that can put a business ahead.

With all the services that businesses use, it may be a matter of time before schools start using a similarly wide array of services to help them obtain more students. This can only mean bigger and greater things for schools and universities, because if the owners treat them like businesses then theres every chance that they’ll become solid investments which can progress and sustain themselves while maintaining the great standard of education that they have done for the past few centuries. So hygiene and cleanliness, while one of things we take for granted, actually need to be addressed to increase success.

Expert on all things from interior design to advertising and philosophy. Find more information relating to School Cleaning Manchester & Office Cleaning Manchester here.

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