Cloudy With a Chance of Hybrid Vortices

In case you’re wondering about the severe weather that Hurricane Sandy may bring our way in the next few days, the National Weather Service’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in College Park, Md., lays it all out in a document, High-Impact Merging of Energetic Systems Anticipated Off the Mid-Atlantic Coast:

Despite a modest cluster of outlying deterministic solutions and ensemble members from the various modeling centers, the lion’s share of guidance indicates that the circulation associated with Hurricane Sandy will pass close enough to the amplifying polar trough over the eastern United States to become incorporated into a hybrid vortex over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast next Tuesday. The high degree of blocking from eastern North America across the entire Atlantic Basin is expected to allow this unusual merger to take place, and once the combined gyre materializes, it should settle back toward the interior Northeast through Halloween, inviting perhaps a ghoulish nickname for the cyclone along the lines of “Frankenstorm,” an allusion to Mary Shelley’s gothic creature of synthesized elements.

City Room finds the explanation of the Mary Shelley allusion to be particularly helpful.

For a more prosaic weather forecast, try here.

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Video: Shot Officer Chases and Kills Suspect

The New York Police Department has released a surveillance video of Officer Ivan Marcano in pursuit of a robbery suspect on Thursday night in the Bronx. At about 6:30 p.m. Officer Marcano was shot by one of three robbery suspects after he interrupted a robbery on a street. He managed to pursue them despite his injury.

The video shows him exit a vehicle and, while holding his wound with one hand, fire at one of the suspects, whom he killed. Officer Marcano then is shown happening upon an ambulance, which took him to a local hospital. Officer Marcano was reported in stable condition on Friday.

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Cooped Up in the Subway

Dear Diary:

I was on the downtown No. 6 train heading to Brooklyn Bridge to meet some friends when a pigeon staggered on at 116th Street. I stared blankly at the bird, so nonchalantly standing between a man in a suit and a construction worker. No one seemed to have noticed anything out of the ordinary.

My jaw, however, dropped when the pigeon walked out with a giant crowd at 86th Street and Lexington. Why would a bird, capable of flying to any destination in the world, ride a crowded subway?

But then I wondered the same thing about the rest of us.


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Former Assistant Principal Penalized for Missing Work to Go to Second Job

A former assistant principal at a Brooklyn public school was penalized for leaving work early or not showing up on 32 occasions while she worked a second job, the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board announced on Wednesday.

The former assistant principal, Maizelin Knowlin of Public School 276, had been in the news in 2010 when the Department of Education said in a report that she lived in New Jersey but enrolled her children in New York City schools by giving a false Brooklyn address.

At P.S. 276 in Canarsie, Ms. Knowlin’s workday ended at 3:20. But during the 2006-7 school year, she also worked as a program coordinator at the Flatbush Y.M.C.A., according to a settlement agreement she reached with the conflicts board. Eighteen times, Ms. Knowlin began working at the Y program at 3 p.m., the settlement says. On 14 other occasions, Ms. Knowlin was paid for working at an education department after-school program when she was actually working at the Y, the settlement said.

Ms. Knowlin was fired in March 2011 for the workday violations. The conflicts board fined her $2,500, but forgave the fine after she showed proof of financial hardship; she was still unemployed as of last month. She stated in her settlement that she had “significant outstanding debts, and would not be able to make any monthly payment to the board as a penalty for the violations cited above and still be able to pay for other basic living expenses.”

In other actions against city education workers on Wednesday, the board announced that it had fined a former Education Department human resources director, Vivian Nero, $4,000 for misusing her position to get her two adult children jobs at city schools. The program that Ms. Nero works for is called Children First.

Knowlin Ruling (PDF)

Knowlin Ruling (Text)

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Long Before the Islanders, a Hockey Misadventure in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Americans, the sole foray into the world of major league hockey in the borough before the announcement on Wednesday of the semi-imminent arrival of the New York Islanders, were many things during their brief existence.

A tough act to follow was not one of them.

For the Americans, known to their long-suffering partisans as the Amerks, Brooklyn was the last exit on a rather sad journey.

The team was formed as the New York Americans in 1925, the second United States team to join the National Hockey League after the Boston Bruins. The team played at the brand-new Madison Square Garden, where it was such a draw that the Garden went and got itself another team, the Rangers.

But the Amerks were pretty consistent losers, racking up three winning seasons in their first 15 years, and they were plagued with financial problems, especially after the end of Prohibition cut into the main business of the team’s owner, a bootlegger named Bill Dwyer. In 1935, Dwyer put the team on the market. No one wanted it. He walked away. The league took over the team.

In 1941, the Americans’ manager, Mervyn Dutton, known as Red, was still struggling under the weight of inherited debt and found himself selling players to raise cash. The league threatened to drop the team.

Dutton’s brainstorm: move to Brooklyn. There was no arena big enough, so the team had to play its 1941-42 home games at the Garden, but Dutton hopefully renamed the team the Brooklyn Americans and switched the practice space from New Jersey to the Brooklyn Ice Palace, at Atlantic and Bedford Avenues, to build up buzz.

“If the Brooklyn idea attracts the support expected of it,” The New York Times wrote, “the club would build an arena in Kings County when the war ends and essential materials are readily available.”

Excitement was high. “I wish to report that a great void in my life has now been filled,” one wag from Manhattan wrote in a letter to The Times in November 1941. “For years, I had languished in the wintertime with no accursed Brooklyn team at which to sneer.”

But despite a few highlights – the Americans beat their housemates, the Rangers, in February that year — the new name did not bring about the desired improvement. The Brooklyn Americans finished last, with a record of 16-29-3.

In September 1942, with the war depleting rosters further and the Americans down to four players, the league suspended the team. (The players‘ contracts were to be sold, though The Times noted, in an indication of the relative status of major league hockey in the 1940s, “it is unlikely that Pat Egan, veteran defense man, will give up a shipyard job to return to the ice.”)

The league left the door open for the Americans to be revived after the war, but it never happened. No arena was built. In 1956, the Ice Palace was rented out to a scenery-design company. The site, a mile down Atlantic Avenue from the Barclays Center, is now a parking lot.

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