Charges Dropped in Hamster’s Death

Updated, 4:57 p.m. | The criminal case has been dropped against a 19-year-old Brooklyn woman who had faced up to two years in prison on charges of killing her little brother’s hamster, after family members who witnessed the animal’s death recanted their accounts, the authorities said.

“The family members that were witnesses to this are not really supporting the story that she purposely killed the hamster,” said a law enforcement official.

A prosecutor, Ernest Chin, told a judge in Brooklyn on Friday that the case was being dropped because the father of some of the 10 siblings who live in the apartment would not allow them to testify before the grand jury, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said.

The woman, Monique Smith, was arrested Tuesday night near her home in Bushwick by agents of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They said that last June Ms. Smith had killed the four-ounce hamster with her hands and then thrown it across the street.

Ms. Smith’s mother, Theresa Smith, told The New York Times on Wednesday that she had watched Monique kill the hamster, named Sweetie. “She took it out of the cage, and she slammed it on the floor,” Theresa Smith said Wednesday. “It died on impact.” She said that Monique had been angry at her 25-year-old brother, who had bought three hamsters — including Sweetie — for her 9-year-old son to replace one he had killed earlier.

Monique Smith was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony. She told The Daily News in a interview from Rikers Island that she was being framed by her older brother and that while she did not kill Sweetie, “If I saw a hamster in this filthy place, I’d kill it.”

Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Theresa Smith would only say, “I’m pleading the Fifth. I have nothing to say about the matter,” before hanging up.

Joseph Pentangelo, a spokesman for the A.S.P.C.A., said in a statement that his agency’s investigation “was thorough and included corroboration by eyewitnesses to the incident who confirmed that Monique Smith was the perpetrator.”

“We stand by the integrity of our investigation,” he added, “and are saddened to know that no one will be held accountable for the violent death of this family pet.”

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Find a Father and Discover a Rock Star

It’s one thing to learn, at age 42, who your biological father is. It is another thing altogether to learn that that person is Ted Nugent, the guitar-, gun- and far-right-rhetoric-slinging Motor City Madman. A Brooklyn restaurateur and bar owner, Ted Mann, had that experience recently, and the blog Brooklyn Based has now told his remarkable story. “I got to his ranch and he was grilling elk he had shot for me,” said Mr. Mann, who owns Cubana Social in Williamsburg and No Name Bar in Greenpoint, among other places. Read it and weep.

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Make More Sales With IT Leads

There are plenty of opportunities available in the world of IT sales. The market is good, and there are people willing to buy IT products and services. So far, the only problem that could be encountered is the lack of awareness that these people have about your IT firm. You may have the best stuff around, but if you dont have sufficient IT leads, youll have very poor sales. No one likes that, right? Thats why many firms are employing many methods to increase the number of IT sales leads that they have. Pay per lead is one of these methods. Its a good strategy for firms to use since it can generate far more IT leads than its closest rival: telemarketing. Telemarketing may have its own strengths, but it cannot match the quality and quantity of IT sales leads provided by pay per lead. Thats a fact many firms understand.

Now, people may have some misconceptions about pay per lead. Pay per lead is not treated as a separate form of lead generation. Its actually a variation of telemarketing. The only thing that makes each other different is the payment system when obtaining the leads. It companies would only have to buy the leads. They dont have to hire the services of a telemarketing firm, or even hire the services of telemarketers. Clients dont have to bother with a bunch of details and other frills that telemarketing normally brings. With pay per lead, everything is simplified. Networking leads, web hosting leads, and other web services leads are best obtained using this system. There are many IT firms that have benefited from the use of such service, given the ease and speed that the leads were obtained. IT firms also tend to spend less when they opt for pay per lead in getting IT sales leads.

Of course, some people might wonder why these IT firms merely wished to purchase leads. They could say that its a lost opportunity, that these companies would be better off having telemarketing on board. Well, although these individuals do have a point, the reason why some IT firms opted to simply buy leads is because they have their own telemarketing team already. Now that you know, youd certainly agree why its pretty much senseless to outsource the work. As a rule of thumb, in-house telemarketers know their material more. In addition, these professionals are more capable of convincing prospective customers to try the IT products and services that they offer. Besides, some IT firms handle sensitive materials that they cant freely release to external telemarketers. Data security is their top concern, and they can only be sure that such information is safe by having their own telemarketing personnel.

Its a viable work set-up. Take note that IT firms may have the resource and personnel to make for a successful telemarketing campaign. Perhaps the only thing that they will need would be the help of a good guide in during the campaign. For example, technology consultants would need to know which people to advertise their services to. In this case, they will need reliable technology consulting leads to get the work done. Now, its entirely difficult to get them on their own, but pay per lead can ensure that they can get the results that they require. This method works, and many IT firms are using it to their advantage. You could also try it, too, since this can be seen a smart investment for your sales campaign.

Pay per lead is just the right strategy for IT firms. If you want your firm to be successful in IT sales, then you should think about buying leads.

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Best World of Warcraft Jewlcrafting Guide Online

Best Jewlcrafting Guide Online

If your ever not sure what profession to go then jewelcrafting is the one, this is because it’s unbias in the sense that it doesn’t suit one classes more then another, and thats why it’s great for anyone. Furthermore, it’s an excellent source of revenue. Gems are always needed as people upgrade their gear constantly. Jewlcrafting will provide you with a boost in stats as you will be able to craft unique soulbound gems that are stronger in stats than any other gem available in the game, however you will be able to equip only 3 at a time. Jewlcrafting boost comes down to total of 81 of any stat (i.e. strength or intellect). For all these reasons jewlcrafting is a good choice for any class in game.

If you want to pick up Jewelcrafting then you will need to head to your local city and ask a guard if your not sure where the trainer is. When you learn jewlcrafting as your profession you will also learn prospecting as a side skill allowing you to prospect ores into raw uncut gems.

The following is a guide for how you can craft certain items that will allows you to ge the most from your materials or/and gold and this list will take you to 525 from level 1. You will also notice that a couple of the items have keep next to them make sure you keep them for later because they will be used.

Jewlcrafting skill 0-100
1-35 Delicate copper wire (keep)
35-50 Malachite pendant
50-80 Bronze setting – make sure to craft total of 50 settings as you will need them later on (keep)
80-100 Ring of silver might
Projected materials for this skill range: 70 copper bars, 180 bronze bars, 40 silver bars, 15 malachite and 20 moss agates.

Jewlcrafting skill 100-220
100-110 Ring of Twilight Shadows
110-120 Heavy stone statue
120-150 Pendant of Agate shield (pattern for this cut can be bought from jewlcrafting vendor in Thousand needles for horde or Menethil harbor for alliance)

150-180 Mithril Filigree (keep)
180-220 Citrine ring of rapid healing
Projected materials for this skill range: 20 bronze bars, 140 mithril bars, 20 shadow gems, 30 moss agate, 40 citrine and 80 heavy stone (bronze settings are not included as you already have them).

Jewlcrafting skill 220-300
220-225 Aquamarine pendant
225-245 Thorium setting; make sure to craft at least 55 of them as you will need them later on(keep)
245-260 Ruby Pendant
260-280 Simple opal ring
280-290 Sapphire pendant
290-300 Emerald lion ring
Projected materials for this skill range: 55 Thorium bars, 20 huge emeralds, 10 blue sapphire, 10 large opal, 10 star ruby, 5 aquamarine and 10 essence of undeath.
Jewlcrafting skill 300-350

This skill range is very easy just cut any of the gems you have learned from jewlcrafting trainer, following one simple rule, cut first those that are cheap and are orange or yellow. You will need a total of 50-60 of the following gems: Deep peridot, Blood garnet, Flame spessarite, Shadow draenite, Golden draenite, Azure moonstone.

Jewlcrafting skill 350-425
Follow the same rule as you did with previous skill range with one difference, for skill 350-390 you will cut uncommon quality (green quality) gems and for 390-425 range you will cut rare quality (blue quality) gems. You will need roughly 50 uncommon and 40 rare quality gems of any kind.

Jewlcrafting skill 425-525
425-467 Cut uncommon cataclysm gems (hessonite, jasper, carnelian, nightstone, zephyrite, alicite)
467-475 Hessonite band
475-490 Nightsone choker
490-500 Cut cataclysm meta gems
500-525 Fire prism

Projected materials for this skill range are: 42 Cataclysm uncommon gems, 16 hessonite, 40 nightstones, 75 of all uncommon cataclysm gems, 10 meta gems and 28 jewler’s settings (sold by vendor)

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Morning Buzz | A Spotlight on Kruger’s Lifestyle

Weather on gradual improvement program: warmish (55) and rainy Friday with danger of flooding, similarly warmish but unrainy Saturday, slightly cooler but crisply sunny Sunday. No tsunamis expected. And now the news.

The federal influence-peddling case that has ensnared State Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn and seven others has also thrown an unwanted spotlight onto what turns out to be the dour, drab politician’s lavish lifestyle. Mr. Kruger was using the proceeds of bribes, prosecutors say, to finance a four-door Bentley Arnage and a $2 million waterfront home originally built for a crime family boss. [NYT]

Also among the large cast of characters highlighted in the case: a “significant real estate firm” that is “spearheading an over $4 billion, multiyear, mixed-use commercial and residential development project in Brooklyn.” That could only be Forest City Ratner, of Atlantic Yards fame. Court papers say the unnamed company’s vice president asked Mr. Kruger for state money for three projects in December. [NYT]

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo used the occasion of the arrests of Mr. Kruger and Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr. to push anew for ethics reform. [Daily News]

Health & Hospitals

At the site of shuttered St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, an emergency care center run by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is part of a mixed-use development being proposed. [NYT]

Housing & Economy

Citing state budget cuts as the reason, the city has stopped accepting new families into its Advantage program for the homeless, which provides two-year housing subsidies for people who find stable jobs, allowing them to leave shelters. About 15,000 households are currently in the program. [NYT]

What a former Soviet republic really needs, apparently, to establish its world-stage bona fides is some classy Donald Trump towers. Georgia will be getting two, if a deal signed Thursday at a caviar-and-wine ceremony at Trump Tower comes to fruition: Trump Tower Tbilisi on Rose Revolution Square in the nation’s capital, and Trump Riviera, on the Black Sea. They would be the tallest buildings in the country. [NYT]

Crime, Courts & Public Safety

Burglars afoot in Brooklyn Heights are taking advantage of the fact that some residents feel so safe that they leave their doors unlocked. Not for long, perhaps. [NYT]

A Manhattan beautician was fatally stabbed in a garment district salon by her estranged husband, the police say. [New York Post]

The Naked Cowboy has agreed to drop his lawsuit against the Naked Cowgirl as long as she agrees to use her stage name “Sandy Kane” immediately before or after the valuable moniker. [New York Post]

Four tow truck operators were arrested on charges of towing cars off the street and selling them for scrap to a metal dealer in Queens. [New York Post]

Government & Politics

The Congressional hearing convened by Representative Peter T. King of Long Island on homegrown Islamic terrorism offered divergent portraits of Muslims in America: one as law-abiding people who are unfairly made targets, the other as a community ignoring radicalization among its own and failing to confront what one witness called “this cancer that’s within.” [NYT]


A packed community board meeting on the hotly contested Prospect Park West bike lane turned out to be a relatively civil rehashing of the already well-worn arguments for and against the lane. [NYT]


City Comptroller John C. Liu rejected a $21 million contract for the city’s Teaching Fellows program to train and recruit teachers over the next five years, saying it was wrong to use taxpayer money to train new teachers when widespread teacher layoffs are looming. Education officials said the move jeopardized a popular program that attracted teachers from nontraditional backgrounds to the city’s schools. [NYT]

Bill Clinton will be the commencement speaker at New York University’s graduation in May. [Daily News]

People, Neighborhoods and Animals

The Upper Breast Side, a popular consultancy-plus-boutique that offers answers and solutions to every problem a nursing mother could conceivably face, is in a pitched battle with the board of the residential building it inhabits on West 70th Street over whether it is a business or something else. [NYT]

First “Mad Men.” Now “The Adjustment Bureau.” Wearers of hats like fedoras cannot seem to shake the stereotype that their choice of headgear suggests something ominous, Clyde Haberman observes in his NYC column. [NYT]

The man killed when a firetruck slammed into a van on Staten Island on Wednesday was a beloved Special Olympics athlete. [Daily News]

It sounds like a science-fiction plot: researchers in a bio-secure lab breeding giant, slimy, half-blind reptiles with plans to release them into the wild. In fact, it’s a real-life conservation project in the Bronx that aims to rescue the hellbender salamander from extinction. [Daily News]

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Complaint Box | Old and Dear

Complaint Box
Got a Gripe?

Get a grip. Send your rant — no more than 500 words, please — to: [email protected].

The other morning, I went for a grocery run. I parked my car and made a mental note of the aisle number, remembered to take in my reusable shopping bags, and although there was a “slight hitch in my git-a-long,” as the old saying goes, I was feeling pretty, pretty good.

I started my tour of the store, meeting and greeting along the way: commiserating, congratulating, admiring babies, partaking of samples. And after successfully resisting the temptations of the candy aisle, I finally arrived at the checkout counter.

A fresh-faced young woman bagged my purchases, totaled my order, handed me the receipt and asked: “Sweetie, do you need any help with your groceries?” In my mind, I was suddenly transformed from an 84-year-old in possession of most of her faculties into a helpless old biddy. “Sweetie!”

These virtual pats-on-the-head have become more and more common in the past few years. I don’t know when I first started noticing the ubiquitous “dears,” “honeys” and “sweeties.” Perhaps it was when my husband and I were dining in one of the downscale restaurants we frequent, and nice waitresses would ask: “Is that all, honey?” or “Can I get you anything else, sweetie?” (Strangely enough, my husband is oblivious to the patronizing that so annoys me.)

I’ve heard men and women my age described as “cute.” Babies, puppies and kittens are cute, but most adults over 21 don’t qualify in the cute department. Why have the elderly (if you’ll pardon the expression) become regarded as “sweet” and “cute,” and why do well-meaning strangers treat us as wrinkled children? Many of my peers are mean, crabby, quarrelsome and decidedly uncute, yet our white, gray or missing hair seems to bring out words usually reserved for tots and tiny designer dogs.

I’ve never expressed my feelings to the perpetrators of these put-downs, but the other day things got to be a little too much. First a “sweetie” at the checkout counter, then a “dear” at the door to the post office and, finally, from a phlebotomist who was drawing blood from my wrinkled arm: “Make a fist, honey.”

With a few qualifying remarks intended to soften my inquiry, I asked her why she had called me “honey.” She looked puzzled and then said: “I call everybody honey, or sweetie, or dear.”

I pressed her further: “Not just because I’m old?” (There! I said it!) She laughed and said, “I call everyone ‘honey,’ I just do!”

An epiphany! These terms of endearment are vocal “tics” that people “just do,” as involuntary as blinks or sneezes, and just as meaningless. Maybe so, but a put-down by any other name is still a put-down. Call me Miss, Ms., Mrs., Madam or Ma’am, but please don’t call me Sweetie!

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A Turnover of Fabrics, Not Families

Neighborhood Joint

A series of articles profiling favorite local haunts.
What’s your neighborhood joint?

The rusty cash register at Mendel Goldberg Fabrics cannot register sales above $999.99 without a little tinkering. Large sums must be broken into smaller amounts, which are entered separately. Such were the times in which this register was made, an era when four-digit figures were rarely spent. Alice Goldberg Wildes, the fourth generation of the Goldbergs to run the store, insists that they will get a computer soon. She never seems to get to it.

Whether the presence of a computer would disrupt the harmony of this preserved part of the old Lower East Side is a mystery. This small, last-of-its-kind store, near the corner of Hester and Allen Streets, has not left family hands since Mrs. Wildes’s great-grandfather, Mendel Goldberg, founded it when he arrived from Poland in 1890.

The store is a junglelike collection of fabric-filled shelves covering entire walls. There are woolens in every color, beaded laces that sell for as much as $1,600 a yard, and uncommon fabrics that the store’s four staff members can identify with a quick glance. In the basement, off-season and overstock fabrics are stored beside unsold fabrics from as far back as the 1950s.

Read the full article »

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