In Private School World, a Rush to Be ‘International’

International is all the rage in private, profit-making schools in New York these days.

There is Avenues: The World School, Chris Whittle’s latest education undertaking, which is to open in 2012. There is the World Class Learning Academy, the British school chain outpost that could not call itself the British School because that is too similar to the name of another new commercial school called the British International School.

Now Claremont Preparatory School is going global. The downtown profit-making school, founded in 2005 and sold in April to Meritas, a global chain of commercial schools, is renaming itself Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. While New Yorkers may immediately reference Lehman Brothers, the once swaggering investment bank that blew up with spectacular repercussions in 2008, the name comes from Collège du Léman, a selective Swiss boarding school that is part of the Meritas family of schools.

“We are global citizens,” said Drew Alexander, the new head of Léman Manhattan, explaining the mad rush to build “internationally” branded schools. He knows of what he speaks: Before taking on Claremont, he worked at or ran international schools in Cairo, Singapore and Moscow. “We’re responsible internationally as well as locally,” he said.

Claremont had a rocky first few years. Turnover was high, and the school struggled to enroll students. Built for 1,500 students, only 484 children will attend prekindergarten through 11th grade this fall. Mr. Alexander said the school would grow “thoughtfully.”

Claremont did not have an international bent until its previous owner, Michael Koffler, explained in 2010 that the school was heading in a new direction. The following spring, under mounting losses, he sold Claremont to Meritas. Mr. Alexander is pushing for an International Baccalaureate curriculum for the high school and hopes to expand the language offerings, he said.

The decision to rename the school came after meetings with families (they liked the name) and market research (which did not). Nursery school directors, who send their students onto “ongoing” schools like Claremont, voted for rebranding, he said.

Collège du Léman was the obvious choice as it is the heavyweight in the Meritas stable of 10 international schools, which includes a school in China, one in Mexico, the Collège du Léman in Switzerland and seven in the United States.

Was there an “Avenues effect” on the sudden decision to rebrand? After all, Mr. Whittle has taken Manhattan by storm with a few high-profile hires, high-priced marketing and an aggressive early admissions process.

“We truly believe Avenues is seeing the right stuff,” Mr. Alexander said, arguing that more educational options for families are best for everyone. “But what our school offers is reality. We’re backed by an international system of schools, and Avenues wants to put that in place,” he said. (Avenues plans to build 20 campuses around the world, starting in 2014.)

Mr. Alexander, whose children were educated in international schools around the world, said the “international” concept was not a catch phrase or a fad. “It’s about being open-minded and respectful and really valuing diversity,” he said.

He recalled being at the helm of the international school in Cairo during the intifada and then the 9/11 attacks. His students included Israelis, Palestinians, Muslims and Americans, and he said it was his job to create a safe place for them to talk about what was happening. “It was about humans, not about politics,” he said. The exchange of ideas in a safe place: “That’s what an international school is all about.”

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August 2011, Wettest … Month … Ever

August was already a wet month long before Tropical Storm Irene swept across New York City.

But Irene’s deluge made August one for the record books — it is now the wettest month ever recorded since meteorologists began keeping records in Central Park in 1868.

“We broke the record with a bang,” Stephen Fybish, a weather historian, said Wednesday.

The 18.95 inches recorded for the month topped the August record of 12.36 inches logged in 1990 and the record for the wettest month: 16.85 inches registered in September 1882.

Tim Morrin, the leader of the observation program for the National Weather Service in Upton, Long Island, said, “What’s even more remarkable is that we broke the all-time precipitation record for any month by over two inches.” The Weather Service will report the record rainfall officially on Thursday, Sept. 1.

Even before Irene struck the city, the rainfall in August had surpassed 12 inches.

The 30-year average rainfall for August is 3.28 inches, Mr. Morrin said.

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Public Relation Helps in Building up the Rapport

Public Relation is a subject whose main purpose is to maintain a public image for high profile people such as celebrities, professional diplomats, and politician and for business organization or non-profit organization. The earlier explanation about the public relation is by The First World Assembly of Public Relations Associations held in the city of Mexico in1978, was the analyzing trends about the art and social science, prediction of consequences, counseling organizational leaders and implementation of plan programs of action which will going to serve both organization and public interest. In other words, we can say that it is the application of running communication between organization and its publics. Public Relations deals with the association and also offers the exposure to the personality where they have to deal with their audience by using the topics related to news article and public interest that further work as third party endorsement and do not make direct payment. Their action includes working with media, social media engagement, crisis communication, speaking at conferences and employee communication.

Public relations work efficiently in building up the rapport with customers, voters, employees, investors or general public. They deal with different sectors like financial public relations offer information to the business reporters. Industry relation offers the information to trade bodies. The organization dont go for advertising for the promotion of their goods services in fact they opt the Consumer/life style public relations as this the best way to gain publicity for their products and services. Crisis public relation responds to the negative accusations. Moreover, to influence the policymaking and dealing with government departments is known as Government relations. They work for Corporate Communication and deals with labor relations, investor relations, media relations, analyst relations, and internal communications.

PR professionals are working as the important sector that connects with different organizations through the channel of communication and its role has been changing with the advancement of modern technology. Nowadays there is shift from traditional to online media, it is very important for the PR professionals to learn new skills, and scrutinizing the social media, which further assist them in making impact on brand reputation.

Public Affairs are associated with government agencies, mass media, public interest, and pressure groups. Public Affairs deal with the subject of public information, command information, and community activities that include both internal and external public with in the department of defense. Public Affairs deal with the subject of public information, command information, and community activities that include both internal and external public with in the department of defense.

The author is an experienced Content writer and publisher for Business Development. Visit at to know more about Public Relations and Corporate Communication with Public Affairs.

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How to Gather Web Hosting Sales Leads

Summary: Web hosting companies also need leads for their financial growth. There are many

options that they can take advantage of to gather quality leads. Some of these options are stated in the

article below.

Web hosting services can be compared to real estate but in a more digital sense. Companies that provide

such services let their clients either rent or own a portion of their server in order for them to put up

their own site in the World Wide Web. Hence, it is just like a person in search for the right place where

they can put up their own business. However, it is through digital methods instead of doing it in a

tangible manner.

Web hosting companies are no exceptions when it comes to needing quality leads. This type of company can

be seen within the larger industry of information technology. IT lead generation has been seen to become

very difficult without the right amount of experience involved. Hence, gathering leads for web hosting

companies may be the most complicated thing that they can come across in their career.

Truthfully, gathering

referral=SEO&from=article”>web hosting sales leads

can be quite difficult but it does not mean that

it is not achievable. There are various methods that these companies can use in order to gather leads for

their business. Let us take a look at some of those methods.

Put up a website What’s a web hosting company without ever having a website of their own? The

thought of this is pretty ironic. Web hosting companies that do not have their own website is like a

dairy company without having milk as one of their main products. Utilizing the Internet is the basics of

this type of company.

Market the company through SEO SEO or Search Engine Optimization uses the vast power of the

Internet along. These companies can write meaningful articles and blog write-ups then post it to various

directories online. They can then include keywords that are popular within their articles so that the

link will pop-up within the first few pages of a search result. Other than this, these companies can also

opt for social bookmarking or provide backlinks their website. In todays culture, being visible on the

internet is very important. Almost everyone is online everyday whether for work or leisure.

E-mail blasting In more common terms, blasting anything is not good. This is not the case for

companies especially for those that offer web hosting services. E-mail blasting is used by businesses to

send invitations and proposals to potential clients to their e-mail inboxes. The term blasting is

included for the advertising mail is not sent to a minimal number of recipients. As a matter of fact, one

an e-mail marketing campaign is initiated, thousands of advertising material are to be sent to various


Outsourced IT telemarketing services Now we move on to other non-digital yet still effective

method for gathering leads for web hosting companies. As we know, a web hosting company can use the power

of the Internet to its full potential. Hence, these companies are not limited to their locale when it

comes to targeting prospects. Their targeted market can encompass the entire globe if they wanted


With outsourced telemarketing services, these companies can gather their IT leads quickly no matter what city or country

their prospect resides. Telemarketing can establish a direct mode of contact through the use of the

telephone. Aside from that, a telemarketing firm that specializes in gathering leads for a company

located in the IT sector will have the most potential of generating quality leads.

These methods are but only a few in a wide assortment of mediums for a web hosting company to gather

leads. It is up to them and their decision makers on which of these methods are the most beneficial for

the growth of their company.

Phillip Mckenzie is a successful lead generation and appointment setting consultant specializing in IT

Telemarketing. To know more about IT Telemarketing, Phillip recommends you to visit



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On Day 3, A Better Picture for Commuter Trains

Prospects for the areas trains, buses and roads are all a little brighter this morning. Getting around New York City is far less problematic than it was before with PATH trains, buses and subways all running. Amtrak is running again from Washington, D.C. to Boston. Even some suburban lines are springing back to life.

As of Tuesday night, here’s a summary of what changes there may be for Wednesday’s commute. Since these updates change quickly, please check the Web site of your transit agency for the latest updates.

Metro-North Railroad

The Metro-North Railroad will operate trains on all of the Hudson and New Haven lines on Wednesday. On the Harlem Line trains are running to Southeast. Commuters can take buses between Wassaic and Southeast. Metro-North restored service to the New Canaan branch and has kept the Danbury and Waterbury branches shut for now. It could take months to restore the Port Jervis line because of storm damage.

Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road is running full weekday service on the Babylon, Ronkonkoma, Hempstead, West Hempstead, Far Rockaway and Oyster Bay branches. The Port Jefferson branch is running all the way to Port Jefferson. The Long Beach branch service is expected to be restored to full weekday service starting on Wednesday morning. The Ronkonkoma branch is just running to Ronkonkoma and the Montauk branch is just running to Speonk.

New Jersey Transit
New Jersey Transit train service between Trenton and New Brunswick has been restored, but is subject to delays.

While the Morris and Essex and Main/Bergen County lines are running on a regular weekday schedule, service remains suspended on the Port Jervis line and parts of the Boonton Line from Little Falls to Mountain station. On the Raritan Valley line, New Jersey Transit is not stopping at the Bound Brook station in either direction or eastbound at Bridgewater because of flooding.


Amtrak is restoring most service on Wednesday morning from Washington through New York City to Boston, though officials warned there could still be some delays around Trenton.

Roads and bridges

Many major parkways may still be partly closed as crews try to clear fallen trees. But Interstate 87 is open between Albany and New York City in both directions. Click here for specific road closings.

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Around Bee Rescue, Honey and Rancor

Tropical Storm Irene moved through New York City on Sunday knocking out power, causing flooding in some neighborhoods and knocking over many trees.

In one corner of Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, the storm also set off a fight — over bees.

In a gale wind from the storm, a hollowed-out branch of an enormous tree was ripped off, exposing a hive of 30,000 to 40,000 honeybees. The hive’s discovery was a jackpot for the beekeeping community and word spread quickly on Facebook and Twitter that a feral hive was up for grabs.

Two beekeepers jumped at the chance to claim the bees, unknowingly setting off a feud between two of the city’s main beekeeping groups.

One of the beekeepers was Margot Dorn, an arts teacher at a charter school in Brooklyn who had taken a class at New York City Beekeeping, a nonprofit group that offers free courses, workshops and gatherings for beekeepers. When she discovered the hive, while taking a stroll through the park on Sunday morning, she called the group, and James Fischer, her former teacher, immediately drove down from the Upper East Side.

But he was not alone.

Another beekeeper, Liz Dory, a cinematographer, noticed a message sent out on Facebook by another beekeeping group, the New York City Beekepers Association, informing followers that it had a team at the ready to rescue any endangered bee swarms.

Ms. Dory contacted Andrew Coté, a prominent beekeeper and president of the association, who went to the park on Sunday to deal with the imperiled hive.

Mr. Coté and Mr. Fischer had once attended beekeeping functions together. But Mr. Coté had a more ambitious plan for a professional beekeeping association and started his own group in 2008.

Because Mr. Coté’s group regularly worked with the health department and the New York Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit on such rescues, he was able to secure a police van with a crane, a chain saw, and the services of the Police Department’s resident bee handler. Mr. Coté oversaw the rescue work.

As throngs of beekeepers and the curious congregated within the thin piece of yellow caution tape roping off the area around the tree, tensions rose. And even as the wood chips were flying, the two beekeeping groups squabbled over how the rescue should be conducted and who the rightful owner of the bees was.

“It was as though I brought the North and South back to the Mason-Dixon line again,” Ms. Dory said about the dispute.

The six-hour rescue operation involved hoisting the Police Department’s beekeeper, Anthony Planakis, known as Tony Bees of the N.Y.P.D., 30 feet in the air wielding a chain saw.

Mr. Fischer said he tried to halt the operation on Sunday because the high winds trailing the storm added to an already potent combination of stinging insects, heights and chain saws. But when his words were not heeded, he left the park.

“There was a lot more testosterone floating around than common sense,” he said.

But Mr. Coté defended his decision to carry out the mission.

“I was happy to be a bystander if someone else could handle the situation,” he said. “I only moved ahead with my methods when no one else could manage the job.”

That a swarm of bees would draw a swarm of people reflects the growing interest in beekeeping, or apiculture, which has been expanding since the city legalized it in March of last year. Although there are no statistics on the number of beekeepers in the city, some involved in the practice estimate that there are over 200 keepers tending hives on their rooftops or in their backyards.

Mr. Fischer, who teaches about 100 students each year, said he was amazed by the number of young mothers and teachers, like Ms. Dory and Ms. Dorn, who had been drawn to bees.

“Five years ago the beekeeper demographic was an old white man who had retired after working 30 years as a machinist somewhere,” he said.

Beehives are the new ant farms, it seems.

And in the end, who would claim the Fort Greene bees? A compromise, of sorts, was reached.

As the sun went down on Sunday, Ms. Dory and Ms. Dorn loaded up a truck with the bandaged tree limb and a back seat full of bees and took them to a community garden in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where the hive rested for the night.

On Monday, the comb was carefully excised from the branch and the bees were transferred to wooden frames in a procedure that involved a vacuum, serrated bread knives and rubber bands. Mr. Fischer was on hand to settle the bees on the top of Ms. Dory’s brownstone in Prospect Lefferts Gardens after successfully introducing a new queen to the hive.

Ms. Dory will house the bees and, if they survive the winter, she will give half of them, in what is known as a “split,” to Ms. Dorn.

And, in an effort to maintain good relationships with her fellow beekeepers, she called Mr. Coté to thank him for efforts. Without his help, she said, her hive would not have survived.

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Cuomo Asks Obama to Declare Disaster in New York State

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, warning that several emergency shelters had been rendered unreachable by flooding and that dams were at risk of failing, asked President Obama on Tuesday to declare a major federal disaster in New York State.

At Mr. Cuomo’s request, Mr. Obama declared a federal emergency in New York on Friday. A major disaster declaration would significantly broaden the financial assistance available to the state as it cleans up from the storm.

The governor also announced that he had established a 12-person commission of state officials to coordinate the response to Tropical Storm Irene. He flew from Albany to the Adirondacks to survey severe flooding resulting from the storm, which dumped record rainfall on large portions of upstate New York on Sunday.

The governor’s trip, to the towns of Keene and Jay, in Essex County, was his third visit to a flood-stricken area in the past three days. He wrote to Mr. Obama that on his visits, he had witnessed “hundreds of private homes either destroyed or with major damage and an enormous amount of public infrastructure damage.”

“I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments,” Mr. Cuomo added, “and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary.”

In his letter, Mr. Cuomo described four towns or villages — Fleischmanns, Margaretville, Prattsville and Windham — simply as “underwater.” He said at least 4,800 people were staying in 70 shelters across the state, some of which had been isolated because of flooding and could not be reached with fresh supplies of food and water. And he warned that two dams were at risk of failure: the Gilboa Dam, in Schoharie County, and the Vischer Ferry Dam on the Mohawk River.

Across the state, electrical workers continued to try to reach downed power lines on Tuesday, with limited success. In the morning, 528,000 customers remained without power across the state; by late in the afternoon, that number had fallen to 470,000. But the Cuomo administration warned that some customers in rural parts of the state could be without power into next week.

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Zabar’s New Non-Lobster Z-Food

Gadzookz. Would Zhakezpeare wonder, What’z in a name, anyway?

Zabar’s, the Upper West Side grocery store, has renamed the lobster salad that contains no lobster “zabster zalad.” The main ingredient remains the same: wild freshwater crawfish. Like the lobsterless lobster salad before it, “zabster zalad” also contains mayonnaise, celery, salt and sugar.

“It’s a combination of lobster and Zabar,” said Saul Zabar, the president and an owner of Zabar’s. “We could have called it Zobster salad, but our name is Zabar’s. And instead of the word ‘salad,’ we put a Z in there.”

For the record, he pronounced “zabster” to rhyme with Napster, the music-sharing service, not the ingredient that his lobster salad never had.

This tempest in a lobster pot boiled up in early August after Doug MacCash, a reporter for The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, ordered a lobster-salad bagel at Zabar’s while vacationing in New York. Unlike thousands of customers in the 15 years Mr. Zabar had been selling the lobsterless lobster salad, Mr. MacCash noticed that it did not really taste like lobster. He looked at the label and wrote a short item online.

Mr. Zabar repeated on Tuesday what he had said in early August: He had never meant to deceive anyone. He said he had received some angry e-mails after bloggers and newspapers picked up the story.

“Some people felt they had been taken advantage of,” he said, “although the pricing is such that you could never charge that price for real lobster meat. It would have to be way out of there. The pricing was according to the product. We gave them a very clear label.” Zabar’s charged $16.95 a pound for the lobster salad, the same as for the zabster zalad.

Zabster salad is actually the second renaming. Mr. Zabar first changed the name to “seafare salad,” the name of a different kind of salad that he had stopped selling some years ago.

He might have seen what happened next coming.

“I got a call from my guy that handles our trademark situation,” Mr. Zabar said. “He said that was trademarked to somebody, and rather than wait for the somebody to send me a letter, I figured I would do something.” (The latest renaming was reported by a neighborhood blog.)

He said he had already thought of “zobster salad” or “zabster salad.” So had a customer who suggested ”zabster” on Zabar’s Facebook page. Zabar sent the customer bagels, coffee and zabster zalad, and Mr. Zabar turned to his computer. “It turned out that if we had used langostinos, we could refer to it as ‘langostino lobster salad,’ ” he said.

There has been some debate in restaurant circles about whether langostinos are really lobsters. But Mr. Zabar is unfazed.

“I brought in a sample of langostinos, and we’re working on a sample of langostino lobster salad,” he said. “We haven’t perfected it yet. You have to get the flavoring right. You got to work with the juices and boil them down and concentrate them. The flavor of this product comes from the way we concentrate the liquid that comes with the crawfish because it comes as a pasteurized product. It’s a precooked pasteurized product, frozen, so we have to play with it to get the flavor we want. You have to add a little salt.”

The langostinos, he said, are not pasteurized, “just fresh frozen.”

“We’ll work on it,” he said, “and if I don’t like the taste, we won’t sell it.”

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In National Politics, Not Exactly an Empire State

Since you were surely distracted by the former hurricane known as Irene, you may not have noticed one of the weekend’s major nonevents. George E. Pataki, once New York’s governor, announced that after indulging in his quadrennial routine of dropping flirtatious hints of a presidential run, he would once again not seek the Republican nomination.

The Day

Clyde Haberman offers his take on the news.

Shocked gasps could not be heard all across the state. Relatively few people had taken a Pataki candidacy seriously. City Room asked readers if they thought he would make a good president. A few said, in effect, Compared with the others, why not? But the consensus leaned more toward this:


A more eloquent analysis was offered by Steve Kornacki, writing for Mr. Pataki’s problem, he said, went beyond positions on gay rights and abortion rights that are out of step with his party and its increasingly pronounced rightward tilt. The problem, Mr. Kornacki wrote, was Mr. Pataki himself: “He comes across as a thoroughly average, thoroughly boring former governor whose name hasn’t been on a ballot since 2002.”

Mr. Pataki, the analyst noted, wasn’t even the best-known New York Republican when he was governor, from 1995 to 2006. That distinction belonged to New York City’s mayor in the 1990s, Rudolph W. Giuliani, another politician with a quadrennial habit of hinting at a presidential run.

Perhaps the most sobering aspect of the Pataki announcement was the reaffirmation that New York is a backwater in national politics.

There was a time — granted, long ago — when this state was a reliable breeding ground of national leaders, almost up there with Ohio and Virginia. The ranks included Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland and a couple of guys named Roosevelt. But no New Yorker has been elected president since F.D.R. became the name of a highway in Manhattan. (Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of Columbia University, and Richard M. Nixon had a New York law practice for a few years, but neither man is commonly thought of as having been a New Yorker.)

The last time a major party even made someone from this state its presidential candidate was in 1948, when the Republican Thomas E. Dewey, then New York’s governor, lost to Harry S. Truman.

Not that we haven’t offered the country serious people, among them Nelson A. Rockefeller, Mario M. Cuomo, Mr. Giuliani and newly minted New Yorkers like Robert F. Kennedy and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Before his governorship imploded, Eliot Spitzer had White House visions of his own.

But the country’s political center of gravity has obviously shifted southward and westward, making the going from these parts tougher than ever. It has always been rough for New York City mayors; not one has risen to higher elected office since the 1860s. Now, statewide officeholders seem snakebitten as well.

We talked this over with David S. Birdsell, dean of the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College.

“Is there something about us?” Professor Birdsell said. Definitely for the Republicans among us, he said. The national party has moved much further to the right than a New York Republican may safely go. “It’s hard to imagine how you can be a successful New York statewide politician and a plausible candidate in a Republican primary,” he said.

New York Democrats are different story. If they’ve failed at the national level, it has been for reasons other than their inability to meet some sort of ideological purity test. Some Democrats are already talking up the present governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, as a national contender in five years.

It is “absurdly early” to ponder 2016, Professor Birdsell acknowledged, but Mr. Cuomo “would not look odd at a Democratic convention,” with positions on budget-cutting, for example, that are “really kind of spot on with national sentiment at this point.”

“He’s our next best bet to enter the lists with some chance of success,” the dean said.

Maybe. But as he said, such speculation is way, way premature — not unlike that 1948 Election Night headline out of Chicago about how the New Yorker beat Truman.

For more local news from The Times, including the devastation Tropical Storm Irene created for Catskill towns and its cost to our city; the aggressive defense of Joshua Komisarjevsky, who goes on trial in September in the killing of a family in 2007; and a slump in performance for city agencies under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s stewardship, see the N.Y./Region section.

Here’s what City Room is reading in other newspapers and on other blogs this morning:

The 9/11 victims’ compensation fund expanded the benefit zone for people claiming some physical illnesses related to the attacks by 10 blocks, from Reade Street to Canal. [New York Post] (Also see The Wall Street Journal and DNA Info.)

Two small children and a young man were hit by stray bullets when a person shot randomly into a group of 12 people in the Bronx Park South neighborhood. [New York Post] (Also see The New York Times.)

Leiby Kletzky’s family has sued Levi Aron for more than $100 million over the killing of their son. [Daily News] (Also see The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.)

The New York State comptroller’s office cited the phone hacking scandal as its cause for rejecting a $27 million contract with a News Corporation subsidiary for a system to track student performance. [Wall Street Journal] (Also see The New York Times.)

The police are trying to track down a serial rapist who has attempted to attack five women in Park Slope, Brooklyn. [Daily News]

The nearly 800 public school employees to be laid off this year will not know their fate until they show up for the first day of school. [Daily News]

An 82-year-old Holocaust survivor and grandmother from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, drowned in a cottage in Fleischmanns, N.Y., because of flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. [Daily News]

Residents of East Haven, Conn., described the destruction Irene wrought in their beachfront community. [Wall Street Journal]

American Airlines began a thorough search for Jack, a cat lost at Kennedy International Airport during Irene, after Jack’s family set up a Facebook page demanding his return. [Daily News]

Dog owners claim a new financial district dog run is so dirty that it is making their pets sick. [DNA Info

Rachel Figueroa-Levin of Manhattan is the brains behind ElBloombito, a parody Twitter feed written using Mayor Bloomberg’s voice in pidgin Spanish. [Daily News] (Also see DNA Info.)

Tenants of a building in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, charge that they have dealt with a bedbug infestation for the past six years because management has failed to exterminate them. [Daily News]

Some diners charge that city restaurants are using dishonest tactics to add gratuities to their bills. [New York Post]

Concerned parents and nannies are complaining that vagrants regularly use a children’s playground in McCarren Park in Williamsburg as a toilet. [Brooklyn Paper]

A glimpse of a possible anesthetizing future at Coney Island. [Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York]

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Central Park Has 1,500 New Ways to Say Keep Off, or On, the Grass

Central Park presented a new face this weekend to visitors who arrived as Tropical Storm Irene made its way up the coast:

Titling Gothic.

That is the typeface used on more than 1,500 new signs that have sprouted around the park this summer, as the Central Park Conservancy tries to stake an ever-stronger claim in the public’s eye to the 843 acres of parkland under its management.

The appearance of white Titling Gothic letters on a sprightly yellowish-green background is supposed to convey more of an informal than a dictatorial stance. Except, of course, when a tropical storm is coming.

“Park signs are traditionally prohibitive — a lot of ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that,’” said Douglas Blonsky, president of the Central Park Conservancy. “The primary purpose of our new signs is to help visitors have as rich an experience as possible in the park – we’re telling them: ‘Do this! Try this!’”

Informational signs identify popular features nearby and provide a telephone number through which visitors with cellphones can learn a little bit more. (At the Alice in Wonderland statue, Whoopi Goldberg told me that the verses inscribed around the base were the favorites of Margarita Delacorte, in whose memory the sculpture was given. I had not known that.)

New signs appear at the beautiful bridges and arches of the park, making it possible to tell Driprock from Huddlestone. Larger signs, devoted to whole areas of the park, provide locator maps that are easy to understand and will be even more helpful when all the “You Are Here” arrows are affixed to them.

All is not sweetness and light, however. There are plenty of enforcement signs, too, underscored in many cases by pictograms. “With so many international visitors, they’ve become our way of hurdling language barriers,” said Dena Libner, associate director of public relations at the conservancy. The “Quiet Zone” sign at Bethesda Terrace includes a legal citation, she said, “to clarify that this is not a subjective preference of the Central Park Conservancy” but rather a “city-determined code of conduct.”

My favorite pictogram is one I spotted at the Harlem Meer. Nominally, it prohibits dogs in the water. But in the primeval spirit of the northern park, I prefer to think that its meaning may be: “No Viking Dragon Boats Permitted to Attack Here.”

Typically, the primary message on the signs is centered and printed in uppercase and lowercase letters. At the bottom of each sign is a white band on which the conservancy’s logo appears alone or, in the case of enforcement signs, along with the logo of the Department of Parks and Recreation, which is responsible for enforcing rules and regulations.

“Conservancy Green” is the background color, Ms. Libner said. An analysis performed by City Room on the computer in its living room disclosed that Conservancy Green — if expressed as a four-color “CMYK” printing formula — would have the following values: cyan (blue-green), 52 percent; magenta, 1 percent; yellow, 89 percent; and black, 2 percent.

Signs are printed on a high-density PVC board known as Sintra, one-quarter-inch or one-half-inch thick. They range in size from 10 by 18 inches to 17 by 30 inches. Scott Johnson, the former director of communications and branding at the conservancy, designed the signs, with Greg Shutters, the conservancy’s multimedia producer. They took cues from the overall rebranding campaign by McGarryBowen.

But the man who has arguably done the most to change the look of Central Park’s signs — David Berlow, of the Boston type foundry Font Bureau, the designer of Titling Gothic — knew nothing of his role until City Room reached out to him last week. Needless to say, he was delighted.

“I can see straightaway how well it fits,” he said, after looking over photographs sent to him by e-mail. “In addition to being well selected, both in terms of family and style, the compositions are wonderful. And the green, white and black color schemes of the signs seem to totally fit the park’s need for quiet and consistent — though sometimes insistent — messages.”

“None of the styles of Titling Gothic exude the kind of authoritarian insistence of Helvetica, which I’m sure was considered in the selection process,” Mr. Berlow said. “I’m not one of those Helvetica-haters as some are, but I’m sure many people will agree that this is a more apt selection for a project like this.”

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