Monday, April 27, 2009

Who The Hell Thought This Was A Good Idea??

Someone should kick Louis Caldera's ass!!

It was an image New Yorkers never wanted to see again: a jumbo jet trailed by two fighter jets buzzing dangerously close to the city’s most famous landmarks.

On Monday morning a 747 and two military planes circled the Statue of Liberty and flew close to the World Trade Centre site, causing panic among locals in New York. Residents and office workers evacuated buildings and ran onto the streets, fearing a repeat of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in which two hijacked airliners smashed into the World Trade Centre, killing almost 3,000 people.

But the flyover was nothing but a photo opportunity involving one of Barack Obama’s official presidential airplanes, apparently one of a series of flights to get pictures of the plane in front of national landmarks.

The flyover – carried out with little warning by the US defence department – was branded as “insensitive” by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. President Obama, who was not on the plane at the time, was reportedly furious when told of the flight by White House staff.

Locals – particularly office workers, construction workers and residents in high rise buildings – fled into the streets when they saw the planes, including a 747 sometimes used as Air Force Once, flying as low as 1,500 feet above the Manhattan skyline.

Roy Renner, a construction worker in Manhattan said he feared the worst.

“I was thinking about what happened in 9/11,” Mr Renner told CBS news. “That was what I was thinking about, so I said: ‘look, let’s get out of here’.”

Dominick Caglioti, who works in one of the city’s high rise buildings, told the New York Post he was furious when he found out it was simply a photo opportunity.

"It's so stupid because they tell you about every fire drill, but they didn't tell us about this," he told the paper.

An administration official said the purpose of the flight was to update file photos of the president's plane near the famous statue in New York Harbour.

The official said the White House military office had told the Federal Aviation Administration that it periodically updates file photos of Air Force One near national landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.

The FAA notified the New York Police Department of the flyover, telling them photos of the Air Force One jet would be taken about 1,500 feet above the Statue of Liberty around 10am on Monday. It had a classified footnote that said “information in this document shall not be released to the public or the media.”

Mr Bloomberg, who was not told about the flight, said had he been notified he would have asked the Defence Department not to do it.

“Why the Defence Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Centre catastrophe defies the imagination,” Mr Bloomberg said. “Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase it.”

The director of the White House military office, Louis Caldera, took the blame a few hours later.

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision,” Mr Caldera said. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it's clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

by Sophie Tedmanson

Monday, April 13, 2009

You Were The Best, Harry

Phillies Broadcaster Harry Kalas Dies at 73

Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas passed out in a press box at Nationals Park today and was pronounced dead at GW Hospital. He was 73.

"We lost our voice today," team president David Montgomery said, his voice cracking. "He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization."

Nats acting GM Mike Rizzo talked to Montgomery after Kalas' collapse but there was never really a thought of canceling the game; Montgomery told Rizzo that Kalas would have wanted them to play. There will be a moment for silence for both Nick Adenhart of Hagerstown and for Kalas.

"Major League Baseball has lost one of the great voices of our generation," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Baseball announcers have a special bond with their audience, and Harry represented the best of baseball not only to the fans of the Phillies, but to fans everywhere."

Montgomery said that Kalas was found unconscious in a broadcast booth, where he was preparing to work Monday's game against the Nationals. He was found by the Phillies director of broadcasting at about 12:30 p.m.

Montgomery called his condition serious at that time, and the Phillies closed the visitors' clubhouse to the media.
Kalas missed most of spring training after undergoing surgery in February. The team declined to reveal details of the surgery, saying it was a "minor medical procedure."

Kalas, who has broadcast Phillies games since 1971, was known for his distinctive "Outta here!" home run call. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving the Ford C. Frick Award in 2002. He was in the final year of a three-year contract with the Phillies. Kalas also narrated for NFL Films, broadcast Animal Planet's annual Puppy Bowl and did the voice-overs for the Chunky Soup commercials.

By Tracee Hamilton | April 13, 2009; 3:04 PM ET

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brian Dawkins to give tickets to fired Eagles employee

Here's just one more reason proving that Brian Dawkins is not only a great leader on the field - but a great man off the field.

Brian Dawkins to give tickets to fired Eagles employee

By Chris Chase

Last month, Dan Leone was fired from his part-time job with the Philadelphia Eagles after criticizing the team for letting veteran Brian Dawkins leave via free agency. Leone was a seasonal game day employee, which meant he worked during the Eagles' 10 home dates each season. His termination meant he would have been unlikely to attend any of those games in 2009. But now help is coming from an unexpected source.

Dawkins signed with the Denver Broncos, who happen to be playing in Philly this season. Since each visiting player gets two tickets to away games, the 35-year-old defensive back decided to give his allotment for the contest in Philadephia to Leone. Dawkins told the Philadelphia Daily News:

"I thought it'd be a good gesture. Had I not ... signed with Denver, that guy would still have his job. Obviously, he made a decision and out of emotion said something. He was one of probably thousands and thousands of Eagles fans who felt that way. That didn't surprise me, that someone said that on their Facebook. It did surprise me that he was let go, though ... I felt it would be a good thing, to reach out to that individual and just let him know how much I appreciate it.''

Well played, Brian Dawkins. It's becoming clear to see why most people in Philly didn't want to see a class act like Dawkins leave town.,152812