The Week In Review: ‘Melo Mania, Controversial Billboard and ‘Sidewalk Rage’
By Philip J. Victor, CBSNewYork.com
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This week in the Tri-State area, Knicks’ fans welcomed back their beloved native son to the Garden, were treated to a heart-warming reunion story thanks to the development of social media and got another reality check that the threat of terrorism is still one that is very real.
Here is the week in review for 2/21/11 through 2/27/11:
‘Melo Mania Hits Madison Square Garden
They wanted him and he wanted to be here. Following a blockbuster three-team trade, both Knicks’ fans and Brooklyn-native Carmelo Anthony had their wishes come true. The trade brought the Knicks an explosive scoring machine and a savvy, veteran point guard with a championship ring to boot. The trade came at no small cost. Major contributors to the team’s success this year, including Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari were dealt to Denver. Anthony’s arrival was a tremendous morale boost to New York fans, who immediately hit the stores to buy ‘Melo jerseys and tuned in en masse to watch his debut. The team defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 in his first game, but inexplicably dropped their next game to the team with the worst record in the league, the Cleveland Cavaliers. WATCH VIDEO
Homeless Man Reunites With Daughter Via Twitter
In the biggest local feel-good story of the week, 58-year-old Daniel Morales was able to see his daughter for the first time in 11 years. Sarah Rivera lost contact with Morales when she and her mother moved from Puerto Rico to the United States in 2000. Both of their lives were dramatically changed after Morales received a prepaid cell phone courtesy of the Underheard in New York initiative. The group set up a Twitter account for Morales so he could tweet about what it was like to be homeless. Morales decided he would use the opportunity to try and reach out to his long-lost daughter. When he posted an old picture of her and his cell phone number on Twitter, a stranger was able to reach out to Rivera, pass along the message and the two were united in Bryant Park on Friday. “Just getting in touch with my daughter again after 11 years and seeing my grand kids, it’s awesome,” Morales said. WATCH VIDEO
College Student Allegedly Plotted To Bomb Locations In NYC
The FBI arrested a Saudi-born college student suspected of plotting terrorist bombings in the United States. The Texas home of former President George W. Bush and New York City were allegedly among Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari’s targets. Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, had been an engineering student at Texas Tech University before transferring to another school to study business. The alleged plotter also used online traffic cameras to scope out potential targets in New York, according to Long Island Rep. Peter King. Court documents showed the suspect’s computer also contained information of a plan to visit New York City and a list of “action items.” Ali-M Aldawsari apparently wanted to emulate Osama bin Laden and kill Americans. “He was one chemical away from a bomb and one chemical away from attacking New York City,” Rep. King said. WATCH VIDEO
Billboard Causes A Stir in SoHo, Comes Down Shortly After
An anti-abortion billboard, located at the corner of Watts Street and Sixth Avenue, was the subject of much controversy this week. It’s message: “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” The group that sponsored the sign, “Life Always,” said it was meant to draw attention to the issue of abortion in the black community. Life Always said Planned Parenthood targeted minority neighborhoods and that abortions among African-American women were three times that of the rest of the population. Critics contended that the display was “grossly offensive” and “a big scare tactic.” “The survival of our country, our nation, is tied to the woman’s womb,” Pastor Stephen Broden, of Life Always, said. In the end, Lamar Outdoor Advertising ordered the billboard to come down about 3 weeks before it was supposed to. But even in its short time on display, it may have had an impact. “It sounds like it really got people talking and raised their awareness, and maybe that’s not a bad thing,” one woman said. WATCH VIDEO
‘Sidewalk Rage’ Hits City Streets
In a city with 8 million people and relatively little real estate, things can get a little testy on a busy sidewalk. This week, researchers told us there was such a thing as sidewalk rage or “intermittent explosive disorder.” It’s essentially the pedestrian equivalent of road rage. Among the scenarios that can bring it on: tourists stopping to snap a picture in the middle of a busy sidewalk and locals walking at a slow pace because they’re paying more attention to their smartphone than what’s going on in front of them. Those in a “rage” may express their frustration with a stare down to a more demonstrative elbow or push. Here’s how the numbers break down according to the study: the average speed of walkers in Lower Manhattan is 4.27 feet per second – tourists clocked in at 3.79 ft/s, smokers at 4.17 ft/s, cell phone users at 4.20 ft/s, men at 4.42 ft/s, and woman at 4.1 ft/s.
SOUND-OFF: Did we miss a story you thought was bigger this week? Got an opinion about any of these five? Let us know in the comments section.