Thursday's Headlines: City Relying on Crane Safety from Instructor Who Admitted Mob Ties

HARKAVY is now blogging at The Smart Asset

Your Thursday New York headlines...

Revelation in wake of last year's crane deaths: Union official who is teaching crane safety to prevent future accidents admitted in 2003 that he helped mobsters and other unqualified people (including strippers) get into his union.

Developers face terrifying prospect of only getting $1.1 million for a 2-bedroom condo. (More Times white panic over tough times: 1. New Yorkers facing disastrous life on less than $500,000/year; 2. How's a guy supposed to feed himself on only $160,000? 3. Couple making $55,000 is literally starving to death. 4. Annie Leibovitz pawns her photos, other riches seeking cash for high-priced art to keep wolf from the door. 5. Oh the Humanities! Your liberal arts degree won't buy a cup of coffee, but profs squirm at the the thought of making the case for practical uses of a humanities degree.)

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Woof! Judge rules billions Leona Helmsley wanted spent on dogs can be used in other ways.

Cop-killer Bostic gets life without parole, Officer Timoshenko's mother is pleased.

Madoff fallout: More scamsters tripped up as their Madoff losses expose them.

Bloomberg planning to shut down parts of Broadway around Times Square to vehicles. Hopes to turn it into pedestrian mall.

Another stupid poll: New Yorkers admit to being drunks, in denial about being fat.

Shelly Silver on bailing out MTA: only if it comes with tolls on East River bridges.

City health department to switch to letter grades for inspections by 2010 -- predictably, restaurants don't like the idea.

Paterson responds to sinking popularity by firing, replacing members of his staff.

Korean couple killed in Queens apartment fire may be murder-suicide.

Bronx man arrested for December baseball-bat murder of Ecuadorean immigrant, charged as hate crime.

Man, 23, kills ex-girlfriend, then shoots her lesbian lover on a street in Brooklyn.

11-year-old girl shot in chest at her Brooklyn home when gunman fires from a corridor.

Laveranues Coles walks away from Jets, $6 million, to become free agent.

New coach, same result: Rangers lose 2-1 in Toronto.

The lineup for this week's issue of the Village Voice:

Letters: Ducks are people, too
La Dolce Musto: Did Craig Bierko date Charlize, Meg or Gretchen?
Tom Robbins: Showdown for the BusFella's Union

Feature: Guantanamo's Final Days -- The infamous prison camp ain't dead yet

Calendar: The guide to your week

Feingold: The Story of My Life leaves out whatever might give it a story or a life
More theater this week

Art: Shuster, subbing for Baker, gives the local rundown on things to see

Sietsema: Pink and Pendulous at Flex Mussels
DiGregorio: For the Gentry, Whiskey Sunday Bar-BQ

Hoberman: Examined Life According to Slavoj Žižek and Crew
Foundas: Wayne Kramer's Tasteless Immigrant Drama Crossing Over
More films opening this week

Harvilla: The Roots Take Manhattan -- the new kings of late-night, God (and Jimmy Fallon) willing
More music: The Shifting Republic of K'Naan, The Excess and Eccentricity of Francis and the Lights

¡Ask a Mexican!: Get with the lengua!

Find it at villagevoice.com:

Michael Musto's blog (La Daily Musto) and column (La Dolce Musto)
Wayne Barrett: news features and latest blogging
Tom Robbins: the column and latest blogging

News blog Runnin' Scared, featuring Roy Edroso, and including Jockbeat by Allen Barra
Music & arts blog, Sound of the City
Food blog Fork in the Road
Ward Harkavy blogs the financial world at The Smart Asset

J. Hoberman's film reviews
Michael Feingold's theater reviews
Robert Sietsema's food column, Counter Culture
Sarah DiGregorio's food column, Fork in the Road
Rob Harvilla's music column, Down in Front
Graham Rayman's news features and latest blogging
Elizabeth Dwoskin's news features and latest blogging

How to reach us:

Editor: Tony Ortega (tortega at villagevoice.com)
Senior editor: Ward Harkavy (wharkavy at villagevoice.com)
Arts & culture editor: Brian Parks (bparks at villagevoice.com)
Film editor: Allison Benedikt (abenedikt at villagevoice.com)
Music editor: Rob Harvilla (rharvilla at villagevoice.com)
Web editor: Camille Dodero (cdodero at villagevoice.com)

Calendar, theater/comedy listings: Angela Ashman (aashman at villagevoice.com)
Food listings: Araceli Cruz (acruz at villagevoice.com)
Music listings: Stacey Anderson (sanderson at villagevoice.com)
Film/dance listings: Eudie Pak (epak at villagevoice.com)

Writers/critics/columnists:
Wayne Barrett (wbarrett at villagevoice.com)
Sarah DiGregorio (sdigregorio at villagevoice.com)
Elizabeth Dwoskin (edwoskin at villagevoice.com)
Roy Edroso (redroso at villagevoice.com)
Michael Feingold (mfeingold at villagevoice.com)
J. Hoberman (jhoberman at villagevoice.com)
Michael Musto (musto at villagevoice.com)
Graham Rayman (grayman at villagevoice.com)
Tom Robbins (trobbins at villagevoice.com)
Robert Sietsema (rsietsema at villagevoice.com)

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