Saturday, March 12, 2011

Motes Balaclava and a Great Unmasking in Gotham

Meet Mr. Motes – he’s up to no good. The Adventures of Miss Flit, is a beautifully illustrated cloak and dagger story by Beth Hahn, set in turn of the century New York. Emma Flitt weaves her way through back streets and alleys to find her sister Lucy, who has mysteriously vanished.

This is the Motes Balaclava that I contributed to The Adventures of Miss Flit, Vol. I, Chapter III, “The Séance.” It’s one of the many original patterns in this book. The Balaclava is a Russian winter mask that originated from the Crimean War – Battle of Balaclava (October 25, 1854). Interestingly this infamous British battle involved a legendary feud between Lord Raglan and the Earl of Cardigan.

In this four-part knitting novella you’ll encounter Mr. Motes and a cast of characters that include, magicians, clairvoyants, charlatans, pick pockets... and original knitting patterns. To purchase this series go to

Although Miss Flitt’s world is fiction set in old New York, shady characters do wander freely and openly. The wealthiest and dirtiest of them all roam the steps of Albany and their tangled pattern of corruption and greed is now becoming more obvious. Be warned, these men are dangerous...

In a Series of Phone Calls, an Ear into a Federal Corruption Case
(NYT, David Halbfinger,  March 11, 2011)

Recently in New York, the mask was pulled off the faces of a few unsavory Albany politicos. 8 corrupt lawmakers have been arrested, including Sen. Carl Kruger,  lobbyist Richard Lipsky, and Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Jr..  They all have finally fallen after a four year federal investigation revealed charges of money laundering, bribery, and millions of dollars in backroom deals. Potential jail time for Kruger is 60 years — orange jumpsuits and cheese sandwiches will soon replace a lavish life built on greed and tax payer dollars.

Developer Among Cast of Characters in Kruger Case
(NYT, James Barron, March 10, 2011)

This particularly turns my stomach as the trail leads directly to Atlantic Yards Developer, Forest City Ratner. So many dirty hands have passed through this deal, yet FCR remains virtually Teflon of bribery charges, even as their vice president of governmental affairs and public relations, Bruce Bender, is sourced in a taped $9 million covert conversation with Kruger. FCR has recently retired the service of their lobbyist Richard Lipsky effective since hearing the news of his arrest. Even as I look out my Prospect heights window, I see the traffic and congestion that leads to the arena, a reminder of how we have all been mired in this dirty deal. After the Ridge Hill bribery incident, will Bender and FCR be spared to gallows again?

Most Effective Corruption Hunter in New York
(The New York Observer, Azi Paybarah, March 10, 2011)

In the wake of these arrests, Manhattan federal prosecutor, Preet Bharara boldly proclaimed “This case should serve as a wake-up call.” “It seems that no matter how many times the alarm goes off, Albany just hits the snooze button...” Don’t they know that if they drink from the same dirty cup, they’re bound to be sucking up mud? Be warned Albany, there will be no one left to pay off.

To this day every filthy moneyed-hand that’s been involved with the Atlantic Yards Project mockingly call us “the opposition” and say that our neighborhood, Prospect Heights, is “blighted.” They fail to call us what we really are: the residents of Prospect Heights. We actually live here and must bear the brunt of their doing, meanwhile they watch from distant penthouse towers. But who will be left to tell this tale New York corruption? Visit Atlantic Yards Report, Norman Oder’s watchdog blog is dedicated to following our New York pols, Eminent Domain Abuse, and the backroom deals which gave us the money pit of tax dollars and public funds known as the Atlantic Yards Project. You can’t make this story up.

Thanks Bobby Young for lending your modeling talents to my Balaclava.

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