Joe Torre happy to watch All-Star Game from a distance

Major League Baseball descends on the Bronx Tuesday for the much-ballyhooed evening for out-of-towners to say their goodbyes to Yankee Stadium. But there is at least one transplanted New Yorker who swears he wants no part of any of it.Joe Torre, the second-winningest manager in Yankee history, who guided four championships and six pennants home to River Ave. before leaving on sour terms last autumn, is a couch potato tonight. The current Dodger manager has no spot on the National League coaching staff, no role in the Stadium festivities, no reason - or, he says, desire - to show up. Asked yesterday at his annual charity golf tournament in Briarcliff Manor in Westchester whether he's sorry he won't be there to see - and be seen at - the Stadium one last time, Torre said, "No, not really. I have great memories of Yankee Stadium, and it would've been a little different perspective, me going over there and being in the National League dugout and looking from the other side of the field. It'd be a little strange." Torre, who turns 68 on Friday, wouldn't rule out ever returning to the Stadium, but said: "When I left Yankee Stadium I had a sense it was going to be the last time I left there. I have no reason to look back." Then again, it's easy to look forward to a quiet night at home when you're not invited to the party. Clint Hurdle, the National League skipper, decided against bringing Torre with him to the Bronx when on May 17 he named San Diego's Bud Black and Torre's former coach, Willie Randolph of the Mets, to fill out his All-Star staff. If it ever occurred to Hurdle that he'd made an error of omission, he had a chance to rectify it after Randolph was cut loose by the Mets. But Hurdle again looked elsewhere, tabbing the Cubs' Lou Piniella on June 26 as Randolph's fill-in. "I left a message for Clint when he chose Lou Piniella. He called and explained that he and Lou go back a long way, and I certainly understood it," Torre said. "I just told him, 'Don't even give Continue Reading

Distance no object for Russian students

For six years, Laura Gunin has been commuting at least two hours every weekday between her Brooklyn school and her Staten Island home. And she's only in eighth grade. "I'm like an hour away from home, but I don't mind," said the bubbly 13-year-old, who rides a school bus from her Eltingville home to the Big Apple Academy, a one-of-a-kind Russian-American private school in Gravesend. "I knew that the public school would not give me enough education, thinking skills and everything like that." Like the Russian-speaking parents of some 100 other students in Queens and Staten Island, the teen's mother, Irina Verebeychik, sacrificed the convenience of proximity to give her daughter the benefit of a good old Russian education. "I am willing to go far if I have to," said Verebeychik, 38. "Our education system [in the USSR] was very strong and I wanted her to experience it." Although the kids start their school day with the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag, in many ways, the school, otherwise known as Bambi Academy, is modeled after Soviet schools. "The Russian immigrants who came here are highly educated people and remembering the education in the Soviet Union - the parents want to give their children the same education," said the school's principal and founder, Vlad Gorny. Just like kids in the former USSR, students carry a homework-assignment journal that monitors each child's everyday progress and are more disciplined than public school kids. "We don't allow our teachers to teach all the subjects," he said; different teachers teach different subjects. With 90% of the 1,000 students in Bambi's elementary and junior high schools speaking Russian at home with their parents, there's an emphasis on studying the Russian language and literature. Even the lunch menu is just what babushka ordered with kids chomping on chicken cutlets and borscht. "They literally have a grandma in the kitchen preparing lunch," said Irene Bogdashevskaya, whose Continue Reading

Long-distance boyfriend a letdown at close range

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been in a long-distance relationship for nearly six months, and my guy decided to relocate to my city. We've been taking things quite slowly up until now, but I allowed him to stay with me for a few weeks while he looked for work and his own apartment. Long story short, nearly a month later, he has come to the conclusion he only wants to be friends and can't be in a relationship. I've asked him to move out, but I'm having a hard time letting go of the friendship, even as I am still shocked (and hurt) by his decision. I'm not sure how to take back my space from him. He's basically acting as if nothing has changed between us. Shelley, Wicker Park, Ill.Dear Shelley: Consider it a blessing you found out early on that this relationship is not what you imagined it to be. Who knows why he came to the conclusion that he doesn't want to be romantically involved anymore. Rather than belaboring the why of this, be firm about his departure. Give him a deadline by which he must leave. Remind him that you extended your apartment to him out of kindness based on your relationship. Now that the relationship has changed, the terms of his departure have changed. His time is up.As far as your friendship goes, give yourself some space. Sure, it's hard to say goodbye to someone you honestly care about. But he has said goodbye to you. Allow your emotional wounds to heal. When you can look at the situation without pain, reassess if he's worthy of your friendship.DEAR HARRIETTE: My roommate moved out weeks ago, but she keeps procrastinating about the removal of her belongings from my apartment. At first, I was lenient because her moving van fell through and I allowed her a few extra days. Now weeks have gone by. She offered to pay me to let her keep things in my space. I just want her to finish moving as quickly as possible and I'm afraid that, if I take the money, she'll take even more time moving out. What should I do? Jean, Emeryville, Calif.Dear Jean: It's all Continue Reading

Inner Tube: Jimmy Kimmel goes distance, sets World Record

Jimmy Kimmel earned a Guinness World Record for his double-duty week of hosting. Soon after Kimmel completed co-hosting "Live With Regis & Kelly" in New York and his own show in Los Angeles, the folks at Guinness gave him a certificate for the "Furthest Distance Commuted in One Working Week." Kimmel's feat is remarkable. During the outing, he amassed 22,406 air-and-ground miles. Who knew Guinness even had a category for such feats? Dots all ... Enrique Iglesias will appear on the Nov. 7 episode of CBS' "The Young and the Restless." He'll perform at the club owned by Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John)....Judge Maria Lopez, Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan and WABC/Ch. 7's Bill Ritter and Sade Baderinwa take part join Catalog for Giving's salute to 10 young NYC "Urban Heroes" at a benefit dinner tonight at Chelsea Piers. Ritter will host; the others are presenters. ...As a rampup to the New Jersey Nets season- opener Wednesday, the Nets Kids perform on WNYW/Ch. 5's "Good Day New York" today, and the Nets Dancers will perform on WPIX/ Ch. 11's "Morning News" tomorrow....Speaking of the "CW11 Morning News," today the show kicks off a "Battle of the Bands" contest. Unsigned bands from the area can upload a song at of the bands....WPIX/Ch.11's Marvin Scott tonight emcees a Friars Club roast of "The Sopranos."   Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

American joins rest of ‘big 3’ in doling out miles by fare, not distance

And then there were three.American Airlines announced Tuesday that it will start doling out frequent-flier miles based on the fare customers pay and not on the distance they fly. American’s move closely mimics changes already made by Delta and United, the USA’s two other big traditional carriers.“American Airlines has spent the last two years being singularly focused on integration. Now we’re at a point where we can begin to look ahead and lay the foundation for the future of the AAdvantage program to ensure we’re rewarding our most loyal customers with the benefits they value the most,” Suzanne Rubin, president of American's AAdvantage frequent-flier program, says in a statement.Starting sometime in "the second half of 2016," non-elite American customers will earn 5 miles per every dollar spent on the base fare and "carrier-imposed fees." Elite customers will earn more, with Gold members earning 7 miles per dollar, Platinum 8 miles per dollar and Executive Platinum 11 miles per dollar. The earning levels closely mirror how Delta and United award miles.BOOKMARK: Go directly to the Today in the Sky homepageAmerican detailed several other changes, including changes to the miles needed for many frequent-flier awards. Unlike "redeemable" miles that can be cashed in for free flights, miles that count toward earning elite status on American will still be tied to distance flown. But the carrier is tweaking that too, making it easier for customers buying expensive fares to rack up those miles even faster. American customers earn elite status by accumulating at least 25,000 miles in a calendar year.But it’s the change in how American awards “redeemable” frequent-flier miles that appears to cement a fundamental shift in the nature of loyalty programs at U.S. airlines. Launched in the 1980s – first by American and quickly matched by most others – airline frequent-flier Continue Reading

Martin St. Louis, Rangers have plenty of Game 7 experience as battle with Capitals goes the distance

The first time Martin St. Louis played in a Game 7 was as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2004 Eastern Conference Final against the Flyers. The Lightning had lost Game 6 in overtime and returned home to play a winner-take-all matchup for the right to play in the Stanley Cup Final. “I remember being nervous,” St. Louis said. He was 28 years old then. As St. Louis, about a month from his 40th birthday, sat at his locker in Madison Square Garden Wednesday morning ahead of his seventh Game 7, already his third in his second postseason as a Ranger, he admitted he was nervous again. RELATED: RANGERS NEED RICK NASH TO DELIVER IN GAME 7 The nerves are all about anticipation, he says, wanting to get out on the ice and play instead of just thinking about it. “Once you get your first shift in that goes away,” St. Louis said. “You’re in the battle now.” In his first Game 7 battle, St. Louis assisted on Tampa’s first goal, courtesy of Ruslan Fedotenko, in a 2-1 win. He didn’t have to wait long to experience another Game 7 as the Lightning’s series against the Flames went the distance. Tampa prevailed in the last game to win their only Stanley Cup, which is also the only one of St. Louis’ career. He entered Wednesday’s Game 7 against Washington with two assists in six career Game 7s. He was tied for the most Game 7s played on the Rangers along with Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and Dominic Moore. All four of them were 5-1 in such games. Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin were all 5-0. Head coach Alain Vigneault, whose 54th birthday is Thursday, began the day with a 4-1 career record in Game 7s, including two wins last year in his first season with the Rangers. His first Game 7 as a coach came in the first round of the 2007 playoffs with the Canucks, who defeated the Ducks 4-1 in the deciding Continue Reading

Mindy Kaling keeping distance on ‘estranged’ brother’s claim he pretended to be black to get into medical school

Mindy Kaling is keeping her distance from her brother's claims that he pretended to be black to get into medical school. "Mindy has been estranged from her brother for years. She was not aware of his decision to apply to medical school under a different name and race," a rep for "The Mindy Project" star told the Daily News. The former "Office" star also hasn't tweeted anything about the claims from her big brother, Vijay Chokal-Ingam. The Cambridge, Mass., native and professional resume coach, however, has launched a social media campaign about his planned memoir recounting how he hid his heritage and claimed to be a black man named JoJo on his med school applications. In a post on his website,, Chokal-Ingam, a self-professed "Indian-American frat boy" with a 3.1 GPA, said he pulled the stunt as a University of Chicago junior in 1998 because he believed the admissions standards for "certain minorities" were "less stringent." "So, I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man. My change in appearance was so startling that my own fraternity brothers didn't recognize me at first," Chokal-Ingam said in the post. "I even joined the Organization of Black Students and started using my embarrassing middle name that I had hidden from all of my friends since I was 9 years old," he wrote. "Vijay the Indian-American frat boy become Jojo the African American Affirmative Action applicant to medical school," he said. Chokal-Ingam, who identifies himself on Twitter as his sister's "brother/nemesis," is a vocal critic of affirmative action in universities. He said he planned the book, called "Almost Black: The True Story Of An Indian American Who Got Into Medical School Posing As An African American," as a takedown of the system that will "shine a light on the type of racial favoritism I experienced, a form of 'affirmative action discrimination.'" Despite his average grades and the Continue Reading

Ohio woman must walk 30 miles — same distance of taxi fare she refused to pay: judge

A taxicab customer who fled without paying for a 30-mile ride has been ordered to walk the same distance as punishment for her crime. Victoria Bascom skipped out instead of coughing up for the lengthy trip from Cleveland to Painesville, Ohio, reports The News-Herald. The 18-year-old pled guilty Thursday to misdemeanor theft. Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti offered her a choice of either serving 60 days in Lake County Jail or walking the 30 miles in 48 hours. The Fairport Harbor resident chose the latter, reports WOIO. Bascom, who was also sentenced to four months of probation and ordered to repay United Cab $100, began her journey with a GPS device strapped to her body, at the Lake County Fairgrounds on Friday. It's not the only time that Cicconetti has doled out an unusual punishment to fit the crime. On the same day as Bascom's sentence, the judge called for Diamond Gaston to either be sprayed with pepper spray or spend 30 days behind bars, as punishment for pepper-spraying another man. The 19-year-old Painesville resident, who pleaded guilty to assault, chose the spray. But the judge secretly had the victim use a nonharmful water-based substance instead of the real deal in order to simply scare Gaston. Cicconetti has also previously ordered a teen who was playing music too loudly sit on his own in the woods in silence. And he forced a man who called cops "pigs" to stand with real pigs in the center of a town for two hours. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Men who can run long distances have stronger sperm: study

Men with strong reproductive potential tend to be better at distance running, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge that says a man's hands tell his story from the very beginning. In the hunter-gatherer age, females likely judged potential mates by their ability to run, an indicator of being able to provide well. Good providers, say the researchers, tend to be generous, and good hunters tend to be intelligent — and both of these traits likely attracted more females, too. "The observation that endurance running ability is connected to reproductive potential in men suggests that women in our hunter-gatherer past were able to observe running as a signal for a good breeding partner," says lead author Dr. Danny Longman. The finding supports theories saying "persistence hunting," or, outwitting the prey by chasing it until it becomes exhausted, was commonly employed by our ancestors. What's less clear is whether or not hunter-gatherers provided solely for their own families or shared their bounty within their tribe, as remaining tribes do. In the latter case, there would be no need for females to seek out the fittest male to ensure a healthy, well-fed family, however, good hunters and providers are also desirable for their shared traits of intelligence and generosity. Previous research says high exposure to the male sex hormone testosterone during one's time spent in the womb leads to evolutionary advantages for men including a high sperm count, strong sex drive and strong heart. Working with the largest participant group of marathon runners of any study of its kind, the research team used the length of their fingers to gauge their level of exposure to testosterone during gestation. A long wedding ring finger (the fourth finger from the thumb) by comparison to the index finger (which neighbors the thumb) has been scientifically proven to indicate high prenatal testosterone exposure. Called the 2D:4D digit Continue Reading

Kris Jenner distances herself from Bruce Jenner in wake of transition talk and car crash; mom-ager will focus solely on ‘the girls’

Bruce Jenner has been completely abandoned by Kris Jenner, multiple sources tell [email protected] The Kardashian momager hasn’t seen her ex-husband of 23 years in “months,” our insider says, and chats with him only briefly on matters concerning their daughters Kendall and Kylie. “They don’t even talk (regularly),” says our source. “She doesn’t have anything to do with him, really.” Another source tells us Kris and Bruce’s “dynamic has certainly changed,” adding that Bruce hasn’t seen Kendall for a month, while she travels with her mom, modeling. In addition to feeling shocked and betrayed by her Olympian ex’s transition into a woman, which he will address publicly in an exclusive interview soon with Diane Sawyer, Kris also wanted to distance herself from Bruce after his car crash on Feb. 7 that left a woman dead. Kris “thinks the transition is Bruce’s business to deal with,” says our insider. “She doesn’t deal with his stuff.” The Kardashian matriarch, who still runs Jenner Communications, has “moved on,” says our source, and still can’t grasp how Bruce’s life changed. Bruce, who was reportedly in talks to film an E! docuseries about his new life, is said to be unsure if he’ll continue with that plan. “It’s not on hold; he just hasn’t decided,” says our second source. Kris is also slowly moving away from handling Bruce’s business affairs, says our source, and will now focus solely on “the girls.” A rep for Kris did not respond when asked is she’s still acting as Bruce’s manager. “She doesn’t talk about it [the transition]. She claims to support it, but she doesn’t understand it,” says the source. Never one to shy away from press — good or bad — Kris is the one who put the kibosh on a planned press Continue Reading