Phony website makes uphill battle steeper for challenger in Long Beach’s 9th District

By Tim Grobaty | [email protected] | Press-TelegramPUBLISHED: January 23, 2018 at 3:19 pm | UPDATED: January 23, 2018 at 4:03 pm It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that Mineo Gonzalez, in trying to unseat incumbent 9th District Councilman and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, has set a near-impossible task for himself. Richardson has an unblemished record in a sometimes forgotten district that he has energized and improved in his first term and doesn’t appear to be open to any serious attack by Gonzalez. Further, he has a decent amount of money that he’s raised to ward off competition in the April 10 election. Instead, Gonzalez is the sole opponent in the race. Richardson has admitted, “I don’t plan to spend a bunch of money on this campaign. I raised it, but if I only have one opponent, I don’t think it makes sense to spend a lot of money.” If things look dismal for Gonzalez, a 41-year-old accountant who has lived most of his life in Northtown, things got worse when someone set up a pair of fake Gonzalez websites and made it appear that he was conceding the race to Richardson, which he definitely has not. The bogus site lifted Gonzalez’s photo from his Facebook account and included out-of-context quotes such as “Go ahead and vote for Rex Richardson,” and, “I vote my values… just vote for Rex already.” Further damage was done when a local news website saw the fake site and reported that Gonzalez’s “appears to have already conceded the race.” The quotes came from a contentious series of posts on Facebook between Gonzalez and members of the North Long Beach News group. Gonzalez replied to people who extolled Richardson’s performance as councilman with “Go ahead and vote for him,” and “Have fun voting for Rex.” “I’m not out to convert people who like Richardson,” Gonzalez said in a phone interview. “It’s fine, you Continue Reading

What makes a classroom click? Meet four great teachers who make it happen.

What’s the secret to being a great teacher? The four finalists for Miami-Dade’s annual Teacher of the Year contest — chosen from the county’s roughly 18,000 public school teachers — have some ideas. Inspiring students takes passion, hard work and perseverance, they said. Above all, a great teacher finds a way to connect with each child as an individual, not as a test score. The winner of the 2019 Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year will be announced on Jan. 25 along with the rookie teacher of the year. The awards dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport & Convention Center at 711 NW 72nd Ave. The winner will compete for the state title. Here are the finalists: North Region: Molly Winters Diallo, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High Miami-Dade teacher of the year finalist Molly Winters Diallo from Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High on Jan. 12, 2018. PEDRO PORTAL [email protected] Molly Winters Diallo grew up in a family of teachers, so going into education “felt like it was the natural route to take,” she said. Her first teaching job was at a private school in the British Virgin Islands. In the early 2000s, Winters Diallo moved to Miami because she wanted to teach in the Haitian community. She spent five years at Miami Edison Senior High before transferring to Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High, where she teaches Advanced Placement Human Geography and Psychology and Honors U.S. History. Winters Diallo said she encourages every student to take advanced classes, like the college-level Advanced Placement courses she teaches. “I believe that regardless of students’ backgrounds, they should be able to take advanced coursework and they should see college as an attainable goal,” she said. In 2016, Winters Diallo was selected as a Bezos Educator Scholar — one of 12 teachers chosen nationwide to participate in a leadership Continue Reading

Capitals don’t take many shots, but they’re trying to make them count

There’s that famous Wayne Gretzky saying, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” It’s morphed into an inspirational quote for life, but it also speaks to a conventional wisdom in hockey, that shot volume is considered a correlation to scoring goals. Well, Capitals Coach Barry Trotz has his own expression that he’s called upon in the past: “They only count one stat and that’s the one they put on the scoreboard.” Washington is ranked dead-last in the NHL in shots on goal per game with 28.67, and while the Capitals want to put more pucks on net, they’re also inadvertently challenging the need. They rank 31st in shots, but their 2.95 goals per game is 12th, even after they went back-to-back games without a goal. That’s why the Capitals aren’t concerned about their low shot volume or that their fifth-ranked shooting percentage (8.96) could be due for regression in the future. They think there might be an exception for highly skilled shooters, of which Washington has plenty, and players say this team’s identity is to be picky. “I don’t feel like we’re not getting looks or not getting enough shots,” center Lars Eller said. “I wouldn’t put too much into that. But what you can take away from it is that we have a lot of talented scorers, so when we do shoot, the chances of scoring are pretty high. It’s better that way than the other way around, shooting a lot and not scoring a lot.” Said Trotz: “We look at the quality of shots. I mean, just throwing the puck with no one in front from the blue line has got like a 1 percent chance of going in, so unless there’s someone there, we’re probably not throwing it there. We’re trying to get our shooting percentage in areas where we can be a little better. But yeah, we’re not a shoot-first mentality on our team, and that shows up in some of the Continue Reading

Stasi: Don’t like what’s happened to Times Square? Blame Bloomberg for making the tourist pit part of his divine plan for NYC

BLOOMY THE FIRST BOOB So wait! The city spent bazillions to clean up Times Square in order to get rid of the half-naked hookers, pimps, buskers and hustlers – only to have almost totally naked women, pimps, buskers and hustlers take their places? We went from “Taxi Driver” to “Uber Driver” and nothing has changed but the amount of cash changing hands. We traded great, old Irish bars for the fast-food chains found in every mall in America. Hate it? Then call the mayor and complain! No, not the current mayor, but former Mayor Bloombucks, the one responsible for the mess we’re in. All these things that we hate about New York City’s new cityscape – from the ridiculous pedestrian malls to parking spaces in the middle of traffic lanes to the annihilation of our most beloved neighborhoods which are continually being replaced by ugly, soulless, spacescrapers – can be laid at the elevator shoes of Mike Bloomberg. These disastrous “improvements” were not just Bloomberg-approved but Bloomberg-manipulated during his reign as king of his temporary fiefdom. See, back when Bloomie and his arrogant, nutty yes-woman DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, decided to make the city into a suburban mall in Florida, they more or less ignored the rules and flouted the law to make it happen according to their divine plan. They spent our money to build what we didn’t want and we’re now stuck with ill-thought-out plazas in the middle of traffic, surrounded by chain stores on all sides. They turned Times Square into Tits Square. When it was first announced, the Bloomies called it a pilot project whose permanence or dismantling would be determined after a set period. The plazas, bike lanes, etc., were built to “improve traffic operations, enhance safety for all street users and provide an appealing and Continue Reading

70 for 70: Memorable Donald Trump quotes on his big birthday

Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version misstated when quote #58 was made. It was from 2004.Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, turns 70 Tuesday. If elected, he'd be the oldest person ever elected to a first term as president.While his 2016 presidential campaign was his first bid for public office, Trump is hardly new to the public eye. A look back at 70 quotes from interviews, books and tweets that epitomize the man, the brand, the provocateur and the potential president that is Donald J. Trump.1) "I'm just a f------ businessman." (Fortune, 2004)2) “The show is ‘Trump.’ And it is sold-out performances everywhere.” (Playboy, 1990)3) “Certainly a businessperson on television has never had anything close to this success. It’s like being a rock star. Six people do nothing but sort my mail. People come in and want my secretary Robin’s autograph. If a limo pulls up in front of Trump Tower, hundreds of people gather around, even if it’s not mine. I ask, ‘Can this be a normal life?’ Maybe it’s the power that comes from having the hottest show on television, but people like me much better than they did before The Apprentice. And if you think about it, all I did on the show was fire people, which proves how bad my reputation must have been before this.” (Playboy, 2004)4) “A lot of people like me, and a lot of people don’t. That’s okay, because my brand is solid and so am I. I can take the negative commentary because the positive impressions are so superior to the reports of the detractors.” (Midas Touch, 2011)5) “If you don’t tell people about your success, they probably won’t know about it.” (How to Get Rich, 2004)6) “It’s not that I’ve suffered a knockout blow. Far from it. But after a long winning streak I’m being tested under pressure. I’ve also been in the Continue Reading

Funniest things we overheard at Phoenix Comicon 2017

You said it in the Phoenix Convention Center at Phoenix Comicon 2017, and we listened - and wrote it down. Check out some of the most colorful quotes we heard below."Dude, I wanna keep looking at famous people!" - Hall of Heroes"Screw this, ladies, let's roll!" Pink Power Ranger, stairs."Am I blinding you with my Trash hat?""You know what's upsetting? I saw someone in this same exact outfit." - Deadpan Spider-Man, Hall of Heroes"Yes, it's perfect for the man-cave!" - Vendor pitching barcade game, Hall of Heroes.Man taking a picture: "Say... EWOK!"On seeing a Bo Peep zombie cosplayer sitting in the corner for show - "Yes, that is winning!"Guy: Are we splitting up here? There's more glitter here than at a strip club... Guy 1: Are you crazy? The sun sulk melt me! Cosplayer: "It's so weird, you don't think about not being able to drink until you can't use your own lips."Girl 1: "I really want one but I already have 5."Daughter: "My feet hurt and my back hurts... will you carry me?"Parent at Dick Van Dyke panel: "It's free seating. We can sit anywhere."Child: "Just like church?"When someone was asking for all Star Wars cosplayers to come up for a picture:"Some of us are cross referenced""And some are cross dressers.""It was kind of weird when that guy screamed K-POP!""Tiny Groot! Tiny Groot! Oh my god, I hope somebody brought their little son as Tiny Groot.""I want ears that move!" (Looking longingly at animatronic bunny ears)"I see the sign that says spinners! Fidget spinners!!!" (They are sold everywhere at this con)(When walking past a booth selling adult drawings) "Oh! I'm gonna refrain from looking at that.""They let you in with those guns?" One guy asks two men holding guns they drew on plain white paper. A woman advertising a Cards Against Humanity-style game called Quick and Dirty: "things that kill romance that start with the letter T." Man: "Time!"***Teen girl after meeting Osric Chau: *trembling and squealing*Teen boy: are Continue Reading

Officer Elliot Zinstein punished for doing right thing in DWI bust of prosecutor, say police sources

A cop who refused to cut a troubled Bronx prosecutor a break told NYPD investigators he was unfairly punished after busting her for DWI, police sources said. Officer Elliot Zinstein arrested Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Troiano on the Major Deegan Expressway on Aug. 26, after she got into a three-car wreck. Reeking of booze and wandering into traffic, Troiano "was stumbling and falling down and unable to keep her balance," court records show. Troiano tried to wriggle out of trouble, telling Zinstein he should call Nestor Ferreiro, chief of narcotics in the Bronx district attorney's office. "He'll take care of this," sources quoted her as saying. "He took care of it the last time." Zinstein made the arrest, and Troiano was charged with DWI and reckless driving. She refused to take a Breathalyzer test, prompting the suspension of her license. At the time of the arrest, Zinstein was assigned to Operation Impact in the 44th Precinct in the Bronx. In January, sources said, Zinstein and about 40 other Impact cops were transferred - but Zinstein was the only one bounced from the Bronx. On the force three years, he was moved to the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Zinstein, an Orthodox Jew, was told that the neighborhood needed more Jewish cops. He didn't buy that explanation because the Jewish population is much higher in the neighboring 90th Precinct in Williamsburg, sources said. "He was doing his job," a colleague said, referring to the August arrest. "He's a good cop. He's made a lot of arrests and has no disciplinary record." Zinstein, 27, was questioned by the Internal Affairs Bureau last month. He was grilled by investigators, and he told them he was unfairly transferred for arresting Troiano. The officer and his lawyer declined to comment. The NYPD wouldn't respond to Zinstein's allegations. Zinstein was later told in a visit from a Personnel Bureau lieutenant "that the department wanted to do right by him," sources Continue Reading

Mike Bloomberg for President in 2012? It’s not going to happen, says author of mayoral bio

Because I wrote a book about Michael Bloomberg, people are always asking me - again - if I think he will run for President. The will-he-or-won't-he speculation is back, with Mike-talk popping up on "Morning Joe," making the cocktail circuit, entangling itself with calls for an independent candidacy. Even The New York Times's Thomas Friedman weighed in, predicting that 2012 would produce a serious (though unnamed) third-party presidential candidate unless the Republicans and Democrats reform. So, do I think that Bloomberg, who came this-close to running last time as an independent and has the billions to finance a campaign, will run? No. Those dreaming of an "I Like Mike" presidential candidacy should get over it. For my book sales, I wish Bloomberg was just being a typical politician when he says he won't run. "I will not be a candidate" denials are, of course, so familiar that we have learned to take them with many grains of salt - even when coming from as salt-averse a man as our mayor. Yet I'm betting he really won't press go, for one central reason: Because I and many other New Yorkers would vote for him. Egad. Kiss of death. Precisely because he can make it here, he could not make it anywhere. And Bloomberg, who made his fortune coolly analyzing data, knows it. What works on Broadway bombs in most of America. We New Yorkers are a peculiarly pragmatic folk. Despite his dyspeptic personality and term limits shenanigans, Bloomberg, 68, has been a strong, independent mayor. That's enough for us. But: There is us and there is them. Though he grew up in a Boston suburb, he is now one of us, and just about everyone else in the country is them. The political queasiness this election season is not about to change those distinctions; in fact, it is emphasizing them. As The Times reported last week, hundreds of candidates around the country this season are happily demonizing Wall Street, New York City or both. Bloomberg and a presidential Continue Reading

Coach Rex Ryan makes bold prediction by calling New York Jets favorites to win Super Bowl

Rex Ryan apparently isn't a fan of Cinderella. Instead of embracing the underdog role, as most coaches do, Ryan stunned the football world Wednesday by declaring the Jets the team to beat in the NFL playoffs. The Jets are a 50-to-1 shot to win the Super Bowl, according to one Vegas line, making them easily the biggest underdog in the 12-team field. When that was mentioned to Ryan, he scoffed. "I wasn't aware of that, but to me we should be the favorites," he said. Asked to clarify his comment, Ryan didn't back away. "I mean in the whole tournament," he said, making sure everybody knew he wasn't simply referring to Saturday's wild-card game against the Bengals. "You know the way I feel. I think we have the best defense. I know we do. I know we have the best rushing attack. Those are two huge factors in our favor." Ryan's remarks probably will end up on a bulletin board in Ochocinco Land, but the brash coach evidently doesn't care how his quotes play in Cincinnati - or anywhere else for that matter. In some NFL cities, they're probably laughing. These are the Jets, who finished 9-7 to claim the fifth seed in the AFC. Whose own coach assumed they were eliminated by a Week 15 loss to the Falcons. Who received Curtis Painter on a silver platter from the Colts. Who routed the less-than-motivated Bengals in the finale. It's easy to mock the Jets' playoff worthiness, but Ryan has remained resolute in his belief. His confidence has trickled down through the ranks, from the coaching staff to the players. And the 37-0 rout of the Bengals didn't hurt. "We think we can run the table, no question," said safety Kerry Rhodes. "We'd have to have a few things happen for us, but right now we think we're one of the best teams in the league." Cornerback Lito Sheppard echoed that sentiment, saying, "We can't worry about what people project, we just feel like we're the best team out there right now. However that goes, that's what we feel." The Jets became the Continue Reading

10 ‘Mean Girls’ quotes to celebrate October 3

Happy Mean Girls Day, Plastics!A few days into October we celebrate Pumpkin Spice Lattes, getting to pull cozy clothes to the front of the closet, and the day things started getting serious between Cady Heron and Aaron Samuels – sigh, he was so bae.Speaking of Jonathan Bennett, he got fans amped on Twitter last Mean Girls Day Eve. We wonder what he'll say this year.The film’s star Lindsay Lohan let fans know the movie was still on her mind 13 years after its release by sharing the special moment on Instagram Tuesday. "OMG!! #itsoctober3rd," she wrote.Since we know it's rare that days or weeks have gone by when you haven’t uttered words from Tina Fey’s screenplay – and because we have a strong feeling you’re wearing pink though it’s not Wednesday, and that you’ll spend these 24 hours trying to make fetch happen – we celebrate Mean Girls Day with these timeless quotes. Continue Reading