Tom Cruise, West Nile
So what does the West Nile virus and
With the arrival of summer, many
Queens residents have headed to the movies to check
The plot is simple enough. A powerful drug company decides to release a virus of its own creation and make millions selling the only vaccine available. The disease is named after the Chimera a mythical beast with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent which wreaked havoc on the world.
However, the movie mirrors some of the ongoing problems Queens residents are experiencing with the West Nile virus.
With the fear of West Nile gripping the borough this summer, the National Institutes of Health has recently awarded a Massachusetts biotech firm $3 million to create a vaccine. Ora Vax Inc. of Cambridge, a subsidiary of Britains Peptide Therapeutics Group, is developing a vaccine named ChimeriVax for the Chimera.
So lets recap: Big biotech companies earning millions to create a vaccine for a virus thats gripping the local populace with fear.
Hmmm . . . maybe Dante wasnt so far off when he wrote that art often imitates life. Or is it the other way around?
Jenkins Does It Again!
Cynthia Jenkins, candidate wannabe for the State Senate, was thrown off the ballot for petition fraud. This was not the first time she had failed to properly collect signatures, previously losing her a ballot place and an Assembly seat.
Jenkins called our office last week,
just to say that she will still find a way to be on the ballot come November. According to
the cantankerous former Assemblywoman, there is no stopping
"Besides, mine are not the only
Jenkins also said she will always run, even
"Im having too much fun," she says. "I have good health, a good man Ive been married to for 51 years, and Im gonna keep on doing this!"
Keep doing what, Cynthia? Getting knocked off the ballot?
Lessons Of Flight 800
You read it here, first.
Officials at the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) are making final preparations on the long-awaited report outlining the "official" cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800. The jumbo jet burst into flames mid-air moments after leaving JFK International Airport on July 17, 1996, killing all 230 people on board.
Insiders tell QConfidential that the report blames the crash on an explosion in the jets near-empty central fuel tank but thats as far as it goes. Rather than point to one source for a spark that ignited vapors in the tank, the report offers several possibilities, insiders said. Among them are cracked or peeling wires inside the Boeing 747 central fuel tank. Sources said the report (the size of a telephone book) indicates that the wiring sparked and blew up the plane.
Perhaps thats because we reported the faulty wiring scenario on the Tribunes NYConfidential page in December, 1996. We identified it as the most likely culprit in the explosion, and even went a step further, relating some history of the wiring.
Seems the feds found the wiring problem in military aircraft back in the 1960s, and notified the airline industry that they had to change the wiring or pump inert gases into the central fuel tank to prevent a spark from igniting vapors inside the tank. They listened, but did nothing.
The industry was warned again after a similar crash of a 747 over Thailand in 1981. Again, they failed to act.
Because, according to an airline industry spokesperson, if the cost of the modification is greater than the value of life on board an aircraft, it is financially unfeasible to make the modification.
So, were telling you again because the anticipated report does not mention why the modifications were never made that might have saved the 230 people on board the doomed Flight 800 and we think you have a right to know.
Multi-lingual district? Why would Assembly candidate Patrick O'Malley send out press releases with his campaign web site address if all you get is "Under Construction" in a variety of tongues?
From The Ashes
Arthur Ashe Day (Saturday, August 26) in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park will once again set the star watchers focusing on Queens. Expected to make appearances at this years performance are soulful R&B-pop quartet 98 Degrees, 21-year-old "Party of Five" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" actor Jennifer Love Hewitt, New York native and Tennis Pro-turned funny man Chevy Chase, Massapequa-born Alec Baldwin, CBS This Morning co-anchor Mark McEwen and international supermodel/VH1 VJ Roshumba.
Beyond the usual tennis superstars, the Ashe Day festivities are also expected to draw athletes such as former Knick Trent Tucker, Orlando Magics Grant Hill, Mets Edgardo Alfonzo, NJ Devils Scott Gomez & Petr Sykora, and Ranger Manny Malholtra.
If your fun is in trivia and not the stars, try this one for size the two stadiums that will host this years world-class U.S. Open and bring the eyes of the tennis world to Queens are both named after outstanding African-Americans. The older stadium Louis Armstrong Stadium bears the name of legendary Corona, Queens trumpet player now buried in Flushing Cemetery. The newer stadium Arthur Ashe Stadium honors the memory of the former military man who turned into the first African-American man to win a major tennis tournament and was lost tragically after receiving a blood transfusion tainted with HIV.
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