|Injustice In Our City, Runway 69,
More On Hoohahs & Faux Pas
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
IN MEMORIUM: I feel the need to add my
voice to the thousands that are crying out mourning the death of innocent black men at the
hands of New York police. No, this is not anti-police; this is anti-death. This is
anti-death based on race. This is anti-racism. This is against the racist culture and
perhaps training that is possibly a part of the NYPD and a contributory factor to the
slaying and mistreatment of minorities in our city.
As much as anything else, this is against a
Mayor who has done a remarkably good job at reducing crime and dramatically improving the
quality of life in New York while demonstrating total insensitivity to its citizens of
The legacy of Rudy Giuliani as Mayor of New
York City will be written in the next few moments of history. He can be remembered as the
"law and order" Mayor who continues to defend his police even when it is evident
that their actions are clearly unjust. Or, this Mayor can take a deep breath and smell the
stink coming from 1 Police Plaza, emanating from the tragic deaths of Amadou Diallo and
Patrick Dorismond and spread by the everyday mistreatment of thousands of minorities by a
Police Department that is inadequately trained and sensitized to effectively preserve
peace in our ethnically diverse city.
The Mayor has the ability to recognize that
this is not a city of equality for all. He still has the time to sit down with the
minority community, to call for an impartial study of training and attitude in the NYPD,
to be a leader in uniting and not dividing our city.
We have witnessed seven years of Rudy
Giuliani at the head of our city. We have applauded the job he has done. But very sadly,
we cant remember a single time he acknowledged being wrong or being divisive. We
cant recall Rudy suggesting that the Police are not perfect or that the police do
not treat African Americans as well as whites.
Yes, many police officers have color
meters. The darker you are the quicker they shoot. Minorities get hassled. Is it training?
Is it statistics? Is it insensitivity? Or, is it part of the NYPD culture? We do not know
We do know, that Rudy Giuliani could change
his legacy by finding the answer and correcting it.
NEIGHBORLY: Its not exactly
the same fuzzy feeling expressed by Mr. Rogers or the Sesame Street crowd about their
neighbors, but insiders tell us that police brass "downtown" have sent a message
to cops at the Queens Internal Affairs Division and a unit of the Applicant Investigation
Division their new neighbors are out of touch.
The brass are talking about the notorious
Runway 69 the "adult nude club" that just opened at 30-30 Northern Blvd.,
next door to a building at 29-76 Northern Blvd., home to the police units.
You may remember Runway 69 as the nude club
that was chased off Queens Boulevard in 1994. Irate locals protested the appearance of the
joint nightly, until the clubs "exotic" dancers were forced to pack their
tassels and gyrate elsewhere.
Insiders tell us that word came down from
the top of police headquarters that Runway 69 is off-limits to cops all cops, as a
source of entertainment, that is.
CBS Hoohah Bob Schieffer on the CBS website where he wrote:
It may not have made your local newspaper, but there was a little hoo-haa in the New York
Senate race . . . Hoo-haa, you say Bob?
Its "hoohah," look it up!
HOOHAH! Former Trib scribe
and present special hoohah to the Queens Borough Prez, Eric Robinson has always been an
eagle-eyed proofreader. Robinson, a reader of this column, has accepted our word
"hoohah" as part of the Queens language. We expect it to take a few more
moments before the Webster folks jump aboard the hoohah train. However, although our
readership takes every opportunity to point out every faux pas we make (even when they
dont exist), no one has ever taken issue with our very own word hoohah. As a
matter of fact, our readers have frequently adopted the word and weve watched hoohah
spread throughout Queens.
We started using it around the office more
than a year ago. Lots of the staff hoohahs picked it up. They were hoohahing all
over the place.
When we resumed our weekly column, we used
it in writing as we used it in speech. Occasionally, the noun can change forms be
careful. Someday well share with you a variety of the acceptable modern day
The word is yours to use. We share it with
However, eagle-eyed Robinson did e-mail us
a link to the CBS news website and a column by their senior correspondent Bob Schieffer
(http://cbsnews.cbs.com/now/story /0,1597,173783-412,00.shtml). Now, Ive met this
Schieffer guy. Ive seen him on TV. He seems bright, articulate and accurate. And
certainly we welcome his free and creative use of the word hoohah.
Schieffer wrote, "It may not have
made your local newspaper, but there was a little hoo-haa in the New York Senate race
first reported by The New York Times that deserves wider notice."
Scheiffer was using the not uncommon
meaning of hoohah: commotion. The use comes from "brouhaha" a noun meaning
hubbub or uproar. It was first used in English in 1890 and is borrowed from medieval
French theatre: the cry of the devil disguised as clergy. Its root can likely be traced
back to the Hebrew banukh habba: blessed be the one who comes; and the Italian barruccaba:
confusion and disorder.
Huhbbub: confused noise, hue and cry, was
first used in 1555 and is from the Irish word whobub with the same meaning. Its Gaelic
roots according to Barnharts Dictionary of Etymology can be traced back to ub! ubub!
an expression of contempt.
Isnt it remarkable; you can explain
Our issue with Schieffer however, is the
spelling of the word. Since modern day usage of "hoohah" began in a building on
the service road of the LIE in 1998, wed like to know how did it travel to the
nations capital, where we met Schieffer and where his broadcasts emanate from? And,
is the alternate spelling a southern influence?
If youve encountered a
"hoohah," let us know.
We can be reached online at Mschenkler@queesntribune.com.
MISTAKES: Weve spent a good part of this column over the past several weeks,
sharing with you a variety of the writing mistakes made by our newspapers, this writer and
the world in general. Im certain, we havent heard or written the last of
However, our favorite faux pas was sent to
us by Assmeblyman Mike Cohen and his chief Hoohah Howard Pollack. The November 1999 press
release contained one of the all-time best headlines weve seen. This dynamic duo has
worked hard to serve the people of the Forest Hills community. Hoohah Pollack has told us,
he is a wordsmith in his own right having spun campaign literature and press releases for
a variety of Queens officials and candidates over the past decade. He has a credible
record of political accomplishment helping to guide pols from the backroom. Cohen, Forest
Hills Caped Crusader, has been Johnny on the Spot since replacing Melinda Katz in the
Assembly. Wed all be better off if every assembly office contained folks who worked
as hard as Mike Cohen and had a first lieutenant who writes like Pollack.
Hoohah Howard Pollack has done it again: a first place
victory. Our 1999 Hoohah Faux pas award to Mike and Howard for this headline beaut.
GAS: I dont understand the uproar over gas prices, I just put $20 worth into my
car and it didnt cost any more than it usually does.
Received online: You think a gallon of
gasoline is expensive?
Diet Snapple, 16oz @$1.29 is $10.32 gallon
. . . Lipton Ice Tea, 16oz @$1.19 is $9.52 gallon . . .Gatorade, 20oz @$1.59 is $10.17
gallon . . . Ocean Spray 16oz @$1.25 is $ 10.00 gallon . . . Pint of milk 16oz @$1.59 is
$12.72 gallon . . . Vicks Nyquil 6oz @$8.35 is $178.13 gallon . . . Pepto Bismol 4oz
@$3.85 is $123.20 gallon . . . Whiteout 7oz @$1.39 is $25.42 gallon . . . Scope 1.5oz for
$0.99 equals $ 84.48 gallon . . . And this is the REAL KICKER: Evian water 9oz @$1.49 is $
21.19 gallon . . . $21.19 FOR WATER!!
Technology is a wonderful thing. The gas
pumps of today can pump $25 in the same amount of time it took just to pump $12.50 last
FILL OUT THE SURVEY: Look at the next
page! Thats a Tribune Reader Survey. It helps us understand who you are and
what you like. It helps us with our marketing. You can even win prizes. Were giving
out loads of movie tickets, theater tickets and dinners for two.
Itll cost you 5 minutes, an envelope
and a thirty-three cent stamp.
Okay, I do have an ulterior motive. You
see, not only do I want you to fill out the survey; Im counting on the fact that
youre going to circle "Not 4 Publication" as one of the things you like in
We writers need that positive
reinforcement. I figure if I direct you there, youll remember me: Not 4
Liz Goff contributed to this column
Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com
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