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Who We Are »
Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »
Email: betsy.combier@gmail.com

 
The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Joan Klingsberg
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
 
New York City Mayor Bloomberg's Other Life, In Bermuda
The mayor also takes along a police detail when he travels, flying two officers on his private plane and paying as much as $400 a night to put them up at a hotel near his house; the city pays their wages while they are there, as it does whether Mr. Bloomberg is New York or not. Guns are largely forbidden in Bermuda — even most police officers do not use them — but the mayor’s guards have special permission to carry weapons. A spokesman for the Police Department declined to comment.
          
   Mayor Mike Bloomberg   
April 25, 2010
New York’s Mayor, but Bermuda Shares Custody
By MICHAEL BARBARO, NY TIMES
LINK

HAMILTON, Bermuda — At Greg’s Steakhouse, the power lunch spot on this sun-soaked island, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is such a regular that he has his own booth, with a view of the Parliament building. The waiters have memorized his order: coffee-rubbed New York strip steak.

The cabdrivers in Bermuda know Mr. Bloomberg by sight and jockey for a chance to drive him around town. (The billionaire mayor, they say, tips well.)

Members of the Mid Ocean golf club, where he plays up to two rounds a day, can rattle off the strengths and weaknesses of his game.

“He’s a bit slow, to be honest,” said one of them, who found himself stuck behind the mayor’s foursome recently.

Mr. Bloomberg, who owns a waterfront estate here, has walled off his life in Bermuda from voters in New York, arguing it is none of their business. He steadfastly refuses to say when he is on the island, and to blindfold prying eyes, he has blocked aviation Web sites from making public the movements of his private planes.

Yet residents here view him as one of their own — as much a Bermudan as a New Yorker. They follow his battles against term limits and New York City crime, and argue that their island plays a key role in restoring his energy and helping him succeed in office.

“We provide him with a place to unwind for a day or two, and then go back to a very important job, not just to New York, but to the world,” said John Swan, Bermuda’s former premier and a frequent Bloomberg lunch guest.

In dozens of interviews, residents described Mr. Bloomberg, 68, as a fixture on the island, dining out with lawmakers, cruising its streets in his golf cart and hosting small parties at his house.

It is difficult to say exactly how often he stays on the island; neighbors and friends say he is here about twice a month, depending on the weather in Bermuda (no sun, no Bloomberg) and the political climate in New York.

Prolonged absences arouse worry. After Mr. Bloomberg did not show up at a restaurant called Rustico for an unusually long stretch last summer, the manager asked the mayor’s Bermudan housekeeper if everything was all right.

She explained that the mayor was busy campaigning for a third term, making travel to Bermuda next to impossible (and undoubtedly impolitic). “She said he would be back,” said the manager, Antonino Amato.

The Bermudan jaunts do pose political risks. New York City mayors have historically prided themselves on working seven days a week and racing to the scene of an emergency even on the weekends.

Mr. Bloomberg does not. His aides know better than to schedule public events after Friday mornings, allowing the mayor to make his getaways to Bermuda on Friday afternoon and be back in New York by Sunday evening. (Of the 17 Fridays since Dec. 31, the mayor had no public events scheduled after 10 a.m. on 13 of them.)

The mayor’s aides say he can get back quickly if needed — the flight between New York and Bermuda takes about two hours — but there have been some notable absences.

In February, a City Hall aide was struck by a car early one Sunday morning and fell into a coma, ordinarily an emergency that would prompt a mayoral visit. The mayor spoke to the aide’s grieving family by telephone while aides rushed to the hospital. Mr. Bloomberg eventually met with the family late Sunday afternoon, after returning to New York.

Two weekends ago, Mr. Bloomberg skipped the annual Greek Independence Day Parade on Fifth Avenue, leaving some spectators miffed. He has attended the parade for the past two years, and was grand marshal in 2006. During the mayoral campaign last fall, he often boasted of his connections to Greek New Yorkers, even printing up thousands of signs that declared, “Greeks for Mike Bloomberg.”

Bermudans say he was on the island both weekends. Asked if that were the case, Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg, would say only: “The mayor, like everyone else, is entitled to some privacy, which is why we generally don’t discuss how he spends his personal time.”

The mayor also takes along a police detail when he travels, flying two officers on his private plane and paying as much as $400 a night to put them up at a hotel near his house; the city pays their wages while they are there, as it does whether Mr. Bloomberg is New York or not. Guns are largely forbidden in Bermuda — even most police officers do not use them — but the mayor’s guards have special permission to carry weapons. A spokesman for the Police Department declined to comment. (From Editor Betsy Combier: see the anti-gun policy that Mayor Bloomberg is pushing in America).

Mr. Swan, the former premier, dismissed questions about the mayor’s ability to run New York City when he is, say, on the 14th hole at Mid Ocean in Bermuda. “He is never out of reach here,” he said. “People think he is going off to some isolated place where he can’t be found, but he can return with very short notice.”

He smiled broadly, and added, “We are much closer to New York than Florida is.”

In fact, Bermudans say they feel especially connected to New York City; cable television carries local New York news stations, making Mr. Bloomberg as familiar a sight as “Law & Order” reruns.

As she waited for a bus in Hamilton, Barbara Frith, an administrative worker, rattled off her knowledge of the mayor, from his résumé as a businessman to his $1-a-year salary. She said she liked his controversial rewriting of the city’s term-limits law last year, which allowed him to run for a third term. She was on his side. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” she said

Mr. Bloomberg bought an estate in Bermuda, called Stokes Bay, by 1998. He demolished the 2,620-square-foot house and commissioned a local architect to replace it with a $10 million home nearly three times its size in Tucker’s Town.

Even by Bermudan standards, it was flashy: five balconies, four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an in-ground pool and space for four cars, all hidden by a gated driveway, according to documents on file with the Bermuda Department of Planning.

The plans showed a sprawling property dotted by “imported” palm trees, long pergolas and a ridged roof that collects rainwater for drinking.

Mr. Bloomberg’s new neighbors did not approve. In a tart letter, the planning committee at the Mid Ocean club, which acts as a zoning board for nearby land, complained that the proposed house was “too large” for the site and would result in the “obliteration” of views for nearby residents. It deemed the project “unacceptable.” The Bermudan government found its own problems with the plans. Its marine experts objected to the mayor’s proposal to build a large dock in front of the house, arguing it would disrupt the sea grass beds in the area, records show.

Mr. Bloomberg’s architect agreed to shave three feet off the height of the house and abandon plans for the dock.

The estate contains a pristine private beach, facing Tucker’s Town Cove, but neighbors said Mr. Bloomberg was not much for sunbathing.

When he is on the island, they said, he plays golf — obsessively. He is a member of the island’s two best courses, Tucker’s Point and Mid Ocean (initiation fee: $50,000), which are, not by accident, within walking distance of his home.

The mayor knows the employees of Mid Ocean by name, and in typical Bloomberg fashion, he recently ordered a giant bouquet of flowers for the club secretary.

Michael H. Dunkley, a member of the Bermudan Senate and the president of Mid Ocean, said Mr. Bloomberg routinely played 36 holes on Saturday and 18 on Sunday, squeezing about 15 hours of golf into a single weekend.

“We wish all of our overseas members played as much as he does,” Mr. Dunkley said.

The mayor brings his houseguests onto the course. Edward Skyler, the deputy mayor for operations at City Hall, Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, George E. Pataki, the former governor, and Joseph L. Bruno, the former majority leader of the State Senate, have all played with him here.

As he does in New York, the mayor dines out most evenings. He is fond of the sleek restaurant Port O Call, where the pan-seared lemon sole is $38, and the clubby Tom Moore’s Tavern, where the grilled quail wrapped in bacon is $35.

In January, Mr. Bloomberg and his companion, Diana L. Taylor, had dinner at the Point, the island’s most talked about new first-class restaurant, where the mayor left a $175 tip on top of the 17 percent gratuity automatically charged by the restaurant.

“I was very lucky that night,” said the waiter who served him. He did not want his name in the paper for fear of losing his job (and any future tips from the mayor).

Mr. Bloomberg often eats with members of his security detail. At Rustico, his favorite Italian restaurant in Bermuda, he stakes out an outdoor table for six and orders platters of herb-marinated chicken, tenderloin of beef and fresh orecchiette.

He is determined to blend in. For years his assistants made reservations at local restaurants using an alias, to avoid having the waiters fuss over him.

At times, though, his attempts at privacy border on the extreme. Shortly after Mr. Bloomberg was elected mayor, he requested that the Bermudan government seal all of his housing records, according to a letter from his architect. The government refused. Since then, the mayor’s gardeners have stopped trimming the vegetation around his house. It has grown several feet taller and now largely blocks the viewfrom the water. (The downside: it obstructs the mayor’s view.)

His celebrity status has made him a prize guest. He dines regularly with the current premier, Ewart F. Brown, whose wife has become friends with Ms. Taylor, and he has turned up at the Bermuda home of H. Ross Perot, who lives a few houses up the street.

Mr. Bloomberg, who relishes entertaining at his town house in New York, has fewer parties in Bermuda, friends said. Invitations to his house are rare, and coveted. Two of the mayor’s neighbors said they had been invited over for drinks, and found the mayor — who has a reputation for being chilly at times — amiable and relaxed after a day of golf.

“He is the perfect neighbor,” said David A. Brown, who lives next door to Mr. Bloomberg. Applying a yardstick familiar to every New Yorker, he added, “He is very respectful; he never makes noise.”

Meredith Ebbin contributed reporting.

COMMENTS

B. smith
Ithaca
April 26th, 2010
7:30 am
I don't begrudge Mr. Bloomberg's wishes to haveing guns as an intimate part of his group, even in a place that doesn't allow the police to carry guns. But, you would think people would notice his gigantic level of hypocrisy on the issue
Recommend Recommended by 15 Readers
2.
eDDieB
Bayside, NY
April 26th, 2010
7:30 am
I can't wait to read the comments for people that say that he doesn't spend enough time in NYC and he should be helping the homeless with all his money. Well, I differ from this view, I think the man should enjoy his money (we pay him $1) and he has worked hard enough to be able to jet away to BDA.
He is the best mayor in NYC, I would recommend that we make him "MAYOR FOR LIFE". He has done more from this city that all mayors combined.
Thank You Mr. Mayor, enjoy your weekends!
Recommend Recommended by 8 Readers
3.
overtaxed
New York
April 26th, 2010
7:30 am
The times went on a fishing expedition and came up with
...
NOTHING
...

He's rich, he's generous, and he likes to go to warmer spots on his days off. Sounds reasonable to me.
Recommend Recommended by 26 Readers
4.
Paul
Brooklyn
April 26th, 2010
7:30 am
No comments yet??

This guy is so out of touch, which I normally don't mind from the rich, but his job should require some sympatico with the common man.

He certainly is not my mayor. If he is doing such a great job making New York such an outstanding place, why the hurry to beat it out of town every Friday?

I also love how the rich can shield the flight plans of their private planes. Aren't these FAA public records?? I know auto makers and other bail-out recipients were able to do so, so that the rest of us suckers who are paying for it won't get mad.

We really are eating cake, can't we just eat the rich instead?
Recommend Recommended by 13 Readers
5.
jim
new jersey
April 26th, 2010
7:30 am

So he likes to jet away to Bermuda. Unless he has an arrangement similar to that of the (former?) governor of South Carolina in Buenos Aires (or am I confounding the details with another story?), I don't see the interest value. The part about his Police entourage allowed to pack heat is interesting, though. Definitely not cricket, eh wot.

Other than that, his self-dispensation from term limits makes his every move open to scrutiny.
Recommend Recommended by 1 Reader
6.
Jahnay
NY
April 26th, 2010
7:31 am
Thank you for sharing a view of the other side with us unemployed - class blokes.
Recommend Recommended by 11 Readers
7.
DT
SoCal
April 26th, 2010
7:31 am
I am so glad that that the
Mayor gets to have a special permit for his guards to carry guns when he will not allow ordinary citizens to protect themselves in New York. This is typical liberal hypocrisy.
Recommend Recommended by 14 Readers
8.
G.I.Joe
NYC
April 26th, 2010
7:31 am
He has said he works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After he made that statement it would seem as if his private time would be fair game. Don't tell the public you work all the time if you don't want questions about any time. I guess it would be interesting to know how many days he thinks he should be in NYC during an election, and how many hours he should be there when his job is safe.
Recommend Recommended by 11 Readers
9.
chris
New York
April 26th, 2010
7:31 am
Bloomberg strikes as extremely selfish; he spent close to a 100 million dollars to buy the election; he spends so much money on airplanes and polluting fuel.

We should tax the rich people. I mean WE need the money more than they do.
Recommend Recommended by 16 Readers
10.
Capote Harper
wherever I am today
April 26th, 2010
7:31 am
If he's spending a little time with H. Ross Perot it can't be all bad. I just wish he'd invite me along. I don't begrudge him for wanting to get away from NY, that's why I don't live there - too crowded. But I suspect this won't play well in New York.
Recommend Recommended by 0 Readers
11.
RV
NYC
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
On a assistant professor's salary at a small private college in NYC I can't afford to live in Manhattan or even a nice neighborhood in one of the other boro's. I wonder what happened to the affordable housing Mayor Bloomberg promised during his 3 run for mayor.

Forget about some place nice in a tropical paradise--I'd be happy to have a safe, affordable, clean, reasonable sized place in NY. Oh Mike! Do you care at all about the middle class? We know you have the power to do something--so why don't you? I guess it's hard to when you're jetting back and forth from lovely Bermuda.
Recommend Recommended by 18 Readers
12.
Quasimodo
Ringing Bells
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
I once heard a story.

Something about a camel and the eye of a needle.

What was I talking about?
Recommend Recommended by 5 Readers
13.
JL
NY
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
No wonder Bloomberg's primary focus as mayor is on the Manhattan tourist experience - he spends so much time out of the country he is sort of a tourist here himself.
Recommend Recommended by 11 Readers
14.
The Average New Yorker
far from Bermuda
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
At least he's proving that the average new yorker can relate to him.
Recommend Recommended by 10 Readers
15.
Nostromo
Zurich
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
“The mayor, like everyone else, is entitled to some privacy". Right. This article is a disgrace to the NYTimes.
Recommend Recommended by 10 Readers
16.
Raymond
BKLYN
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
This isn't exactly the freshest news ... why didn't the paper of record run this piece when Bloomberg was buying the City Council to approve his illegal 3rd term?

Fresher news now would be Bloomberg's ties to banksters GoldmanSachs.
Recommend Recommended by 15 Readers
17.
rascal20
newton ma
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
Glad that the Mayor gets some R & R time. Kudos to the Mayor for keeping his trim figure eating most meals in restaurants.
Recommend Recommended by 3 Readers
18.
whoopster
Bern, Swiss-o-land
April 26th, 2010
7:32 am
Just another elite globalist...

Recommend Recommended by 10 Readers
19.
marik7
wailiku, hi
April 26th, 2010
7:33 am
It looks like Bermuda has its share of toadies, just like New York.

Listen closely, you can hear the "ribits" every time the mayor is in town. I'm surprised that frogs' legs aren't his favorite dish.
Recommend Recommended by 3 Readers
20.
Trillian
New York City
April 26th, 2010
7:34 am
So first, everyone just take a breath and calm down. The mayor made his fortune and he gets to spend it. People with money have big houses and private planes.

Of course there will be comments complaining that we need to know where the mayor is every second and "why isn't he working on the problems of New York 24/7 instead of jetting of to Bermuda??" The mayor gets down time like everyone else. He gets to vacation, eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, rest, go on dates, etc just like everyone else. There are telephones on Bermuda and he can be back in NYC faster than you can get to Manhattan from Howard Beach.

Then there will be the inevitable "who's paying for the police protection???" comments and so on. The city does, because the mayor gets police protection whether he's in Brooklyn or Bermuda. And he pays the expenses. Where's the problem?

Mayor Bloomberg has policies I can't stand but that's different than his private life which is, after all, private.
Recommend Recommended by 15 Readers
21.
Barry Blitstein
New York City
April 26th, 2010
7:34 am
As much as, and more than, I ever wanted to know about this, or any, mayor's private life, or governor's or president's.
Recommend Recommended by 0 Readers
22.
Jed Brandt
Brooklyn
April 26th, 2010
7:35 am
Apparently Bloomberg likes his antics safely out of site in a walled compound in a foreign playpen for the Caligula class. The headline for this article should properly read: "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has walled off New York city from those who make less than a million dollars a year, arguing its none of their business." On a certain level, who cares what Bloomberg does in his personal life. The problem is that he is a bloodsucker who personally and socially profits off the poverty, dislocation and hard work of millions. He is a corrupt champion of capitalism, while the very system that rewards him leaves the rest of us desperate, poor, anxious and fearful of even meeting basic necessities. But I guess that's not "news", right.

Bloomberg paid $200 for every vote he got. He lives in a world where everyone who matters is a landlord or a banker and the rest us can serve their lunch, shine their shoes, rehab their second and third "investment" condos. We are serfs, they are self-styled masters of the universe while the whole country goes to hell.

It's tiresome that the New York Times and every other newspaper in this city is less concerned with the lives of actual New Yorkers and treats the foibles and necessities of the ruling class as if it spoke for the people. Bloomberg, Giuliani and the corrupt Democrat Party destroyed this city.

Updated: March 19, 2010
Overview
By SAM ROBERTS, NY TIMES
LINK

Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire founder of an eponymous financial information company, leveraged his vast fortune to win three terms as New York's mayor. Exercising power through a commingling of electoral clout, personal wealth and private philanthropy, Mr. Bloomberg won in 2001 and 2005 as a Republican in a city where Democrats hold a five-to-one advantage in registration. Originally a Democrat, he switched his enrollment to independent in 2008 and, running in 2009 on the Republican and Independence Party lines, he won a third term - only the fourth New York mayor in a century to do so.

Mr. Bloomberg had previously supported the City Charter's two-term limit, but reversed himself in 2008 and supported Council legislation to extend the limit. He promised, however, to let the voters reconsider limits again in a referendum in 2010. His reversal came as the city faced what some experts consider deep-seated economic challenges even more threatening than the one he inherited when he was first inaugurated on Jan. 1, 2002, as smoke still rose from ground zero and city revenues fell in the aftermath of recession.

Mr. Bloomberg blended a progressive social agenda with fiscal pragmatism -- including proposing a hugely unpopular 25 percent increase in property taxes. Along the way, deficits turned into surpluses. He gained responsibility for a public school system that had evaded mayoral control for decades. And he even tried to impose healthier habits on New Yorkers, banning smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places and restricting trans fats in restaurants.

Despite contributing a record $90 million to his campaign for a third term, Mr. Bloomberg defeated Comptroller William C. Thompson by a far narrower margin than had been anticipated, winning 51 percent to 46 percent.

 
© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation