SANDY CAUSES ELECTION DAY WOES
New Yorkers helped re-elect President Barack Obama, but not without some technical difficulties.
The damages wrought on the city by Hurricane Sandy prompted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue an order allowing evacuated residents to vote at any poll site in the state by using affidavit ballots. Many sites failed to get word of the order, which went out only the day before the election, however, and some city polls quickly ran out of the 250 affidavits that the city printed for each election district.
Jammed ballot scanners added to the confusion of relocated polling sites and affidavits, which combined resulted in lines that stretched blocks. At some sites, voters waited three hours or more to cast their ballots.
The city’s Upper East and Upper West sides were particularly burdened with delays. Many storm-struck New York residents fled to friends’ and relatives’ homes in the city’s less-damaged neighborhoods, so these polling sites were disproportionately crowded.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the Board of Elections for failing to be organized. The Board of Elections, in turn, argued that it did not have enough time to train poll workers following Cuomo’s order.
PIZZA-DELIVERY RAPE SUSPECT INDICTED
Cesar Lucas, the 16-year-old delivery boy accused of raping a woman in her West 61st Street apartment in September, was indicted Nov. 8.
Lucas reportedly entered the 35-year-old tenant’s unlocked home around midnight on Sept. 29 after delivering pizza to one of her neighbors in the building. He found the victim in bed with her 7-year-old daughter, and raped her with the daughter in the room.
“Women should not have to sleep with one eye open for fear of intruders,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in announcing the indictment. “The defendant is not only charged with committing a rape, but with doing so in the presence of the victim’s child. I commend the victim for her tremendous courage in coming forward.”
Specifically, Lucas was charged with rape, sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and burglary, the latter for taking money from the victim’s wallet before fleeing the scene. He wrote a confession to the crime after he was arrested, citing his motive as feeling “horny,” but pleaded not guilty.
Last month, the victim sued Lucas, and also his employer Sal’s Pizza, her building’s management company, her building’s condo board and the on-duty doorman.
KRIM PARENTS LAUNCH LULU AND LEO FUND
Marina and Kevin Krim, parents of the two siblings stabbed to death by their nanny in their West 75th Street apartment on Oct. 25, have established a fund in their children’s honor. The Lulu and Leo Fund, named after the 6-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy, will fund education in two subjects the Krims say their children loved: the arts and sciences.
“Our children have loved the many art and science programs in the cities in which we have lived, such as Lulu’s beloved ‘Art Afternoons’ class at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” the parents wrote on the fund’s website, www.lululeofund.org. “Unfortunately, there are many children who do not have access to these programs. We created the Lulu & Leo Fund to help more children benefit from these education experiences in art and science.”
In a statement on the site, the Krims express thanks for the outpouring of support they have received from the community over the past weeks, and ask for help ensuring their privacy, so that their third child, 3-year-old Nessie, who was out of the apartment with Marina at the time of the murder, can grow up “like any another kid.”
Yoselyn Ortega, the 50-year-old nanny, was formally charged with the murder on Nov. 3. She cut her throat following the stabbings, and remains in treatment at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
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