La Cosa Nostra, acts of god, perfectly fine transactions, tap that, more

Big Mob Sweep Nets Gambino Hierarchy

“The charges, which are being brought in United States District Court in Brooklyn and state Supreme Court in Queens, also include seven murders — three dating back more than a quarter century — along with racketeering, extortion and state gambling charges, officials said.

“The arrests by the F.B.I. and investigators from several other agencies were coordinated with a sweep that netted dozens of accused organized crime figures in Sicily. Those charges are not directly linked to the New York arrests, but officials said they were part of a new American-Italian strategy aimed at severing the close cooperative relationship between the Gambino family and the Sicilian mob.”

Tornado victims: ‘We need your prayers’

“They put him in the bed of their pickup to take him to a hospital, and neighbors with chain saws tried to clear a path. What normally would have been a 30-minute drive to the hospital took well more than two hours because the roads were clogged with debris. Clark died on the way.

“ ‘He never had a chance,’ Nova Story said. ‘I looked him right in the eye and he died right there in front of me.’ “

Housing Hopes Come Up Short

“The case of the missing units on Hampden Lane is hardly unique, according to civic activists and politicians. For years, they say, developers and builders were allowed by the county’s housing agency to circumvent county rules aimed at expanding affordable housing.

“Montgomery County officials have said for years that creation of affordable housing is one of their highest priorities and that the county’s rare public-private venture with developers has done much to ensure that the rich and the not-so-rich can live side by side and enjoy the same schools, shopping and entertainment.”

If Hillary Taps Antonio

“Antonio Villaraigosa. Mr. Future Secretary of Education or Labor or HHS Villaraigosa. Instead of running for reelection in 2009, he’s out of the Getty House and off to the Beltway. Adios, City of Angels and psychotic traffic; hola, City of Lobbyists and cheap taxi rides.

“But what happens to us? L.A. will need a mayor, pronto.

“I have just the man.

“The mastermind mayor, the man who can whip a civic entity into shape faster than Richard Simmons on crack. He’s tanned, he’s rested and he’s ready for some Hollywood prime time — Rudy Giuliani!”

Derelict tugboat still enchanting, after all these years

“Photographers and artists have beat a steady path to the beach to capture images of the tug that’s become a local icon in this maritime city with a decidedly Bohemian bent. On a clear day, Mount Baker provides a picturesque backdrop despite the rising smokestacks from a nearby petroleum refinery.

“But The Enchantress could well be headed for the scrap heap, even though residents have launched an impassioned campaign to save the wartime relic. Keeping it afloat ‘just doesn’t mesh’ with the state’s larger goal of cleansing Puget Sound of industrial contaminants, restoring marine habitat and ridding waterways of derelict vessels, all by 2020, said Sandra Caldwell of the state Department of Ecology.”

Macy’s to close Minneapolis headquarters, lay off 950

“The jobs are disappearing at a time the state has had the worst six-month stretch of job loss since the recession of 2001.

“And the longer-term effect of losing the department store division, which has roots in downtown Minneapolis stretching back more than 100 years, remains to be seen. Macy’s and its predecessor companies were some of the city’s biggest boosters and civic supporters.”

UT regents discuss border fence

“The federal government notified the campus it plans to sue as a result of the refusal by Juliet García, president of the two schools, to allow the government to conduct property surveys and environmental studies on campus. García said she was gratified by the regents’ action and hopeful that the government would agree to an approach that would be less disruptive to the campus.”

Tags: minneapolisantonio villaraigosatexasmeredith aska mcbridecrackborder fencetornadosmacy's