Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week Nine - 43 to Go

Parker uses this novel to help us, his readers, understand how the professional and personal relationships of Jesse and Sunny are closely connected with each other in many ways. Some of which, let's hope, may become permanent.

Followers of Robert Parker will be glad that this one was in the pipeline.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (February 23)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

page 49 - I took the camera away from my eye to see a man walking towards us. He wore an old leather jacket, unzipped, and a black t-shirt with writing on it but I didn't notice what it said.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week Eight - 44 to Go

Joe Pike with help from Elvis Cole uses the thieves' code of the Russian mob against one of its own organized criminal gangs.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Auburn Correctional Facility

Construction of Auburn Prison, designed by J.O. Daniels of New York, began in 1816. After the north wing was constructed, convit labor fromlocal jails was brought in to work on the project. The administrative building was completed in 1818. The south wing and the front wing and wall were the last to completed, around 1823.

Today the front gate matches the style of the original prison.



Five years ago, correctional officers - both retirees and present officers - became disturbed when the original front wall was being torn down. The officers appealed to the stae and tried to have the front gates listed on the National Register. It was at this time the Cayuga County historian’s office was undertaking the Underground Railroad study for Cayuga County. Sheila Tucker, the Cayuga County historian, discovered that a dramatic rescue of a fugitive slave was made upon his release from the prison. This incident put the Auburn prison front gates on the National Underground Railroad site. The front gates subsequently were saved and restored.

Background provided by Sheila Tucker, Cayuga County historian

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (February 16)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

p. 372 - “Yes,”Blomkvist said without hesitation. Martin was dafter than a syphilitic polecat - where do I get these metaphors from? - but he confessed to all the crimes he had committed.

Week Seven - 45 to Go

Overflowing with characters whose stories will stay with you long after you close the book.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Preppie killer

Valentine's Day
Friday, February 14, 2003

The man who became notorious in the 1980s as the "preppie killer" when he strangled a young woman during a sexual encounter in New York's Central Park was released from prison Friday.

Robert Chambers -- dubbed the "preppie killer" by the New York media covering his trial for killing Jennifer Levin on August 26, 1986 -- left Auburn Correctional Facility at 7:15 a.m. after serving his full 15-year sentence for manslaughter.

Speculation now focuses on where Chambers will live and what he will do. The New York Post reported that following his release, Chambers plans to live outside New York City and counsel prison inmates.

Regardless of where he lives, Chambers' release from prison stirs up memories of the crime for Levin's family.

Jennifer Levin's death, splashed across New York City's tabloids in the summer of 1986, offered a glimpse into the lives of callow youths on Manhattan's Upper East Side bar scene.

The suspect, a college dropout, was Hollywood handsome. The victim was pretty, a private school student from a well-to-do family. And the defense -- consensual "rough sex" gone awry -- was startling.

Nothing that Chambers has done since going to jail in April 1988 has changed the negative perceptions of the 6-foot-4, dark-featured killer.

Chambers, now 36, accumulated violations behind bars, including heroin possession, assaulting a guard and weapon possession.

His bids for parole were rejected five times, and he spent about a third of his time in solitary confinement.

Chambers admitted strangling Levin after they met in a bar on the Upper East Side.

Her battered, partially naked body was found by a bicyclist under a tree behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art , where the pair went after leaving the bar.

At a 1995 parole hearing, Chambers expressed no remorse about the crime.

Chambers was about a month short of his 20th birthday when he was charged with murdering Levin.

Jurors were in their ninth day of deliberations when Chambers opted to take a deal, pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in return for a 15-year jail term.

Levin's family never believed Chambers was sorry.

Shortly after his sentencing, a videotape surfaced showing Chambers snapping the head off a small doll. "Oops, I think I killed it," Chambers cracked, the doll's head in his hand.

After Chambers' incarceration, Levin's mother Ellen worked tirelessly to ensure he would serve the maximum sentence. She collected tens of thousands of signatures on petitions opposing his release, and was a constant presence at parole hearings.

His mother, Phyllis Chambers, had worked equally hard at getting her son out early.

(As reported by CNN)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

West Middle School - Auburn NY

These photos were taken on August 18th and September 1st in the year 2000. These photos were intended for a lesson that was never developed.

East Side Frieze

East Side Entrance with Frieze

Science Metope

Science Metope

Arts Metope

Arts Metope

Wood Shop Metope

Shop Metope

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bird Monitoring

Montezuma Audubon Center

At 7:30 AM this morning, met up with Naturalist Dave Spier in the parking lot of Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC).

Dave and I went inside the center to await any late arrivals. Looking east through the foyer windows, Dave focused the lobby bird scope on a Red-tailed Hawk, which evidently perches out there every morning.

Red-tailed Hawks ©DaveSpier
These birds where photographed by Dave in December 2009

Peering out the French doors in the MAC conference room, we observed a variety of birds at the feeders. Jays, chickadees, downy woodpeckers (male & female), tree sparrows, mourning doves as well as a few starlings.

Since no one else appeared Dave and I headed out for a short walk through the woods. Dave pointed out a berry patch in the open field and a cluster of golden rod that the winter birds were using as cover. Dave also had me observe a gall.


Upon entering the wood a rabbit popped up just to the right of the trail. Dave took the opportunity to take a few photos. Dave then showed me a berry stem that the rabbits had gnawed. Amazing how the creature is able to chew around the thorns.

Further into the wood Dave identified the call of a Red-bellied Woodpecker. It was quite a distance away and difficult to lock in with our binoculars.

Continuing on the path after passing the observation deck we came to my favorite tree, the massive wolf tree.

Completing our walk we were greeted by two DEC workers who were shoveling out around the MAC.

While the bird count was meager the walk with Dave sharing his insights was most pleasant. Before returning home had breakfast at the Country House Restaurant.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (February 9)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

p. 8 - "Contrary to what you might assume. I did not become a detective on some quixotic quest to solve my childhood mystery."

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Week Six - 46 to Go

This thriller examines a spectacularly dysfunctional family. Each member has something to hide.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (February 2)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

p. 29 - "He couldn't do it. A white deer is a sign, he said, and I knew that he was talking about my mother."

Week Five - 47 to Go

A grim installment of J. D. Robb’s first-rate series.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010