Newswire

Newswire

  • One Giant Leap For Mankind

    It was a heady moment-that instant I realized I was about to race down the narrow basement corridor of Perfect Tommy's, a bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, spring onto a trampoline and backflip smack into a Velcro-striped wall. There I stood in a Velcro-covered jumpsuit, adrenaline and Amstel Light pumping in my veins. Tipsy twentysomethings lined the runway, chanting my name. I jogged, bounced, flipped, lost all sense of where I was ... and, despite help from two safety spotters, stuck to the wall for barely a second before crumpling to the floor. Groans (and quite a few snickers) filled the beery air. STICK OR DIE says the sign at Perfect Tommy's. I did nearly die-of embarrassment. But once I recovered, my first thought was: hey, lemme do it again. ...
  • Perot: The Handout Billionaire

    Ross Perot has caught the public's fancy as a megabucks Mr. Smith - a tough-talking computer tycoon who will kick butt, take names and straighten out the mess in Washington. But few voters realize that Perot is a consummately political businessman who made much of his fortune off the taxpayer. He built Electronic Data Systems, the computer-service company he sold in 1984 for $2.5 billion, in large part by crunching numbers for Medicaid and Medicare programs. Now a Perot investment company is asking for federal handouts and favors that could help enlarge the family fortune by hundreds of millions of dollars, and possibly ...
  • The 'Velcro Don': Wiseguys Finish Last

    The vainglory of John Gotti was so great that when anonymous Juror No. 1 stood up and responded to a reading of the first count of murder with the word "proved, " the Teflon Don's head snapped back like he'd been shot in the face. While Juror No. 1 went on and intoned "proved " and "guilty " on each of the other 43 federal charges of racketeering, multiple murders, loan sharking, gambling and even jury tampering, Gotti regained his composure - and his wiseguy smirk. Still, in that initial instant in federal court in Brooklyn, it was clear he really believed he would overcome this fourth try to jail him for the rest of his life. ...
  • Boy Scout Boycott, The United Way

    The San Francisco chapter of United Way, threatened with a boycott by gay-rights groups, plans a boycott of its own. The United Way of the Bay Area will withdraw its $849 000 annual funding of six local Boy Scout councils unless the Scouts stop discriminating against gays. The policy of Boy Scouts of America excludes all homosexual youth and adults because they "make bad role models. " Bay Area United Way officials have given the local Scout groups until this week to agree to phase in changes over the next five years. But a national Boy Scout spokesman says there's "no chance " the group will change its policy--even if the economic boycott spreads. "Our values are not for sale, " he says.
  • April 15 Could Be Worse

    Hate doing your taxes? Two thirds of your fellow Americans don't like it either (although, according to the Gallup poll, 24 percent actually think it's fun). But before you curse those high-living, porkbarreling, cheek-bouncing congressmen who've handed you this mess, pause to ponder this: American taxpayers have it pretty good. ...
  • Sex And Psychotherapy

    It is, in a way, the ideal setting for extraordinary intimacy. Patient and therapist are isolated from the world, focused on each other intently, exploring long-buried emotions. In successful psychotherapy, patients usually undergo something called transference, in which they come to see the therapist as an all-loving parent they can trust completely. The process can stir feelings in the therapist, too; power is a potent aphrodisiac. Freud warned that therapists should struggle against such "countertransference " and not abuse the patient's longing for love. Yet even some of his closest disciples couldn't withstand the temptations of the couch. Carl Jung took two patients as his mistresses. Otto Rank had a long affair with patient Anais Nin. Sandor Ferenczi believed that his clients needed his physical comfort and openly petted some of them. ...
  • Jam Session

    Tap dancers love to draw eyes to their feet. Yet Gregory Hines took the ultimate step by posing in the May Vanity Fair wearing nothing but his tap shoes. Hines is promoting "Jelly's Last Jam, " a Broadway musical in which he plays jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton. But, he adds, "I'm trying to alter the perception people have of tap dancers. " As Astaire might say, next time do it in the dark.
  • It's Better To Receive Than To Give

    It was worse than they thought. In February, after The Washington Post questioned the management practices and high living of William Aramony, the president of United Way of America, the organization accepted his resignation but declared the problem a matter of "sloppy record-keeping. " Last week brought a second look. The charity disclosed in disturbing detail an external report alleging a pattern of financial chicanery over several years. Among the charges: Aramony OK'd the diversion of donors' money to questionable spinoff organizations run by longtime aides and provided benefits to family members as well. In one instance he allegedly approved a $2 million loan to a firm run by his chief financial officer, in violation of New York State law, the report said. Those who provided United Way's $29 million annual budget, concluded interim president Kenneth Dam, "will and should feel betrayed. " ...
  • A Needle Instead Of A Knife

    Margaret Walker was relieved this winter when a surgical biopsy showed that the suspicious spot on her mammogram wasn't breast cancer. Unfortunately, the test left her feeling like an accident victim. First a radiologist ran a guide wire into her breast to pinpoint the lesion. Three hours later she was wheeled into the operating room, where a surgeon dug into her breast to retrieve a tissue sample and then closed the wound with sutures. "I was home for several days, " she says. "I suffered a lot of pain, and I'll always have a scar. " The bill exceeded $5,000. ...
  • What We Risk If We Walk Away

    Cambodia matters - even to an America that prefers to focus on its own problems. But this time, unlike the 1970s, America does not need to send troops, bomb the countryside, commit vast amounts of money or make the survival of a hopeless regime like that of Lon Nol a high national priority. All that is required is a reasonable investment of funds to support the United Nations peacekeeping operations. High U.N. officials and Cambodian leaders alike had only one real question to ask me during a visit last week: why is the United States, after all its lip service to the importance of international peacekeeping efforts, after all its years of world leadership, trying to walk away from its proper role? ...
  • From A Master Of Minutiae

    At Weddings and Wakes. By Alice McDermott. 213 pages. Farrar Straus Giroux. $19. ...
  • The Perilous Road Home

    They're terrified of going home. "I'm afraid some villagers will hate us, even harm us, " said Serei Thi, 35. She was washing clothes last week in a stifling, dusty transit center set up for the first group of Cambodians to be bused back from refugee camps in Thailand since the 1970s. " I think I'll stay home and not look for a job until the United Nations holds elections, " said Sokim San, 28, adding: "I'm afraid of Cambodian politics. " Ghien Ien, 33, said his friends and relatives among the roughly 375,000 Cambodians waiting in camps across the border made him promise to write them once he reaches his home village. "[They're] waiting for me to tell them if Cambodia is safe to return to, if the war is over. " ...
  • A Tale Of Piggery

    Eastern Pennsylvania is a pork paradise. The region has had its economic ups and downs over the years, but it has always been blessed with congressmen who know how to get their snouts into the congressional trough. For years, the standard was set by Rep. Daniel J. Flood, a former Shakespearean actor who wore a cape, waxed his Snidely Whiplash mustache and every year brought millions of federal dollars back to his district. It was Flood, as a powerful member of the House Appropriations Committee, who required the Pentagon to buy hundreds of thousands of tons of Pennsylvania coal every year which the military did not need and never used. Flood was once re-elected by his grateful constituents despite a 13-count federal indictment accusing him of bribery, perjury and influence peddling. ...
  • The Bay Area Is Talking ...

    About the city councilwoman who sometimes moonlights as a mermaid. Bags of letters supporting recently elected Richmond Councilwoman Donna Powers have poured into the West County Times after a local resident complained about her "swimming " nude as " Dolphina " at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco. In her act, Powers lies naked on a black velvet couch in the club's basement and writhes like a mermaid paddling through the sea. Her image is projected by mirrors, into a revolving fish tank at the nightclub bar. Powers, who began the act in 1969, says she has no plans to quit.
  • Memorabilia

    Auctioneer and collector Herman Darvick, for taking the JFK assassination craze a bit too far. In New York this week, Darvick will auction the toe tag from the corpse of one Lee Harvey Oswald. The tag, dated 11-24-63, was supposedly swiped by the ambulance driver who took Oswald's body to the funeral home. And get this: selling points include bloodstains and a lock of the assassin's hair. The expected price: $3,000 to $6,000.
  • That Was No First Lady ...

    You wonder, reading Blanche Wiesen Cook's hefty new biography of Eleanor Roosevelt - this first volume barely gets her and Franklin into the White House - what ER would have thought. Surely she'd be grateful not to appear as a well-meaning but insufferably righteous dilettante, though she might be embarrassed to be called "the foremost political woman of the twentieth century. " (Well, who else?) But even after the shock subsided, would she have recognized herself in Cook's free-spirited feminist, with wide-open marriage and lovers of both sexes? "In conventional terms, " writes Cook, "ER lived an outrageous life. " ...
  • This Suit's For Vu

    The new American Dream isn't just to buy a house. It's to steal it from a Yuppie who can't pay his bills. Some investors try tax sales or foreclosure auctions. Others rain offers on banks holding foreclosed homes. Yet others pester real-estate agents to rat on clients desperate enough to sell for a song. ...
  • Bad Blood 'In The Badlands

    A thriller set on an Indian reservation in the 1970s, Thunderheart has both passion and power, enough to compensate for its sometimes murky plotting and a fair dose of melodramatic hokum. John Fusco's script, inspired by the real, bloody clashes between pro-government Indians and the radical traditionalist American Indian Movement, sends a hotshot young FBI agent from Washington, Raymond Levoi (Val Kilmer), to investigate the murder of an Oglala Sioux at the Bear Creek "Res " in the Badlands of South Dakota. He's chosen because he's one-quarter Indian. It's a purely cynical PR ploy, because Levoi thinks of himself as a white man. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess that Levoi, in the course of solving the murder, will undergo a spiritual transformation (he even starts having visions), or to suspect who the heavies really are. ...
  • We'll Be Dining In

    Mike Tyson balked at eating solid food after he entered the pen in Plainfield, Ind. His first meal was meat loaf (he didn't finish it). Here's what some other famous jailbirds had for dinner last Friday: (Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center, pending sentencing): baked fish.(Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.): choice of grilled cheese sandwich or beans over rice.(Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wis.): baked cod.(California State Prison in Corcoran): Salisbury steak.Berkowitz (various New York state prisons): macaroni and cheese.(Federal Prison Camp, Pleasanton, Calif.): egg foo yong.
  • Running Against The Past

    Aides groaned as Bill Clinton detoured from his waiting motorcade to make a beeline for the Dunkin' Donuts shop tucked among the storefronts on Manhattan's fashionable Upper East Side. "Can he eat just one? " a reporter challenged, having covered Clinton's expanding waistline since New Hampshire. "It's a character issue, " laughed press secretary Dee Dee Myers. ...