No more “naked scanners” at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport!
Well, that isn’t exactly the technical term for the X-ray scanners frequent and infrequent fliers love to hate. And for good reason: They offered a too-specific image of a passenger’s body parts in the critical scan for weapons.
Pat-downs were offered as an alternative. Still, not fun.
But now new technology is on the horizon. By summer the Buffalo airport is getting machines that will show only “stick figure images.” They’ll be less revealing and also safer, because they use microwave technology rather than low-dose X-rays.
“Feet apart, hands up” has been no fun for the passengers and probably not for the TSA personnel scanning images of flabby Americans for contraband. The “stick figures” can’t come soon enough.
It’s good to know County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw’s hunt for waste, fraud and abuse in county government is apparently nearly finished. His office sent a notice to the media about what he considered the questionable purchase of an 80-inch, $4,000 television for County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz’s conference room. Poloncarz must be doing a pretty good job budget-wise if Mychajliw is already down to examining the $4,000 items in a billion-dollar spending plan.
Having said that, 80 inches is a very big TV for the listed use of teleconferencing. Poloncarz will be able to count the pores on the faces of his teleconferees. And marking the purchase a “rush order” seems a tad suspicious. We hope he’s not hosting a Super Bowl party in the conference room Sunday.
We should pause for a moment to remember Ed Koch, the colorful, sometimes controversial mayor of New York City from 1978-89 who died early Friday. He was a classic, larger-than-life politician, touring the city and asking constituents, “How’m I doing?” He succeeded in rescuing the city from the financial disaster that led to the famous tabloid headline: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” However, his single-minded devotion to New York derailed his attempt at statewide office. He lost the Democratic primary for governor in 1982 (to Mario Cuomo) after he talked about upstaters “wasting time in a pickup truck when you have to drive 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or a Sears Roebuck suit.”
In this age of media consultants, Koch probably couldn’t be elected dog catcher. Hizzoner dismissed his critics as “wackos,” brought the head of the City Council to tears and called developer Donald Trump “piggy” and Rudy Giuliani a “nasty man.” In 1988 he said “Jews and other supporters of Israel would be crazy” to vote for Jesse Jackson for president.
In his 12 years in office Koch put a grim, near-bankrupt New York City on the road to prosperity. For that, all New Yorkers owe him thanks.