Saturday, May 26, 2007

in the news

I had to work at the library today, though Lord only knows why we were open the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Needless to say, it was quiet. Really quiet. Less than 100 people exited the library in the eight hours we were open, according to our closing gate count, and that includes repeat offenders such as myself, Richard, and our student workers. But I did get to help one student do a little research on mental illness in the prison population here in the U.S., and apparently New York State is on the verge of becoming practically cutting edge in its treatment of mentally ill criminals! Who knew? Mental illness is rampant in American prisons. In New York State alone, more than 8,000 of the approximately 63,000 prisoners are considered to be mentally ill. Throughout the country, mentally ill prisoners are often subjected to months and months of isolation, of course worsening their already severe problems. But an agreement, as of a month ago, had been reached between Disability Advocates, Inc., the Legal Aid Society of New York, and the State of New York, which would create new standards of assessment and treatment for mentally ill prisoners in isolation, and which was awaiting final approval by a federal court. Though this agreement would apply only to New York State, New York has one of the largest state prison systems in the country, and will hopefully influence other states across the nation.

Strangely enough, the presiding judge in this case was one Gerard E. Lynch, of the Southern District of New York. I have to admit, one of the things I miss most about Chris and his family is hearing about Jerry's court cases over a delicious meal and a bottle of wine, hearing about the ins and outs of a legal system I often find completely baffling. It was a very strange feeling to come across this article today, outdated as it is, in the New York Times.

This little tidbit from today's New York Times I dedicate to Maia, aka Myster, the wonder woman of shoes if ever there was one:

NY Shoe Store Gets Its Own Zip Code
Published: May 26, 2007
Filed at 2:35 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Saks Fifth Avenue says its new shoe department is so big that it's getting its own ZIP code.

The Manhattan store is revamping its shoe department, and when it moves from the fourth floor to an 8,500-square-foot space on the eighth floor in August, customers will be able to send mail to 10022-SHOE.

''We believe it's such a big move for us it deserves its own ZIP code,'' Saks spokeswoman Lesley Langsam Kennedy said Thursday. ''We wanted to make it a destination.''

The retailer worked with the U.S. Postal Service on the new ZIP code -- but only the last four characters, which aren't necessary when mailing something, are specialized. The rest of the neighborhood shares 10022.

Saks operates 54 stores in 25 states and two stores in the Middle East.

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