Camp worker runs down street naked?

Behind The News
December 15, 2010 11:42:08 AM PST
First a story that is sure to warm the hearts of every parent whose kid is fortunate enough to be attending summer camp. It comes from Hampstead, New Hampshire. Here's the first line of the story from the Associated Press: "A camp counselor from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been charged with attacking a New Hampshire police officer after running down a street naked." That just about says it all. But for the curious, I'll cut and paste the rest of the wire story:

"Police say it took several shots with a Taser to bring down 26-year-old Michael Feld early Monday. Investigators say Feld tackled the police officer, breaking her elbow, and then tried to choke her. Feld was an employee at nearby Camp Tel Noar. In court Tuesday, Feld said he had been awake all night before The incident and started having hallucinations. He asked for mental help."

I love the leap-of-faith view of life -- and how so much of what we do everyday is in fact a leap of faith. Sending kids off to camp certainly falls into that category. Sending kids off anywhere does. So as I miss my very lucky kids (my summers consisted of hanging out at the city park and working at my parents' store) who are spending this month by a peaceful lake -- I see a story like this one and wonder who these counselors really are, where they come from, and what demons they see at night, in their own heads.

I choose, like most everyone, else to take the leap-of-faith view that all is normal (whatever that means) and sane (ditto) and all will be fine (let's hope).

Disturbing stories are, alas, what drives our business. Whether it's the fire that led our 11 p.m. Newscast last night that killed a child and an adult who jumped from their sixth-story window, or the former prosecutor sentenced to prison today for having sex with underage boys, or the test-firing by Iran of missiles with the capability of reaching Israel, or the Al Qaeda attack today on Turkish security guards outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, or the seven U.N. Peacekeepers killed today in an ambush in Darfur.

It is not easy to drink all that in and then remain positive about life. Fortunately, most -- make that virtually all -- of us do it. We compartmentalize and rationalize, and push ahead. The choice of doing otherwise is pretty much unacceptable to most people.

Which may be one reason newsrooms are so filled with off-color humor, even gallows humor. Might just be a coping mechanism for most of us.

We'll have the latest on the big stories --- like the fire victims and the missile testing in Iran that is pushing diplomacy to edges and ledges we don't like think about -- tonight at 11.

Also at 11, Barack Obama is in New York tonight -- and he'll be appearing with Hillary Clinton over the next 24 hours here. It's part of a unity-themed fundraising effort - to raise money for Obama's general election campaign and to pay off the debts of Clinton's unsuccessful primary efforts.

A couple of other notes we found of interest.

First, this item crossed the wire; few read it - but our Assignment Editor Howard Price did. New York City's landmark Chrysler Building, arguably the most interesting structure architecturally in the City, is now majority owned by an Abu Dhabi investment fund. Prudential Financial sold 75% of the 77-story Midtown Art Deco building to the Abu Dhabi Investment Council. Sale price: Not disclosed. Cost of holding ownership in the U.S.: Priceless.

Then there's this, under the heading: "We're From the Government And We're Here to Help."

The Bush Administration has long been berated for responding way too late to Hurricane Katrina three years ago. But not only was the government tardy in its response, it was also inept when it did. A Congressional investigation into the trailers brought in by the government to house suddenly homeless residents shows the homes-on-wheels had dangerously high levels of formaldehyde. The residents had no idea.


And finally, a note about Bob Sheppard, the voice of the Yankees for 57 years. He has been ailing this year and today he announced he's not feeling up to announcing next week's All-Star Game in the Bronx.

Sheppard doesn't reveal his age -- although most think he's in his late 90s. His statement today says that his back up will announce the game. And, in typical Sheppard form that came through even in a printed statement, he said, "I will turn (the announcing) over to my back up, Jim Hall, HALL."

What a guy.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, some rough storms rumbling through our area tonight, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11.

Bill Ritter