Airport security

March 2, 2011 2:39:30 PM PST
Lemme get this right: You have to take off your belt, limit your shampoo to a tiny bottle, and have your kids remove their shoes before you can cross into the boarding areas of the airport.

But take a look at a quarter-mile-long hole in the fence that's supposed to be ringing the airport at JFK to prevent anyone from just wandering onto the runway and tarmac, and you have to wonder what kind of Alice-in-Wonderland world we're living in.

I don't advise giving lip to the TSA the next time you're at the airport. Probably wouldn't be wise to say something like, "Hey pal, I'll take off my shoes when you repair that fence out there on the runway." That will likely get you delayed big-time for your plane. Or arrested.

But it's a question worth asking. And it's worth asking not just because going to the airport and getting on your plane these days has become hard work, and a pain in the baggage, but also because that hole in the JFK perimeter fence is a huge security risk.

You'll see the hole tonight, and you'll hear the confounding explanations from officials in charge of the $100 million project to secure airport runways and perimeters in our area. Our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer has his exclusive report, tonight at 11.

We'll also have more on the train wreck that is the career and personal life of Charlie Sheen. The talented but oh-so-troubled actor today - hours after a disturbing and revealing interview aired with ABC's Andrea Canning - had his young twin sons taken from him. His estranged wife - who's been in rehab - got a court order of protection, and cops showed up at his Hollywood Hills mansion to take the kids today. It was - no matter what you think of Sheen and his demons and his behavior this past week - a sad sight.

But his monumental career collapse has been more than sad - it's pathetic. The debauchery, the strung-out behavior, the violence, the drugs - all of it gave CBS and Warner Bros. no choice but to pull the plug on their hit sitcom, "Two and A Half Men." Hard to imagine it will come back - unless of course, Mr. Sheen has some amazing rehab turnaround, in which case the hoopla and public relations spin would make the show a hit once again. Talk about Alice in Wonderland.

We're getting a lot of emails about Sheen. It's a high-interest story - and the reasons are complicated. To be sure, I've heard from some viewers who don't understand why we're covering this story so prominently. And I appreciate their criticisms and observations.

I was talking about all things Sheen this afternoon with a friend of mine - Gabriel Aiello, who owns Gabriel's restaurant at Columbus Circle. He's a smart guy, keeps up on the big news of the day, and he engages his customers in the headlines of the day.

He says he asks himself "why am I so fascinated by this guy who is destroying himself? He's completely unraveling in front of the world. And we know everything he's saying is the opposite. You can't just stop cold - doing that many drugs. You die if you do. And especially in this recession, making more than a million a week and just walking away - it's puzzling. I just can't understand it."

I think a lot of people feel the same way Gabriel does.

Our entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon is in Los Angeles tonight, following the Sheen saga.

Also at 11, if you're like millions of Americans, you're hip-deep in tax preparations these days. And you may be one of those wondering what you can and can't deduct. Our David Novarro tonight takes a closer look at what's legal, and what's not kosher when it comes to tax deductions. And some of the items peeps have tried to deduct will make you laugh. So, too, will some of the things they've been able to deduct.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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