Ken Mehlman Gains Support from GOP for Same-Sex Marriage

Ken Mehlman has gained support from the Republican Party in an effort to strike down Proposition 8, a ballot measure that outlaws same-sex marriage.

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Mehlman was able to drum up support with 75 signatures from prominent Republicans. The brief will be presented to the Supreme Court this week. A feature about Ken Mehlman in The New Yorker today, is calling him one of the smartest political operatives since he understands better than anyone how moderate and persuadable Republicans think.

Many of the conservative officials and influential thinkers aren’t ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who’ve changed their previous stance. Among them are Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for California governor, Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser, and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership who is retired from Congress.

Ms. Pryce said, ““Like a lot of the country, my views have evolved on this from the first day I set foot in Congress. I think it’s just the right thing, and I think it’s on solid legal footing, too.”

After Mehlman came out of the closet in August 2010, it represented a turning point. The gay and lesbian political community now had a conservative leader.

Mehlman is on the board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which brought the California suit. He’s spent months reaching out to fellow Republicans for support.

In the 2012 Presidential election, the Republican party failed to reach out to women, minorities and gays. Polls show that public attitudes have shifted over same-sex marriage in the past decade. The latest New York Times survey found that a third of Republicans favor letting gay people marry and that is also changing.

Child Raises $30,000 for his Sick Friend

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How chocolate bar!

With the pressures of learning how to read and adjusting to elementary school, 6-year-old Dylan Siegel is juggling a lot more on his plate. Siegel’s best friend Jonah Pournazarian, 7, has been diagnosed with glycogen storage disease type 1B. It’s a rare liver disorder that doesn’t have a cure. The two best friends live in Los Angeles.

Instead of spending his money on comics, action figures or candy, Dylan decided to raise money and help his ailing friend  Jonah. In an interview with, Dylan’s father David Siegel said that they wanted to set up a lemonade stand and even more, “He looked at us and said, ‘I want to write a book.'”

Dylan created a 16-page book called “Chocolate Bar.” The phrase is used in place of “cool.”

“Disneyland is so chocolate bar.”

“I like to help my friends. That is the biggest chocolate bar.”

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After just two months on the market, the handwritten and illustrated book and chocolate bars have raised $30,000. Jonah’s parents set up a fund for heir son just after he was born, raising around $400,000 so far, but now “Chocolate Bar” is giving them a big boost. Whole Foods has donated hundreds of chocolate bars and a local Barnes & Noble hosted a book signing that brought in 200 people.

Jonah’s father Rabin Pournazarian says his genetic condition afflicts one in a million children. Jonah is fed with a tube and most days all he eats is cornstarch mixed with chicken soup and vegetables that his mother makes.

They money from the fund, book sales and chocolate sales have been sent to the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville for research. It is noted that Dr. David Weinstein is working with 200 families.

It’s the first time the rare disease has gotten national attention and it’s something they never dreamed possible Pournazarian said.

Photos from ABC News

Manhattanization of NYC Real Estate

Manhattan is feeling another Manhattanization of itself. In a city where real estate is fiercely competitive, there’s nowhere to go but up. The city is coming up with new ways to build but also develop land in New York City. It’s all part of the New York City Educational Construction Fund (“ECF” of the “Fund”) which aims to build mixed-use real estate projects with residential buildings and new school facilities . Developers build over out-of-date schools and increase the number of seats in the public school system and taxpayers don’t pay a cent.
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At a time when schools are in high demand, The New York Daily News reports that waiting lists for kindergartners are up at zoned public schools in Queens. Principal of Public School/Intermediate School 49, Anthony Lombardi, in Middle village says the poor economy has led parents to pull their kids out of private or parochial schools.

The newly-constructed Middle School 114, accepted more than 530 students into the public school for strong academic performance. The school was revamped with computer labs and new air-conditioning units next door near the Azure residential building. The $46 million facility was built by the Azure developers, the Mattone Group and DeMatteis Organizations, who built mixed-use properties next door.

The Mattone Group and DeMatteis Organizations agreed to build the school and residential building as part of the ECF project. The partners acquired the air rights for the Azure tower for a period of 75 years with an option to purchase the land or renew the lease for an additional 50 years.

As of last month, Azure on E.91st St. is 70 percent sold.

Must see documentaries

If you have a chance to see these films, I suggest watching “To the Arctic” and “Born to be Wild.”

You’ll get a glimpse into the life of polar bears, baby elephants and orangutans! These baby animals are dependent on their mothers to survive, but poaching, encroachment and global warming threaten their chances of survival.

It will make you reconsider your excessive consumption of resources on this earth.