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Urban News

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International   |   Nov. 4, 2002 at 4:10 AM
(NEW YORK) -- Olympic organizers in the Big Apple are all smiles after the weekend announcement by American Olympic organizers that New York City has been picked as this county's official entrant into the competition to host the Summer Games in 2012. Of course, there is no guarantee that the city will overcome bids from other international sites, but CBS News says that city officials will, as the old saying goes, "pull out all the stops" to prove that the city is capable of playing host to the complex games.

One plus that New York already has is its access to media. Nearly all international media pipelines either go through switching points in and around Manhattan or have direct links to studios there.

Meanwhile, citizens of San Francisco have not taken the news well. The San Francisco Chronicle says that more than a few tears were shed when the Olympic committee informed the city it was out of the running and the announcement was made on local media. The Bay area is, of course, still wincing from losing the recent World Series ... now this.


(ATLANTA) -- The proposed 2003 Atlanta city budget would hold the line on property taxes but would ax more than 200 city jobs. In making the announcement to local media, Mayor Shirley Franklin noted that the spending proposals total more than $436 million.

Final budget tweaking went into a marathon session Friday night. By Saturday copies of Franklin's budget -- according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, worked out by a team from the mayor's office -- were hand-delivered to members of the Atlanta City Council at their homes in order to meet a self-imposed deadline.

The new budget, even though it makes drastic cuts in some areas, is some $10 million more than the current operating plan for 2002.

Franklin calls the new budget proposals a "second step toward stabilizing city finances."

Members of the City Council must now examine the hundreds of pages of figures and vote on the budget.


(SEATTLE) -- The ferries that are the main connecting "roads" into parts of northern Seattle -- and from that area to other port cities in Puget Sound -- will not force passengers to undergo "airport-style" security checks. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting that state regulatory officials have announced that after checking with U.S. Coast Guard security experts, the decision was made not to subject Washington state ferry riders to invasive security screening anytime soon.

One state representative tells the Post-Intelligencer that riders "are not going to be frisked getting onto a Washington state ferry in the near future." Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee noted: "We have to be able to get to work every morning, and we can't see our ferry system shut down."

Meetings were also held with the commander of the Coast Guard's Northwestern division.

Under Coast Guard guidelines, a "low" level of security concern could result in about 5 percent of all vehicles being screened.

Additionally, since many Washington state ferries go in and out of Canadian ports, there is already in place a higher level of security checks on those vessels.


(LOS ANGELES) -- The much-honored Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in Griffith Park in Los Angeles has been given a special collection of memorabilia from the estate of a long-forgotten Western actor. The facility says that it's received original movie outfits worn by Bob "Tex" Allen, the original Texas Ranger from a successful series of movies and movie serials in the 1930s.

Allen -- whose real name was I.E. Baehr -- was the father of Dr. Ted Baehr, of Christian MOVIEGUIDE fame.

The actor's most successful roles in the series of "Ranger" movies were in "Rio Grande Ranger" and "Ranger Courage." He died in 1998 after a brief illness at his home in Oyster Bay, N.Y., at age 92.

One of "Tex" Allen's last public appearances was in 1997 when he traveled to Dallas to present the annual Sir John Templeton Epiphany Prize to today's modern-day Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris, star of the CBS TV show about the famous law enforcement corps. The broadcast received the award for most inspirational series.

The Autry museum has a prime location, near the sprawling Griffith Park -- with its famous observatory and theater -- and the Los Angeles Zoo. It is centrally located in Los Angeles and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people a year.

By the way, the gift of Allen's movie mementos to the Autry complex was a joint project of Ted Baehr and his sister.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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