On the scene

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Daily Point

Times Square chaos

Just before noon on Thursday, a red Honda that had been heading south through Times Square made a U-turn at 42nd Street, mounting the west-side curb and plowing down pedestrians for three blocks, winding up on the curb at 45th Street.

It brought immediate concerns of terrorism in the center of the city. Local and cable TV networks went live to the scene, and Twitter hit five sirens.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo got to the scene first but didn’t appear with Mayor Bill de Blasio for the NYPD’s briefing.

De Blasio canceled a 1 p.m. campaign endorsement and rushed to the scene.

The mayor said at a briefing on the site that there were “no indications” that the crash had been an act of terror. A perpetrator was in custody — Rick Rojas, a 26-year-old Bronx resident who de Blasio said was a U.S. citizen and former member of the U.S. Navy. He had previous arrests on charges of driving while intoxicated, police said.

The “very serious incident,” as opposed to terror, killed an 18-year-old woman and injured 23 people. Four were in critical condition.

TMZ obtained amazing photos of police trying to subdue Rojas. Children screamed and pedestrians fled.

While parts of Times Square were changed into a more pedestrian-friendly plaza under the Bloomberg administration, it remains a major thoroughfare for vehicles.

One car turned deadly Thursday, putting the city on tense hold.

Mark Chiusano

Talking Point

Mail’s here

A recent mailer supporting Democrat Christine Pellegrino in Tuesday’s special election in the 9th Assembly District features a rogues gallery of five Long Island politicians — Republicans Dean Skelos, Edward Mangano and John Venditto, and Democrats Sheldon Silver and Gerard Terry.

And the unflattering photos are bracketed by two Q&A’s:

The average tenure of a politician in Albany? 10 YEARS TO LIFE.

The average sentence for a convicted politician? ALMOST AS LONG.

And the mailer ends with the plea:

Let’s end the parade of convicted politicians.

Teachers for Christine paid for the mailer, and it’s a good thing for their candidate that the mailer notes “this communication was not expressly authorized or requested by any candidate or candidate’s political committees or any of its agents.” They flunk current events.

Of those five, only Skelos and Silver have been convicted; the other three have been indicted on various corruption charges. And only Skelos and Silver were Albany politicians. The other three are or were Nassau county, town or party officials.

(To our readers: As always, feel free to send to The Point any political mailers you find interesting.)

Michael Dobie

Pencil Point

What a week

Pointed

Prominent passages

Thursday delivered the untimely death of Chris Cornell, 52, powerful vocalist behind the ’90s grunge bands Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. Cornell signed with Seattle’s Sub Pop Records long before Nirvana and was one of a seminal group of artists that brilliantly redefined American rock music.

Another sudden passing was that of Roger Ailes, 77, the founder of Fox News and the architect of the brash political conservatism that dominates today. He created the media strategy and then a news network, and he was a powerful influence for a succession of Republican presidents, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Donald Trump. Ailes, too, powerfully redefined a genre.

As professional entertainers, Cornell and Ailes could not have been more different, except that they both masterfully channeled the deep angst of their respective generations.

Matt Davies


This is The Point, the editorial board’s daily newsletter about New York politics. Click here to subscribe.

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