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Syracuse Post Standard Newspaper Archive: December 5, 2005 - Page 1

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   Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - December 5, 2005, Syracuse, New York                             SWAYS TO SAVE ON A SKI VACATION The Post-Standard Affiliated with SyracuM.com MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2005 FINAL EDITION Most O 2005 Ihc Post-Standard SYRACUSE, N.Y. 50 CENTS GOOD MORNING BRIEF BREAK A storm moving up the Atlantic Seaboard won't bring more snow to Central New York today. Instead, the area can wait for more lake-effect snow to arrive Tuesday and snow showers Wednesday. Complete forecast, C-10 HIGH: 31 LOW: 20 In Iraq, attack on Allawi plus a plot against trial An angry crowd confronted Iraq's former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi at a Shiite shrine, forcing him to flee from stones and shoes. Also: Iraqi authorities uncovered a plot to fire rockets at the courtroom when Saddam Hussein's trial resumes today. STORY, PAGE A-4 Safest new cars? The winners are in Ten 2006 passenger cars won praise from the insurance indus- try Sunday for offering top-of- the-linc protection to passengers in front, side and rear crashes. Winners of the Insurance In- stitute for Highway Safety gold award included the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego with optional side air bags; the Saab 9-3; the Subaru Legacy; and the Honda Civic four-door. STORT, PAGE A-7 BCS matchups: Unbeaten: to clash in Rose Bowl Southern California and Texas, the only unbealcns left in Division 1-A college football, will decide the national title in Ihc Rose Bowl on Jan. 4. Major college football's two winningcsl coaches, Joe Pntcrno of Pcnn Slate and Bobby Bow- den of Florida State, will meet in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. Notre Dame is back in the BCS after a five-year absence. The Fighting Irish face Ohio Slate in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2. SPORTS, PAGE C-l Finest city? Not so much, Son Diego has to admit San Diego, Calif., has called itself "America's Finest City" since 1972, but the financially troubled, scandal-ridden cily has dropped the slogan.' 'We couldn't stake thai claim, any- said Gina Lew, director of public and media affairs. "We were taking too many hits." STORT, PAGE A-5 In Science, insects rule the Earth Explore the remarkable stay- ing power of the planet's bugs. SCIENCE, PAGE B-6 Online news updates The Post-Standard's reporters update the news of Central New York from morning until night seven days a week. Get the latest news when you want it at: Corrections Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Bunn at 470-2240 to discuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Index Bridge...............E-8 Classified..........E-l CNY..................D-l Editorials.........A-8 tellers.............A-9 Local news.......B-1 Lottery.............A-2 Movies______D-4 New York.........A-6 Obituaries........8-4 Science.............1-6 Sean Sports...............C-l Sudoku.............D-7 Television.........D-5 Weather........C-10 THE POST-STANDARD City's Parking Ticket System Falls Far Short of Key Goals Revamped ticket system costs more, but doesn't bring in predicted revenue. By Frederic Pierce Staff writer Z'Ayears after Syracuse officials revolutionized the way city parking tickets are handled, revenue from parking fines has yet to approach the six-figure in- creases officials projected. A lack of leadership and coor- dination has hampered the im- plementation of the new parking ticket system, which is still not fully functional, according lo an audit released Friday by City Auditor Phil LaTessa. Problems with current proce- dures could make many Syra- cuse parking tickets vulnerable to court challenges, he said. Vio- lators are not receiving proper notice from the city and the ve- hicles of persistent scofflaws are not being booted by police or having their registrations sus- pended. "As a model, this is a great said LaTessa, a Dem- ocrat, who was elected in 2003. "It could really work, and it could pay for itself. But for that INSIDE: Chart tracks the Park- ing Violations Bureau's disap- pointing to happen, it has to become the priority of the city of Syracuse.'' When city officials announced the new parking violation system in 2003, they projected increased parking ticket revenue by about half-a-million dollars a year. That has not happened. In- stead, parking ticket money came in about million lower than predicted during the initia- tive's first two years of opera- tion, the audit showed. The city's annual cost of pro- cessing tickets, meanwhile, more than doubled as the city pulled parking violations out of City Court and began handling them LEGAL, PAGE A-10 Stephen D. Cannerelli Staff photographer ANNA KATRINA VARLESE, a medical technician at Cornell University's Animal Health Diagnostic Center, begins processing samples from New York state chickens as part of the procedure to test for traces of avlan Influenza. Cornell prof, lab on front line of bird flu By Rebecca James Staff writer If avian flu ever arrives in this country, one of Ihc hot spots will be the live bird markets in New York City where thousands of chickens, ducks and other birds ar- rive from all over the Eastern Unit- ed States. In such an environment, viruses could spread quickly. About 18 months ago, Cornell University's Animal Health Diag- nostic Center began testing sam- ples from the markets that used to go to the federal lab in Ames, Iowa. So far, tests have found evi- dence of the benign versions of avian flu, but not the dangerous va- riety found in Asia. That work, led by Edward Dubo- vi, director of the virology diagnos- tic laboratory at Cornell, is just one of the efforts Cornell scientists are involved hi lo deal with bird flu. (See list. Page A-6.) Dubovi talked recently about being on the from lines of defense against avian flu: What is being found in the bird markets now? All Ihc birds that come lo ihosc markels should be coming from producers that are certified free of influenza. That system obviously has some holes in it because we arc slill finding avian influenza virus in Edward Dubovi, Ihc markcls in New York Cily. But director of the virus that we're finding is the virology THE PROTECTORS, PAGE A-6 diagnostic lab SU student is found dead in dorm room By Mike McAndrcw Staff writer A Syracuse University fresh- man was found dead Sunday afternoon in his dormitory room bed, Syracuse police said. The death of Babak Najafi, 18, from Pomona in Rockland Counly, docs not appear suspi- cious, bul the cause is unknown, said Sgl. Tom Conncllan, the de- partment's spokesman, and SU spokesman Kevin Morrow. "Everything is pending an au- Conncllan said. Two friends found Najnfi un- responsive about p.m. in Day Hall on Mount Olympus Drive, nn eight-floor dormitory for about 600 students. A resi- dent adviser for the floor called 911. Najafi was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later when rescue crews arrived at his seventh-floor room. Najafi had been seen in bed by his roommate about I a.m. Sun- day, Morrow said. Syracuse police arc trying lo determine when the sludcnl was last seen alive and what he was doing, Conncllan said. "We're figuring oul what he was doing (Saturday) night. We're still interviewing peo- he said. Connellan said police were being assisted by officers from the SU Public Safety Depart- ment. "1 am deeply saddened to learn of Babak's said Chancellor Nancy Cantor. "On GATHERING, PAGE A-10 Alley Oops: Prehistoric pratfalls were the first humor By Scott Boyer Contributing writer A Liverpool High School graduate is making headlines around llie world for his iheory that cavemen enjoyed slapstick humor before language evolved and more Uian 2 million years before "America's Funniest Home Videos." Matt Gervais, 22, a senior at the State University at Bingham- ton, spent two years on a schol- arly study to be published this monlh in The Quarterly Review of Biology, a peer-reviewed journal based at'the Universily of Chicago. Gervais, a psychobiology and philosophy major, came to his conclusions by synthesizing data from a number of fields. The ex- haustive research, he said, was no laughing matter. "Sludying laughter is a lol like dissecting a frog, because Ihe frog dies and nobody enjoys he said. But some not-so-scholarly publications have thoroughly en- joyed Gervais' study. The New York Post led a re- cent story about his findings wilh "Take my loincloth London's Sun Online ran its story alongside seven jokes about cavemen and an il- lustration of a human evolving, then tripping over a rock and being laughed at. "All Ihese Ihings are sexy for the press, and it quickly sort of reaches the level of popular dis- FIRST.PAGEA-3 Funny bones Gloria Wright Staff photographer MATT QERVAIS, a State University at Binghamton senior from Liverpool, has published a study that traces humor back to the Stone Age. The study of cranial evidence shows that cavemen communicated through slapstick before language evolved. The caveman has a special place in the history of comedy. See for more, including: From The New Yorker, the caveman cartoon never gets old. From Threestooges.net, get fans' reviews of the Stooges' 1948 movie "I'm a Monkey's Uncle." From Germany, you can order a "life mask" of Ringo Starr in the 1986 movie "Caveman." Hear the Flintstones theme. Check out Alley Oop, the comic strip and the novelty tune. And on Page D-6, see Johnny Hart's comic strip "B.C." JUDGE KRAMER inspects the gingerbread houses. CNY, PAGE D-1 APOLOGIZE BY E-MAIL? .Sorry seems to be the hardest word. D E CNY, PAGE D-1 MY COLD JOB The letter carrier's secrets. THE DAILY DOSE, PAGE D-8 SEAN HIRST What's your favorite ornament? PAGE B-1   

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