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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

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photo by lindsay beyerstein


Evil Rosie

Screwed by Rosie

Without a paddle

Rosie cruise for gays & lesbians sinks family's vacation plans

Anybody on the wrong side of Donald Trump deserves the eternal benefit of the doubt.

So when Rosie O'Donnell and her associates chartered an entire ship for their gay and lesbian family cruise this coming July, maybe she never realized she was bouncing scores of people with existing reservations.

The sad fact remains that those who were booted from the Norwegian Dawn include 16 members of the Goddard family of Queens, who planned to celebrate their matriarch's 80th birthday with a week-long cruise from New York to Bermuda and the Bahamas.

The trip also coincided with the patriarch's 86th birthday as well as the wedding anniversary of the second-oldest daughter.

"It was the perfect week," the fourth-oldest daughter, Janet Goddard Brown, said yesterday.

So in December, the clan headed by Eleanor and Clyde Goddard made deposits with Norwegian Cruise Line for eight cabins. Most of the family lives in New York, but Brown and her husband live in Las Vegas, and they booked the necessary flights.

"JetBlue," Brown noted.

That was cause enough to fret, until Brown got a call from her travel agent Friday.

"She said that somebody had chartered the entire ship for that week and everybody that had confirmed reservations on that cruise had been canceled," Brown said.

Brown's husband had once been with the Westbury Fire Department on Long Island, and she remembered hearing that the firefighters had been bounced from a Norwegian Line cruise last year when O'Donnell's associates chartered the ship.

Brown went online Friday to O'Donnell's site and saw there was an "R Family" winter cruise this very week. She saw no mention of anything in the summer, but when she looked again on Saturday, there it was.

"Sail away with us to pink sand beaches and turquoise waters. Bermuda awaits you July 7-14!"

The full confirmation that this indeed was the same boat and port came when she clicked on a tab marked "itinerary."

"I don't care if it's Rosie O'Donnell or the religious right," Brown said. "Do it a year in advance before anybody makes final plans for a vacation."

O'Donnell and her associates did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. Brown offered a final comment that more often applies to the likes of Trump.

"I think they should be ashamed of themselves."
Only an evil person would do this.