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Jeb Bush Won’t Seek Senate Seat in 2010 Race

Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida said Tuesday that he would not run in 2010 for the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez, ending speculation about whether he could renew the Bush brand in Congress.

The decision, less than a month after Martinez, a Republican, announced his plan to retire, shocked many Republicans. Local fundraisers; Bush’s brother President Bush; and his father, former President George Bush, all encouraged him to enter the race, predicting he would re-energize the Republican Party. But in a statement, Jeb Bush said they would have to wait.

“While the opportunity to serve my state and country during these turbulent and dynamic times is compelling,” he said, “now is not the right time to return to elected office.”

Why the timing was wrong, he left others to speculate. Friends and former aides said the calculus was both personal and political.

Bush, they said, has grown accustomed to a more private life since he left office in 2007. He lives here with his wife, Columba, splitting time among at least two corporate boards, a consulting firm he founded — where his son Jeb Bush Jr. also works — two foundations focused primarily on education, and speaking engagements that bring in tens of thousands of dollars.

Mysterious Sweet Smell From 2005 Returns to Manhattan

The mysterious sweet smell that swept over parts of the city more than three years ago returned on Monday night.

The city’s 311 information line was flooded with callers reporting the smell of maple syrup, or something like it, wafting across several neighborhoods, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management said.

Nearly all of the calls — 35 in just a few hours — came from areas in Manhattan, the spokesman said, although one caller reported smelling the sweet scent across the East River in Queens.

Department of Environmental Protection agency investigators were searching for the source of the smell late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, the agency’s spokesman said. The strange, syrupy scent has descended on parts of New York City and New Jersey at least three times before. Beginning in the fall of 2005, people in various areas of the city and nearby New Jersey reported the scent. Officials ruled the odor harmless but never solved the mystery of its origin.

Saving a Squirrel By Eating One

Rare roast beef splashed with meaty jus, pork enrobed in luscious crackling fat, perhaps a juicy, plump chicken … these are feasts that come to mind when one thinks of quintessential British food. Lately, however, a new meat is gracing the British table: squirrel.

With literally millions of squirrels rampaging throughout England, Scotland and Wales at any given time, squirrels need to be controlled by culls. This means that hunters, gamekeepers, trappers and the Forestry Commission (the British equivalent of forest rangers) provide a regular supply of the meat to British butchers, restaurants, pate and pasty makers and so forth.

The situation is more than simply a matter of having too many squirrels. In fact, there is a war raging in Squirreltown: invading interlopers (gray squirrels introduced from North America over the past century or more) are crowding out a British icon, the indigenous red squirrel immortalized by Beatrix Potter and cherished by generations since.