Umroh Akhir Ramadhan Lailatul Qodar

Setelah asyik bermain di pantai tepatnya di Pulau Untung Jawa di bulan Maret 2013 lalu, perjalanan selanjutnya di bulan April 2013 AK dan beberapa teman mengadakan trip menuju Taman Wisata Cibodas dan sekitarnya. Berikut catatan perjalanannya :

Sabtu pagi setelah menunaikan sholat shubuh beberapa teman yang ikut dalam trip ini sudah berkumpul di star point yang ditentukan, beberapa lagi masih ada saja yang belum hadir dikarenakan sibuk dengan barang bawaan. Setelah semuanya kumpul dengan jumlah 8 orang dan mobil Innova serta sopirnya yang udah di booking sebelumnya siap untuk menuju Taman Wisata Cibodas.

Tepatnya jam 5.30 pagi AK dan teman - teman sudah berangkat menuju Taman Wisata Cibodas, hal ini dilakukan agar kami lebih cepat sampai ke sana dan tidak terjebak macet di jalur puncak Bogor. AK dan teman - teman  menikmati pemandangan sepanjang perjalanan dengan diiringi musik pilihan yang telah disediakan, mengobrol sambil menikmati beberapa makanan yang dibawa oleh teman teman cukup untuk menghilangkan suntuk dan bete serta agar suasana menjadi nyaman.

Perjalanan ditempuh sekitar 2 setengah jam dari Jakarta Barat, walaupun sempat kelewat sampai Cipanas karena asyiknya suasana di dalam mobil hingga tidak ada yang perhatikan tanda masuk ke Cibodas. Setelah berbalik arah, mobil pun memasuki kawasan Wisata Cibodas sekitar pukul 8 pagi saat itu.

Setelah membayar dipintu masuk seharga Rp. 9.500/ orang dan 16 ribu untuk mobilnya, kami pun mengitari dengan mobil  beberapa tempat yang asyik di kawasan ini. Akhirnya kamipun sepakat untuk memarkir mobil di parkiran menuju Air terjun Ciismun di kawasan Cibodas ini.

Perjalanan dari parkir mobil menuju air terjun Ciismun ditempuh sekitar setengah jam, melihat indahnya air terjun dan bermain air menjadi semangat kami untuk terus melangkah agar sampai ke tujuan. Dan beberapa momen yang tidak terlewatkan kami abadikan berikut ini :

Terpana adalah kata yang pas buat perasaan kami saat sampai di air terjun Ciismun ini, air terjun yang tersembunyi ini sangat memukau penglihatan kami kala itu, ditambah suasana pagi yang sepi saat itu serasa hanya kami yang menikmati keindahan air terjun Ciismun ini.  Beberapa dari kami langsung bermain air di air terjun ini, beberapa yang lain menikmati pemandangan air terjun yang memukau sambil mencari spot untuk berphoto ria.

Setelah kurang lebih 1 jam di air terjeun Ciismun, kami pun bersiap - siap untuk melakukan perjalanan kembali ke area parkir mobil, karena lelahnya perjalanan saat itu kami pun siap untuk  menikmati makan siang yang kami bawa dari rumah sambil menikmati hijaunya alam Cibodas.

Setelah menikmati makan siang kami kembali mengelilingi kawasan Cibodas dengan mobil, beberapa saat mobil berhenti agar kami bisa menikmati  hamparan  taman hijau yang  luas  atau pemandangan kolam air mancur yang indah serta gunung dan pohon pohon yang rindang.

Sebenarnya masih banyak area menarik di kawasan ini yang belum sempat kami kunjungi namun karena waktu sudah siang dan kami ingin melanjutkan perjalanan selanjutnya, kami pun segera menuju pintu keluar 2 dari kawasan Cibodas menuju parkiran air terjun Cibereum yang dekat dengan pintu masuk wisata Mandalawangi di kawasan Taman Nasional Gunung Gede Pangrango.

Namun sebelumnya kami santai sejenak di area parkir sambil menikmati beberapa jajanan yang ada di area ini, melaksanakan sholat dan bersih bersih di wc yang ada di area ini dengan membayar Rp. 2000 untuk buang air kecil dan Rp. 3000 untuk mandi dan buang air besar.

Sekitar kurang lebih pukul 13.00 kami pun mulai perjalanan menuju air terjun Cibereum yang berada 1.675 diatas permukaan laut ini harus kami daki sekitar 1 jam. Setelah membayar tiket di pintu masuk Rp. 2.500/ orang kami pun mulai memasuki jalan berbatu di tengah hutan.

Perjalanan menuju air terjun Cibereum ini amat sangat melelahkan, melewati hutan yang gelap walau kadang ada jalan yang sudah bagus. Sesaat berjalan kami harus istirahat sejenak untuk menghilangkan rasa lelah dan letih seraya memberi semangat kepada teman teman untuk sampai ke tujuan.

Setelah berjuang sepanjang jalan dengan keringat yang bercucuran, akhirnya air terjun Cibereum dapat kami taklukan. Kami pun hanya bisa bengong  melihat indahnya alam yang mempesona ini dan ternyata ada 2 air terjun lain yang berdekatan dengan air terjun Cibereum ini.  Sungguh menakjubkan, kami pun tak lupa mengabadikan momen ini.

Perasaan bangga dan bahagia bersatu dalam jiwa kami saat berada di tempat yang jauh ini, rasa lelah dan letih seakan sirna dengan sampainya kami di tempat ini. Kami pun mulai menikmati  suasana ramai saat itu, sesekali bermain air dan makan makanan yang kami sudah siapkan.

Ketika waktu sudah sore, kamipun mulai melangkah turun menuju parkiran mobil, sesampainya disana dan sebelum meninggalkan kawasan wisata tak lupa kami membeli beberapa oleh - oleh seperti sandal, kaos, tas, makanan ringan dan sayur - sayuran dengan harga terjangkau tentunya.

Akhirnya usai sudah perjalanan kali ini, mobilpun bergegas menuju Jakarta, sesaat kami berhenti di kawasan Puncak Bogor untuk sejenak menikmati indahnya hamparan kebun teh di Kawasan Wisata Gunung Mas. Demikian

TAMAN WISATA CIBODAS

Over the last five years or so, it seemed there was little that Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader of the New York Senate, would not do for his son.

He pressed a powerful real estate executive to provide commissions to his son, a 32-year-old title insurance salesman, according to a federal criminal complaint. He helped get him a job at an environmental company and employed his influence to help the company get government work. He used his office to push natural gas drilling regulations that would have increased his son’s commissions.

He even tried to direct part of a $5.4 billion state budget windfall to fund government contracts that the company was seeking. And when the company was close to securing a storm-water contract from Nassau County, the senator, through an intermediary, pressured the company to pay his son more — or risk having the senator subvert the bid.

The criminal complaint, unsealed on Monday, lays out corruption charges against Senator Skelos and his son, Adam B. Skelos, the latest scandal to seize Albany, and potentially alter its power structure.

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Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, discussed the case involving Dean G. Skelos and his son, Adam. Credit Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The repeated and diverse efforts by Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican, to use what prosecutors said was his political influence to find work, or at least income, for his son could send both men to federal prison. If they are convicted of all six charges against them, they face up to 20 years in prison for each of four of the six counts and up to 10 years for the remaining two.

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, of Long Island, who serves as chairman of the Republican conference, emerged from a closed-door meeting Monday night to say that conference members agreed that Mr. Skelos should be benefited the “presumption of innocence,” and would stay in his leadership role.

“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader,” said Mr. LaValle, “and he has the support of the conference.” The case against Mr. Skelos and his son grew out of a broader inquiry into political corruption by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, that has already changed the face of the state capital. It is based in part, according to the six-count complaint, on conversations secretly recorded by one of two cooperating witnesses, and wiretaps on the cellphones of the senator and his son. Those recordings revealed that both men were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.

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Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, the complaint says, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection. They also used coded language at times.

At one point, Adam Skelos was recorded telling a Senate staff member of his frustration in not being able to speak openly to his father on the phone, noting that he could not “just send smoke signals or a little pigeon” carrying a message.

The 43-page complaint, sworn out by Paul M. Takla, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlines a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position; it also lays bare the extent to which a father sought to use his position to help his son.

The charges accuse the two men of extorting payments through a real estate developer, Glenwood Management, based on Long Island, and the environmental company, AbTech Industries, in Scottsdale, Ariz., with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.

Glenwood, one of the state’s most prolific campaign donors, had ties to AbTech through investments in the environmental firm’s parent company by Glenwood’s founding family and a senior executive.

The accusations in the complaint portray Senator Skelos as a man who, when it came to his son, was not shy about twisting arms, even in situations that might give other arm-twisters pause.

Seeking to help his son, Senator Skelos turned to the executive at Glenwood, which develops rental apartments in New York City and has much at stake when it comes to real estate legislation in Albany. The senator urged him to direct business to his son, who sold title insurance.

After much prodding, the executive, Charles C. Dorego, engineered a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company even though he did no work for the money. But far more lucrative was a consultant position that Mr. Dorego arranged for Adam Skelos at AbTech, which seeks government contracts to treat storm water. (Mr. Dorego is not identified by name in the complaint, but referred to only as CW-1, for Cooperating Witness 1.)

Senator Skelos appeared to take an active interest in his son’s new line of work. Adam Skelos sent him several drafts of his consulting agreement with AbTech, the complaint says, as well as the final deal that was struck.

“Mazel tov,” his father replied.

Senator Skelos sent relevant news articles to his son, including one about a sewage leak near Albany. When AbTech wanted to seek government contracts after Hurricane Sandy, the senator got on a conference call with his son and an AbTech executive, Bjornulf White, and offered advice. (Like Mr. Dorego, Mr. White is not named in the complaint, but referred to as CW-2.)

The assistance paid off: With the senator’s help, AbTech secured a contract worth up to $12 million from Nassau County, a big break for a struggling small business.

But the money was slow to materialize. The senator expressed impatience with county officials.

Adam Skelos, in a phone call with Mr. White in late December, suggested that his father would seek to punish the county. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said.

Three days later, Senator Skelos pressed his case with the Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, a fellow Republican. “Somebody feels like they’re just getting jerked around the last two years,” the senator said, referring to his son in what the complaint described as “coded language.”

The next day, the senator pursued the matter, as he and Mr. Mangano attended a wake for a slain New York City police officer. Senator Skelos then reassured his son, who called him while he was still at the wake. “All claims that are in will be taken care of,” the senator said.

AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on his son. At one point in January, Adam Skelos told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”

Making matters worse, in recent months, Senator Skelos and his son appeared to grow wary about who was watching them. In addition to making calls on the burner phone, Adam Skelos said he used the FaceTime video calling “because that doesn’t show up on the phone bill,” as he told Mr. White.

In late February, Adam Skelos arranged a pair of meetings between Mr. White and state senators; AbTech needed to win state legislation that would allow its contract to move beyond its initial stages. But Senator Skelos deemed the plan too risky and caused one of the meetings to be canceled.

In another recorded call, Adam Skelos, promising to be “very, very vague” on the phone, urged his father to allow the meeting. The senator offered a warning. “Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” he told him.

A month later, in another phone call that was recorded by the authorities, Adam Skelos complained that his father could not give him “real advice” about AbTech while the two men were speaking over the telephone.

“You can’t talk normally,” he told his father, “because it’s like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call. It’s just [expletive] frustrating.”

“It is,” his father agreed.

Dean Skelos, Albany Senate Leader, Aided Son at All Costs, U.S. Says

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