United Airlines Refuses to Board a New Yorker’s Peacock

Passengers are really beginning to test the limits of what is allowed in terms of pets aboard flights. Recently, a photographer from New York City attempted to board a United Airlines plane with her pet peacock, claiming it as her emotional support animal. The airline denied the bird passage on the flight.

The pet’s owner, Ventiko, is a performance artist who hails from the Big Apple. This raises the question of whether she was performing a stunt rather than earnestly attempting to use the peacock as an emotional support animal.

Many reports quickly revealed that the New Yorker apparently operates an Instagram account on behalf of the bird known as Dexter, casting even more doubt on the artist’s sincerity.

From the peacock’s Instagram account, one can quickly find their way to Ventiko’s website, making it even more likely that part of her motivation behind owning the animal and trying to fly with it is related to her artwork.

Fellow passengers and employees alike were clearly aghast at the sight of Dexter, his size, and his beautiful feathers during the extended period of time he spent at Newark Liberty International Airport just outside of New York City.

Dexter’s Instagram account noted that he and Ventiko spent approximately six hours at Newark attempting to board the flight. Despite having purchased a second ticket for the peacock, he was never ultimately permitted to board a flight on account of his size. According to the Instagram account, the pair then began a cross-country drive to their destination of Los Angeles.

In recent years, more and more travelers have applied for and received permission to have their pets fly with them for free on account of having them designated as emotional support animals. Unlike a animals that are obviously necessary to assist people with certain physical disabilities, emotional support animals often appear to be regular pets with which people want to fly without having to pay any fees.

This method of flying with animals seems to be getting abused quite a bit lately. A feature story in The New Yorker covered this topic at great length several years ago.

It is not immediately clear whether Dexter has made it by car to Los Angeles, or if Ventiko has benefitted from the associated fame related to the incident at Newark.

New York City Brings Major Suit Over Climate Change

New York City made a bold step this week in deciding to sue several major oil companies for their role in causing climate change. The reason the charges have been made are to help offset the costs that are associated with preparing the city for the effects of climate change in the near and distant future. These improvements come with steep costs, yet the oil companies that are responsible for causing a lot of environmental damage do not incur any costs that are put into trust for projects and improvements.

One of the main arguments that the city has cited in the lawsuit was that the oil companies knew of the harm they were causing, but lobbied for the loosening of regulations so that they would not have to incur charges. By creating confusion and a means for avoiding any responsibility for the issues that are created, it leaves grounds for the city to sue. Willfully creating issues that are on such a huge scale creates the assumption of guilt that the lawsuit is basing its claim on.

Similar lawsuits have been brought against industry giants by cities that seek to provide some sort of financial safety net for wide reaching issues. Looking back those cases did not go anywhere after the initial suits were made. By introducing similar but new lawsuits in another location the initial suits are given weight and the suit from New York City carries more significance as well. California city officials and the original law firms that were involved in the older suits have commented on this new case and are eager to work with New York City to determine ways to best bring cases against these oil giants.

At the end of the day, none of the oil companies named in the lawsuit had yet issued a statement or responded to press inquiries. All five of the companies are expected to argue against the companies though in order to maintain their current level of operation.

New York City versus Oil Companies in the Fight Against Climate Change

In a critical act of defiance to the national government, New York City has plans to divest $5 Billion from fossil fuels and is looking to sue oil companies over their contribution to the effects of global warming that has affected the city. According to the Guardian, The oil companies in the hot seat are BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell with the city putting a special emphasis on Exxon since it “knew of the impact of climate change for decades.”

In the past few years since the Hurricane Sandy floodings, the city has had to pay billions of dollars to protect the lower lying areas of metropolitan Manhattan and the JFK airport with the risks of more natural disasters like rising sea levels and atmospheric warming to come as a result of climate change. Unfortunately, the federal case against the corporations may take several years as the office of the mayor has compared the fight to lawsuits against big tobacco that took many years to resolve even under the pressure of feverent activists. Similar lawsuits were filed by California Counties and Cities last year against nearly 40 oil and gas companies.

The divestment comes at a key time in American politics as the Trump administration has made a direct reversal of Obama era climate policies by pulling out of the UN’s Paris Climate Agreement and allowing oil companies to set up shop on large swathes of American land. New York City is looking to make a stand against the White House on environment policies by becoming the first major city to pull a large amount of money from oil investments. According to Mayor De Blasio, New York City is “standing up for future generations” by committing to divestment.

On the other hand, oil companies are claiming that these lawsuits are the result of maneuvering by special interest groups looking to force their own political objectives.

Now all eyes are on Washington, the Trump administration, and the courts to see how a federal reaction pans out.

New York Files Lawsuit Against Fossil Fuel Companies

Mayor Bill De Blasio and the city of New York are going after big oil where it hurts the most, the wallet. The city recently announced a lawsuit against five of the major oil companies over damage to the infrastructure damage that was caused by climate change.

Roughly one week after Bill e Blasio was re-elected for a second term, he stepped out with a serious warning for big oil. The city filed a lawsuit which has been noted as one of de Blasio’s strongest steps to fight global warming as well as the rising sea levels that are associated with it. During 2012, de Blasio’s home of New York City experienced major flooding associated with Superstorm Sandy, something he believes can be attributed to global warming. De Blasio spoke recently at a press conference where he noted that New York was likely home to a few climate change deniers prior to Sandy, but after the major storm and its repercussions, he doubts there are any left in his city. He also stated that he felt as though the world was facing a very difficult reality and when it comes to his city, they will not be active in things that endanger humans.

The plan is simple, they are going after those who have gained a profit from things that cause global warming, in this case, big oil. The lawsuit lists BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and ExxonMonnil and seeks billions in damages that the city has incurred due to what they claim can be blamed on climate change as well as billions more to finance a new infrastructure as well as measures to strengthen the city and protect its people from a repeat of past storms.

De Blasio made no attempt to hide his disgust with oil companies when he discussed how he felt they were disgusting for making a profit that was causing danger to people as well as the way he believes they have misled the public all so they can protect their money. He believes the greed of these companies have put the planet in a position that has made it dangerous and now he believes it is time for them to pay for rebuilding as well as strengthening cities to protect from future damages that could occur due to climate issues.

New York is not the only state to take this approach, California and Colorado have either filed lawsuits or announced that they plan to do so. A spokesperson for The American Petroleum Institute recently stated that de Blasio’s announcement and the lawsuit were disgraceful.

The lawsuit isn’t popular with everyone in the city, the lawsuit came with an announcement that roughly $5 billion from city pension funds that were once invested in fossil fuel companies will now be redistributed to other stocks. De Blasio also announced that he plans to move on to divesting $33 million from the coal industry, one that democrats feel strongly against. Some disagree, stating that fighting climate change is something that should be addressed by businesses and consumers, even through policy changes, but not by the courts. For more detailed information on this lawsuit and what it could mean, head to Huffington Post.

Carl’s Jr. Enters New York City

The western fast food chain Carl’s Jr. opened its first branch in New York City on Tuesday. The restaurant is located in Coney Island between the Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue station and the West Eighth Street–New York Aquarium station. Another branch of the restaurant will be opening across from Penn Station on January 31. The restaurant will be situated next door to a McDonald’s at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street.

Carl’s Jr. has been largely confined to the western and southwestern United States until recent years. They have lately begun to expand into the southern and northeastern United States. In 2016, they moved their headquarters to Franklin, Tennessee. In 2017, the restaurant opened locations in Somerset, New Jersey and Middletown, New York. They also moved into Lake Katrine, New York in September.

Known for giant cheeseburgers and charbroiled burgers, the fast food chain was founded by Carl Karcher and his wife Margaret in Los Angeles in 1941. The company began as a humble hot dog cart, but the couple soon opened restaurants throughout Southern California. During the 1980s, Carl’s Jr. spread throughout the West Coast. After the death of Karcher’s brother Don, the company began to acquire other restaurant chains like Hardee’s and Green Burrito. During the 2000s, they launched advertising campaigns featuring scantily clad models suggestively eating burgers. The company was heavily criticized for their commercials and eventually transitioned to less controversial ads in 2017.

The expansion of Carl’s Jr. echoes similar growth throughout the fast food industry. The country’s top fast food chains experienced 3% growth in 2017. Globally, the fast food industry adds almost $540 billion to the economy every year. Within the United States, the fast food industry is worth around $200 billion. Fueled by impatient consumers and rising costs at sit-down restaurants, fast food sales are on the rise. Top fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell have recently expanded their dollar menus to appeal to thrifty consumer

New York Transit Authority Begins Electric Bus Service

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is taking steps to help make the air of New York City a bit cleaner through the use of electric buses. Ten such vehicles have been deployed for use in the waterfront areas in Brooklyn and Queens and on two routes, M-42 and M-50, which connect other parts of the city.
In order to accommodate the needs of the vehicles, six charging stations will be installed at the Grand Avenue depot and another at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza. The vehicles will be used over a trial period that is expected to last three years. If the vehicles are efficient and successful, 60 more electric buses will be added to the MTA fleet. In addition to the electric vehicles, the public corporation has ordered 110 buses that operate on natural gas. These vehicles will replace older buses that currently serve the Bronx and Brooklyn areas. Most of the MTA fleet will still be comprised of conventional vehicles, with the corporation having recently purchased more than 600 diesel-powered buses. More about the planned used of electric buses in New York City is available at www.reddit.com/r/nyc.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that the upgrades in its fleet will give the MTA an opportunity to try out vehicles that are more modern and easier on the environment. Accusations that the MTA is moving too slowly to reduce emissions have been refuted its managing director, Ronnie Hakim, who said that he prefers a slower transition to the new technology to avoid mistakes that could be costly to the city. This is especially true when considering that other cities have reported problems with electric buses in temperatures that are unusually high or low.
In addition to protecting the environment, the purchase of the new buses should benefit the nation’s economy when considering that the vehicles are American-built. The vehicles were made by the Proterra company, based in California, and by New Flyer Industries, a Canadian firm that does manufacturing in the United States. Proterra will also be responsible for installing the charging stations.
The MTA is the nation’s largest public transit authority, carrying some 11 million passengers every weekday. It also operates seven toll bridges and two tunnels.

New York City to Separate Itself From the Fossil Fuel Industry

New York City is taking steps to separate itself from the fossil fuel industry while simultaneously challenging the “oil friendly” administration of President Donald Trump. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced plans to divest the city’s five pension funds from businesses that he largely blames for climate change.
The actual divestment could be complicated, according to the city’s comptroller, and could take some time to complete. The current goal is for completion of the process within five years. The pension funds, which total nearly $190 billion, have been set aside to cover the retirement costs of city workers, including teachers and police officers. The goal is to complete the divestment without causing financial harm to the retirees.
This will be the first time a major city in the United States has taken such steps, but it will not be the only action by New York to deal with climate change. According to the mayor, the city is taking legal action against five oil companies over the same issue in hopes of making them pay for the damage he says they have created. The five companies are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobile and Shell. More information about the legal action being taken is available at www.reddit.com/r/nyc.
According to official records, the city has experienced costly damage caused by flooding and erosion, with both conditions directly attributable to climate change. Additional costs were incurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York and surrounding areas in 2012. Many scientists believe that climate change has increased the number and intensity of such storms. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit also claim that representatives of the oil industry had for decades denied the known fact that that fossil fuel use can harm the environment. This issue alone is currently the center of a separate investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The action by New York City is also a direct challenge to Trump, who has expressed the desire to remove the United States from the international treaty known as the Paris Agreement. The city has received praise from the former United Nations climate chief and architect of the treaty, Christiana Figueres. She noted that such action represents the first step in eventually creating an economy that is free of fossil fuels.

Barney’s New York Future In Jeopardy

Barneys New York, is a retail giant that has been a centerpiece for retail shopping in New York City for decades. However, fans of the retail giant might have to look somewhere else for their retail goods.  The Barneys New York future on Madison Avenue is definitely in jeopardy because the retail store and their landlord are in a rental tug of war.


Barneys New York In Arbitration

The lease for the retailer, Barneys New York, is almost at an end. The lease expires for the store in 2019. However, Barneys New York, and the landlord are at odds and are able to come to a mutual agreement over the rental cost or lease. Consequently, an arbitrator was called in to help the two sides come to an agreement and settle the dispute. Stories surfaced that the dispute is mainly over a fair market value for the property or land. Certainly, real estate in New York is high. Clearly, real estate on Madison Avenue is right in the middle of a prime market for retailers. The $20 million dollar deal to lease the prime real estate is definitely due for an overhaul.


Bye Bye Barneys New York Store

Certainly, quite a few people living in New York might wonder about the fate of the retail store, if the arbitrator is not able to bring the two sides together in an agreement. The fate of the store is clearly in the hands of the arbitrator. Two things could happen. The arbitrator sides with Barneys New York and the store stays on the Madison Avenue spot. The arbitrator agrees with the landlord and Barney’s moves from the Madison Avenue Location. Certainly, losing such a world wide famous store will affect the city and people that enjoy shopping at the store. Stay tuned, there is more to come on this heated situation. The arbitrator is currently in the middle of studying the situation very carefully. A ruling is due very soon.


Here Are The Best Markets To Buy Fresh Seafood From In New York City

The well-known food website Grub Street recently set out in an article to determine which of New York City’s many seafood markets provided the best overall customer experiences. Here are the markets that were chosen.

Located at 114 Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. has been chosen as the best overall seafood market in New York City. Since opening in 2014, this ethical business has consistently been providing customers with impeccably fresh seafood, great service and reasonable prices.

In addition to year-round lobster, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster offers striped bass, bluefish, flounder, salmon, clams, crab, and much more. If you’re in the mood for Lionfish, sea urchins, caviar or gravlax, it is likely that you’ll find it at Greenpoint. This market features another location in Long Island City.

The second-best seafood market in New York, according to Grub Street is The Lobster Place at 75 Ninth Avenue. This massive seafood market reportedly steams 7,000 pounds of lobster every week, and people regularly line up to purchase their delightful lobster rolls. More than 20,000 people visit this market every week, where a huge selection of fresh finfish and shellfish are attractively displayed.

The next restaurant on Grub Street’s designation of the best seafood markets in New York is the famous Randazzo’s Seafood at 2327 Arthur Avenue. A broad spectrum of fresh fish, smoked fish, fresh fillets, live lobsters and seafood imported fresh from Italy are available at Randazzo’s Seafood. Other specialties at this classic market include crab, crab meat, lobster tails, shrimp, eels, clams, squid, mussels, oysters and snails.

Osakana at 290 Graham Avenue is especially known for its exquisitely prepared fresh tuna and Japanese marinated mackerel and is the next seafood market listed by Grub Street.

The high-end Dorian’s Seafood Market at 1580 York Avenue always offers a nice assortment of fresh seafood items and is particularly known for its luscious halibut and swordfish.

Mermaid’s Garden at 644 Vanderbilt Avenue in mentioned for being a sustainable market that features a wide variety of fresh seafood items. The multiple locations of Blue Moon Fish are listed as being among the best seafood markets in New York City, and ten other vendors were given honorable mentions.

New Bill Tones Down Construction Noise

The New York City Council passed a new law Tuesday requiring construction companies to keep noise levels down in residential areas. The city’s efforts to combat noise pollution are part of a two-prong measure that is designed to limit noise pollution within city limits.

The new bill mandates that agents of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must inspect construction sites that have been subject to a noise complaint within two hours of the first complaint. If they can not respond in a timely manner, the legislation requires the agents to come back another day within an hour of the time when the complaint was originally made. The DEP is now also required to compile an annual report detailing their response to each complaint and make it available online.

The bill has lowered acceptable noise levels from construction from 85 decibels to 80 decibels. In 2020, the limit will be lowered even more to 75 decibels. These new noise restrictions will only apply to sites that are located within 200 feet of a residence. Construction that takes place during the week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. will not be affected. However, the decibel restriction will be enforced all day on Saturdays and Sundays. Contractors who violate the new ordinance may be forced to halt their work.

New York City has long struggled with noise pollution. In 2007, the city’s noise code was revamped to include construction noise. As a result of the law, every construction crew is now required to have a noise mitigation plan on display. More than 400,000 noise complaints were made by New York residents in 2016, a sharp increase from the 179,394 complaints made the year before. Around 58,000 of the 2016 complaints were made to the DEP. Typically, the majority of complaints come from residents of Manhattan, the borough that Councilman Ben Kallos represents. Kallos, a resident of the Upper East Side, originally sponsored the bill when it was introduced in June 2017.

After being approved by the City Council on Tuesday, the bill was passed on to Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s office. He is expected to sign the bill into law sometime this month. The new regulations will go into effect 180 days after the mayor signs them.