Apr 19, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

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11Joe Scarborough Asks Why Liberals Blast Bloomberg, But Not Obama Over Income Inequality? (Video)

Panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday morning discussed the controversial speakers at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Wednesday inauguration who made critical remarks about former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The New York Times has criticized the de Blasio campaign for allowing speakers to disparage Bloomberg, who was in attendance, calling the speakers “ingratious.”

The new mayor ran on a platform that income equality is hurting New York City and that the policies of Bloomberg’s 12-year reign widened the gap between rich and poor.

“I think he was an extraordinary mayor for this town,” Joe Scarborough said of Bloomberg.

He said historians will look at what Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani did in 20 years to transform New York City and “taken on the whole the transformation of this city has been unlike anything I have ever seen in American government in my life.”

“Income inequality increased sharply under Barack Obama,” Scarborough observed. “I doubt you will have speakers when Barack Obama leaves after eight years blaming Barack Obama for the massive increases in income inequality. They shouldn’t have done it here.”

He said inviting Harry Belafonte to speak, means organizers knew what they were getting themselves into.

“In the end it ends up reflecting more poorly on him than the man they were throwing stones at, don’t you think?”

De Blasio defended the speakers on Thursday.

“I’m very comfortable with all that was done,” he said at a news conference.

“I made clear my real respect for Mayor Bloomberg,” he added. “It’s not a secret that I’ve had some disagreements with him on policy, but I honored with a whole heart what he did to this city.”

Sources: MediaiteNew York Times

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11Mayor Bloomberg On Homeless 11-Year-Old Girl: 'That’s Just The Way God Works'

Mayor Bloomberg responded to a New York Times piece on a homeless 11-year-old girl named Dasani, whose family is struggling to make ends meet in New York City, by saying that some people just have bad luck.

“This kid was dealt a bad hand,” Bloomberg told Politicker, calling her homeless life “a sad situation.”

“I don’t know quite why,” he added. “That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not.”

The story is part of a series in the Times, which explicitly says Bloomberg’s policy on homelessness is why Dasani’s family is homeless today.

“The Bloomberg administration adopted sweeping new policies intended to push the homeless to become more self-reliant,” wrote Andrea Elliott of the Times. “They would no longer get priority access to public housing and other programs, but would receive short-term help with rent.”

Bloomberg denied that Dasani’s situation represents other homeless families in NYC.

“Her family situation is extremely atypical,” the mayor told a press conference. “The article implied that all people are treated this way, or all have the same problems and that just is not true. The average homeless family spends less than two years in shelter and has some employment history; this family did not. This is a sad situation and we’re certainly going to continue to try to help the parents to achieve stability and independence.”

Homelessness increased by 60 percent during Bloomberg’s 12 years in office.

Last year he told the Times that people were staying in shelters longer because he made them “a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before.”

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio ran on the platform that income inequality in the city is completely out of control.

“We are simply not going to allow this kind of reality to continue,” de Blasio said of Dasani’s story.

Sources: Politicker, ThinkProgress

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11NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wants To Ban Styrofoam Before Leaving Office

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has one more nanny-initiative before he leaves office: banning Styrofoam.

The City Council’s Sanitation Committee will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss a ban on the use and sale of Styrofoam cups and plates.

The ban aims to cut down on non-biodegradable containers that have an adverse effect on the environment. But critics say it is yet another Bloomberg plan that would result in costly alternatives if passed.

Replacing the foam cups and trays used in restaurants and school cafeterias with the cheapest alternative would cost $91.3 million, according to the American Chemistry Council.

“When polystyrene foam is used for food service it becomes a devastating pollutant that infects our parks and waterways while never biodegrading and has been classified a carcinogenic health hazard by the National Institute of Health,” Bloomberg spokesman Jake Goldman told the New York Post.

A Brooklyn restaurant owner called the measure mayoral overreach.

“I use foam containers because they’re great at keeping food fresh and because they’re economical,” said Rosemary Nunez, owner of La Nueva Estrella El Castillo. “This is just another example of the administration trampling on the interests of the people who create jobs in this city.”

Sanitation officials argue that plastic foam containers make up 23,000 tons of trash per year, but the total amount of annual waste in NYC is more than three million tons, according to The Post.

The ban on Styrofoam was first proposed last summer by Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler.

“I’m not a toadie for the mayor. But when he’s right, he’s right,” said Fidler. “Let’s get this done. “

It already has the support of Speaker Christine Quinn, who previously voted in favor of Bloomberg’s term limit extension.

Sources: New York Post, Pix 11

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11NYPD Seizes Fewer Guns Since Controversial Stop-And-Frisk Ruling

The number of guns seized in New York City is down since federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy unfairly targeted minorities, the New York Post reported.

Scheindlin’s ruling was blocked by an appeals court and she was removed from the case on Oct. 31. The policy is still in force.

From Aug. 19, a week after the ruling, to Nov. 3, gun seizures were down 12 percent. NYPD took 634 firearms off the street compared to 723 during the same period last year.

City attorney Daniel Connolly told appeals judges that officers were still “passive and scared” to enforce stop-and-frisk because they were afraid they were violating the constitution.

The number of stops from July to September was 50 percent less than in 2012, and the number of guns and knives recovered during stops was also cut in half.

The number of shooting crimes has slightly increased, to 312 compared to 305 in the same period in 2012.

“Of course, [Scheindlin’s] ruling is responsible for this,’’ a police source told the Post. “There’s a definite cause and effect here.”

The police source said the ruling has made officers fearful of prosecution.

“Her ruling has made a lot of officers gun-shy about getting guns off the street,” he added. “They don’t want to get sued.”

“They’re under so much scrutiny now since the ruling,” a source said. “And there are cameras everywhere videotaping them and what they say. It’s a nightmare. Then there’s all the paperwork for [stop-and-frisks], which is now getting scrutinized to the max by the bosses.”

“We get calls for shots fired or someone with a gun, and we go out looking for the person with the gun,” another source told the Post. “We’re not going to stop people as much in areas where we’re not getting those calls.”

Despite fewer gun seizures, stop-and-frisk appears to work only as well as other police tactics.

A recent report from report by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office found that only 51 percent of stop-and-frisk arrests led to a conviction or guilty plea.

Sources: New York Post, Huffington Post

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11Appeals Court Blocks NYC Stop-And-Frisk Ruling, Accuses Judge Scheindlin Of Bias

A federal appeals court blocked a ruling by Jude Shira A. Scheindlin Thursday, halting the reform of the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit removed Scheindlin from the case and criticized her for running “afoul” of the judiciary’s code of conduct by compromising the “appearance of impartiality surrounding this litigation.”

The panel said Scheindlin steered the lawsuit against the controversial practice into her courtroom when it was filed six years ago, according to the New York Times.

Floyd v. City of New York was filed in 2008 by the Center for Constitutional Rights alleging the program violates bother the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections against racially discriminatory policing.

Scheindlin ruled in August that that NYPD violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers through racial profiling, frisking “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.”

The controversial program has long been criticized by civil rights activists. Others defend the practice as the bastion of safety in NYC. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called the stops an essential tool to cracking down on major crime in the city. NYPD claims the program takes guns off the streets.

When NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly attempted to give a speech on “Proactive Policing in America’s Biggest City” at Brown University Tuesday he was heckled off the stage.

Democratic nominee for mayor, Bill de Blasio, was “extremely disappointed” in the ruling.

“We have to end the overuse of stop-and-frisk, and any delay only means a continued and unnecessary rift between our police and the people they protect,” de Blasio told the Times.

He’s currently polling far ahead of his Republican oppoenent, Joseph Lhota, who was happy with the ruling on stop-and-frisk.

“As I have said all along, Judge Scheindlin’s biased conduct corrupted the case,” Lhota said in a statement, adding that the next mayor “absolutely must continue this appeal.”

Sources: New York Times, Fox News

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11New York City To Raise Age to Buy Cigarettes To 21

The nation’s largest city is poised to break from the rest of the state and raise the legal age to buy tobacco in New York City from 18 to 21.

The city council voted 35 to 10 in favor of raising the legal age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos.

Opponents to the measure say that if New Yorkers are old enough to fight in wars, they should be considered mature enough to purchase tobacco.

“This is literally legislation that will save lives,” said council speaker Christine Quinn, who recently lost her bid as the next Democratic candidate for mayor.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he’s going to sign the bill. In the final months of his 12-year reign as mayor of NYC, Bloomberg has also made a bid to crack down on tanning salons and harmful UV rays in the city. He’s renowned for his soda ban, trans fat ban, and the ban on smoking in public parks.

“By increasing the smoking age to 21 we will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking,” Bloomberg said in a statement following the council’s vote. “It’s critical that we stop young people from smoking before they ever start.”

NYC now has the strictest limits on tobacco sales of any major U.S. city, The New York Times reported. Other states and counties has raised the limit to age 19. A handful of towns in Massachusetts have a legal limit of 21.

The council said it wants to stop smoking habits before they begin.

“This legislation will reduce smoking rates among New Yorkers — especially young New Yorkers — sparing them years of nicotine addiction and health problems,” Quinn said in a statement.

Officials say 80 percent of the city’s smokes began smoking before age 21. It is unclear what percentage of that group was 18 years old and how many of them obtained cigarettes illegally.

A 16-year-old in Union Square, who began smoking at age 13, told the Times the ban won’t make a difference.

“I don’t think that’s going to work,” Nicole Spencer said. She said “about half” of her underage friends in high school smoke, too.

“I buy them off people or I bum them off people.”

The new age limits will go into effect six months after Bloomberg signs the bill.

Sources: Bloomberg, New York Times

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11NYPD Commissioner Kelly Heckled Off-Stage During Stop-And-Frisk Speech (Video)

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was shouted off the stage when he mentioned the NYPD stop-and-frisk policy during a speech at Brown University on Tuesday.

Kelly’s lecture, “Proactive Policing in America’s Biggest City,” was cut short when dozens of students and activists began protesting the afternoon speech.

“Racism is not for debate,” yelled one protester, quoted by the New York Post.

Activists stood up in the middle of Kelly’s speech and began making speeches of their own.

While students were asked by administrators to hold their comments until a question-and-answer session, they continued to shout throughout the lecture and the hall was cleared out.

More than 100 students gathered to protest stop-and-frisk, a policy that a federal judge ruled unconstitutional, saying it targetted and violated the rights of minorities. The city is currently appealing the ruling.

In a statement following the incident, the Ivy League school’s president, Christina Paxson, denounced the protest.

“The conduct of disruptive members of the audience is indefensible and an affront both to civil democratic society and to the university’s core values of dialogue and the free exchange of views,” read Paxson’s statement.

Students originally petitioned to cancel Kelly’s lecture. The gathered more than 500 signatures, but the school went ahead with it anyway.

“So today, we cancelled it for them,” said Brown student Jenny Yi.

She said protesters thought it was unfair that many people who have worked and drafted legislation in Rhode Island to counter methods like the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk were not invited to the event.

“We felt that it wasn’t an even playing field for anyone,” Yi told Brown Political Review.

City attorneys told a federal appeals panel Tuesday that the ruling against stop-and-frisk has made officers “passive and scared.” They want the panel to suspend the ruling during the city’s appeal.

Courtney Saleski, an attorney for the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said officers are afraid to use the tactic because they’re unsure if they’re violating the constitution.

"That means constitutional stops are being chilled and that's not good for the safety of the community," Saleski argued.

The following is a video of the event posted by Brown Political Review.

Sources: Fox News, TheBlaze

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11NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Takes Aim At Tanning Salons

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is setting his sights on tanning salons in perhaps his last health crusade before the November election, the New York Post reported.

In the past Bloomberg has targeted sugary soda, salt, cigarettes, and trans fat, now he’s cracking down on UV radiation.

Bloomberg plans to warn customers at city tanning salons of the dangers of skin cancer from overexposure to UV rays. For the first time, people who work in salons will have to undergo training to operate UV equipment.

The initiative would also require the health department to inspect tanning salons, tanning beds and timers at least once every two years.

Health officials suspect a number of tanning salons are operating without permits and the measure would crack down on unlicensed operators.

“There is no doubt that tanning increases the risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer,” said Daniel Kass, NYC deputy health commissioner for environmental health. “We want to make sure kids are not using these salons.”

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, according to The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Melanoma skin cancer has an overall 5-year survival rate of 91 percent. About 84% of melanomas are diagnosed at a localized stage, which has a 98 percent survival rate.

Kass told The Post that 100 New Yorkers died from skin cancer in 2012.

Bloomberg’s proposal will be submitted to the Board of Health Tuesday. The Post expects the board, all appointed by Bloomberg, to pass the measure.

Sources: Gothamist, New York Post

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11Pueblo Newspaper Runs Anti-Semitic Ad by Pro-Gun Group

The Pueblo Chieftain in Pueblo, Colorado has repeatedly run an anti-Semitic ad created by a pro-gun group, Pueblo Freedom and Rights.

The ad calls for the recall of Colorado State Sen. Angela Giron and shows her being controlled by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is Jewish.

The depiction of a Jewish puppet-master plays to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish people supposedly controlling politics, noted MediaMatters.org.

The ad, which ran on September 8 and 9, also shows Bloomberg showering Giron with money.

Giron has been targeted for supporting state laws that expanded gun background checks, which most NRA members support, and a 15-round limit on magazine size. 

The recall election is September 10, although the early voting has already begun.

State Senate President John Morse has also been targeted for recall.

So far, the NRA has spent $361,000 to support the recall.

According to ProgressNow Colorado, the Pueblo Chieftain's assistant publisher, Jane Rawlings, general manager Ray Stafford and production director Dave Dammann all signed recall petitions against Giron.

Sources: MediaMatters.org and ProgressNow Colorado

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11Bill de Blasio And His Multi-Racial Family Respond After Bloomberg Calls His Campaign ‘Racist’ (Video)

New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his multiracial family responded last weekend to accusations from Mayor Michael Bloomberg that his campaign is “racist.”

In a recent interview with New York Magazine, Bloomberg called de Blasio’s campaign “class warfare and racist.”

“I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support,” Bloomberg said, referring to campaign ads featuring de Blasio’s son, Dante. “I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.”

De Blasio called the mayor’s comments “very, very unfortunate.” He said he is “exceedingly proud” of his family.

“All I can say is, I hope the mayor will reconsider what he said,” said de Blasio. “I hope he'll realize that it was inappropriate, and I think the people of this city are ready for us to move forward together."

De Blasio’s campaign has pointed out the huge disparity in wealth within the city, a message that Bloomberg calls destructive.

“His whole campaign is that there are two different cities here,” Bloomberg said. “And I’ve never liked that kind of division. The way to help those who are less fortunate is, number one, to attract more very fortunate people. They are the ones that pay the bills. The people that would get very badly hurt here if you drive out the very wealthy are the people he professes to try to help. Tearing people apart with this ‘two cities’ thing doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“We are living a tale of two cities, and ignoring it isn’t going to move us forward,” de Blasio responded. “Forty-six percent of New Yorkers are living at or near the poverty line. People are unable to afford to live in their own neighborhoods anymore.”

Sources: GothamistNew York Daily News

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