Entries in Mayor Michael Bloomberg (6)


Mayor Bloomberg: Chick-fil-A Ban Is 'Inappropriate'

Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have a bone to pick with jumbo-sized sodas, but he has no qualms with Chick-fil-A.

While his fellow mayors in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston have shunned the chicken sandwich chain from their cities for anti-gay marriage comments its CEO made this week, Bloomberg said Friday that a similar ban in New York City is “not going to happen.”

“I disagree with them really strongly on this one,” Bloomberg said on WOR Radio. “You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job.”

“This is just a bad idea and it’s not going to happen in New York City,” Bloomberg added.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was the first mayor to come out against Chick-fil-a after the restaurant’s CEO Dan Cathy said this month that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Menino wrote a scathing letter to Cathy last Friday urging him to keep his restaurant out of Boston.

Days later Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel followed suit, saying he does not believe Cathy’s comments “reflects who we are as a city.”

San Francisco became the third city to turn a cold shoulder on Chick-fil-A when Mayor Edwin Lee tweeted his distaste for the company’s anti-gay stance on Thursday.

“Very disappointed #ChickFilA doesn’t share San Francisco’s values & strong commitment to equality for everyone,” Lee tweeted, adding in a subsequent tweet, “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Big Soda Ban Riles Industry, Bores New Yorkers

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Judging by the print ads, radio spots, plane-flown banners, and a protest held at city hall on Monday, New Yorkers may think that their fellow citizens are angrily rallying against Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposed ban of soft drinks over 16 ounces at certain stores.

Radio ads featuring thick New York accents tell listeners: “No one tells us what neighborhood to live in, what team to root for, or what deli to eat at,” the ad says. “Are we going to let out mayor tell us what size beverage to buy?”

“It’s unbelievable!” a male voice yells.

The radio spot complements other ads against the proposed rule, including a sign that flew over New York and New Jersey beaches during the July 4 holiday that read “No Drink 4 U: New Yorkers for Beverage Choices,” a play on the New York-centric Seinfeld episode in which the “Soup Nazi” tells customers “No Soup For You!”

The ads are produced by a group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choice, a coalition of restaurant and business owners against the ban, which the mayor is touting as a way to cut obesity.  The group’s website features a list of more than 400 such members, but each of the ads features the name of the American Beverage Association.

The ABA, an industry lobby for makers of non-alcoholic beverages (including sodas and sports drinks),  has paid for the creation and execution of the ad campaigns. The NYC Beverage Choices website is registered to the Washington, D.C., public relations firm that represents the ABA, Goddard Gunster. Calls to the ABA, New Yorkers for Beverage Choice, and Goddard Gunster were not returned.

Whether New Yorkers who are not part of the ABA actually care about the proposed beverage ban remains to be seen. The city’s Board of Health will hold a public hearing on the matter on July 24, and then decide on whether to endorse the ban.

Meanwhile, a rally held Monday in front of New York’s City Hall touted as the “Million Big Gulp March” drew only a few dozen actual New Yorkers to complain about Bloomberg’s tactics, according to news reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Court Order Allows for 'Occupy Wall Street' to Return to Zuccotti Park

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Occupy Wall Street protesters swarmed around lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park Tuesday holding printed copies of a court order that allows them to return with their tents.

The demonstrators were demanding reentry into the park just hours after being removed by police in riot gear. Police have not reopened the park and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the park will remain closed until the city can clarify the court order.

A hearing was ongoing with a city judge late Tuesday morning. Lawyers for the protesters had obtained a temporary restraining order allowing the group back into the park.

There is a sense among the demonstrators that today is a major test for the movement.
"This never dies. It doesn't matter if it's a physical place or not," said John Murdock, a resident of New York's East Village who has been coming to the protest for about a month.

"We're going to try to stay as long as possible in a nonviolent way.

Not everyone got the non-violent message, however. There were scuffles with police as more than 200 people were arrested during the early morning raid, according to New York's Deputy Police Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne. Occupy Wall Street has called on those being released to congregate in Duarte Square about a mile north of Zuccotti Park. There are reports that hundreds have gathered there to regroup and mobilize.

"Straight to Duarte Square," Occupy Wall Street posted on Twitter.

After gathering at Duarte Square, some protesters cut the fence of a lot owned by Trinity Church just west of the square and attempted to occupy it, according to The New York Times. Police cleared the lot and arrested more than 20 people.

Mayor Bloomberg said the city raided the park this morning because the protesters and their equipment had become a health and safety hazard and they were preventing others from using the privately-owned park.

"The First Amendment doesn't protect the use of tents and sleeping bags," Bloomberg said.

"Now they will have to occupy the park with just the power of their arguments."

Prior to the court order, the city planned on reopening Zuccotti Park following the cleaning, but was not going to permit the protesters to return with tents, sleeping bags, tarps and other gear.

An hour after the police action at Zuccotti Park began this morning, Occupy Wall Street issued a statement promising "occupation actions" in the coming days.

The group had reportedly planned to cause a massive disruption in traffic on the streets of lower Manhattan today in an attempt to delay the opening of the New York Stock Exchange.

Local New York City Fox affiliate WNYW reported morning commuters had been seen high-fiving cops after they cleaned out the park. On Monday, local business owners staged a counter-protest, claiming the noise, hygeine issues, and police barricades around the Occupy camp was robbing their shops of revenue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mayor Bloomberg Predicts Riots in the Streets Without Job Creation

The City of New York(NEW YORK) -- Mayor Bloomberg warned Friday that there would be riots in the streets if Washington doesn’t find a way to start generating more jobs.

He pointed to demonstrations in both Cairo and Madrid as examples of dissatisfied citizens taking to the streets to show their unhappiness.

In Cairo, angry Egyptians demonstrated their frustrations by toppling leader Hosni Mubarak and, more recently, attacking the Israeli Embassy. In Madrid, recent protests were sparked by the government's decision to spend millions on Pope Benedict’s visit rather than dealing with their widespread unemployment problems.

Bloomberg’s prediction comes as President Obama has been pressuring Republicans to pass his proposed job creation plan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nissan Wins 10-Year NYC Cab Contract

The City of New York(WASHINGTON) -- The yellow taxi cab -- an iconic symbol of New York City -- is getting a makeover. In about two years, a new so-called “Taxi of Tomorrow” will begin appearing on city streets.

New York City officials reached out to people who ride taxicabs for input. Ford, Nissan, and a car made in Turkey were the top three contenders. But on Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the winner.

“I'm happy to say, the Nissan NV200,” Bloomberg said, noting that the car scored the highest in rider comfort and safety, and came in with the lowest bid. “And it’s going to be the safest and most convenient cab the city has ever had,” Bloomberg explained.

For Nissan, it is an exclusive 10-year contract.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


NYC Considers "Crash Tax" for Accident Response

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Strapped for cash, a growing number of municipalities have begun charging for responding to accidents -- services that have long been covered by taxpayers.  Sometimes, the victim's insurer will pick up the tab for these new fees -- but sometimes the insurers will refuse to pay.

This past week, New York City joined the growing debate over what some are calling a "crash tax."  Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the city wants to begin charging accident victims hundreds of dollars each as one way to help plug the city's multimillion-dollar budget deficit.

Under Bloomberg's "crash tax" plan, car fires with injuries would incur a bill of $490.  A car fire with no injuries would cost $415.  And a crash with no injuries would receive a "discount" -- a bill of only $365.

Although critics say the New York Fire Department could easily find more savings in its budget -- such as by eliminating the paid drivers of fire chiefs -- Bloomberg said he had little choice.

"Would you like them to close fire houses?" Bloomberg said.  "I don't think so.  So they've got to raise the money."

Some municipalities have instituted accident-recovery fees at the prodding of collection companies that have offered their billing services, in return for a percentage of the revenue raised.  The AAA and the insurance industry oppose such fees, saying accident response and public safety are basic government services that should be paid for with general taxes.

"´╗┐Crash taxes" are just some of the extreme measures states and cities are taking around the country to counter billions of dollars in budget deficits. 

In New York State, Gov. David Paterson has proposed legalizing ultimate fighting, a move that would generate $2.1 million a year.  Arizona slashed its Medicaid program, leaving 98 residents ineligible for life-saving organ transplants.  California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to open up the coast off of Santa Barbara to oil drilling to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenues.  And one of New Jersey's more crime-ridden cities, Camden, recently sent pink slips to about half of its 380-member police force.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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