Bloomberg Reads For The Record
Mayor Bloomberg reads to children in Manhattan last week during Jumpstart's "Read for the Record", a national campaign to set a Guinness world record for the largest shared reading experience ever. The program aims to build awareness of America's school readiness and the importance of building early childhood literacy skills.
Should public parks be used for private profit? That’s the issue being raised by plans for restaurants in Union and Stuyvesant squares. This month, a series of City Council hearings will take up the subject of the concessions. “There have been concerns about how much money a concessionaire is allowed to keep, and there are also concerns about the potential for the privatization of the parks,” said parks committee chair Helen Diane Foster. A series of City Council hearings will pick up the hot topic of park concessions this fall.—Sascha Brodsky
Sexy Vodka Ads
Look for some sexy vodka ads coming soon to a taxi near you. Vodka distributor Star Industries last week said it would bring back the ads that were dropped recently from MTA buses for showing too much skin. In the ad, a bikini-clad female model has the name of the company across her buttocks. Star Industries president Martin Silver said the MTA’s decision was a First Amendment violation.—Sascha Brodsky
The Roosevelt Island Tram should be back in service within a month, officials say. The tram has been out of service between the island and Upper East Side since April 18, when a power failure left 68 commuters hanging in the tram for nearly 12 hours. The tram has been given a refurbished electrical drive backup electrical and nonelectrical drives.—Sascha Brodsky
Council Targets Nightclubs
Councilwoman Melinda Katz is seeking to tighten city control over nightclubs with three new proposals. The legislation would ban club owners from requiring patrons to buy alcohol, set up a new city liquor agency, and raise the age of entry to bars. A string of murders this year associated with Manhattan’s raucous nightclub scene has spawned a crackdown in recent months by police and city authorities. Katz criticized the common practice of clubs requiring patrons buy two or three liquor bottles, priced upwards of $250, to gain entry. Known as “bottle service”, a bounty for club owners, it “forces people to consume unsafe amounts of alcohol, which can in turn lead to the kind of tragic violence we have been seeing too much in New York City,” said Katz in a press statement. Katz said she would seek to establish a New York City Liquor Authority to take command for the city from the State Liquor Authority, which she said is ill-equipped. The new agency would incorporate more input from community boards, and have the power to hand out and revoke liquor licenses. Finally, Katz proposed raising the age of admittance to bars from age 16 to 18. “There is no reason for 16-year-olds to be permitted in bars and clubs without proper supervision,” she said. Mayor Bloomberg last week signed the new Bouncer Bill into law, empowering the city to shutter clubs that fail to properly screen security personnel. Police meanwhile padlocked the Chelsea nightclub Spirit after several alcohol and drug-related violations.—Mike McPhate