Saturday, August 27, 2011

Horse Carriages Work During Hurricane Irene In New York City Under Inhumane Weather Conditions

Hurricane Irene,Carriage Horses,Animal Rights,ASPCA,Humane Society,Dangerous Weather Conditions

A horse-drawn carriage makes an illegal U-turn in the middle of a busy Midtown Manhattan street, on wet and slippery pavement no less, on a day when 370,000 people were ordered to evacuation flood zones in New York City.

Carriage Horses Working Despite New York City Shut Down #Hurricane #Irene

New York (27 August 2011) -- An hour ago, the government integrity watchdog and animal rights activist Donny Moss released the following statement by social media :

In spite of the evacuations, transportation shut down, the Mayor's plea to stay off the streets, and a law which states that carriages cannot work during "slippery conditions," carriage drivers worked all day. How does the ASPCA, which collects money in the name of helping the horses, allow this ? This industry is enabled and empowered by Christine Quinn, who has killed all bills to take these horses out of harm's way.

Animal rights activists have long complained that Ms. Quinn, the City Council Speaker, has no integrity at her core, and all of her talk about animal rights (much like all of her policies) are accompanied by touches of a legislative sleight-of-hand.

In a related e-mail newsletter to other animal rights activists, Mr. Moss remarked :

Dear animal advocate:

Several hours ago, portions of New York City were evacuated for the first time in history, and the largest public transportation system in the country was shut down due to Hurricane Irene. With conditions deteriorating, Mayor Michael Bloomberg implored New Yorkers to stay home for our own safety and so that emergency vehicles can easily navigate the streets. Downpours occurred throughout the day.

In spite of all of the above, and the law which clearly states that carriage operators cannot work during "ice, heavy rain or other slippery conditions," dozens of horse-drawn carriage operators were working as of 4:30 p.m. If history repeats itself, the horses will be forced to make the long, treacherous trip through the streets of midtown back to the "stables" when the storm intensifies.

As usual, the ASPCA, which collects an untold amount of money from donors in the name of helping the carriage horses, allowed the carriage drivers to leave the stables this morning and to work all day in the wet streets in spite of the law.

The ASPCA, which was founded to protect the carriage horses, continues to stand by and watch as the carriage operators to break the law. They mock -- instead of support -- the advocates who are working tirelessly to take the horses out of harm's way. And they continue to refuse to use their substantial clout, power and resources to shut this industry down, in spite of their own stance that horse-drawn carriages should be banned from NYC.

The horse-drawn carriage industry is also enabled -- if not empowered -- by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has blocked all efforts to take these horses out of Midtown, killing bills in committee before they see the light of day. In fact, Quinn has killed every meaningful animal protection bill introduced at City Hall since she became Speaker in 2006.

Following are pictures of horses working in the rain at about 3:00 p.m. today. Please share this information with your friends who donate money to animal organizations and/or who vote in NYC.

Thank you.
Donny Moss

Hurricane Irene,Business Closing,NYC

Many restaurants were closed across New York City due to the dangerous weather conditions, but carriage horses were still being forced to work under inhumane street conditions.

Hurricane Irene,NYTimes,MTA Subway Shut Down,NYC

Officials of the MTA New York City Subway ordered the nation's largest mass transit system to be closed at noon today, due to the dangerous wind and rain conditions in connection with Hurricane Irene, but Donny Moss reported that horses were still pulling carriages at 4:30 p.m. under dangerous street conditions.

Hurricane Irene,NYTimes,Evacuation,NYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an evacuation order that demanded that approximately 370,000 people leave dangerous flood zones due to Hurricane Irene ; under these conditions, horse-drawn carriages were still working.

Hurricane Irene,Business Closings,NYC

While businesses were closed and employees making preparations for Hurricane Irene, horses were lined up to pull unsuspecting tourists through dangerous Midtown traffic.

Hurricane Irene,Carriage Horses,Animal Rights,ASPCA,Humane Society,Dangerous Weather Conditions

Riders were carrying umbrellas to protect them from the rain and wind, but horses were left to work completely exposed to the elements. Where is the humanity in this ?

Hurricane Irene,Carriage Horses,Animal Rights,ASPCA,Humane Society,Dangerous Weather Conditions

A carriage driver holds up an umbrella to protect himself from the rain and wind, but the tired horse trudges through the elements as the city prepares for Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Irene,Carriage Horses,Animal Rights,ASPCA,Humane Society,Dangerous Weather Conditions

In a burst of rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Irene, a carriage driver uses an umbrella for himself, but he offers no protection from the elements to his horse.

Hurricane Irene,Carriage Horses,Animal Rights,ASPCA,Humane Society,Dangerous Weather Conditions

A carriage driver wears a raincoat in a rainstorm from one of the outer bands of Hurricane Irene, as unsuspecting tourists are being driven through dangerous weather conditions. Meanwhile, the horse is being forced to work under inhumane conditions where everybody else is protected from the weather, but for the horse.

Hurricane Irene,Carriage Horses,Animal Rights,ASPCA,Humane Society,Dangerous Weather Conditions

Still yet other carriage horse drivers are protected from the rain and wind by giant umbrellas, but there is no protection offered to the horses from the stormy weather arriving in New York from the outer bands of Hurricane Irene.

NYPD Raid Eagle ; Will There Be Accountability ?

Show Us You Care ! Will Christine Quinn hold NYPD accountable for raiding the Eagle ? Probably not, as usual.

Is Christine Quinn going to hold the NYPD accountable for raiding the Eagle on the very night when marriage equality became law ? What kind of an LGBT leader is she, if she does not fight for our LGBT civil rights ? Join our Facebook page : Gays Against Christine Quinn.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene Evacuation Plan

Due to Hurricane Irene, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered the evacuation of all patients from senior centers and hospitals in low-lying areas in the Evacuation Zone. Too bad Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have been closing senior centers and closing hospitals all across the city, leading to a mass shortage of senior centers and hospitals during natural disasters or other mass public health emergencies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quinn Slush Funds Exposed (Again)

Christine Quinn Uses City Council Funds (aka Taxpayer Money) to Reward Political Bosses

After City Council Speaker Christine Quinn got fluffed by NYTimes reporter David W. Chen, now comes Michael Powell, a columnist for the Gray Lady, who pulls back the curtain on Speaker Quinn's slush fund-tinged campaign for mayor.

Mr. Powell reports that Ms. Quinn was appointed Speaker of the City Council after she "charmed" political bosses from Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. At her coronation ceremony, she put Vito Lopez, the notorious Brooklyn political boss (who is the target of several ethical and corruption investigations) in the front row. Speaker Quinn has also scratched Mr. Vito's back in exchange for his political support. "The fates have smiled on Mr. Lopez’s social-service empire, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council ; this year the Council sent more than $4 million its way," reported the NYTimes.

In a statement posted Facebook, a government integrity watchdog activist questioned why the latest NYTimes article stops short of probing the status of the federal investigation into Speaker Quinn's slush fund scandal.

"Instead of reporting on Quinn's criminal activity, the NY Times merely raises questions about her ethics and leadership: "But there are questions to be asked about her leadership, and not all cheery." Is it a fear of Bloomberg that prevents the Times from reporting on the well-documented budget and campaign corruption ?" Donny Moss posted on the social network.

This is how the NYTimes article ends :

Last year, a Council majority favored mandatory sick days for New Yorkers with less than a week of vacation. The mayor opposed it. Ms. Quinn killed it.

Some suggest that she has gotten lost in the game, that she can no longer recall the questions she once asked as an advocate. That sounds too definitive. Her arc is not done.

She affects nonchalance when described as a mayoral puppet: “You can call me Mini-Me. I don’t really care.”

The rub is that voters might care a lot.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

St. Vincent's Rudin Probe

Manhattan District Attorney is investigating St. Vincent's ''go-for-broke plan'' that has supposedly enriched the Rudin Managedment Company, which has been waiting in the wings for the hospital to flatline.

St. Vincent's Hospital is under investigation by the Manhattan DA's office for allegations that the Rudin Management Company has been planning a real estate harvesting/luxury condo conversion plan of the shuttered hospital.

St. Vincent's closed on April 30, 2010, after it laid off many of its employees. Many employees later learned that the hospital was not paying into the state's unemployment fund, so those who were laid off were not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Ever since it closed, the impacted community of the Lower West Side of Manhattan has been calling for investigations into what lead to the hospital's sudden closure. The hospital failed to file a closure plan, as it was required to do, with the New York State Department of Health.

From an article in The New York Post :

Going broke allowed the hospital to get an OK from the state Health Department to sell to the Rudin family, which is building luxury housing on the site. Without bankruptcy, state officials would not have been permitted the hospital to shut down, the sources said.

"This was a well-thought-out plan," said Tom Shanahan, a lawyer for a group of former St. Vincent doctors and nurses suing St. Vincent's. "They wanted out and had to justify it to the state. They were running it into the ground."

DA Cy Vance's team is looking into whether vendors double-billed for services, gave kickbacks for contracts and hired relatives of hospital employees, sources said.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quinn NYT Infomercial Fluff

To find out how real journalists assess City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's record, one needs to look no further than the sensibility expressed in this blog post on True News From Change : NYT Sets the Definition on How To Judge and Pick the Next Mayor and It Fits Quinn

In his blog post, the journalist Gary Tilzer makes many astute observations about David W. Chen's infomercial fluff piece about Speaker Quinn, and perhaps this is the most sharpest of Mr. Tilzer's criticisms : ''It was the publisher of the NYT, along with the NYP and Daily News, that used their papers to support changing the term limits law to allow Bloomberg and Quinn to run for a third term. Mr. Chen does not challenge Quinn when she brushes off her term limits and other critics as 'naïve' ideologues.''

It's already been documented how Christine Quinn bluffs her way through important social issues.

What Speaker Quinn is doing by making her ''unapologetic'' ''move to the middle'' is selling out the working class families of New York City. Her policies favour real estate developers -- and come to the detriment, suffering, and mass displacement of working class New Yorkers. Speaker Quinn's vision of New York City is a continuation of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's vision : more glass and steel luxury condos and less hospitals, firehouses, public schools, and senior centers. Speaker Quinn wants to make life so unbearable to the average wage-earning New Yorker that we all pick up and leave town.

How do we know that Christine Quinn has sold out her values and beliefs and still find herself to be in a place of denial about it, so much so that she accuses her critics of being “naïve” ideologues ?

Speaker Quinn's ideas about leadership in New York, by supporting the luxury condo conversion of St. Vincent's Hospital, which used to be the only full-service hospital with a Level 1 Trauma Center below 14th Street, is like GLAAD publicly supporting the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Not only would AT&T be in an even stronger position to undo net neutrality, but what is GLAAD doing by meddling in a telecom merger approval process with the FCC ? Likewise, why is a ''supposedly!! celebrated LGBT third-term politician like Christine Quinn rushing toward the ''middle'' of the political spectrum, if it means that she has to abandon her idealistic beginnings and instead now oppose paid sick leave and a living wage bill ?

"AT&T was one of the companies whose local representatives sits on the board of directors of the Tennessee chamber of commerce," wrote John Aravosis at Americablog. "You remember them, the group that endorsed and actively lobbied for the measure repealing gay and trans rights ordinances in the state, mandating it so that no trans person can ever change their birth certificate gender in the future, and banning any future civil rights ordinances for anyone in the future. That AT&T."

What does the intersection of St. Vincent's Hospital/Rudin Family Luxury Condo Conversion and the GLAAD/AT&T T-Mobile mega deals have to do with Christine Quinn and New York City politics ?

In each case, you see the erosion of core values of fighting for an activist's central reason for being : serving their constituency. But once you get to be so big, you can blow off you constituency as “naïve” ideologues (or drop the F-bomb on them, the way that one of her administrative assistants did).

If, throughout our nation's history, our goal has been to distribute power and authority equally among voters, then the voters, who have less choices on election day, get their voices muffled. Who is going to challenge GLAAD to focus once again on its original intention ? Who is going to put pressure on Christine Quinn to deliver on the community’s demands to stop all the hospital closings that are happening across New York City ?

It is not too much to expect that the people, who you elect to City Council, start to deliver something tangible for New York City voters.

  • If you disliked how City Council members extended term limits without a voter referendum, then let her know :
  • If you agree, that Speaker Quinn needs to hear the voices of communities, who are demanding that hospitals stop closing all across the five boroughs, then let her know :
  • If you can no longer accept a weekly threat by Mayor Bloomberg to layoff teachers and firefighters, and to close schools and firehouses, then let her know :
  • If you want Speaker Quinn to shut down her $50 million slush fund, then let her know :
  • If you refuse to settle for City Council members, who take tens of thousands of campaign donations from real estate developers in exchange for what seems like pay-to-play real estate development deal approvals, then let her know :
  • If you believe that Speaker Quinn betrays the LGBT community, then let her know :
  • If you have your own issue, that you'd like to bring to Speaker Quinn's attention, then let her know :

Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Alec Baldwin Christine Quinn

Alec Baldwin exposes Christine Quinn for Term Limits Scandal

From The New York Times :

Mr. Baldwin suggested that the term-limit issue would hurt the electoral prospects of the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, who went along with the mayor’s move. “I think it absolutely, positively disqualifies her,” he said. “She totally betrayed a huge constituency here in the city.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quinn Plaza Hotel Protest

Christine Quinn - Plaza Hotel - Gays Against Quinn (Protest Video)

Over 20 activists gathered outside the Plaza Hotel in a demonstration against City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Watch as protesters speak against Christine Quinn to former Mayor David Dinkins' entourage and hand anti-Quinn literature to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Some of us were there because of Speaker Quinn's use of a $50 million slush fund during a time when we live under constant threat by Mayor Bloomberg, that he is going to lay off teachers and close down fire houses. Others were there, because Speaker Quinn pushed through a controversial extension of term limits, allowing Mayor Bloomberg, herself, and others, to run for a third term in office. Still yet others were there because of Speaker Quinn's complete abdication of full civil rights for LGBT New Yorkers, do-nothing record over hospital closings, horrible animal rights record, and use of city staff for campaign work.

Please join us for a Third Anniversary Protest of the Term Limits Extension at 2 pm on Sunday, October 23, at City Hall.

Please also join our Facebook group : Gays Against Christine Quinn.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Politicians and Protesters call for an investigation of Medisys official Robert Levine over Peninsula Hospital closing

Peninsula Hospital closure draws outraged calls for a state investigation from almost everybody, excepting for Christine Quinn, of course, naturally, it should go without saying.

From The New York Daily News :

Local pols on Sunday called on state officials to investigate the planned closing of Peninsula Hospital in Queens. During a protest that drew dozens of hospital workers and Rockaways residents, State Sen. Malcolm Smith urged Health Commissioner Nirav Shah not to approve the closing plan for the century-old Far Rockaway hospital without conducting a formal investigation of its finances first. "The Rockaways cannot afford for Peninsula to not be there," said Smith (D-Queens), noting its emergency room provides care for more than 30,000 patients per year. At the rally outside the state Health Department's office in Lower Manhattan, protestors chanted, "Keep the hospital open" and waved signs saying, "Rockaway Needs Peninsula" and "Investigate Before Closing." ....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Peninsula Hospital Closing Protest

Peninsula Hospital Center - Protesters Take Over Lobby - Hospital Closings in NYC

Approximately 200 union employees, residents of Far Rockaway, in Queens, and local officials, gathered in the rain outside Peninsula Hospital Center, across the bay from JFK Airport. Peninsula Hospital Center has filed a plan to shut its doors. The hospital’s owner is embroiled in a political and financial scandal, but employees and residents are worried about the threat to public health, should the hospital’s closure plan be approved.

Attendees of the rally braved the rain, then, once the rally had ended, stormed into one of the lobbies of the hospital, until hospital officials called the police, to clear the lobby of its own employees.

In the time that Christine Quinn had been speaker of the City Council, eight hospitals (not counting Peninsula) have closed. If Peninsula closes, it would mark the ninth hospital to close under Speaker Quinn's watch.

This week, President Obama agreed to severe budget cuts to social safety net programs, that underpin the social contract we make with our government and amongst ourselves. More budget cuts to Medicaid and Medicare will lead to a further collapse of our healthcare system. Is Christine Quinn in Bermuda with Mayor Michael Bloomberg each time a hospital closes in New York City ? Is President Obama surfing in Hawaii each time a hospital closes in America ?

If we obediently listen to people, who are in power (the same people who work for us, the very same people who are closing our hospitals), telling us to leave the lobby of a closing hospital, then it just makes it that much easier for the New York State Department of Health/Christine Quinn to keep closing hospitals.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

William Rudin Peninsula Hospital

Peninsula Hospital Center

Is the Rudin Family eyeing their next real estate harvesting operation on the dead carcass of the Peninsula Hospital Center in Queens ?

William Rudin

After he's done with St. Vincent's Hospital, it has been heard on the street that William Rudin is considering another real estate harvesting operation, this time at the Peninsula Hospital Center in Queens.

Everybody Is Gay

Op-Ed ! Everybody Is Gay

Ian McKeevor is homophobic, not only that, but he freely used gay as a pejorative against activists. I cannot reconcile how City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is out as a lesbian, can support the horse-drawn carriage industry, not only because of the way that horses are treated, but also because of the homophobia that some of the horse owners practise. But for Christine Quinn, all it takes is campaign contributions for her to look the other way. I will never vote for Christine Quinn.