THE THRILL OF ‘CHASING MARIA MENOUNOS’ PAGE 26
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014 www.metro.us | t: MetroNewYork | f: MetroNewYork
Backing Giddyap. The two main anti-carriage horse organizations in the city are feuding over what will replace the Central Park horses if carriage rides are ﬁnally banned. Pulling in the reins. One group says that proposed vintage-style electric cars is a good alternative for tourists, while the other says that the idea is a “risky investment.” PAGE 02
the wrong horse
Carriage horse Blackie and driver Sean Dennehy prepare to set oﬀ for a ride through Central Park. / BESS ADLER, METRO
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www.metro.us Tuesday, March 18, 2014
A horse carriage drives tourists toward Central Park. Electric cars, below, may replace the horses. / BESS ADLER, METRO, NYCLASS
Activists split over what follows horses
What’s trending online at Metro.us
‘How to sign up for Warren Buﬀett / Quicken Loans billion dollar NCAA bracket’
‘PHOTOS: Looking back at L’Wren Scott, designer and girlfriend of Mick Jagger’
‘VIDEO: The Onion spoofs St. Patrick’s Day traditions around the country’
“Who do you think got Dinkins to sing? Who do you think got Bloomberg to dance? Who do you think put Rudy in that dress?” Steve Buscemi, helping Mayor Bill de Blasio train for his performance at the Inner Circle Show
Clip-clop. In a rare feud, groups argue over whether electric cars should replace Central Park horses or not.
It’s safe to say that those who want to ban the carriage horse industry in New York City and those who want to save it don’t agree on much. Animal rights groups have cast the industry as cruel and inhumane to horses, while carriage drivers say the animals are well cared for under the umbrella of a highly regulated industry. But the pro-ban movement is split on one key issue. One activist, in a rare instance of agreement with the carriage drivers, says the electric cars Mayor Bill de Blasio touted in his campaign as a horseless alternative are an idea that needs to be put down. The prototype faux-vintage car, commissioned by pro-ban group New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets for $450,000, is set to arrive in New York in June. NYCLASS is in the process of securing private financing for the rest of the fleet. “No one is losing their livelihood,” said NYCLASS Director Allie Feldman.
‘You can’t pet an electric car’ If the ban does go into effect, the drivers of the city’s 68 carriages will be out of work. The electric car plan would guarantee them jobs — if they entertained the idea of making the switch. Their medallions would transfer over. “Absolutely not,” said driver Sean Dennehy, standing next to his horse Blackie on Central Park South on Sunday. “I own my own
carriage. This is my whole life, you know. You can’t pet an electric car.” Asked on Monday when a bill banning
“No one is losing their livelihood. The drivers are simply switching from driving a horse carriage to driving the electric horseless carriage car.” Allie Feldman “The drivers are simply switching from driving a horse carriage to driving the electric horseless carriage car.” The carriage drivers, along with Elizabeth Forel of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, beg to differ. Of course, their reasons for opposing the cars are different. The drivers are horsemen, and find it galling
that NYCLASS talks about driving a car and driving a horse as if they were interchangeable jobs. For her part, Forel opposes the project because she sees it as expensive and unworkable, and unlikely to expedite the ban her coalition has been working toward. “No one in their right mind would invest big bucks for such a risky investment,” Forel said,
carriage horses might be introduced, the mayor’s office simply restated de Blasio’s commitment to ending the industry. pointing out that cars are not allowed to use the roads of Central Park on the weekend. The city’s Parks Department declined to comment on the issue. A better and cheaper option, Forel said, would be to retrofit existing carriages with motors. Feldman, in turn, said converted carriages would never pass federal highway safety requirements. Forel also took issue with the proposed threeyear phaseout, a time frame she said is three years too long. “One has to also know the mind-set of the drivers to know that you do not phase anything in with
them because to allow them to maintain a foothold is a huge mistake,” she said. Stephen Malone, a second-generation carriage driver and the spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York, called the proposed retro vehicle a “fantasy car.” “People here are businessmen,” he said. “What they want to do is steal our horses, then they want us to pay $1,700 a month for an untested business.” But according to Feldman, the cars are all but a done deal — and NYCLASS has the edge over Forel’s CBHDC in terms of influence. The group hitched its fortunes to de Blasio’s wagon when it played a key role in funding the super PAC “New York City Is Not For Sale,” which helped sink Christine Quinn in the mayoral election. “There is no ‘doubt’ about the fact that these electric cars will become a reality,” Feldman said. “The carriage horse industry is trying to sow the seeds of doubt because they have no actual arguments for the perpetuation of the unsafe and inhumane use of carriage horses in one of the most congested urban areas in the world.” EMILY JOHNSON @METRONEWYORK email@example.com
De Blasio hosts paid sick leave hearing Mayor Bill de Blasio championed an expansion of the city’s paid sick leave law during a public hearing Monday. “This is truly a historic day for New York City. This day earns that title,” de Blasio said.
L’Wren Scott and Mick Jagger were a couple. / GETTY IMAGES
L’Wren Scott found dead in Chelsea apartment Style. The fashion maven reportedly committed suicide on Monday. L’Wren Scott, luxury fashion designer and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, was found dead of a possible suicide in her Manhattan apartment Monday morning, according to police and published reports. The former model, believed to be 49 years old, was reportedly found around 10 a.m. with a scarf around her neck, hanging from a doorknob in her Chelsea home. Investigators don’t suspect foul play and no suicide note was found, according to the Associated Press. She was found after
texting her assistant to come over. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. In a statement, a spokesperson for Jagger said the Rolling Stones frontman was “completely shocked and devastated” by the news. They first met in 2001. Scott’s designs have been worn by first lady Michelle Obama and celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey and Madonna. “This is a horrible and tragic loss,” Madonna said in a statement by her publicist to the AP. “I’m so upset. I loved L’Wren’s work and she was always so generous with me.” ANNA SANDERS @AnnaESanders firstname.lastname@example.org
“She was a visionary designer who I very much enjoyed working with, but she was also smart and kind.” Bobbi Brown
Protestor / GETTY IMAGES
“Half a million more people will have paid sick leave when they need it.” The bill, passed by City Council last month, would require businesses with five or more employees to give five days of paid sick off a year. De Blasio said he plans to sign the expansion into law later this week.
Most speakers at the hearing supported the bill. But Khristan Heagle, who said she represents city manages at Rothermel Jacobs & Schess LLP, raised concerns. “The truth is, we have many questions,” she said. When signed, the expansion would go into effect in April. ANNA SANDERS
www.metro.us Tuesday, March 18, 2014
St. Patrick’s parade marred by boycotts
Revelers lined Fifth Avenue on Monday to celebrate the 253rd New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to take part in this year’s parade and gay rights groups protested along the route over the organizer’s refusal to allow them to march openly. /MILES DIXON, METRO
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www.metro.us Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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The “Kelpies” stand 100 feet high in Central Scotland. Scaled versions are coming to NYC. / BEN WILLIAMS
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Gigantic horse heads coming to Bryant Park Kelpies. Scottish sculptures will be on exhibit Friday. Two 15-foot-tall steel horses are galloping into Manhattan this weekend. Or, rather, their heads are. Artist Andy Scott will
install scale models of “The Kelpies” overnight Thursday in Bryant Park. They will be on exhibit Friday through April 22. Scott’s original “Kelpies” stand nearly 100 feet high in Scotland and are the largest pair of equine sculptures in the world, costing about $8.3 million to create.
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The sculptures will be on display at Bryant Park: •
March 21 to April 22
In the Bronx
Man dies in shooting A 24-year-old man was found shot to death in the lobby of his South Bronx apartment building Sunday night, police said. Tony Burgess was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head in his Melrose apartment building around 9:20 p.m. No arrests have been made and police said the investigation is ongoing. ANNA SANDERS
The Tartan Day Parade, celebrating Scottish American heritage, is April 5.
They were completed last fall and are to be the centerpiece of a new tourist destination, The Helix, set to open this summer in Central Scotland. The title for the sculptures comes from supernatural water horses in Celtic folklore. A kelpie is believed to haunt Scottish and Irish rivers and lochs, delighting in the drowning of travelers. Let’s hope that doesn’t deter tourists from enjoying the sculptures. ANNA SANDERS @AnnaESanders email@example.com
Taxes. State suspends 8,900 driver licenses New York State suspended almost 9,000 driver licenses belonging to residents who owe more than $10,000 in back taxes — nearly half from New York City. In all, the state froze 8,900 licenses — 4,194 of which came from the five boroughs, bringing
in $56.4 million in state and local tax collections. State records show 1,145 drivers came from Manhattan and 1,146 from Queens. Some 1,078 Brooklyn tax evaders had their licenses cut off, as did 502 Bronxites and 323 Staten Islanders. CHESTER JESUS SORIA
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