Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
A New York State Supreme Court judge has issued a decision striking down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks. In a move that is sure to get families talking about the relationship between sugary beverages and childhood obesity–and the government’s role in regulating both–State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling said that the rule is invalid because it isn’t applied consistently. More from The Associated Press:
‘‘The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of this rule,’’ Tingling wrote in a victory for the beverage industry, restaurants and other business groups that called the rule unfair and wrong-headed.
In addition, the judge said the Bloomberg-appointed Board of Health intruded on City Council’s authority when it imposed the rule.
The city vowed to appeal the decision, issued by New York state’s trial-level court.
‘‘We believe the judge is totally in error in how he interpreted the law, and we are confident we will win on appeal,’’ Bloomberg said. He added: ‘‘One of the cases we will make is that people are dying every day. This is not a joke. Five thousand people die of obesity every day in America.’’
For now, though, the ruling it means the ax won’t fall Tuesday on supersized sodas, sweetened teas and other high-sugar beverages in restaurants, movie theaters, corner delis and sports arenas.
‘‘The court ruling provides a sigh of relief to New Yorkers and thousands of small businesses in New York City that would have been harmed by this arbitrary and unpopular ban,’’ the American Beverage Association and other opponents said, adding that the organization is open to other ‘‘solutions that will have a meaningful and lasting impact.’’
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The first of its kind in the country, the restriction has sparked reaction from city streets to late-night talk shows, celebrated by some as a bold attempt to improve people’s health and derided by others as another ‘‘nanny state’’ law from Bloomberg during his 11 years in office.
Image: Sodas, via Shutterstock
Friday, November 16th, 2012
Tara Tan, a manager who was fired from the famous Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District of New York City, is suing the hotel for abuses including being placed in a hotel room to give birth without a doctor present. From Business Insider:
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Former hotel manager Tara Kimkee Tan, 42, claims in a recent lawsuit that she routinely worked 80 hours a week, was called old and fat, and was discriminated against because she wasn’t white, young, or childless, the New York Daily News reported.
But by far, the most shocking allegation is that when she went into labor at the end of her shift she was shuttled into a guest room to give birth without a doctor present and was then berated for having a baby at the hotel.
“The hotel offered no assistance to (Tan) while in labor, afraid that it would disrupt its Friday night club scene and partying,” she claims in her lawsuit.
Tan was fired from the hotel in August after four years there.
Image: Hotel bed, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
NYU Langone Medical Center in Lower Manhattan, out of power from both main sources and backup generators and facing 10-12 feet of water in the wake of the superstorm Sandy, evacuated all patients yesterday and this morning, including its newborns and ill babies. Hospital staff carried the young patients down 9 flights of stairs to evacuate them safely from the building, as CNN.com reports:
The evacuation was moving more slowly than expected, according to hospital spokeswoman Lisa Grenier. About 40 patients remained to be evacuated at 9 a.m. Tuesday, she said. Brotman said earlier that he anticipated the evacuation would last until around 6:30 a.m.
The dawn of a new day, however, brought some help. “At least there’s daylight coming in through the windows,” Grenier said.
Four of the newborns were on respirators that were breathing for them, and when the power went out, each baby was carried down nine flights of stairs while a nurse manually squeezed a bag to deliver air to the baby’s lungs.
“This is a labor-intensive, extremely difficult process,” Brotman said.
Image: Emergency stairs, via Shutterstock
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Friday, October 26th, 2012
The Upper West Side of Manhattan, a neighborhood that is replete with families, playgrounds, nannies, and babysitters, has been rocked by the news that 50-year-old Yoselyn Ortega has been arrested for fatally stabbing a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl in the bathtub of the children’s apartment. Ortega was suffering from an apparently self-inflicted knife wound to the throat. The children’s mother, Marina Krim, returned home from a swimming lesson with her 3-year-old daughter to discover the horrific scene.
The New York Times has more:
“There were bloodcurdling screams from a woman,” said Rima Starr, who lives down the hall from the victims’ second-floor apartment. Ms. Starr also recognized a man’s screaming voice as that of the building superintendent.The screams prompted neighbors to call 911. Ms. Ortega was arrested as soon as the police arrived. She was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she was in critical but stable condition.
According to the police, Ms. Krim and her husband, Kevin, had three children — Nessie, the 3-year-old who lived, and Lucia and Leo. Ms. Krim wrote a blog where she documented “life with the little Krim kids” and showed them in photos around New York City, eating Gray’s Papaya hot dogs, pretending to use a pay phone, napping on the sofa and picking pumpkins.
On the Upper West Side, with its dual-income families in which nannies are often an integral part of children’s lives, pushing strollers or walking their charges by the dozens home from school in the afternoon, the news of the double killing was met with stark disbelief.
“It’s family-oriented, this neighborhood,” said Pauline Sklar, a real estate investor who lives a block from the building where the children were stabbed. “Parents are working. They have to depend on people. My niece hires people. She researches them.”
Ms. Sklar paused, then added, “Or tries to.”
Image: The Upper West Side of Manhattan, via Shutterstock
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Monday, October 15th, 2012
A new regulation in New York City that would limit the size of soft drinks to 16 ounces or fewer is the subject of a lawsuit filed late last week by a restaurant group and members of the soda industry. The New York Times reports:
“Legal action was widely anticipated from the soft-drink industry, which led an aggressive campaign this summer portraying [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg’s plan as an affront to consumer freedom and has frequently opposed local regulations of its products.
The 61-page filing offers a detailed rebuttal to Mr. Bloomberg, arguing the soda restrictions are a form of de facto legislation, enacted by “executive fiat,” which should have been considered by the City Council. The plaintiffs say the rules represent “a dramatic departure” from the traditional role of the health department, and they are asking a judge to reject the size limits before they are put into effect.
The mayor’s chief spokesman, Marc La Vorgna, rejected those arguments on Friday, calling the lawsuit “baseless.” City health officials have argued that the plan can help curb runaway obesity rates in the city, where more than half of adults are overweight or obese.
“The Board of Health absolutely has the authority to regulate matters affecting health, and the obesity crisis killing nearly 6,000 New Yorkers a year — and impacting the lives of thousands more — unquestionably falls under its purview,” Mr. La Vorgna wrote in a statement.”
Image: Soda bottles, via Shutterstock
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