Streams

Kathleen Horan

Reporter, WNYC News

Kathleen Horan appears in the following:

Loved Ones Say Bullying Led to Suicide of Boy, 12

Friday, June 01, 2012

Loved ones remembered 12-year-old Joel Morales outside the East Harlem home where he committed suicide this week, lamenting not having stepped in sooner to prevent the bullying some say led to his death.

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TLC Says Taxi Fares Should Increase

Thursday, May 31, 2012

WNYC

Taxi fares will definitely be going up soon, according to Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky.

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On Path to Healing, Military Sexual Assault Victims Meet, Advocate for Change

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Soldier-perpetrated sex crimes are under-reported, but the Defense Department estimates about 19,000 assaults occurred last year. Veterans who are victims of sexual assault recently convened for the first-ever summit on military sexual violence.

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TLC to Consider 1st Overall Taxi Fare Hike in 8 Years

Monday, May 21, 2012

A proposed taxi fare hike may go into effect by the end of the summer.

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NY Taxi Rates Expected To Rise by Summer's End

Monday, May 21, 2012

(New York, NY -- WNYC) By the end of the summer, it may cost more to take a taxi in New York.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission says it’s considering a fare hike on cabs later this month.  Its been 8 years since the last overall fare hike. The TLC will hold a public hearing on the rate hikes on May 31.

The Taxi Workers Alliance submitted a proposal for a hike a year ago. The group is asking for an increase between 20-25 percent.

Official sources say that number would likely be closer to 16-20 percent but that drivers have made a good case for an increase.

That would raise the average fare to $14 from about $12.

Taxi Workers Alliance’s Bhairavi Desai says  “Its about time, the last overall raise was in 2004—and we’ve seen drivers really struggling out there to make ends meet."

TLC Commissioner David Yassky says “it’s reasonable for taxi drivers and fleet owners to put this one the table. We will consider their petitions over the next couple of months.”

The TLC will also look at maximum lease rates, know as "lease caps," which have been requested by fleet owners.

If a fare increase is approved by the summer-- it will coincide with the sale of the new outer borough livery permits and 2000 yellow medallions.

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Veterans Learn Different Kind of Warrior Pose

Sunday, May 20, 2012

WNYC

For many New Yorkers, yoga is more than exercise — it's a tool to relieve stress. That's what one yoga instructor had in mind when she started a class for military veterans.

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Sept. 11 Victims' Families to Watch as Tribunal Hears Case

Friday, May 04, 2012

WNYC

Family members of those killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks will get the opportunity to watch the arraignment of five men accused of training and funding the hijackers — including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed — at the Fort Hamilton army base in Brooklyn.

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New York City Comptroller Says He's Blocking Taxi of Tomorrow

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Nissan NV200 -- New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" - on display at the 2012 New York Auto Show (photo by Kate Hinds

Comptroller John Liu further complicated the New York City’s "Taxi of Tomorrow" project  Wednesday by saying he wouldn’t approve the city’s contract with Nissan because the vehicle selected isn’t wheelchair accessible.

Surrounded by other elected officals and advocates for the disabled, Liu said he believed the contract ‘as is’ violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

But Liu, who is under an ethical cloud for campaign finance violations,  may not be able to reject the contract outright.  Liu's campaign treasurer and a fundraiser have been indicted for using "straw donors" to circumvent city camapaign finance rules.

Kate O’Brien, spokeswoman with the City Law Department, said, “the law limits the issues upon which the Comptroller may refuse to register a contract. None of the matters raised, including ADA compliance, would constitute lawful grounds for refusing to do so.”

The city chose Nissan to be the single provider of yellow taxis for the next decade beginning in 2013. The new cabs will be rolled out as older cabs are retired.

The Nissan NV 200 has transparent roofs, USB chargers and extra legroom.  However, even though it’s a mini-van, it isn't accessible to people in wheelchairs.

Liu said “requiring cabs to have independent climate controls is nice but when you fail to make them accessible to a growing number of New Yorkers, it’s not just a slap in the face, its illegal.”

Taxi and Limousine Commssion spokesperson Allan Fromberg called Liu’s objection to the contact “mysterious and ill-informed.” He said, “Nissan is providing a wheelchair accessible version of the Taxi of Tomorrow, the city will create an additional 2,000 wheelchair accessible medallion licenses and they’re on the cusp of launching a demand responsive wheelchair accessible taxi dispatch system.”

Disabled groups sued the city over the Taxi of Tomorrow, and in 2011, a federal court ruled that the city, through the Taxi and Limousine Commission, violated ADA because it failed to provide passengers in wheelchairs meaningful access to taxis.  But an appeals court has allowed the city to put new taxis on the street without complying with the lower’s court’s order.

Currently, only 2 percent of the city’s taxi fleet is wheelchair accessible.

Attorney James Weissman with United Spinal Association, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit against the Taxi of Tomorrow, rejected the notion that a dispatch system will provide “meaningful access” to cabs for the estimated 60,000 New Yorkers in wheelchairs.  He noted that a separate system just for people with disabilities is a classic violation of civil rights.

“If it was any other protected class would we even question whether or not this was a shameful practice?” he asked. “What if we were running a separate system –substitute any other protected class…women have to take a separate system, blacks have to take a separate system – they can’t get in the same cabs…it doesn’t pass the smell test.”

By taking on the taxi issue, the embattled comptroller isn’t only taking on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg  He’s going head-to-head with TLC Commissioner David Yassky—his rival in the 2009 runoff for the office of Comptroller—an office many political insiders believe Yassky would make a run for again.

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Liu Vows to Block 'Taxi of Tomorrow'

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

WNYC

Comptroller John Liu further complicated the city’s Taxi of Tomorrow project on Wednesday by saying he wouldn’t approve the city’s contract with Nissan because the vehicle selected isn’t wheelchair accessible.

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Yellow Cabs Get Poetic

Thursday, April 26, 2012

TLC Commissioner David Yassky

Starting Thursday, yellow taxi passengers will find something new in the back of their cabs. It's not a stranger's cell phone. It's a poem.

Poems like “Graduation,” by Dorothea Tanning and “Noche de Lluvia, San Salvador,” by Aracelis Girmay will appear at various times in the city’s 13, 237 cabs on the loop of Taxi TV that is refreshed every two hours.

The 15-second, silent, animated poems are an expansion of the MTA’s popular Poetry in Motion program that posts verses next to dermatology and mattress ads on the city’s subways.

At the announcement of the literary partnership between subways and cabs in Times Square on Thursday, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said he thinks when New Yorkers see the new content, they will be less likely to switch off the unpopular TV screens in the back of taxis.

"When there's something worth watching people keep the screens on and I think these poems are absolutely worth reading and absorbing," he said.

Yassky read a poem that he wrote himself for the occasion:

…And topping all, the Sunday’s cherry, making us gleeful and so merry is your partnership with the TLC, beautifying the Taxi TV, for I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a taxi. When raindrops fall like an autumn leaf, an empty cab is sweet relief.

Thursday is also Poem in Your Pocket Day, on which poetry fans are encouraged to choose a poem and carry it with them before sharing it with a co-worker, friend or a family member.

Below, check out some of Yassky's verses.

The poem Times Square, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky wrote in honor of the literary partnership between subways and cabs.

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Yellow Cabs Receive Poetic Infusion

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Starting Thursday, yellow taxi passengers will find something new in the back of their cabs. It's not a stranger's cell phone. It's a poem.

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Children's Safety Concerns Revived in Wake of Patz Search

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WNYC

The recent search for the missing school boy Etan Patz, who disappeared 33 years ago after walking alone to the bus stop, has reignited an age old debate: at what age should parents give their kids more freedom?

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East Village’s Lakeside Lounge to Shutter After 16 Years

Monday, April 23, 2012

WNYC

An East Village bar known for its live music, vintage jukebox and $3 dollar beers is closing for good next week. The Lakeside Lounge on Avenue B, will be added to the growing list of the neighborhood's recently shuttered nightspots, such as the Mars Bar and Banjo Jim's.

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BREAKING: NYC Taxi Commission Approves Plan for Outer Borough Street Hails

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission voted 7-2 to approve a new plan for outer-borough livery drivers — the last major hurdle before the city can start issuing new licenses so livery drivers can pick up street hails outside of Manhattan.

It was a raucous public hearing ahead of the TLC's vote.   Two yellow cab drivers were ejected for shouting.  One owner called it "the biggest taking of property ever by New York City."

The topic of street hails is a hot-button issue for some in the yellow cab industry, which  filed a suit to block the proposed plan on Wednesday.

The plan would allow 18,000 livery drivers who purchase the new street hail permits to pick up street hails in the outer boroughs and parts of upper Manhattan.

The first 6,000 street hail licenses are scheduled to be sold in June.

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TLC Approves Draft Plan for Five-Borough Street Hails

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has voted 7 to 2 to approve the rules governing outer borough livery street hails, 15 months after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his intention to expand taxi service throughout the city. It's the last hurdle before the city starts selling some 6,000 new medallions in June.

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Taxi Group Goes to Court to Block Livery Street Hail Plan

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WNYC

The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, an organization that represents 33 taxi fleets, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to block the Bloomberg administration’s plan to legalize street hail service for cars other than yellow cabs. The suit comes right before Thursday’s scheduled Taxi and Limousine Commission’s vote on the draft rules that will govern the livery street hail service.

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As NY Taxi Commission Prepares for Historic Vote, Dissent Looms

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Livery Cab (photo by Kate Hinds)

(New York, NY -- WNYC) The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission is poised to vote tomorrow on a set of rules to pave the way for a historic change in the way New Yorkers can hail cabs.   Beginning this summer, if the rules pass, New Yorkers will be able to hail cabs in all five boroughs, not just Manhattan.

But there's dissent among some of the commissioners about whether the 200 pages of regulations that will govern the service is being rushed to a vote.

Some on the nine-member board of the TLC say they’d like more time to consider the repercussions and make necessary tweaks to the plan.

And TLC Commissioner David Yassky is frantically trying to settle the biggest differences before the vote (for a peek at his internal memo, click here).

Queens Commissioner Norah Marino thinks there should be more time to digest the biggest change in the industry in more than 70 years.

“We just got the amended rules a couple of days ago. It’s not enough time to make a responsible decision,” Marino said. She’d like to have at least a few more months to digest the proposal.  I know the city wants to sell these permits but that’s not a valid reason to rush this vote. "This is changing the landscape of an industry — it’s not a minor vote.”

The street hail livery plan will allow owners and drivers of for-hire vehicles to pick up passengers in Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens (excluding the airports), and Manhattan north of West 110th and East 96th streets.

Staten Island Commissioner Elias Arout would also like to delay a vote. He said he has serious concerns about whether it’s good for Staten Island in the first place, but would like to have more time to consider the possible effects on his borough’s livery industry. “We’re trying to ask Chairman Yassky to extend the vote for a few months but he wants this done Thursday,” he explained.

TLC Spokesman Allan Fromberg said they have every expectation of moving forward with a vote this week as planned.

The plan to deliver legal street hail livery service beyond Manhattan where most yellow cabs operate has been a central focus of Bloomberg administration over the past year. The eagerness to complete the process is also budgetary, since the billion dollars in expected revenue from the scheduled yellow medallion auction this summer is tied to the sale of the first livery street hail licenses.

Commissioner Frank Carone of Brooklyn said he’s prepared to cast his vote in support because TLC has agreed to make some last minute rule changes. In the most recent TLC memo to commissioners, Commissioner Yasky addresses some of the last minute changes, including increasing penalties for accepting street hails outside the upper Manhattan zone, where the street hail liveries are banned from picking up passengers. Carone also thinks moving forward is the best for all concerned. “The industry needs closure,” he said.

While upper Manhattan Councilman and former livery driver Ydanis Rodriguez  supports the overall plan, he hopes the TLC exercises some caution as they move to implement it. “I believe it’s a good initiative but now is the time to look at the details so that the users, the livery divers, and base owners have a clear understanding. We should take the time that is needed to make sure we have a good plan,” he said.

The public hearing and TLC vote on the livery hail draft rules will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall at 9 a.m. on the April 19.

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Livery Street-Hail Vote Is Being Rushed, Some Say

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WNYC

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is poised to vote on draft rules for the city's street hail livery plan on Thursday. It's one of the final steps necessary before selling the first livery license permits in June. But there's dissent among some of the commissioners about whether the 200 pages of regulations that will govern the service is being rushed to a vote.

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Armed Suspect Shot Dead After Harlem Pharmacy Holdup

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An armed suspect fleeing on foot after holding up an East Harlem pharmacy at gunpoint Thursday was shot and killed by a retired police lieutenant who happened to be nearby, police said.

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Neighborhood Raises Concerns About Alcohol at Barclay's Center

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

About 100 Brooklyn residents concerned about crowds of beer-addled sports fans leaving the future Barclay's Center turned out in force at a community board meeting Tuesday night at the 78th precinct in the neighborhood. At issue is the arena's liquor license application.

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