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Local News Round Up: Carriages, Pre-K Funding, TLC

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo at press conference in Albany (Matt Ryan/WMHT)

Brigid Bergin, City hall and politics reporter at WNYC, and Ken Lovett, Albany bureau chief for The Daily News, round up the local city news - from universal pre-k and the charter school debate to the mayor's relationship with Governor Cuomo and other news out of Albany.

Guests:

Brigid Bergin and Ken Lovett

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Comments [25]

Sabine Roehr from Jersey City

I am really, really disappointed in the low standard of reporting on the issue of whether of not to retire the carriage horses around Central Park. Two fallacies stood out right away. First of all, the insinuation that it's really about real-estate interests on the upper-West side. If you mention this, provide some kind of proof. I sincerely doubt that the animal rights people fighting for the retirement of these animals are the ones who will line up to buy million-dollar real-estate in that area. Second, why would you just mindlessly repeat the slander against the "animal rights elite"? It's a classical ad hominem (as is the first fallacy, which is called "poisoning the well"). If I worry about the welfare of animals being worked year after year under completely unhealthy conditions, does that make me a member of the elite? Are my parents back in Germany, who live on a modest pension, members of the elite because they stopped eating poultry years ago after they watched on TV how chickens and turkeys are raised under inhumane conditions? And another fallacy: Why call Liam Neason a liberal? Just because he is a Hollywood actor? That one is called hasty generalization. Oh, did he talk to the horses as well, or just to their exploiters?
By the way, guess who is going to pay for retiring the horses, if that should happen? It will be me and other people on modest incomes concerned about animal welfare, sending every spare dollar we have to sanctuaries like Save the Chimps, Chimp Haven, Foster Parrots, Fauna Foundation, and on and on and on, picking up the pieces after a society that mindlessly exploits animals (for the public welfare, no doubt!), and then discards them without thinking twice.
This was a real low point of your reporting.

Mar. 13 2014 09:13 PM
Scott from Soho

Does anyone else feel that the horse issue is ridiculous when compared with other city issues? I would think taking care of kids and finding ways to help the homeless would rank higher on the list of problems to be addressed by our new mayor.

Brian, congratulations on another cutting edge segment. Fingers crossed for another Peabody.

Mar. 11 2014 01:16 AM
culprit from Brooklyn

Yeah, I'm not buying DiBlasio's sudden concern with the welfare of the horses....why isn't he concerned about the Kensington Stables in his own neighborhood? Because it's OK for rich yuppies' kids to monopolize Prospect Park, but not OK for tourists to ride in Central Park?

Mar. 10 2014 05:57 PM
Phil

This story about a horse incident in NYC describes some of the horrible conditions these horses endure. It includes the fact that the operator worked the horse more than 12 hours in a 20 hours period. That means 12 hours of it STANDING on asphalt with noise and exhaust all around. I think the electric cars are the best compromise for all.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/carriage-horse-flips-midtown-traffic-article-1.1468477

Mar. 10 2014 04:02 PM
Stormy's Sister from long island

I own a barn with a bunch of riding horses, and in my experience, "animal rights activists" often indulge in self-righteous fantasies about animals' lives, while they go about making trouble for other people. But they're off the mark. For eg, don't tell me that horses suffer in the cold -- all of our horses love it! Most horses love having a job. If a horse isn't acting disturbed by traffic and loud noises, he isn't (unless he's tranked...).

Horses are a big industry in the NY Metropolitan area: two big racetracks, many commercial riding barns, more. How do these horses live? Race horses have no turn-out at all, show barns may have a few hours turned out in small postage-sized paddocks... It's not ideal, but what, are you going to outlaw all of these businesses? Discontinue the mounted police? Is "government" going to establish guidelines for proper treatment of all animals?

We were once "investigated" by the local SPCA, when another human was trying to make trouble for us. The rep knew nothing. He thought perhaps the horses should be tucked into the barn, not outside, in below-freezing weather. I asked him, do you see signs of distress? Well, no. He expected our water trough to morph instantly into undrinkable ice when the temp dipped below freezing. I showed him our water trough. It was still water.

We once had a very injured horse. The vet came and warned us that if we didn't follow her advice for major medical intervention -- surgery -- that we should be prepared to put him down: "I don't want to see him suffer," she said ominously, doubting our commitment or judgement. We chose not to do the surgery for a variety of reasons, and the horse suffered, yes. He lingered on the edge of death, at times in great pain; we didn't know which way he'd go, for a full year. But we hung in there with him, and now he's fine.

Who gets to make decisions about an animal's welfare? Who is entitled to evaluate the meaning of suffering in an animal's life?

I don't want to see any animal abused -- I dedicate a huge part of my life to my animals' welfare, and I love them -- but neither should humans be mistreated.

Leave the horses and carriage people in peace. This whole campaign sounds suspicious to me.

Mar. 10 2014 11:40 AM
Tish from Manhattan

The idea of removing our loved horses from Central Park and replacing them with Disney-like electric carts, prompted only by the extremist views of a small, moneyed group that poured a huge amount of dollars into the mayor’s race, is highly suspect and disturbing. And now there are reports that real estate developers in pursuit of the stable properties have a hand, if not a wallet, in this matter.

Something about this stinks and it's not the horses.

If there is a genuine problem with the horses, a compromised solution can be found if reasonable people come together. This is called management and it's what a good mayor does for his city. And then let's quickly move on to working on the major issues facing this city.

Mar. 10 2014 10:58 AM
emjayay from Brookyn

(Sorry about the double posting)

"...putrid stench of horse manure which is a public health issue."

Really? Do you think disease is communicated by "miasma" making our "humours" get out of balance? We got past that a couple of centuries ago, actually.

Mar. 10 2014 10:48 AM
emjayay from Brooklyn

Many commenters here have it right.

The woman just on complained (incorrectly apparently) about the horses being used when it it over 100 degrees out. (Horses may be about as good in the heat and humidity as humans, but human experience is not necessarily the same as horse experience anyway.) She complained about the terrible condition of the stables: OK, so build new ones in the park. She complained about accidents: OK, make dedicated horse roads in the park. They can even be a lot narrower than car roads. All of this would be expensive and largely at public expense. Fine. This is how you solve problems.

I suspect a lot of the opposition to the horses is from people who don't like the idea of using animals for anything except lounging with humans on the couch, and maybe not that because it implies ownership of another being and isn't their natural environment no matter how much they enjoy it.

Compromise? I don't think the opposition really sees any compromise as morally acceptable. Only horses frolicking happily in a picturesque pasture with wildflowers and butterflies far out in the country. I don't see what has been suggested here as compromise, but only logical solutions to a problem.

I like the idea of the horses grazing and being used in the park as a bit of living history.

I'm sure the potential for big developer profits in replacing the stables with luxury highrise condo buildings for the super wealthy is a part of getting rid of the horses in the park, oddly the opposite of de Blasio's agenda. Stables must be a very low return use for the real estate. I'm sure there will be a bunch of "affordable" units which will go to at most one out of a thousand applicants.

Mar. 10 2014 10:40 AM
emjayay from Brooklyn

Several commenters here have it right.

The woman just on complained (incorrectly apparently) about the horses being used when it it over 100 degrees out. (Horses may be about as good in the heat and humidity as humans, but human experience is not necessarily the same as horse experience anyway.) She complained about the terrible condition of the stables: OK, so build new ones in the park. She complained about accidents: OK, make dedicated horse roads in the park. They can even be a lot narrower than car roads. All of this would be expensive and largely at public expense. Fine. This is how you solve problems.

I suspect a lot of the opposition to the horses is from people who don't like the idea of using animals for anything except lounging with humans on the couch, and maybe not that because it implies ownership of another being and isn't their natural environment no matter how much they enjoy it.

Compromise? I don't think the opposition really sees any compromise as morally acceptable. Only horses frolicking happily in a picturesque pasture with wildflowers and butterflies far out in the country. I don't see what has been suggested here as compromise, but only logical solutions to a problem.

I like the idea of the horses grazing and being used in the park as a bit of living history.

I'm sure the potential for big developer profits in replacing the stables with luxury highrise condo buildings for the super wealthy is a part of getting rid of the horses in the park, oddly the opposite of de Blasio's agenda. Stables must be a very low return use for the real estate. I'm sure there will be a bunch of "affordable" units which will go to at most one out of a thousand applicants.

Mar. 10 2014 10:38 AM
Katie from Huntington

Every major city in the world has horse drawn carriages. We've taken horse carriges in Florence (Firenze, Italy) , Charleston, SC, NYC, New Orleans, and other major cities. Aside from the fact that tourists (and locals)love the romance, think of jobs lost. The animals will be relocated to rescue farms that have no room for them, so this big move to "save the horses" will only hasten their demise. We have much more important issues to resolve.

Mar. 10 2014 10:34 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Seth's idea is a great one--stables in the park (hope they don't take up too much space, though) and keep the horses in the park.

Mar. 10 2014 10:30 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Mayor de Blasio is blowing all his politico capital going after Eva Moskowitz, carriage horses and Govenor Cuomo on pre-k. Big mistake. What a waste.

Mar. 10 2014 10:26 AM
BenP from Brooklyn

Did you guys get the info on that temperature cut-off for the carriage horses?

Mar. 10 2014 10:25 AM
john from office

Soon these nuts will come after your enslaved cats and dogs and the terrible conditions they live under. Folks there are kids in this city who are homeless and need good homes, good parents and a chance to live good lives. How about the same liberal over reaction to that!

Mar. 10 2014 10:22 AM
hilts

Brian,

Every time you cover the horse issue you completely ignore the elephant in the room - AIR POLLUTION.

Stop talking about the treatment of horses for one second and focus instead on the noxious, putrid stench of horse manure which is a public health issue.

Mar. 10 2014 10:21 AM
Dale from Brooklyn, NY

If the city environment is so horrible for the horses, then it would seem necessary to abolish the mounted police corps, too.

Mar. 10 2014 10:20 AM
Nick from UWS

What do you mean "quality of life for the horses"? They have to breath fumes and walk the streets and hear car horns all day? WE have to breathe fumes and walk the streets and hear car horns all day as well. Does that mean that human quality of life in NYC is unacceptable for the human animal? What an idiotic argument. These are city horses, living with city people, walking among city pigeons. ALL of us are experiencing the same quality of life in this city.

Mar. 10 2014 10:19 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Don't bike riders and pedestrians breath the same air the horses do? Ban them, too!

Mar. 10 2014 10:19 AM
listener

Exhaust fumes and midtown traffic are not good for humans either. High and low temperatures are not good for humans either - especially if they are doing hard physical work.

Mar. 10 2014 10:18 AM
monique from nyc

Regarding the carriage horses...
Why not compromise: build stables in Central Park and confine the horses to the park. I am against the horses being on the streets with NYC traffic. I think it is a horrible existence for the horses, loud noise, pollution and crash hazards.
Limit the carriage rides to inside the park and house the horses there too. Nice open space to move around, quiet and peaceful, clean healthy air for the horses. And I bet people would love to see a herd of horses grazing in the park! You could even open up pony rides and horse riding again.
I think there actually already are stables in the park somewhere!

Mar. 10 2014 10:15 AM
Patricia Childers from hells kitchen

What does De Blasio mean by saying that horse drawn carriages don't belong in this century? Is he saying we need more cars, more high-rises, more mechanization? I live on the west side, see the horses every day, and hear them walking up the street. I dread the state of a society that will forfeit that for more high-rises and traffic.

Mar. 10 2014 10:13 AM

To home rule or not to home rule ...

Mar. 10 2014 10:12 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I'm not sure, that in a city where it seems that a human pedestrian dies every over week in a traffic accident, that I buy this hysteria on the danger of NYC traffic on these horses.

Mar. 10 2014 10:11 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Keep the horses in Central Park! (electric cars instead? Ugh!) Until the ASPCA comes out against them, they seem fine to me.

But good wishes on everything else--and he needs to get smarter in dealing with that bum Cuomo.

Mar. 10 2014 10:08 AM
Seth

Carriage Horses -- move the stables to inside Central Park. Create horse-specific paths for the carriages. Ban the horses from streets.

So, reign it in to a more humane arrangement, but allow the horses to keep on truckin'.

Compromise is not a dirty word. This is yet another issue that doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Mar. 10 2014 10:08 AM

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