New Yorkers may see 1500 new fruit and vegetable vending carts over the next several years-- if Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn win approval of their plan. Today's New York Times reports that currently there are 4100 mobile food carts operating in the city, but only 10% sell fresh fruit and vegetables.
The point is to encourage healthy eating by city residents.
One might think that this is another example of the rich getting richer. After all, New York City is one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S. Many residents live without a car, relying on public transportation and walking. But even with all that exercise, it seems that some people aren't getting their 5 servings a day. The Green Cart program would bring fruit and veggie carts to city neighborhoods that have particularly low fruit and vegetable consumption rates.
Submitted by Gregg Kettles on Tue, 12/18/2007 - 11:42pm.
Critics of day laborers, sidewalk vendors, and other people who use public space to make a living sometimes contend that they misbehave in public. One complaint is public urination. If we'd just get these people off the street, so the reasoning goes, they wouldn't do that anymore. Where exactly to put them is a very divisive issue, particularly when it comes to day laborers. Some advocate that indoor day labor centers be built, presumably with access to indoor restroom facilities. To others, this is an anathema. Many laborers are undocumented, and many people view day labor centers as aiding and abetting criminal activity.
The need to relieve oneself is, of course, not unique to day laborers. It's not a problem for most of us, though. Whether you're at work or at home, it is likely that there's a bathroom close at hand. But if you're out shopping or running errands, it can be a little trickery finding a place to go. "Restrooms for Customers Only" is a sign one sees posted at some otherwise "public" establishments from time to time. The automobile has shrunk distances for many of us and otherwise made the hunt for a welcome restroom a little easier. But if you're on foot your range is much more limited.
Submitted by Gregg Kettles on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 2:26pm.
The Los Angeles Daily News recently ran a story reporting that the city council is considering requiring Home Depot and other home improvement centers to set aside space for day laborers at their retail stores. While not styled as "day labor centers," something similar is clearly contemplated. The space set aside would have to have plumbing. The measure is putatively aimed at reducing negative spillovers that are threatened when large numbers of day laborers assemble at the centers. Since the laborers would not be there if it weren't for Home Depot, it stands to reason that Home Depot should be held responsible to do something about them. So goes the reasoning behind this and similar proposals in other communities. Home Depot is playing ball: it wants to work with the city to come up with a way to accommodate the workers and "reduce the impact on neighboring communities."
Submitted by Gregg Kettles on Mon, 10/22/2007 - 11:18pm.
Posted in Steveb on Sat, 10/13/2007 - 1:40pm.Submitted by
Today's L.A. Times has a story about a bargain hunter who bought a pair of ear phones on-line at a price "too good to be true," only to discover that it was too good to be true in fact. The ear phones were fakes. "It used to be that counterfeits was what you saw on a street corner in New York," market researcher Lauren Freedman said. "Now the whole world is a street corner."
Street corner indeed. The connection between street markets and pirated goods is one reason outdoor markets should be shut down-- according to some critics. But as the Times points out, property that has been stolen, in one form or another, can be sold just about anywhere. "Counterfeit toothpaste showed up in discount stores in June and fake wine has been popping up at auctions." Vendors hawking $50 "Rolex" watches from street corners hardly have a corner on the market.
Submitted by Gregg Kettles on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:24pm.