The Importance Of Workers Compensation Insurance

Accidents and injuries are unfortunately common in the workplace, regardless of what type of business you have. It is important to have workers compensation insurance to cover your employees in the event of an accident. Since not all businesses are the same, not all workers compensation insurance policies are the same. Every company or business has different needs when it comes to any type of insurance coverage. If you own an auto dealership you should be able to find an insurance company that offers specific workers compensation auto dealership insurance policies.
Most states require that all companies carry workers compensation insurance for all of their employees. Even if you think that there are not many hazards at your dealership there is still always a possibility that something unfortunate will happen. If your dealership includes a service center then there may be a higher likelihood of accidents or injuries. Find a workers compensation auto dealership insurance policy that can meet your specific needs. Costs of a workers compensation insurance policy can vary depending on who you choose to get your policy from. Costs can also vary based on the history of previous accidents or risks at your business. You can keep your costs down by implementing safety measures that will help keep your employees as safe as possible.
It is important to do everything possible to keep your business safe to reduce the risk of injuries as much as possible. However, it is good to know that you are covered and your employee will be taken care of if there is an accident. Click here to know more about Platinum.

Flights Won’t Change, but Bus to La Guardia Will Get Easier

Getting to La Guardia Airport by public transportation has never been a picnic.

The local subway station is three miles away, and the bus from it to the airport takes flight-catchers on a slow-motion tour of some nice residential blocks in Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst.

The only bus from Manhattan, the M60, clocks in at 2.7 miles an hour as it plods along 125th Street. And from Fordham Plaza in the Bronx, the expedition on the Bx15 and the M60 takes 83 minutes, or about the flight time from La Guardia to Toronto.

On Thursday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city announced plans to make the ride to the nation’s 20th-busiest airport a little bit easier.

The M60 will be blessed with Select Bus Service, which involves paying before boarding, bus-only lanes and technological gadgetry that are expected to shave about 10 minutes off a trip. Within Queens, a whole new bus route, an alternative to the poky Q33 bus from the local subway station, at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, will zip (relatively) along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, shortening the ride by 15 minutes.

And Select Bus Service on a proposed extension of the Bx41 from Fordham Plaza, across the R.F.K. Bridge to Queens, is expected to cut the ride nearly in half, to a toe-tapping 43 minutes.

The authority’s chairman, Joseph J. Lhota, said in a statement, “Select Bus Service to the airport will make La Guardia more convenient for travelers as well as airport workers” — there are more than 8,000 of them — “and that means a boost for the entire New York economy.”

The new service (see map here or below) is expected to be rolled out in 2013 and 2014.

If you’re waiting for a train to the plane, though, keep waiting. Plans to extend the N subway line from Astoria to the airport were shelved in 2003 in the face of neighborhood opposition and post-9/11 reprioritizing of transit resources. There are no plans on the table to revive the proposal, officials said.

La Guardia Airport Bus Improvements (PDF)

La Guardia Airport Bus Improvements (Text)

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A Roving Troubadour, With an Eye on Your Couch

A touring musician needs a way to transport his gear, so Gideon Irving, a singer-songwriter who plays about a dozen instruments during his one-man show, recently bought a used shopping cart and a pair of Rollerblades for his monthlong tour of New York City.

Mr. Irving, 26, is currently playing every night, not in bars or nightclubs, but inside other people’s apartments – mostly those of complete strangers. Not only does he play in their homes, he often ends up spending the night on the couch.

Mr. Irving, a native New Yorker, calls his shopping cart-schlep through the city his “Staying Put” tour, a contrast to his recent tour of New Zealand, which involved four months of bicycling through the country, playing, and then sleeping in, 80 homes.

“Part of the idea is to get to know my city and meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet here,” he said. “New York City can be a lonely place, so how do you connect with all these people? How do you meet those people who aren’t in your world?”

He began his tour by packing up his cart, which a friend had equipped with rugged wheels and orange wooden panels on the side which bear the name of Mr. Irving’s Web site. He skated to his first gig, an apartment building at Broadway and West 171st Street in Upper Manhattan, to play for “a room full of opera singers and theater people,” he said.

The next night’s show was at a filmmaker’s home on Bank Street, in the West Village. On the way there, a malfunctioning wheel on his cart forced him to doff his skates and push the cart, a task which took five hours. For another performance, at an apartment on 148th Street, Mr. Irving had to carry his cart up five flights of stairs.

On a recent Monday night, Mr. Irving was setting up in the home of Maureen Laffey, a playwright and part-time nurse who lives with her small dog, Yummy Plum, in a one-bedroom basement apartment in an elegant building on West 72nd Street.

“I think the novelty of it helps get me in people’s door – a lot of people respond to this sense of adventure and do-it-yourself,” he said.

As for Ms. Laffey, she had been Mr. Irving’s neighbor when he was growing up on Amsterdam Avenue and West 90th Street. He began riding the subway by himself at 10, and making friends of all ages and from all walks of life, he said. Instead of college, he moved to North Carolina and studied bluegrass banjo with Akira Satake, a Japanese potter and banjo expert. For several years, he joined up with bands and traveled the country playing gigs and becoming proficient on less popular instruments, such as the bouzouki, the jaw harp, and an Indian instrument known as a shruti box.

He decided to do home shows after seeing one in Bayside, Queens, performed by Julian Koster, a musician and storyteller.

Mr. Irving polished his performances in New Zealand. He arrived there having booked only five gigs in advance, through the hospitality Web site couchsurfing.org. Then, as word spread, he booked another 75 shows, usually staying at the house where he had just performed. He played living rooms, kitchens, and garages, for a handful of people or several dozen.

He sometimes pedaled 12 hours a day, and logged nearly 2,500 miles, pulling a trailer loaded with about 200 pounds of musical instruments and equipment.

“I could only come to New York with this after having had the experience elsewhere,” he said. “New Yorkers are way more jaded. They’ve seen everything.”

Mr. Irving has booked about 30 nights for his New York tour. The performances are free, though Mr. Irving’s CDs are available for purchase and he accepts donations from his listeners – whomever his hosts decide to invite.

On this particular night, Ms. Laffey had invited seven nurses from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; they arrived with bottles of wine. Ms. Laffey opened them and put out snacks and sandwiches as Mr. Irving set up his instruments in a corner of Ms. Laffey’s modest living room. He introduced himself as a “house showman.”

Mr. Irving delivered a 75-minute showcase of his music, which he calls stovetop folk. Traces of bluegrass and world music could be heard. Much of the material was autobiographical, and was often both poignant and funny.

At one point, Mr. Irving noted that his left hand was aching from having to keep his cart straight on Manhattan’s sloping streets. Afterward he took questions, and referred to maps that he displays of New York City and the United States, showing where he has performed.

In January Mr. Irving plans to embark on a cross-country tour and he asked the nurses to refer him to other friends who might house him. Several people pinpointed locations on the maps, in Arkansas, Denver and Buffalo, among other places.

The following morning, as Mr. Irving packed up his shopping cart and strapped on his Rollerblades, Ms. Laffey said her nurse friends had enjoyed the show. “They’re not the most artsy people but they really appreciated it,’’ she said. “Some of them were texting me this morning with lyrics to his songs.”

Mr. Irving tucked his tip jar and his African thumb piano into his shopping cart, hugged Ms. Laffey and pulled the cart out onto the street. He pointed it toward his next apartment, on East Ninth Street, and began pushing it along in the rain.

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The Price in Politics for the Post-No-Bills Law

Maybe it’s time, even long past time, to rethink an important regulation governing political campaigns in New York City. To capture the spirit, we could call it the Anatole France Revision.

The Day

Clyde Haberman offers his take on the news.

As things now stand when it comes to posters or fliers on public property, people running for office are treated no differently from those offering computer lessons or looking for lost cats. They are all governed by Section 10-119 of the city’s Administrative Code, which in eye-glazing detail and at numbing length makes it unlawful for anyone to:

“Paste, post, paint, print, nail or attach or affix by any means whatsoever any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker or other printed material upon any curb, gutter, flagstone, tree, lamppost, awning post, telegraph pole, telephone pole, public utility pole, public garbage bin, bus shelter, bridge, elevated train structure, highway fence, barrel, box, parking meter, mailbox …”

Enough. It goes on and on. But you get the idea. You may also get a kick out of the suggestion that we still have telegraph poles.

Around election time, political candidates routinely run afoul of this regulation. Just as routinely, the Sanitation Department issues summonses, each typically carrying a $75 fine. The penalties can add up fast.

The public advocate, Bill de Blasio, amassed poster-related fines of about $300,000 in his 2009 campaign. The bill that year for the present city comptroller, John C . Liu, was about $525,000. The previous comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., owes nearly $600,000 from his unsuccessful 2009 race against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

All three fought the penalties, saying they were improperly imposed. Mr. de Blasio finally gave in a year ago. But Mr. Liu still refuses to pay, as does Mr. Thompson, who was told by an administrative board just last week that the fines stand.

Their resistance has invited scorn from tabloid editorialists — “weasel” being a favored word in The Daily News — and from the mayor. Not that Mr. Bloomberg is free of sin himself. His 2005 campaign, for example, outdid all others that year for flouting the rules, and received 4,218 summonses and $307,725 in fines.

Of course, when you have the wherewithal to spend $85 million, as Mr. Bloomberg did in 2005, or $108 million, which he splurged on his 2009 campaign, a $300,000 tab amounts to chump change. Not so for the less well-heeled, a description that applies to everyone else in New York politics.

Should people pay their debts? Sure. A much larger question, though, is whether the post-no-bills rule should apply at all to political campaigns, especially in their final stages. While the mayor’s vast wealth graphically illustrates the issue, it goes beyond him.

The existing regulations work, as if by design, against candidates with scant name recognition or without the ability of a Michael Bloomberg to flood the airwaves with commercials. Nobody likes having campaign posters turn into street litter. But isn’t democratic expression a higher value?

“There is a real question as it affects political speech,” said Martin E. Connor, a former state senator from Brooklyn, who is Mr. Liu’s lawyer.

A poster is to a television commercial what a pea shooter is to a grenade launcher. Nonetheless, it is a time-tested way for candidates to make themselves known. “There’s always a belief that visibility adds something to a campaign,” said Jerry H. Goldfeder, who has been a lawyer for Mr. Thompson.

Mr. Connor noted that the reality for most candidates was that “you can’t shake enough hands, and you can’t afford radio or TV, particularly local candidates — no way.” Posters, he said, can thus loom large, “given the budgets that a lot of people running for local office have, or even someone running for mayor who’s not Michael Bloomberg.”

Then how about amending the rules to give a dispensation to political speech, perhaps with a time limit attached? Mr. Goldfeder put it this way: “You change the statute to say, ‘O.K., you have two weeks before the election for posters, and three days after, you need to take them down. And if you don’t, then we’ll send out our people to fine you.’”

As we said, it could be named the Anatole France Revision, for the French writer who in 1894 observed, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.”

Right now, New York’s poster rules have that same majesty.

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Celebrities Recruited to Make Case on Campaign-Finance Reform

Borrowing a tactic from the successful campaign to persuade Albany lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage, advocates for the public financing of state elections are turning to a celebrity to make their case to New Yorkers.

In a video made public on Thursday, the actor Sam Waterston decried what he calls a “broken system” for campaign fund-raising and suggested the state could match small donations with public funds in an effort to blunt the influence of deep-pocketed contributors.

“You can bet those fat cat CEOs, millionaire lobbyists and multi-billion dollar corporations have their own interests in mind,” Mr. Waterston said as he lamented the influence of large donors in today’s political environment.

Mr. Waterston, of “Law & Order” fame, made his pitch on behalf of Fair Elections for New York, a campaign backed by a coalition of progressive groups, labor unions, environmental organizations and government reformers.

The groups planned to send the video to more than a million New Yorkers, hoping some of them will lobby their state legislators on the issue of public financing before November’s elections. A large part of their challenge is getting New Yorkers interested in a subject that even the most enthusiastic advocates acknowledge can come across as arcane.

“Make sure they know: the time is now for fair elections,” said Mr. Waterston, who currently plays a television news-division president on “The Newsroom.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, has said that improving the state’s campaign finance laws is one of his top priorities, and government reformers are hopeful for action either in a special session of the Legislature after Election Day or in next year’s legislative session, which begins in January. But the idea of providing public financing for state elections has little support among Republicans, who hold a narrow majority in the State Senate.

Celebrity endorsements have become a staple of campaigns to influence Albany. Last year, advocates for same-sex marriage recruited a large number of entertainment figures and other well known New Yorkers, including Mr. Waterston, to record videos supporting their cause; this year, Yoko Ono and her son, Sean Lennon, have put together a coalition of celebrities, including Lady Gaga, to oppose the use of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to extract natural gas in upstate New York.

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In SoHo, Salon Is a Salon, in Homage to Gertrude Stein

Apartment that looks like Gertrude Stein’s. Apartment dim two rooms but it is night. Apartment crammed on walls cannot call them paintings they are not originals they are not paintings. Apartment no-name doorman in non-doorman building. Apartment like Paris 1907 on Spring Street SoHo now. Apartment is an apartment is an apartment.

Or as Stein herself said, “Successions of words are so agreeable.”

But the imitation stops now. Full sentences below.

The little apartment on Spring Street between Mulberry and Mott, two rooms beyond an interior courtyard that reminds some visitors of Paris, was set up in the 1990s to look like Stein’s place at 27 Rue de Fleurus, where soon-to-be famous paintings went up on walls stained by leaks, and the guests included the soon-to-be-famous artists, along with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound.

This one, known as the Salon de Fleurus, has shunned publicity and has stayed off much of the art world’s radar. Rebecca A. Rabinow, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who once worked on a projection that recreated 27 Rue de Fleurus, said through a spokeswoman that she had never heard of the New York version.

The Salon de Fleurus will shed some of its mystery on Thursday, not on Spring Street, but at the Museum of Modern Art on West 53rd Street. As part of a festival called “Walls and Bridges” that is supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, five experts will take part in a panel discussion at 6 p.m. to “report on their first encounter with the space” on Spring Street.

One of the five, Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, a French physicist who writes about contemporary art, had his first encounter on Tuesday night. Another, the art critic Kim Levin, saw the Salon de Fleurus in 1993 and wrote that it was “filled with nostalgic kitsch and amateur pictures.”

She called it “a black hole with the potential of sucking 80 years’ worth of avant-garde incident into its force field and sending it for a ride on a rubbery Möbius strip.”

Pablo Helguera, the director of adult and academic programs at MoMA and the man who will introduce the panelists on Thursday, said that he heard about the Salon about 10 years ago, from a Slovene artist, and had become a fan.

“It belongs to a generation of spaces that love ambiguity,” he said. “They love to present an experience to the viewer that is very open-ended. Is it a museum? Is it somebody’s house? Who lives in it? Who’s the owner? Who’s the director? What it really does is it tells you the history of the birth of modern art.”

The two visiting journalists trailing Mr. Lévy-Leblond were just dying to get in and breathe their first lungful of the ancient, musty air. They had been told to ring the buzzer and wait for the doorman, who was strict: “No pictures. That’s the rule. You go to exhibition in a museum, that is what they say.”

Eventually, the doorman relented, allowing a few photographs, but only of Mr. Lévy-Leblond. The doorman, who spoke with an Eastern European accent, stayed out of camera range and would not give his name.

“I am the doorman,” he said. “You have seen plays and films in which you have a postman or a doctor. I am the doorman. It’s like acting. Asking a stage actor who plays Hamlet what is his name, he would say, ‘Hamlet.’”

(For his part, Mr. Helguera of MoMA said the doorman was more than that. “We think it’s so incredible that one person could sit there for 20 years without any promotion in a city that is all about promotion, where we are dying to be noticed, where we are dying to throw our names everywhere,” he said.)

Songs like “Lili Marleen” played from a speaker as the doorman, in his black shirt, slacks and a baseball cap, sat down. The Salon de Fleurus seemed as much a performance space as it was a museum.

“The exhibit has no author,” the doorman said.

Before the visitors could say, “Here we go again,” the doorman was talking about how Stein had arranged Matisses, Cézannes and Picassos at 27 Rue de Fleurus. He said MoMA did that years later, with its famous exhibition “Cubism and Abstract Art” in the 1930s. But he was clear about what the Salon was, and was not.

“We don’t consider this a work of art,” he said. “People consider this a work of art. That’s their problem. This is a reflection of the story. If somebody wants to see this as art, fine. But this is not art; this is about art.”

But for somebody who wants to see the Salon de Fleurus, it is too late. The man who answered the telephone at the Salon later — with a voice that sounded like the doorman’s — said that it would close on Thursday “for the entire winter period.” He said the Salon was going on tour and would open in December in — where else? — Paris.

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Report Predicts Fastest Job Growth in Hotels and Restaurants, Not Financial Services

By the middle of the coming decade, there will be more jobs in New York City in hotels and restaurants than on Wall Street and in banks, according to a report on global competition released on Wednesday.

Along with London, New York still ranks above other big cities around the world in its attractiveness to businesses and jobs, the report states. But it also predicts that the fastest job growth in New York will come in sectors that traditionally pay less and offer fewer chances for advancement.

Since the recession ended, a steady increase in tourism in New York has fueled steady job growth in hotels and restaurants, while Wall Street has been shedding jobs. The report, “Cities of Opportunity 2012”, from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Partnership for New York City, projects that employment in the city’s hotels and restaurants will continue to grow, edging above the number of jobs in financial services in the city by 2025.

By then, each of those sectors will account for about one out of every 11 jobs in the city. Business services, which now supplies nearly one-fifth of all of the city’s jobs and has been leading the rebound in the last year, is projected to grow very little over the next dozen years, the report shows. (The sector encompasses a wide range of titles, some glamorous, others less so, including investment banker, insurance agent and bank teller.)

Kathryn S. Wylde, the chief executive of the partnership, an association of the city’s largest private employers, said the expectation “that the industry is flattening out is definitely going to have a negative pull on incomes” that city leaders will have to try to solve by developing other sectors that pay well.

The report, which ranks cities on a variety of characteristics that matter to corporate executives, concluded that New York and London were in a virtual tie at the top. Last year, New York ranked first overall.

But Ms. Wylde said city officials and business leaders were less concerned about London as a competitor than they were before the financial crisis.

“At this point, we think of London and New York very much facing parallel challenges of retaining our status and retaining the West’s status as the financial capital of the world,” Ms. Wylde said. The challenge, she said, will be “whether New York and London can retain an edge over the emerging financial centers in the developing world.”

Indeed, the report projects that the number of jobs in financial services in Beijing will double by 2025.

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