Auto Repair Shops Need Important Insurance Coverage

There are many opportunities for damages or accidents in an auto repair shop, so it should be a safe assumption that a specific type of insurance for auto repair shops will be necessary. Whether the tools and equipment need to be replaced, an employee is suffering from lost wages due to an accident at work, or human error has led to damage on a customer’s car, the need for auto repair shop insurance is critical.
When the time comes to choose and purchase that insurance, there are some important decisions to weigh. For instance, how well does the business property portion of the insurance policy offer protection? Fires, natural disasters or other causes of property damage can quickly add up to financial ruin for an auto repair shop. Insurance for auto repair shops should also include a business liability policy. This section of the insurance will provide coverage in the event of accidents or injuries that take place on the property or away from the actual property, such as when a customer’s car is being driven or worked on. There is also important coverage for auto repair shops which applies to business crime. This category of coverage relates to losses because of employee theft or when someone breaks into or robs the auto shop.
More information about the auto repair shop insurance protection offered by Platinum Program Managers & Insurance Services, Inc. by clicking here.

Rainbow Room Is Given Landmark Status

Now it is official: The Rainbow Room, a personal landmark for New Yorkers who proposed there or dreamed of putting on their finest and dancing away the night there, is a city landmark.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 7 to 0 on Tuesday to give interior landmark status to the 65th-floor space with the see-forever views at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. Four of the 11 commissioners were absent.

“It’s everything that came to epitomize New York City,” said Robert B. Tierney, the commission’s chairman. “It retains not only many of its original characteristics, but also several generations of memories” — including, he said, some of his own. He also said the landmark designation would “assure several more generations of memories.”

The Rainbow Room is the city’s 115th interior landmark. The other 114 include well-known places like the lobby of the Empire State Building, but one of the commissioners, Frederick A. Bland, took special note of the Rainbow Room’s fame quotient. “I would say that of all the individual landmarks we’ve designated, this may be the one space that’s known throughout the world,” he said. (The roster of interior landmarks is separate from the city’s 1,318 exterior landmarks, one of which is the Rockefeller Center complex, designed in 1985.)

The Rainbow Room has been closed since 2009, when the landlord, Tishman Speyer Properties, evicted the Cipriani family, which had run the Rainbow Room since the late 1990s.

The application for the landmark designation was a leftover: The Ciprianis had submitted it, perhaps hoping to cause a regulatory headache for Tishman Speyer. Owners sometimes fight landmark designation because it can restrict the remodeling they can do — or, some landlords say, create delays while plans are reviewed for their faithfulness to a landmark’s original design. There is also an economic concern: Limiting the way a space can be altered can reduce the rent that can be charged.

But Tishman Speyer supported the Rainbow Room designation. At a hearing last month, so did the Historic Districts Council and the private Landmarks Conservancy.

The designation covers only the large, famous space on the 65th floor — not the smaller rooms on that floor or on the 64th floor that were long part of the restaurant operation. They were not deemed eligible for landmark status. The commission concluded that those spaces no longer had the design attributes or famous cultural associations of the Rainbow Room itself.

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Ranting Elmo Finds Prosperity Out West

Following the tradition of Broadway performances that strike out on national tours, the man known for dressing up in an Elmo costume and shouting anti-Semitic rants in New York City seems to have taken his show on the road.

The man, Adam Sandler (not the actor), was seen once again spreading his own brand of grim mirth on Saturday, but far from Times Square, where he was arrested last month. He was in a park in San Francisco, according to witnesses who spread the word online, eventually reaching The San Francisco Chronicle.

‘Evil Elmo’ Sighting at Popular San Francisco Playground,” the online article read Monday night. The article quoted an unidentified witness:

“We were at Rossi Park yesterday and we had a bad run-in with a guy who dresses up as Elmo and tries to hug kids,” the witness wrote.

Crime Scene Extra

Michael Wilson writes on crimes in the city.

“The cops showed up as this dude was undressing in the corner of the tennis courts, back into his street clothes. As he passed all of us to leave he started yelling obscenities and anti-Semitic slurs. He just went nuts.” He was not arrested, the witness said.

I have written previously about Mr. Sandler, 48, a former pornographer who ran a Web site in Cambodia called “Rape Camp,” and he sent me an e-mail on Friday, saying he was working in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and making more money than in Times Square.

“Why?” he wrote. “I am the only cartoon character.”

As if to drive the point home, he attached a picture of a pile of cash beside plates of sushi. “Feasting on sashimi,” he wrote.

In an e-mail sent Tuesday morning, Mr. Sandler denied ranting on Saturday. “Some of the other street performers were caught off guard and upset that the Elmo costume made so much money,” he said.

Mr. Sandler said he planned to work the Wharf through Sunday, and visit Los Angeles next.

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As the Yankees Go, So Goes the Nation

With the presidential candidates in the neighborhood for their second debate — Hofstra University on Long Island isn’t far away — let’s explore national politics and the Yankee Connection. This is relatively good news for President Obama and not-so-cheery tidings for Mitt Romney.

The Day

Clyde Haberman offers his take on the news.

In the modern era, defined for these purposes as having begun in 1952, we have had 15 national elections. The Yankees made it to the postseason a disproportionate number of times: in 9 of those 15 presidential years. For the most part, when they washed out in the postseason, the Democratic candidate won the November election. When they triumphed, so did the Republican.

The exceptions to this pattern were 1980, 1996 and 2004. Still, the connection is hard to ignore. It has been especially strong when the team made it to the World Series, an achievement that those of us who grew up in the Bronx during the era of Mickey and Whitey and Yogi used to accept as our birthright.

The Yankees have been in seven presidential-year World Series going back to 1952. No other team comes close to them in this regard. Except for 1996, every time they won the Series, the Republican candidate won the White House. Every time they lost, the Democrat won.

You can look it up, as Casey Stengel used to say.

The Yanks were triumphant in 1952 and 1956. So was the Republican presidential nominee, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

They lost in 1960 and 1964. So did the Republicans Richard M. Nixon and Barry Goldwater. Those were the years of the Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

They lost the Series again in 1976, the year the Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter beat the Republican incumbent, Gerald R. Ford.

They won once more in 2000 (defeating the crosstown Mets), and that victory was followed by the Republican George W. Bush’s prevailing over the Democrat Al Gore. Yes, Mr. Bush owed even more that year to the United States Supreme Court than he did to the Yankees. But this is not the forum to rehash old wars about the popular vote and about who suffered because they kept hanging some guy named Chad down in Florida. It was Mr. Bush who took the oath of office the following January.

As we said, the lone outlier to the pattern was 1996, when the Yankees won their first World Series in 18 years. That same year, the Democrat Bill Clinton beat the Republican Bob Dole, aided in part by the third-party candidacy of H. Ross Perot, who probably drained more votes from Mr. Dole than he did from Mr. Clinton.

So why should any of this make Mr. Obama feel better about his chances on Nov. 6? Simple: Have you looked at the sports pages, and even the front pages?

The president has taken it on the chin for the better part of two weeks, pummeled by the political world’s nattering classes for not being peppy enough in his first debate against Mr. Romney. The way some have carried on and on, you’d think we were electing the next American Idol, not the nation’s chief executive.

But no matter how much of an off-night Mr. Obama may have had, it is nothing compared with the miserable performance that the Yankees have given in this postseason. They are lucky to have made it this far, into a second round of play against the Detroit Tigers.

They’ve lost the incomparable Derek Jeter to a broken ankle. They’ve wasted splendid contributions by their starting pitchers with displays of hitting prowess worthy of the Bad News Bears before they got game. At this rate, the only way the overpaid Alex Rodriguez, the underperforming Robinson Cano, the bewildered Curtis Granderson and the aptly named Nick Swisher will ever get hits is if they’re allowed to put the ball on a tee.

As a result, the Yankees are down two games to none against Detroit, with the unappealing prospect Tuesday night of facing a fellow named Justin Verlander, perhaps the best pitcher in the game. The outlook isn’t brilliant for the New York nine this day.

And that is why Mr. Obama may want to breathe a little easier about his own chances, and Mr. Romney to start worrying.

What’s that you say — these are all coincidences?

Sure, you can believe that if you want.

E-mail Clyde Haberman: [email protected]

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Too Many Yogurt Bowls

Dear Diary:

A yogurt store in our SoHo neighborhood serves its various yogurt concoctions in small glass bowls.

When it first opened some months ago, the bowls were plain glass. Now the bowls have the name of the company imprinted on them in raised glass letters. You take the yogurt home in its glass bowl, and if you return the cleaned bowl to the store, you get 25 cents off your next order.

The thing is that these bowls, now about 25 in our home, keep piling up in our kitchen and we keep forgetting to bring them back. Customers I chat with in the yogurt store tell me they have the same problem.

We are all wondering if these bowls are the new status symbol of SoHo shoppers. Then again we wonder why the yogurt store can’t just use recyclable paper containers that can be tossed in an appropriate bin!

Read all recent entries and our updated submissions guidelines. Reach us via e-mail: [email protected] or telephone: (212) 556-1333. Follow @NYTMetro on Twitter using the hashtag #MetDiary.

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2 Officers Being Investigated After Video Shows Them Beating Man

The Police Department and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office began separate investigations on Monday into allegations of police brutality after reviewing video that shows two officers repeatedly striking a young man inside a Jewish community center in Brooklyn, officials said.

Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, said Internal Affairs Bureau investigators also referred the case to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent agency that investigates allegations of abuse of authority by the police. One of the officers, Luis A. Vega, has been placed on modified duty, he said.

The video, posted online on Sunday night by, shows Officer Vega punching the head and body of Ehud Halevy, 21, and another officer from the 71st Precinct, Yelena Bruzzese, battering Mr. Halevy with a baton for more than two minutes last week as he tries to fend off the blows.

According to a criminal complaint, the officers said Mr. Halevy had attacked them, causing one to suffer a sprained wrist, during an encounter on Oct. 8 in the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults on East New York Avenue in Crown Heights. Mr. Halevy was charged with a felony count of assault on police officers.

But the seven-minute video seems to contradict the officers’ account: It does not show Mr. Halevy striking either officer, though he does pull away from Officer Vega, using an arm to push off the officer and break free. The video was taken by a surveillance camera in the center’s lounge.

Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, a director at the youth outreach center, said he was disturbed by the video and the way the officers had treated Mr. Halevy. The rabbi said Mr. Halevy participated in the center’s program of educational, spiritual and counseling services for youths who are considered “at risk” in Crown Heights.

“It was very painful to see one of our members being treated like that,” Rabbi Feiglin said. “It seemed like a senseless beating and we felt compassion for this young guy being beaten like that. We all need to have more compassion.”

According to the criminal complaint, Officers Vega and Bruzzese responded to a 911 call of a dispute inside the outreach center about 5 a.m. The call was made by Trappler Zalman, a center volunteer, who performs security checks in the building. Mr. Zalman told the officers that he found Mr. Halevy “sleeping naked” on a couch inside the lounge. Mr. Zalman ordered him to get dressed and leave, telling him he did not have permission to be there. Mr. Halevy refused and argued that he had a right to be there, the complaint states.

In fact, Rabbi Feiglin said in a telephone interview on Monday, Mr. Halevy had permission to stay overnight at the center. He needed “a place to crash for a short period,” the rabbi said. Rabbi Feiglin added that it was unclear what had prompted Mr. Zalman to call the police, since Mr. Halevy had been sleeping in the lounge for about a month.

“We don’t know exactly why he called the police,” Rabbi Feiglin said, noting that the video does not include audio.

In the video, Mr. Halevy appears to be asleep, wrapped in a white bedsheet, on a black couch in the lounge. The two officers roused him, and all three engage in a conversation. Mr. Halevy stands, wearing a pair of sweat pants.

As the officers try to handcuff him, Mr. Halevy jerks his hands away, holding them behind his back. He backs up against a pool table. Officer Vega then assumes a boxer’s stance and punches him in the head. Mr. Halevy lands face down on a couch near the pool table, where Officer Vega delivers at least eight blows in quick succession. Officer Bruzzese appears to use her body weight to hold Mr. Halevy down on the couch, while Officer Vega punches him several more times, places him in a headlock and shoves his face into the couch. Officer Bruzzese repeatedly strikes Mr. Halevy with a baton.

A third officer, followed by at least 10 others, bursts into the lounge and helps drag Mr. Halevy off the couch and onto the floor. Once he is handcuffed, the officers stand him up and his hair appears wild and tangled; no blood or bruises are visible in the video.

Rabbi Feiglin said one officer used pepper spray on Mr. Halevy.

Mr. Halevy was charged with a felony count of assault on police officers and three misdemeanors: resisting arrest, obstruction and criminal trespass. He was issued violations for marijuana possession and harassment, court records show. He was jailed until Thursday, when his family posted his $1,500 cash bail or bond, Rabbi Feiglin said.

Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney, said the office had opened its own investigation on Monday.

“We are investigating the conduct of the police officers in this arrest,” he said.

“This is a new low,” said Steven Banks, attorney in chief for the Legal Aid Society, which is representing Mr. Halevy. “You have to wonder when this is going to end. This is yet another instance of over-policing in which a situation could have been addressed without an arrest, let alone the use of force. This is yet another instance of the Police Department acting outside the bounds of what any reasonable person would think was appropriate.”

Rabbi Feiglin said he had not seen Mr. Halevy at the center in recent days and did not know his whereabouts.

The officers, according to the criminal complaint, said they told Mr. Halevy that if he did not leave, he would be arrested for trespass. Mr. Halevy, the officers said, then threatened them, saying: “Go ahead and try it. I am going to hit you.”

When Officer Vega tried to apply handcuffs, Mr. Halevy began to swing his fists and flail his arms, striking Officer Vega and Bruzzese “about the body,” the complaint says.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union that represents police officers, declined to comment on Monday night.

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A Sampling of Your Votes on Higher Transit Fare Options

The multiple-choice question placed on the table by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday does not have a none-of-the-above option, unfortunately.

One way or another, it looks like subway and bus fares are going up. But the authority has not decided yet how to distribute the pain — additionally burden regular riders, occasional users, or both? — and is seeking public input. We asked readers their thoughts on four possibilities presented by the authority:

1. Leave base fare at $2.25. Increase 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard price to $125 from $104. Cut 7-percent bonus on pay-per-ride cards to 5 percent.

2. Leave base fare at $2.25. Increase 30-day unlimited card price to $119. Eliminate pay-per-ride bonus.

3. Increase base fare to $2.50. Increase 30-day unlimited card to $109. Eliminate pay-per-ride bonus.

4. Increase base fare to $2.50. Increase 30-day unlimited card to $112. Keep 7-percent pay-per-ride bonus intact.

Here are some of your responses:

The bonuses are a pain if they are not full increments. Option #3 is best as it’s the only one that keeps the monthly worthwhile. The raise on single is painful, but at least it will be eliminate all those cards with scattered remainder amounts.
— Dennis, NYC

The bulk of the increase should be to the unlimited card(s) — these provide very low fares with high usage. (I pay less than a dollar per ride based on using a 30-day card an average of 3 times a day or more.) The idea of higher usage benefitting the MTA doesn’t apply here; I am paying a lower fare than I probably did 20-30 years ago (with inflation factored in).
— Ed B., NYC

I prefer the larger % increase on single rides and weekly unlimited, while keeping monthly unlimited cards close to or at current rates. Single rides & weekly cards are largely used by tourists, let them bear the burden of the fare increase, not local workers who use MTA every single day to get around the city and largely use a monthly unlimited card to do so.
— Chris, NYC

Stop raising the price of the 30-day card (it’s not a monthly card) so aggressively. When I buy the 30-day card, the MTA gets the use of my money in one lump sum up front. You would think they would encourage that, rather than encouraging people to buy one ride at a time.
— Dr. Edna, New York

I would think the single-fare user base includes a significant percentage of riders with lower incomes; that is, ones who often have to get somewhere (e.g., home where the children are waiting; to work in the morning after they leave for school) but can’t afford to pull together more than that single fare at that moment. Ipso facto: these are the residents we least want to place an economic burden on. When in doubt always think first about the resident of the city at the bottom of the economic ladder!
— lynneb, northampton, ma

Number (1) of the above choices. But my first choice would be to eliminate the unlimited ride options. Those buyers tend to be commuters. The MTA has to buy extra train cars to accommodate the commute period. The power companies charge more during peak usage. They have to build extra plants just to cover such times. I see no reason why we should be giving discounts to peak time transit users.

— Don Wiss, Brooklyn, NY

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