Saturday, May 29, 2021

April Shower: Rotten Apple

It was bad after three bites..... 

"NYC to launch $30 million tourism marketing campaign in June" by Henry Goldman Bloomberg, April 21, 2021

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $30 million tourism marketing blitz to start in June, the city’s largest-ever campaign to recharge a moribund industry that at one time employed 400,000 workers and injected $70 billion into the local economy.

“We are open for business,“ de Blasio said Wednesday on a briefing. “There’s only one New York City.“

Nothing like wasting tax loot while throwing it at well-connected intere$ts and friends, I'm $ure.

The campaign will be called “NYC Reawakens“ and aims to bring both domestic and international visitors to the city. The funds will come from federal stimulus programs and go toward television ads and social media campaigns, including a “Wish You Were Here at NYC“ campaign, in which New Yorkers may invite friends to visit the city. The city will re-launch its annual “Summer Restaurant Week“ from July 20 to August 15.

City officials said New York isn’t going to require visitors to show proof of vaccination or take covid tests to enter, but de Blasio said increasing vaccination rates will help boost travel. The city’s tourism arm forecasts 36.4 million visitors for 2021, recovering more than half of record 66.6 million visitors that came in 2019.

66.6 million visitors, huh?

The $atani$m is right in your face for God's sake, and who would ever want to visit that $hithole ever again?

Other tourism indicators, while early and subtle, are starting to recover. Since January, the hotel occupancy rate has ticked up 6 percentage points, to 35 percent, according to hospitality data company STR. The industry reported its fifth straight monthly increase in average daily room rates, which have risen 12 percent since December.

On a recent Saturday, 4,100 people rode the ferry from lower Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, up from 2,500 three weeks before, according to Rafael Abreu, vice president for marketing at Statue Cruises.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been averaging 7,000 daily visitors, up from 4,000 when it reopened last summer. The American Museum of Natural History reports a similar uptick. On Monday, New York said it would raise the capacity limit for museums, zoos, and movie theaters.

There’s still a long way to go. Tourism is still struggling after suffering a blow surpassing even the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It has hardly rebounded to the extent of other measures of New York prosperity, such as the stock market. The hotel occupancy rate is down from 88 percent two years ago, STR data show.

Along with the decline in visitors, many rooms are empty because about 200 of the city’s 700 hotels are closed, some permanently. Others, such as the Mandarin Oriental and the Park Hyatt, re-opened this month, with several others to follow.

During the Wednesday briefing, chef Daniel Bolud praised the campaign and said restaurateurs are ready to welcome visitors.....

He said it is the “rebirth of our economy, but also our culture, that’s what we need.“

This is the kind of culture he is talking about:

"Manhattan to stop prosecuting prostitution, part of nationwide shift" by Jonah E. Bromwich New York Times, April 21, 2021

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday that it would no longer prosecute prostitution and unlicensed massage, putting the weight of one of the most high-profile law enforcement offices in the United States behind the growing movement to change the criminal justice system’s approach to sex work.

That should fill up the hotel rooms!

The office will continue to prosecute other crimes related to prostitution, including patronizing sex workers, promoting prostitution and sex trafficking, and said that its policy would not stop it from bringing other charges that stem from prostitution-related arrests.

That means, in effect, that the office will continue to prosecute pimps and sex traffickers as well as people who pay for sex, continuing to fight those who exploit or otherwise profit from prostitution without punishing the people who for decades have borne the brunt of law enforcement’s attention.


What is with the discrimination?

Manhattan will join Baltimore, Philadelphia, and other jurisdictions that have declined to prosecute sex workers. Brooklyn also does not prosecute people arrested for prostitution but instead refers them to social services before they are compelled to appear in court — unless the district attorney’s office there is unable to reach them.

The Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, in January moved to dismiss hundreds of open cases related to prostitution and loitering, and said that he would eventually ask that more than 1,000 be dismissed. The Queens district attorney, Melinda Katz, followed in March, moving to dismiss hundreds of prostitution-related cases.

The district attorney’s office had been in the practice of dismissing prostitution cases after sending those charged to mandatory counseling sessions. Going forward, Vance’s statement said, such counseling sessions would be provided only on a voluntary basis.

Sex workers have been fighting for decriminalization for decades, but the 2019 formation of Decrim NY, a coalition of organizations that support full decriminalization and has worked to lobby lawmakers, represented a turning point for the movement.

In New York City, those calls have grown louder. Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, called on the state to end criminal penalties for sex workers.

“The communities hit hardest by the continued criminalization of sex work and human trafficking are overwhelmingly LGBTQ, they are people of color, and they are undocumented immigrants,” McCray said at the time. “Sex work is a means of survival for many in these marginalized groups.”

I guess we know who won't be the next mayor of New York, and I hope you did't catch anything:

"New York City health officials estimate that nearly a quarter of adult New Yorkers were infected with the coronavirus during the catastrophic wave of last spring, and that the toll was even higher among Black and Hispanic residents. The estimates, based on antibody test results for more than 45,000 city residents last year, suggest that Black and Hispanic New Yorkers were twice as likely as white New Yorkers to have had antibodies to the coronavirus — evidence of prior infection....."

Then natural herd immunity for a nonexistent virus has been achieved, and I wouldn't be surprised if this guy visited a few ladies of ill repute:

"New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo disclosed Monday that he was paid a $3.1 million advance to write his COVID-19 leadership book last year and under his publishing contract will make another $2 million on the memoir over the next two years. That total windfall of more than $5.1 million further inflamed critics who have said it was inappropriate for Cuomo to personally enrich himself with a self-congratulatory book, published just as the state was seeing a deadly resurgence in infections last October. At least 52,987 people have died of COVID-19 in New York, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. Cuomo, a Democrat, had for months declined to say how much money he made from writing “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic," published by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. The disclosure of the big payday was made on the day Cuomo's mandatory financial disclosures were due to a state ethics agency. Cuomo also let reporters view a copy of his tax returns, which were also due Monday. Cuomo spokesperson Richard Azzopardi said Monday that after taxes and expenses, Cuomo had netted $1.5 million on the book last year. He said Cuomo donated $500,000 of his profits from the book to the United Way of New York State and is putting the rest into a trust for his three daughters. From the moment Cuomo's book came out he was criticized for penning a book touting his performance while the crisis was ongoing. Since then he's come under more criticism over the involvement of some of his staff in preparing the book for publication. The Democrat has also been criticized by some over his administration's decision to withhold data on COVID-19 deaths among nursing home patients for months as the book was being finalized and sold. Critics say the administration was purposely obscuring the true death toll to boost the governor's image and mute criticism that Cuomo hadn't done enough to protect nursing home residents. Cuomo often used the smaller death toll to argue that New York lost far fewer nursing home residents than other states, based on a percentage of overall deaths. The governor and the state's health commissioner have said the numbers were withheld because the state had trouble verifying them....."

It is mind-boggling that the mob boss, 'er, governor of New York isn't out of office and facing protection for mass murder along with sexual harassment charges, yet at the time the shameless hypocrisy is not surprising in this age of Evil.


"The effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office to obscure the pandemic death toll in New York nursing homes was far greater than previously known, with aides repeatedly overruling state health officials over a span of at least five months, according to interviews and newly unearthed documents. Cuomo’s most senior aides engaged in a sustained effort to prevent the state’s own health officials, including the commissioner, Howard Zucker, from releasing the true death toll to the public or sharing it with state lawmakers, these interviews and documents showed. A scientific paper, which incorporated the data, was never published. An audit of the numbers by a top Cuomo aide was finished months before it became publicly known. Two letters, drafted by the Health Department and meant for state legislators, were never sent. The actions coincided with the period in which Cuomo was pitching and then writing a book on the pandemic, with the assistance of his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, and others, and they came as the governor’s approach to nursing homes was receiving intensifying scrutiny from critics and Republicans, including former President Donald J. Trump, whose administration made a public show of requesting nursing home death data from four states with Democratic governors, including New York. The number of nursing home residents who died in the pandemic has been a particularly sensitive question for the Cuomo administration. The full data on nursing home deaths was not released until this year, after a report by the state attorney general in late January found that the official tally might have undercounted the true toll by as much as 50 percent. The Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing home death data now is the subject of a federal investigation, one of at least four overlapping inquiries into the governor and his administration....." 

And as you can see a month later, they have gone absolutely nowhere.

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