Subscribe

Friday, May 30, 2008

BLOOMBERG CALLS CRANE COLLAPSE 'UNACCEPTABLE'


May 30, 2008 --

This morning's crane collapse, the second this year, is "unacceptable and intolerable," said Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who promised to beef up safety and determine what happened.

"Every time there's a major thing we always say, 'We're going to do an investigation,'" he said on WABC-AM. "The real issue is, do you learn something and then change things? Or is it just, this is a way to stall by saying we're going to do an investigation. We're not going to stall.

"We did have something we did after the last one. I will be, you can rest assured, spending most of the rest of the day finding out was that enough? And in some cases it may just be that a piece of steel breaks and, you know, there's nothing you could have ever done about it but that's not a good comfort if somehow are you going to explain to somebody who's dead, their relatives, that oh, you know, accidents happen. That's not a good answer."

There are two confirmed deaths in this morning's collapse at 91st Street and First Avenue. Firefighters are searching the scene. The crane tumbled into the 23-story building before crashing onto the street below.

On March 15, contractors building a 46-story condominium near the United Nations were trying to lengthen a crane when a steel support broke. The crane demolished a four-story town house and damaged several other buildings. Seven people died in that incident.

Bloomberg acknowledged that the city has to grow, which means using cranes, but said safety comes first.

"We need to build high-rise buildings," he said. "But we have to find a way to do it safely. And you can rest assured, I don't care how much the industry says, 'Oh you're slowing down our construction or your jobs,' first comes safety and then we can talk about the rest. And ... I don't need any developer or union leader or anybody else telling me about the consequences of slowing things down. Nobody wants this economy to grow more than me. But we're not going to kill people."

BREAKING NEWS: Construction Crane Collapses in New York City, at Least Two Dead


NEW YORK — DEVELOPING STORY:
A construction crane has collapsed on New York's Upper East Side, killing at least two people, FOXNY reported.
The crane smashed into a high-rise apartment building before crashing more than a dozen stories onto the street below.
The Fire Department said it has pulled people out of the wreckage at East 91st Street and First Avenue. The conditions of all the victims weren't immediately known, but officials confirmed to FOXNY that at least two were dead and one was critically injured.
The top floor of a nearby high-rise apartment building had been damaged. Firefighters and rescue workers were continuing to search through the wreckage.
The accident happened 2 1/2 months after a crane collapsed, killing seven people about two miles south.
In that March 15 accident, contractors building a 46-story condominium near the United Nations were trying to lengthen the crane when a steel support broke. The crane demolished a four-story town house and damaged several other buildings. A city inspector resigned after his arrest on charges of falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing.

Picture Of The Week


I know I'm killing the joke, but these gas prices are insane!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

IBC Featured Site: Heritage Coach Company

Founded in 1980, Heritage Coach is in its third decade of service and commitment to the funeral industry. Owners, Mark Lankford and Bob Williams have built a reputation for their attention and patience in working to meet each customer’s individual needs. Mark’s experience in the Automobile business coupled with Bob’s thirty five plus years of funeral directing have given our company a unique ability to understand the special needs of our customers while also being able to handle all of their vehicle needs.

You will find us eager to meet with you at your funeral home and ready to show you one of our many stock, new and pre-owned vehicles.

Heritage Coach has won three of the last five Accubuilt Dealer of The Year awards. This honor is not based upon shear volume, but rather our customer satisfaction. We strive to be a support mechanism to our customers; we provide loaner vehicles to customers who may need a car to stay more than a day or two for service.

To learn more about the services and vehicles we provide, please enjoy and participate on our blog or visit our funeral limousine dealer site.




Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tech Tuesday- Solar-powered Pod patent spotted


Does this mean the sun shines out of Steve Jobs' bottom?

Don the green wellies and doff the proverbial ecological hat (if indeed there is a proverbial ecological hat, which on reflection we're pretty sure there isn't, but we digress) because if the MacRumours site is to be believed Apple has apparently filed a patent to bring solar power to its iPods and laptops.

In typical Jobs style, the design looks to be pretty unique as the company aims to fit the solar panels beneath the LCD screens of its devices to absorb ambient light, cleverly side-stepping the whole issue of having a surface area of light detectors big enough to power the gadget they're tacked on to.

Previous efforts from other manufacturers have seen them creating solar panels bigger than the actual product in order to make them effective.

In Apple's case though, some slightly misguided overenthusiastic types are already claiming the patent could reduce the footprint of the Pods and laptops, or even mean they would need no mains power at all. Though anyone who has used solar power to charge anything will know that's about as likely as Mr Jobs quitting Apple to champion the cause of the Zune.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2nd teen arrested in Mass. cabbie’s slaying

BROCKTON - A second teenager has been charged in the slaying of a cab driver who was shot in the back of the head in his vehicle in Brockton.

Sixteen-year-old Antonio Fernandes was scheduled to be arraigned in Brockton District Court this afternoon. Fernandes was arrested on a warrant charging him with murder, attempted armed robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors allege Fernandes and 17-year-old Adilson Neves schemed to kill Edward Conley early on Feb. 16. The defendants are accused of luring the 56-year-old cabbie onto a dead-end street, where he was shot and killed. Neves and Fernandes face the same charges. Neves was arraigned in March.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CUSSER'S LAST STAND ... BLEEP! BLEEP! CITY FINES CRABBY CABBY FOR FOUL TALK


Cuss and be fined, a foul-mouthed Manhattan cabby discovered.

Zbigniew Sobczak dropped the f-bomb on another hack on the Upper West Side, jumping out of his cab at Central Park West and 65th Street and cussing a blue streak at driver Malik Rizwan.

The trigger for the outrage?

Rizwan apparently honked at Sobczak for 10 seconds after Sobczak cut him off, according to the testimony at an administrative-law hearing sparked by the incident.

"What the f- - -? You have problem? Why you beeping?" Sobczak allegedly said, later adding "motherf- - -er!"

Rizwan answered in kind, "You f - - -! You go in your car."

Neither of the drivers had passengers in their cabs, freeing them up to follow each other around and get into two more confrontations. Rizwan eventually called the police on Sobczak, and even accused him of assault. But as a result of the tirade, the days of the foul-mouthed New York hack are going the way of the Checker cab.

The Taxi & Limousine Commission promised to slap big fines on cabbies who swear and possibly revoke their licenses, The Post has learned.

Sobczak was suspended for 30 days and fined $1,000 - even though he was found guilty only of verbal harassment, not assault, after a hearing before administrative-law Judge Alessandra Zorgniotti.

Although Zorgniotti recommended Sobczak pay $350, the least possible, TLC Chairman Matthew Daus dropped a real f-bomb: a fine.

He ordered Sobczak be given the max penalty to set an example to any other cussin' cabbies. He also said that foul-mouthed hacks face the threat of losing their licenses if they cut loose with their lips.

"The time for more civilized drivers has come, as the industry has been radically transformed for the better since the 1980s," Daus said.

The old view on cursing dates back nearly three decades, to a time just a few years after Robert De Niro turned the character Travis Bickle into a legendary hack in "Taxi Driver."

A 1982 legal decision in a case called TLC vs. Baudin found that a "driver's use of profanity during a fight with a pedestrian was not misconduct given cognizance to the realities of life in New York City."

But Daus, in a May 9 letter to Sobczak, said, "To the extent that decisions issued before my tenure, such as TLC vs. Baudin, may be read to overrule the penalty of license revocation for verbal harassment or abuse, I would override those decisions."

Sobczak's lawyer, Cynthia Fisher, called Daus' decision unduly harsh since no passengers were involved and since her client was provoked.

"You're asking cabbies to be inhuman and not react to . . . things any one of us would react to," she said.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Red Wings' limo driver: I woke up, hit tree

The moment a limousine carrying Red Wings hurdled a curb in 1997, the driver jolted awake just before the car slammed into a tree.

"I fell asleep behind the wheel," Richard Gnida, 38, of Taylor told a jury in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Monday, his first public statement about the crash in Birmingham that ended the careers of defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov.

Gnida is a key witness for lawyers of an Ohio car dealership who hope to persuade jurors that the driver and now-defunct Gambino's Limousine Co. in Belleville -- not inaccessible seat belts -- were responsible for the serious brain injuries to both men. Another player, Slava Fetisov, suffered minor injuries.

A Red Wings fan, Gnida said he was excited to pick up the players and even got their autographs after dropping them off for a golf outing to celebrate the Red Wings' 6-day-old Stanley Cup championship. Gnida said he felt a little tired on the trip back to Birmingham but didn't say why he kept driving.

Given the fact that he was driving without a license and had a history of drunken driving, Gnida should not have been behind the wheel in the first place, said lawyers for Findlay Ford Lincoln Mercury, the dealership that sold the limo to Gambino.

The limo company also had no policy to ensure that seat belts should be visible to riders, former owner John Gambino acknowledged in testimony Monday.

The wives of Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov sued the dealership, saying it should have known the limo had defective or inaccessible seat belts. The belts were tucked under the seats, attorneys for the wives said.

Gambino said seat belts weren't his responsibility because state law doesn't require backseat drivers to buckle up.

"I wasn't even thinking about seat belts," Gambino said of the day the Red Wings players climbed into the limo. "I just wanted to make sure the car was clean, and that was it."

The office manager for the limo company at the time of the crash, Dawn Council, 43, said that although riders often stuffed seat belts under the seats, drivers were never required to ensure the belts were visible to the next customers.

Attorneys for the car dealership grilled Gambino for not checking Gnida's record, which included two drunken-driving convictions and driving with a suspended license.

Although police said there were traces of marijuana in Gnida's bloodstream at the time of the crash, they said there was no evidence that he was high when the accident happened. And they said there was no trace of alcohol in his system.

For his role in the accident, Gnida served seven months in Oakland County Jail for driving without a license.

In July 1999, he was arrested for his third drunken-driving conviction after leaving a topless bar in Inkster. He was sentenced to a year in jail.

Konstantinov suffered head injuries that left his brain severely traumatized. He uses a walker or wheelchair to move around.

Mnatsakanov was partially paralyzed.

The trial continues today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

GM TO GET DRAMATIC REDESIGN

DETROIT, MI -- After months of holding out hope that U.S. truck sales
would rebound, General Motors Corp. is accepting that the market shift
toward more fuel-friendly vehicles isn't likely to end.

The automaker . . . said Tuesday that it's been over-promoting its
largest vehicles and plans to change course. Instead, GM will
implement a "dramatic redesign" of its marketing strategy that places
a much greater focus on its high-mileage cars, new hybrids and other
fuel-efficient vehicles.

Through April, full-size SUV sales are down 30 percent and large
pickup sales are down 17 percent industrywide. GM's light truck sales
are down 17 percent through April compared with a year ago; car sales
fell 4 percent.

"There have been a lot of questions about whether the U.S. economy is
in recession," GM Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson told a
bankers' conference. "The U.S. auto industry is definitely in a
recession."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

S.F Mayor Wants to Make E-Cars More Common Than Cable Cars By Chuck Squatriglia

San Francisco could become the first city in America to put electric vehicles on the road in big numbers and create the charging infrastructure to keep them going, a move EV advocates say would push electric cars from the fringes to the mainstream.

Mayor Gavin Newsom is talking to Project Better Place about building a network of charging stations and automated battery-exchange stations similar to those the Silicon Valley startup is developing for Israel and Denmark. The mayor reportedly also is talking to several companies that would work alongside Project Better Place to develop the infrastructure.

"It would be terrific if this happened," said Paul Scott, co-founder of Plug-In America. "People will know that those of us who have been driving these cars for 5 or 10 years already know -- this technology works."

This is by no means a done deal, and anyone who knows San Francisco politics knows it can take forever to get anything done. But if Newsom pulls it off, EV advocates say, it would show people that electric cars are a viable alternative to internal combustion.

Newsom's office confirmed the mayor met with several of Project Better Place's top executives, including CEO Moshe Kaplinsky, last week in Israel. He reportedly is "very impressed" with the startup's plan to bring EVs to the masses and has offered to work with the company to bring electric cars to San Francisco.

Project Better Place is working with the Israeli government to roll out a nationwide EV charging infrastructure, and Renault has agreed to build the cars. It unveiled a prototype of the four-door sedan -- which will use a lithium ion battery with a range of 125 miles -- last weekend. Newsom was already back in the states by then, telling the audience at the New Yorker's "Stories from the Near Future" conference all about Project Better Place and saying San Francisco wants to be "the first city to adopt that strategy."

Scott says San Francisco is the perfect place for an electric car because it is compact, most people commute less than 50 miles a day and most of its electricity comes from natural gas, nuclear power and renewable sources like wind and geothermal energy.

That doesn't mean much if you haven't got the cars, but those are coming as well. Nissan, which is owned by Renault, plans to bring EVs to California by 2010. Several other automakers -- including BMW, Audi, Mitsubishi and Subaru -- are developing electric cars that will meet California's zero-emission vehicle mandate, which requires automakers to put at least 7,500 electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2014.

Scott says Newsom's plan "absolutely" would hasten the development of electric vehicles by creating a market for them. Renault is already developing cars for Project Better Place to deploy in Israel and Denmark, and if it brought those cars to California, Scott says, it would encourage other automakers to do the same.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

RACE TO PRODUCE GREEN CARS

WASHINGTON, DC -- Spurred by the belief that the market for
fuel-efficient vehicles is about to take off, a slew of tiny car
companies are springing up in Europe and the U.S. They are racing to
produce the next "green" car, betting that soaring demand will allow
them to survive alongside the giants of Detroit, Stuttgart and Tokyo.

Most of the upstarts were founded in the last 12 months and have
financial backing from venture-capital firms. They are headed by
former top engineers and designers from the likes of Germany's
Volkswagen AG and storied U.K. racecar builder McLaren.

Responding to soaring gasoline prices and a tightening noose of
emissions regulations in Europe and the U.S., the companies are
working on a new generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.

One problem: Competition from the industry giants is real. Daimler AG,
Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Corp., Renault SA and Mitsubishi
Corp. are all developing new-generation electric vehicles. The
upstarts are entering a notoriously tough market.

But analysts say shrinking research-and-development budgets at the big
auto makers and their interest in outside help to develop key
technology may have opened up the road for smaller players.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FLYTE TYME WORLDWIDE INCREASES HYBRID FLEET

MAHWAH, NJ -- Flyte Tyme Worldwide has announced that is has increased
it's fleet of alternative fuel vehicles this week with the recent
purchase of several Chevrolet Flex Fuel Suburban SUV vehicles to
supplement their existing fleet of flexible fuel vehicles. The move
is part of the company's initiative to supplement its current fleet
with more environmentally friendly vehicles. In early 2006, Flyte Tyme
Worldwide President Tim Rose saw the need to make his company
"greener" and has continued to explore all of the options available
this large scale transportation firm. Rose stated that while the
addition of more flexible fuel vehicles to his fleet is part of his
"total green initiative", he acknowledges the fact that there are
currently no green vehicles available that meet all of the needs of
his transportation firm.

In addition to these flex fuel vehicles added to the Flyte Tyme Fleet,
the company has also added 15 Mercury Mariner Hybrid vehicles to its
New York based fleet. "We will continue to replace our Fleet of 250
Lincoln Town Cars in our Black Car operation with Hybrids," stated
Flyte Tyme Worldwide President, Tim Rose. We also give our clients
the option of selecting a hybrid vehicle via our web booking tool and
our clients are taking advantage of this option. Flyte Tyme continues
to monitor hybrid related vehicle safety and reliability factors,"
added Tim Rose.

Flyte Tyme is working vigorously with its corporate partners to become
a more 'environmentally conscious' corporation .In 2008, Flyte Tyme
will roll out the Black Car industry's first paperless 'E-Voucher'
system developed in partnership with Aleph Computer Systems and Symbol
Technologies. It will enable travelers to sign on the screen of the
driver's PDA tablet to acknowledge final charges. A receipt will be
emailed immediately, thereby completely eliminating the need for paper
receipts.

According to Rose, Flyte Tyme has been developing a company wide
"green initiative' program by exploring all of the options available
to become greener. This program continues to evolve as more green
options become available to the company. Some of the current programs
being developed are: The installation of waste oil fuel heating
systems at its corporate locations in Mahwah, Princeton, Philadelphia
and New York City which will allow Flyte Tyme to heat its facilities
with the waste oil generated by its vehicles; installing fuel
conservation systems on all of its vehicles as part of a comprehensive
effort to cut fuel consumption of its non-hybrid fleet; installing an
Ethanol fueling station at its headquarters this year to allow the
company to gain the most benefit from these flexible fuel vehicles and
further offset the company's carbon footprint and Flyte Tyme is in
negotiations with several partners to purchase carbon offsets for its
fleet vehicles that are currently not eligible for replacement.

"These initiatives will enable us to better serve our clients and help
to offset our carbon footprint. "The company continues to evaluate
commercially available options to replace its fleet of over 550
vehicles. The company also continues to investigate the market for
fuel friendly vehicles which will best suit the needs of its clients
and the environment. While hybrid vehicles have presented the best
immediate option because they rely on an existing network of gasoline
stations, flex fuel and bio-diesel fueled vehicles present better
alternatives for the environment because they are powered by renewable
energy sources," continued Tim Rose.

In addition to increasing the number of fuel efficient vehicles in its
fleet, Flyte Tyme Worldwide has also moved to 'green' its corporate
practices through recycling, efficient energy use, paperless policies,
carbon offsets, and green partnerships.
About Flyte Tyme Worldwide

Flyte Tyme Worldwide is a provider of ground transportation services
in over 350 cities worldwide. For more information:

Flyte Tyme Worldwide
81 Franklin Turnpike
Mahwah, N.J. 07430
Contact: Maria Amorosso, Director of Account Development
Tel: (800) 920-5466 Ext. 7641

Monday, May 12, 2008

Things To Consider Before Getting A Limousine Rental

A limo is a perfect service to a special event. Weddings, birthdays, prom nights, or a business event can be made to look stylish and elegant with the right limo to add to the touch.

But there are a lot of details to consider before you rent a limo. Aside from the model of the vehicle, you need to take into consideration the cost of renting one and the additional service that you get from the limo rental provider.

Do A Head Count

First, you need to do a head count of your entourage. The number of people who will be joining you on your limo escapade will help you decide on what model you will be suitable for the occasion.

If you have a large number of people in your entourage, around 6 to 12 or more, then you may need to go for a coach model to provide enough room to move around during your travel. For out of town trips, a hummer or an SUV would be the perfect model for your needs; and if you have a large number of people at your disposal, go for a coach or a bus.

Pick A Provider

Now that you have an idea on what limousine models you plan to rent out, you need to look for a limousine rental service to provide the vehicle. Check the local yellow pages or the Internet for a limo rental service in your area.

You can visit them one by one and check out their business credentials, as well as their business permits and licenses. Ask for some guarantee regarding the quality of their service and ask permission to check out their fleet. It would be advisable to check the quality of their limo, including the chauffer that will be driving it for you.

Before you pick out a limo rental firm, you need to know their cost for the service. Inquire on rental fees, discounts, additional hours and mileage charges, and so on. Don’t stick with one firm alone, try to browse different firms and compare prices.

Some limo company will charge for every hour so its only sound thinking to determine in advance how long you plan to be using the limo.

Book In Advance

Limousine rental is very popular, and you might be hard-pressed to rent right one out on the spot. Many limo rental services will require you to book in advance for the service, and some of them would even offer discount depending on how early you reserve a limo.

Knowing all these details in advance can help you determine the perfect limo for you and your needs. Also, a little advance planning can help you a lot in getting the best deals for your special occasion

Thursday, May 8, 2008

ADDITIONAL GAS SUBSIDIES

DETROIT, MI -- Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor
Corp. have no plans to match Chrysler LLC's offer to subsidize the
cost of gasoline for car and truck buyers, the companies said Tuesday.

Chrysler announced an offer that caps the price of gasoline at $2.99 a
gallon for three years for people who buy or lease new vehicles from
Wednesday through June 2.

The customer will be billed $2.99 a gallon, and Chrysler will pay the
rest. General Motors tried a gas payment promotion two years ago in
Florida and California with little impact on sales, company spokesman
John McDonald said Tuesday.

GM instead is focusing on making vehicles more fuel efficient because
that's what customers are demanding, McDonald said.

Ford spokesman Jim Cain said the company has tried similar programs
regionally but also has decided to focus on more efficient engines and
transmissions and other measures. "We know that fuel economy is
important to consumers," he said. "It'll be important whether gas is
$2.99 a gallon or $4.99 a gallon."

The Voice of Empathy

Empathy What iѕ empathy?  It is a соmрlеx social bеhаviоr that invоlvеѕ thе ability to undеrѕtаnd аnd ѕhаrе thе feelings and em...