Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Put this on your "To Do" list!

Get your tickets for the fundraiser! Space is limited, but you need to be there on October 14, 2008, because the proceeds benefit the ongoing work of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. Some special guests will be attending, including City Council Member Tony Avella and documentary-maker Donny Moss. There's a fantastic entertainment lineup: Fiona Walsh, Joy Askew, Nellie McKay, Ann Design, and Liam McEneaney.

If you are involved in efforts to ban horse-drawn carriages, you must make this the event to attend! Clear your calendar for October 14, and head over to the fundraiser at Mantra 986 on Second Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets, 6-10 pm (arrive on time and take part in the silent auction!) An evening of great entertainment, food, and fun--and it's for a great cause. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door.

Get your tickets early, through PayPal (via the Coalition website). If you prefer to pay by check, make it payable to the Coalition for NYC Animals, Inc. The mailing address is: PO Box 20247, Park West Station, New York, NY 10025.

Check out the Silent Auction catalog ...
About Mantra 986
Seriously, cancel those other plans! You know you want to attend this party!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Photography is risky

Really bad behavior on the part of some in the New York City carriage industry is nothing new. But you probably already know that, if you've seen videos like this one. [Warning: It's vile. Adults only, please.]

One commenter from the industry is whining on YouTube that the owner didn't know this fellow was a loose cannon, that this is an aberration, etc. However, we see quite a bit of bad behavior on the hack line on a daily basis.
Video from a YouTube member

Friday, September 19, 2008

Staying on topic

Irrelevant industry, crude tactics, suffering horses
More proof that the industry is irrelevant, ridiculous, and circumvents the law came this week, when threatening phone calls allegedly were made to a pub that was to have been the setting for a fund-raiser in support of a ban. The intimidating calls, of course, which were described to a member of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages by a pub manager, are believed to be from someone in the carriage industry. The pub pulled the plug on the venue, the manager saying he feared for the safety of his employees. Drivers are already dismissing the entire incident as a lie. However, the pub manager reiterated his account (he himself used the word "riot") to a second coalition member, and also to Councilman Tony Avella, in phone calls.

Lest you think this is a first, consider that a well-known NYC business that has been running ads in support of an industry ban received intimidating phone calls before the campaign started--and the caller did identify himself. This was heard by a number of people.

Avella, a mayoral candidate and the sponsor of a measure to ban the industry (with the idea of providing a reasonable alternative), denounced this week's thug tactics at a hastily arranged news conference on Friday.

The idea that some scary phone calls would derail efforts to ban the industry is laughable and pathetic at the same time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Watch NYC horses going to work

Do horses live in Central Park? Nah. Watch the video "Horse Carriage," which shows a glimpse of their daily commutes and their "workspaces" outside of the park.
Video courtesy of "HorsesinNYC"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Manhattan's wild west

On the night shift
Here we see a carriage driver leading a horse eastbound on busy 45th Street, which runs westbound. They managed to maneuver through the evening rush-hour traffic and get to 10th Avenue for the treacherous commute to Central Park. In rush-hour traffic.
Support a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City, a measure that is endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Ask your City Council member to support the ban (Intro. 658).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's the deal with the AP?

Instead of a story, we got a joke about a wedding gone wrong
Why run a 50-word news brief on the Brooklyn carriage accident? To make light of it, of course, as The Associated Press did in its pickup of the accident. We now know, thanks to other news outlets, that the horses involved were 2,000-pound Percherons, which is good news and bad. Their sheer size may be one reason that they survived the crash into the livery cab with only cuts to the legs. A 2,000-pound spooked horse, however, poses real danger to people who may be in his path. The carriage driver, who helped "steer" the out-of-control horses to a crash landing, suffered multiple broken ribs.

As Dave Barry pointed out years ago, AP staffers mostly sit at the desk and read newspapers. Too bad, because there's a story and a half here, and it remains to be told. The blistering but largely ignored 2007 audit of the carriage horse industry; the conflict of interest with Linda Gibbs (DOH) and her carriage industry lobbyist husband Thomas McMahon; the dirty dealings of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who blocks the legislation that would ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC (a measure that is supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States); the national tragedy of horse slaughter, and on and on.

The silliness that is the AP. Did you hear the one the Jonas Salk obituary, which had a GenDesk editor ranting and raving about receiving "an 800-word obituary on some dead guy that no one's ever heard of!" Or the editor who bellowed, "Does anyone speak Spanish?" upon receiving a story that referred to the legal term "nolo contendre." No surprise that news gets by these guys. And now the AP is terrrorizing bloggers! Please!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yet another carriage accident

The predictable result of putting horses in traffic
Two horses spooked in Brooklyn on Sunday, causing a wedding carriage to crash and injuring several people. The impact threw the carriage driver onto the windshield of a livery cab, police said. Another man was taken to a hospital, said a fire department spokesman. The carriage was awaiting its passengers when the horses spooked and ran down a busy avenue; the carriage ultimately crashed into a light pole. Police said the reins broke as the driver tried to steer the horses. One of the horses was treated for cuts on the leg.

There are conflicting early accounts of what caused the horses to spook. Regardless of the cause, it is not at all uncommon for these high-strung flight animals to spook and run, often with disastrous consequences to themselves and others. A 1200-pound animal is dangerous when frightened.

Photo credits: Maisel/Daily News
The carriage was licensed to Valentine Carriage. Hey Bridezillas, get real and take a limo! Animal cruelty is not entertainment. Tragedy was averted this time, but this latest accident reinforces that horse-drawn carriages are irrelevant, outdated, and have no place in 21st-century New York City. They endanger the public safety as well as the animals. The ASPCA supports a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City.
Read a colorful account on Gothamist
More photos on WNBC.com