Posts Tagged ‘Mayor Michael Bloomberg’

Solar Charge Me

June 20, 2013

Three businesspeople leaning on a wall, looking at phones and digital tablets

The first of many solar powered charging stations went live in New York City yesterday, providing residents with a place to charge their precious smart phones.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to be sure the city had the infrastructure to weather future emergencies.

He said in a statement yesterday: “New Yorkers will have improved connectivity and access to the wireless technology that has become such an important part of our daily lives.”

The 12.5 foot poles will have adapters for both iPhones and micro USB powered devices. AT&T is funding the project at no cost to the city, and is also providing free Wi-Fi, at parks throughout the area.

For those of us who hiked several miles uptown to get power to charge our electronic devices last Fall when the super-storm rendered lower Manhattan powerless for several days, this could be a lifeline for future situations. Like when our batteries run low while picnicking…

photo: Glasshouse Images

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A Tale of Two Cities

June 4, 2012

This week, two major cities took steps to help us clean up our unhealthy lifestyles.

Los Angeles just became the largest city to jump on the sustainability bandwagon, by banning plastic grocery bags.

Not only do discarded bags clog our eco-system, but also the inks and dyes used on many of them are toxic. Over 100 billion bags are tossed in the United States each year, resulting in the environmental equivalent of dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.

L.A. residents and businesses have 16 months to phase in the new plan. Although bringing re-usable bags is ideal, customers will be able to purchase paper bags at checkout, for 10 cents a piece.

While many support this bill, which is already underway in other cities, many are unhappy with the decision.

The detractors feel that is an inconvenience that will not have a significant impact.

Although the bags account to less than 1% of all waste in the area, Los Angeles uses an estimated 2.7 million bags per year.

Across the country on the east coast, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City has proposed a ban on the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 oz. in an effort to stall the obesity epidemic.

The proposed ban would affect restaurants, sporting and entertainment venues, and fast food franchises. The measure would not affect diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy – based drinks or alcoholic beverages. It would not extend to products sold in grocery or convenience stores.

Many locals are up in arms over the ban, saying that is not the government’s business to get involved in such things.

Mayor Bloomberg has been a major advocate of health issues in the city. His ban of smoking in restaurants and other public places, ban of the use of trans fats, and the requirement that all chain restaurants post calorie counts, were also met with dissent, yet have been initiatives that have been rolled out across the country.

Bloomberg responded to his detractors by saying:

“Oh, come on. We’re not taking anything away. You don’t have to pay attention to the calorie counts. You don’t have to stop smoking. You don’t have to stop buying big bottles of soda.”

It seems that the general population is not willing to do their part in promoting good health and taking care of our environment. The local governments seem to be taking the matters into their own hands.
How much involvement is too much? Do they have bigger issues to work on, or are these initiatives more impactful than people give them credit for?

Join the conversation…

Long Live

January 4, 2012

New Yorkers are living longer than ever, and on average, their life expectancy is 2 years longer than the rest of the country. According to the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, New Yorker’s have reached an all time high with a life expectancy rate of 80.6 years!

What contributes to our increased longevity?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made our health a priority, by declaring bars, restaurants and even public parks smoke free, and offers free nicotine patches to residents who want to kick the habit.

He has initiated heart disease and cancer prevention programs, as well as expanded the HIV testing and AIDS treatment programs, resulting in a mortality rate decrease of 11.3% since 2009.

He has made it mandatory for restaurants to make calorie information available to patrons, and was the first in the country to initiate a trans-fat ban.

While all of these things are helpful, our activity levels might be the major factor.

Most New York City dwellers don’t have cars, and opt for public transportation, and in many cases walk to their destinations.  Not only is this increased activity a plus, but our pace is often quicker than those living elsewhere.
Many other states have followed suit and instituted their own smoking and calorie rules, but very few cities have residents that walk as much as we do.

Why not take a cue from New York and consider walking to destinations within a mile of home? It will definitely help you get in shape, and could prolong your life in the process!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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