Airbnb Host Creates Petition To Confront New York Lawmakers

New York’s horse and buggy losing ground to animal rights group

There is nothing definitive yet, he said. New York Magazine earned widespread praise for its striking cover showing the power blackout in Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy.Photo: AP The company is in the midst of its budget planning for next year in an increasingly tough environment for print. Bagaria declined to comment on profitability but said its not the first time the company has mulled the move. Over the past five years weve considered various options, he said. While digital ad sales are growing, it has not been enough to stem the shrinking dollars coming from the weekly print edition, increasing pressure on Editor-in-Chief Adam Moss. It would be sad if it happened, but it would not surprise me, said Steve Cohn, editor of Media Industry Newsletter, which showed that New Yorks ad pages were down 9.2 percent year-over-year through Oct. 14. Digital now accounts for about half the companys ad revenue, but that is attributable as much to prints steady erosion as it is to digitals gains in recent years. Before the recession, New York racked up 3,343 ad pages in 2007, according to MIN 1,500 pages more than it is expected to tally this year. Ad pages fell 12 percent in 2008, followed by a staggering 27 percent drop in 2009. And in a move that is sure to be worrisome as it pushes for digital dollars, Web traffic in September dropped to 3.6 million unique monthly visitors, according to comScore, a 16 percent drop from last year. A Wasserstein family trust inherited the magazine after the death of Bruce Wasserstein in 2009. The financier brought it for $55 million back in 2003. So far, the Wasserstein family has kept the magazine and websites rolling, but it is not clear what the trusts capacity is to absorb losses over a prolonged period. The most recent example in the weekly media world holds little promise.

“As a New Yorker just trying to pay my bills, I don’t understand why they think I’m a slumlord.” “I figure that if we get 20,000 people to sign the petition, we’ll get the state Senate’s attention,” she continues. “If we hit that goal by October 20th, I pledge to deliver the signatures to every senator myself.” As of this writing the petition has surpassed 20,000 signatures, the majority of which were gathered within the last 24 hours. Airbnb also got behind the petition on Monday by sending out an e-mail to its thousands of New York members. “The New York attorney general has subpoenaed the records of almost all of our New York hosts,” Airbnb’s global head of community Douglas Atkin wrote in the e-mail. “We are fighting the subpoena with all we’ve got, but poorly written laws make for even worse enforcement, and unless you help to stop it once and for all, the laws may never get better and New Yorkers will continue to suffer.” The debacle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb has been ongoing over the past year, but it got heated when Schneiderman filed a subpoena earlier this month. The subpoena requests three years’ worth of data on thousands of Airbnb New York hosts. Airbnb has said that it has 225,000 community members in New York. The Attorney General’s office is specifically looking for data on 15,000 hosts — it’s unclear if this includes almost all of Airbnb’s New York hosts. While Airbnb has said that it will cooperate with New York’s lawmakers to root out illegal hotel operators and slumlords, it also filed a motion last week stating the subpoena was “unreasonably broad” and it won’t turn over sweeping amounts of information on hosts who have done no wrong. Schneiderman’s subpoena is based on a 2011 New York state law that makes it illegal for New York residents to rent out a property for less than 29 days. The law is meant to protect renters, so that slumlords don’t force them to leave to make a quick buck on unlicensed hotels and short-term stays. After the petition popped up and Airbnb sent out its e-mail to New York members on Monday, a spokesman from Schneiderman’s office accused the service of fear mongering, according to the Wall Street Journal . Airbnb is “scaring and misleading thousands of well-intentioned New Yorkers and sending lobbyists to Albany to create legal loopholes,” spokesman Matt Mittenthal told the Journal. Airbnb and the New York Attorney General’s office did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment. This article originally appeared on CNET .

“Their agenda is not animal welfare. It’s animal rights.” “We bred horses to be powerful, willing partners in our civilization,” said Hansen, who wore a long coat and feathered felt hat. “They project their own human emotions onto horses.” Like many New York classics, the Central Park carriage ride was immortalized in cinema. In Woody Allen ‘s “Manhattan,” Allen’s character kisses his young girlfriend, played by Mariel Hemingway, in the back seat of a carriage. The image has been used again and again in TV series such as “Sex in the City,” “Seinfeld” and “30 Rock.” “People come to us for the clip-clop,” said Hansen. “Nobody wants to pet a fender.” ‘VERY NEW YORK’ Clinton Park Stables, home to 78 horses, sits on the far west side of Manhattan, a 20 minute ride from Central Park. It was built in the 1880s for street sweepers’ horses. “Because this is an urban stable, every square foot is used for something,” said Hansen, as she led a tour past old-fashioned carriages, manufactured in Indiana, and a blacksmith working on a horseshoe along a row of 80-square-foot stalls. The rules regulating the carriage industry are set by the city. Horses work no more than 9 hours a day, and every year spend at least five weeks on a farm. A veterinarian examines every horse twice a year and city inspectors visit regularly. Hansen, a former doctoral student in French history, jokes that the stable has more inspections “than a day-care facility.” Over the last 30 years, three horses have died in traffic accidents – in 1985, 1990 and 2006. New York Class counts 19 accidents over the last two years that resulted in injury, but the carriage industry says most of them were minor incidents. For Allie Feldman, executive director of New York Class, the solution is simple: Horses don’t belong in traffic and an eco-friendly motorized alternative could catch on with tourists. “It retains the romantic, classic, nostalgic feel that you would get in a horse-drawn carriage, only it doesn’t have the smell, it doesn’t have the cruelty and it’s much more safe,” she said.