New Jersey, Policy, Restaurants

Photo of Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten by cogito ergo imago on Flickr

Restaurants and bars in New Jersey will no longer be able to resume indoor service on Thursday as planned, Gov. Phil Murphy announced. The governor on Monday said the pause of this part of the state’s reopening plan comes as coronavirus cases spike across the country and more photos and videos of maskless crowds at establishments have surfaced. “It brings me no joy to do this, but we have no choice,” Murphy said during a press briefing.

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Policy, Transportation

NYC will legalize e-bikes and e-scooters

By Devin Gannon, Fri, June 26, 2020

Photo by Thomas Loizeau on Unsplash

The New York City Council voted on Thursday to legalize electric bikes and scooters citywide and create a pilot program that would bring a shared e-scooter program to neighborhoods underserved by public transit. State lawmakers approved the legalization of e-bikes and e-scooters statewide in April, leaving the decision to local officials on how to regulate the vehicles.

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Crown Heights, Policy, Transportation

Photo of Franklin Avenue Station © 6sqft

Two subway stations in Brooklyn will be renamed after Medgar Evers College and the Civil Rights activist for whom the historic black college is named. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced that Franklin Avenue and President Street stations in Crown Heights will formally be renamed this fall, with MTA maps and signage updated this summer. The new stations–Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College–aim to honor the contributions of the institution ahead of its 50th anniversary.

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City Living, Policy

Photo of the Central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library by Ajay Suresh on Flickr

New York City’s public libraries will reopen 22 branches for limited service starting on July 13. The joint plan involves a gradual reopening of physical locations in stages, with seven to eight branches opening for grab-and-go pickups and book returns to start. All libraries were forced to close in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Featured Story

City Living, Features, Policy, Top Stories

Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

In early May, Governor Cuomo revealed that businesses across New York would reopen in four phases. He divided the state into 10 regions and created seven metrics that would determine when a region could begin the process. As of Monday, New York City finally entered phase two, which permits outdoor dining, in-store retail, hair salons, playgrounds, and more. To help make all the transitions a bit easier, we’ve put together a guide that breaks down what exactly is being monitored to determine reopening, what businesses are allowed to reopen in each phase, and other important info like transportation and testing.

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City Living, Policy

NYC beaches will open for swimming July 1

By Devin Gannon, Wed, June 24, 2020

Photo of Coney Island by Dan DeLuca on Flickr

Swimming will be allowed at New York City beaches starting July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for state beaches to reopen last month in time for Memorial Day Weekend, the mayor had said the city was “just not ready” to handle the crowds of beachgoers, particularly on public transit. But with the city now in phase two of reopening, the ocean is no longer off-limits, as the Wall Street Journal first reported.

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New Jersey, Policy

Photo of the Seaside Heights boardwalk by SurFeRGiRL30 via Flickr cc

Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey will allow indoor dining and casinos to begin operating at 25-percent capacity on July 2. Today, he said on Twitter that outdoor amusement parks, including rides on the boardwalk, and outdoor water parks, can open on this date with 50-percent capacity. Playgrounds can reopen with no limitations. The governor’s decision comes after he allowed beaches to open ahead of Memorial Day Weekend and restaurants to open for outdoor dining on June 15, but some are concerned about taking the next step prior to the busy July 4 weekend.

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Photo by Alexander Kagan on Unsplash

“It is not just a quality of life problem and a noise problem,” said Mayor de Blasio in his press conference this morning, discussing the issue of illegal fireworks, “but it can also be dangerous.” For these reasons and after a protest outside Gracie Mansion last night, he announced that the city has created an illegal fireworks task force, which will consist of members of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the FDNY, and the NYPD, all of whom will “go to the root cause” of the problem, which is those who are selling and profiting from the fireworks. As the New York Times reported over the weekend, the city is currently receiving 80 times as many firework complaints than usual.

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Events, holidays, Policy

Photo by John Saeyong Ra via Flickr cc

After Macy’s announced yesterday that their annual July 4th Fireworks display in NYC would go on despite the pandemic, headlined by John Legend, Mayor de Blasio said in his press conference today that the show will take on a new life this year. There will be five-minute “brief but mighty” bursts of fireworks throughout the five boroughs from June 29th through July 1st, culminating in a finale on Saturday, July 4th, which will be televised from the top of the Empire State Building. On their website, Macy’s says they “expect to announce details of the reimagined event soon.”

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Museums, Policy

Photo by Mike Steele on Flickr

A statue of Theodore Roosevelt that depicts the former president on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man will be removed from the steps of the American Museum of Natural History, officials announced on Sunday. The decision to take down the statue, which local activists have requested for years, comes as a renewed discourse about racism and racist symbols continues to grow across the country following the death of George Floyd last month.

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