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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Court: NYC Soda Ban Unconstitutional

New York City’s crackdown on big, sugary sodas is staying on ice. An appeals court ruled Tuesday that the city’s Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants. In a unanimous opinion, the four-judge panel of the state Supreme Court Appellate Division said that the health board was acting too much like a legislature when it created the limit, which would have stopped sales of non-diet soda and other sugar-laden beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces. The judges wrote that while the board had the power to ban “inherently harmful” foodstuffs from being served to the public, sweetened beverages didn’t fall into that category/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Which soda is your favorite type? How much of it do you drink?

Yoga Enthusiast Welcome Summer

Ten-month-old Leo Erichsen is held up by his mother, Tatjana Eres of Denmark, as she joins thousands of yoga enthusiasts for a class in New York's Times Square to mark the summer solstice today. Temperatures are expected to be near 100 degrees (37C) Wednesday. (AP Photos/Mark Lennihan)

Question: Does this feel like the summer solstice to you?

Anorexics Anonymous?

Models line up for rehearsal at the Calvin Klein Fall 2012 show during Fashion Week in New York today. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Question: Would you want to be this thin?

Occupiers Reach Wall Street

Police officers stand guard next to the Bull as protestors affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement march in the financial district earlier today. Two days after the encampment that sparked the global Occupy protest movement was cleared by authorities, demonstrators marched through New York's financial district and promised a national day of action with mass gatherings in other cities. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Question: Are you bullish or bearish on Occupy Wall Street movement's future?

Edit: Budget-Cutting Pols Live Large

Taxpayer-funded stretch limousines? Good luck explaining those away easily. But that’s the predicament facing state Treasurer Ron Crane, who holds the lowest-profile elected position in Idaho government. During his annual meetings with Wall Street ratings agencies — his most visible job obligation — Crane routinely hires limos to squire Idaho delegations around New York City. The cost, from 2009 through 2011, approached $10,000, the Associated Press reported last week. It’s hard to tell which is worse: the timing, or the appearance. That’s an academic question, because the two are virtually interchangeable. During three of the most trying budget years in the state’s history — when legislators had to take a cleaver to public education, Medicaid, universities and nearly every other state agency — Idaho was doing its small part to support New York City’s limo services. And some of the same legislators who cut state budgets were riding alongside Crane/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are the limos that state Treasurer Ron Crane & Idaho legislators rode in during trips to New York a stretch, a scandal, or a black eye?

Seeger Helps Occupy New York

Activist musician Pete Seeger, 92, center, sings before a crowd of nearly a thousand demonstrators sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street protests at a brief acoustic concert in Columbus Circle Saturday in New York. The demonstrators marched down Broadway singing "This Little Light of Mine" and other folk and gospel songs while ad-libbing lines about corporate greed and social justice. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Question: Who is your favorite folk singer?

APhoto Of The Day — 8.2.11

An unidentified man wears only a tie and socks as he participates in a performance art piece outside the New York Stock Exchange this morning in New York. For the five-minute piece, dozens of volunteers disrobed and acted out the motions of people at work. Police say they arrested two naked men and one topless woman for disorderly conduct. You write the cutline. Story here. (AP Photo/newcriteria.wordpress.com, Anthony Miler)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. (tie, with each earning $10 Fort Ground Grill gift certificate): William Falkingham was visited again by Idaho Falls police who advised that he should add birthday suits to the list of outfits he should avoid — Christa Hazel, and: An unidentifed man protests his ouster from the White House Grill. “I am NOT wearing a tank top and Raci still kicked me out,” he fumed — CindyH.
  • 2. Out of work and having to give up his government-issued PC, former Rep. Weiner resorts to the only way he has left to display his shortcomings — JohnA.
  • 3. The last man left in the middle class holds on to all he has left after Wall Street has finished investing his hard earned money — Phaedrus.
  • HM: Chinese Ninja, Nic, & everyone else. Terrific contest

Cindy’s Singing New York, New York

Cindy received some great news today. A big—time New York Literary agent called her home and left a message, saying she's very interested in "War Bonds" (Cindy's collection of stories re: romance and long marriages of the Greatest Generation) and would like to see the full proposal. She also had some bad news: In his excitement to play the message for Cindy, hubby Derek accidentally erased it. But the literary agent followed up with an e-mail. Posts Cindy: "Literary agent already read the proposal and LOVES it. 'It's charming! It's so sweet. I love these stories. I want to start pitching it now to get it in stores by Valentine's Day,' she said. She's sending me a contract right away."

Question: Will Cindy will remember us little Berry Pickers when she's a superstar?

This is what Complete Streets look like

I spend a lot of time at Down To Earth discussing Complete Streets. It's a concept I believe in and it's a movement that is growing around the country so my hope is to educate folks here. According to a survey by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, around five percent were familar with the term Complete Streets however the next question defined term and asked participants if they would support a policy. Nearly seventy percent were in favor. The National Complete Streets Coalition defines what it means to build a complete street:

Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind—including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

There's nothing like a visual aid. Check this video on how New York completes its streets:


Complete Streets: It's About More Than Just Bike Lanes from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Hi-Noon: Red Rover Too Rough For NY

Red rover, red rover, send the New York State Department of Health right over. And back and forth the state agency is going, wobbling between regulating classic outdoor games such as Red Rover and pulling all regulations on those games. To appease a 2009 law (set to hit the books this year) aimed at regulating summer and day camp programs , the agency formed a list of “non-passive recreational activities with significant risk of injury” that if a program took part in would then classify the program as a camp, requiring additional—and costly—staffing for medical purposes and record keeping. The list … surprised more than a few people with the inclusion of wiffleball, red rover, dodgeball, kickball, tag, capture the flag, tetherball and so many more/Tim Newcomb, Time. More here.  (2007 SR file photo, of Coeur d'Alene police officer playing dodgeball at Lakes Middle School.)

Question: Did you ever play Red Rover, dodgeball, or any of the "dangerous" playground games listed above?

New York Beats Sandpoint For Biking?

New York has planned for cyclists and pedestrians. Although many of the paths and lanes for cyclists were added within the past couple of decades, New York has never assumed that driving a car will be the primary mode of transportation for most people. Streets, houses, and neighborhoods were not planned with cars and parking in mind. Driving (not to mention parking) is a bother there relative to the ease with which one may travel in the subway, on busses, on foot, or on a bike. In Sandpoint, by contrast, it takes significant effort to backfill bicycle and pedestrian routes into a street grid and neighborhoods that are focused primarily if not exclusively on cars. It’s assumed one must take a car most places, because there is no subway or bus, and most people aren’t willing to take the time to walk or bike/Cate Huisman, New West. More here. (Associated Press file photo, of bikers in New York City)

Question: Would you rather bike in your community than New York City?

Photo Of The Day: Empire State Of Mind

DTE recently traveled to New York and walked through the madness of Times Square at 5pm. On the way there, near Madison Square Garden and Penn Station on the always busy 7th avenue, we captured a gigantic Carbon Counter billboard.

The counter towers seventy feet and is visible to hundreds of thousands of commuters who take the train thanks to the Deutsche Bank and MIT. It displays a real-time count of emissions, roughly 2 billion metric tons every month and, as the photo indicates, that’s an addition to the 3.659 trillion tons already up there.

Kennedy drops Senate bid

Caroline Kennedy tells the New York governor that she won’t be seeking the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who, by the way, was confirmed as secretary of state.

Kennedy says her uncle’s decline factored into the decision. Strikes me as a decision looking for a reason. The resistance and criticism she received probably had more to do with it.

So, will this end the Kennedy Era for good? Thoughts?