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Endless Traffic, Mass Confusion, Ride-Share Price Gouging Creating Chaos At LaGuardia Airport

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A multi-billion dollar construction project at LaGuardia Airport is causing more than a minor inconvenience.

Many travelers have to take another trip before they head home and many are now complaining of price gouging.

On the Sunday night after July 4th, frustrated passengers fresh off a flight thought the long line outside the airport was for a yellow taxi to get out of LaGuardia’s Terminal B.

At the front they find out, “you get to board the shuttle bus,” an airport worker said.
They’re then crammed on a standing room only shuttle bus to a different taxi stand at another terminal.

“Do we have to stand in the back of the line when we get to Terminal A?” Charles pehlivanian of Manhattan asked.

“No there’s going to be plenty of taxis,” the LaGuardia worker replied.

That was not true.
“Please make a line behind the passengers,” another worker said as the shuttle bus passengers were then told they can also order a ride-share from a 7-11 up the road.

Passengers were also told it would be a five to six minute wait – that was actually 25 to 45 minutes with traffic.

Back at Terminal B, one desperate yellow taxi broke the rules to pick up a fare.

Nearby, aggressive hustlers prey on other people waiting.
“It’s a long line, gotta car ready to go if you don’t wanna wait,” one ride-share driver said.

It’s a problem CBS2’s Marcia Kramer first exposed in 2016. CBS2 counted at least three within a half-hour stalking potential fares at LaGuardia.

“I got a black car. It’s 95 plus tolls though,” the driver said.

That was the quote for a ride to Midtown Manhattan – more than double the average – which is about $40 according to Taxifarefinder.com.

“It’s an Uber car, but we’re not going through the app, you track it thru GPS,” a driver claimed to CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.

“What kind of like license do you have?” Rozner inquired.

“It’s government ID, New York State ID… The ID is irrelevant, you need a ride right?” the driver continued.

The TLC says it is relevant and so does the Port Authority police.

CBS2 showed the video to one of the top officer’s at the airport’s police department who admits the problem is worse, but they’ve stepped up enforcement.

“Would the Port Authority police consider putting a police officer at the end of these taxi shuttle lines because they get very long and that’s where we found these hustlers, but there were no officers,” Rozner asked police.

“We’re open to every opportunity. One thing I have to explain is we put plain-clothes officers out,” David Ehrenberg, executive officer of the Port Authority police said.
He also added there were 30 additional traffic cops at LaGuardia and tried to explain the reason for backups.

“As a result in managing the traffic, sometimes we actually have to create traffic because we’re holding up areas that are less vulnerable,” Ehrenberg said.

That traffic resulted in official Ubers and Lyfts stuck in backups approaching the pick-up area in the Terminal B parking garage.

When you add in weak cell service making it harder to reach customers, some riders give up.

“Four drivers cancelled on me. Two drivers just stopped outside, didn’t even move. So a total of six cars, 45 minutes, nobody showed up,” flyer John Santorelli said.

“The Lyft doubled in price from 25 to 45,” Nicole Rodriguez of Greenpoint said.

The Port Authority said the day after CBS2’s visit the quality of cell service was significantly enhanced. Construction continues until 2021, so passengers need to decide if the price for their flight is worth the pandemonium once they get off the plane.

The Port Authority added it hasn’t cut any airport services during the construction. For now, Uber said it’s blocked drivers who cancel too often from doing airport pickups and Lyft claimed that driver cancellations do not lead to higher prices.

Source: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/07/10/confusion-price-gouging-laguardia/

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9-year-old genius to graduate university

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Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

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Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source nydailynews.com/

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