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More action sought on oil trains



oil rail cars

Shipments of crude oil by rail are on the rise.

“Every day across Upstate New York, oil railcars laden with Bakken crude pass through backyards and by schools and homes and near places of business, putting communities in Upstate New York at risk if tank cars derail or puncture,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said in a news release.

“It is clear to me that we need an all-of-the-above approach to safety, so I am urging the Federal Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy to finally publish and finalize standards that will stabilize highly explosive crude oil before shipping it through Upstate New York.”


Schumer said those regulations are an additional layer of safety that New Yorkers deserve and would help keep communities safer.

“We have tank cars barreling through communities throughout the state on a daily basis, and we should leave no stone unturned to further protect residents,” he said.

The Clinton County Oil Train Task Force, made up of several local elected officials within the county, was formed in 2015 to research oil trains in the area.

The group found that as many as 30 trains, hauling up to 300,000 gallons of crude oil pass through the county each week.

At the Task Force’s urging, eight municipalities in the county — the City and Town of Plattsburgh; the towns of AuSable, Beekmantown, Champlain and Saranac; and the villages of Rouses Point and Champlain — all agreed to send letters to the state and federal government asking for better regulations regarding oil trains.


The city also approved a resolution asking for a moratorium on trains coming through the city in February of 2016.

The resolution was sent to the federal delegations of New York and Vermont, but no action was taken.


Schumer is now demanding that the Department of Transportation and Department of Energy propose and quickly finalize volatility standards that will stabilize highly explosive crude oil before shipping it through New York.

He said current law allows dangerous crude oil to be shipped by rail without being stabilized, making violent explosions far more likely.

Also, Schumer said, DOT and DOE should complete the ongoing formal process requesting comments from stakeholders and studying how crude oil properties affect its combustibility in rail accidents, which would inform the new rule.


According to a new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the volume of oil shipped by rail is again on the rise.

Refineries in the Northeast used about 3.1 million barrels of oil in March, a level not seen since early 2017.

Schumer said that this news, in conjunction with the fact that next month is the fifth anniversary of the tragic explosion in Lac Megantic, Quebec, which left 47 people dead, makes the issue of oil-by-rail safety urgent.

“The bottom line is any time you are transporting volatile chemicals, there is a risk of explosion,” he said.

“Things like safer tank cars, better braking, and lower speed limits, they all help make the rails safer.

“But when it comes to crude, one of the most powerful things we could do would be to set a good standard for the stability of what’s actually inside the tank cars.”


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These are 4 best restaurants in NY




These are 4 best restaurants in NY

1 Eleven Madison Park

Manhattan, New York

elevenmadisonparkEleven Madison Park is a fine dining restaurant located in the heart of New York City. The restaurant overlooks one of the most beautiful parks in Manhattan, Madison Square Park, and sits at the base of a historic Art Deco building on the corner of 24th Street and Madison Avenue. Located here since 1998, it just underwent a full-scale renovation and redesign – during which the entire restaurant was moved to East Hampton for a summer-long pop-up, EMP Summer House.

The restaurant has been owned by Chef Daniel Humm and Restaurateur Will Guidara since 2011 and during that time it has evolved considerably, both in food and in experience. Today, the restaurant offers an eight to ten course menu in the main dining room, but guests can also visit the bar for a more abbreviated tasting menu, some light snacks, or simply for a cocktail or glass of wine.


2 Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Pocantico Hills, New York

bluehillfarmThe original Blue Hill restaurant, opened in 2000, is located in Greenwich Village, New York City. Hidden three steps below street level, the restaurant occupies a landmark “speakeasy” just off of Washington Square Park.

Blue Hill’s menu showcases local food and a wine list with producers who respect artisanal techniques. Ingredients come from nearby farms, including Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a forty-five minute drive from New York City. Guests can choose from the four-course “Tasting Menu” or opt for the “Farmer’s Feast,” a six-course tasting inspired by the week’s harvest.

3 Cosme

Manhattan, New York

cosmenycCosme is a restaurant in New York City’s Flatiron District serving contemporary Mexican-inspired cuisine. World-renowned Chef Enrique Olvera and his team create dishes rooted in Mexican flavors and traditions, while also celebrating local and seasonal ingredients from the Hudson Valley and surrounding region. Cosme’s beverage program focuses on artisanal spirits and mirrors its cuisine, letting the high quality ingredients shine.


4 Le Bernardin

Manhattan, New York

lebernardinnyThe restaurant holds several records in New York: it received its four-star review from The New York Times only three months after opening and is the only New York four star restaurant that has maintained its status of excellence for more than 20 years. Reviews have come in 1986, 1989, 1995, 2005, and most recently in 2012, with the same verdict: four stars.  Le Bernardin has received more James Beard Awards than any other restaurant in New York City. In 1998, Maguy Le Coze won the coveted James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant” in America, and in May 2003, the James Beard Foundation named Eric Ripert “Outstanding Chef.” In 2009, Le Bernardin was honored with the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine Service.” The Michelin Guide, which made its New York debut in 2005, honored Chef Ripert and Le Bernardin with its highest rating of three stars in 2005 and each year thereafter, and the restaurant ranks 17 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The New York Zagat Guide has consistently recognized Le Bernardin as top rated in the category of “Best Food” and the 2011- 2016 editions awarded it a 29 food rating: the highest in New York City. In the 2012-2014, 2016 & 2017 Zagat Guides, Le Bernardin is named the Most Popular Restaurant in the city, and in the 2015–2017 guides, it’s also rated the city’s top restaurant for service. New York magazine also rated Le Bernardin #1 in its annual ranking of the 101 best restaurants in New York City in 2006. In his year-end dining feature, Frank Bruni of The New York Times selected Le Bernardin as the “Best Meal of 2008.” Most recently, for 2017 Le Bernardin was ranked #2 in the world and #1 in American on La Liste’s international list of 1,000 restaurants.


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Summer Solstice 2018: What You Need to Know About the Longest Day of the Year





The longest day of the year for people in the Northern Hemisphere — the summer solstice — is Thursday, June 21. It’s easy to forget that the first day of summer 2018 is actually a cosmic event. Here’s what you need to know:

When is the 2018 summer solstice?

The summer solstice’s exact moment is when the sun sits directly over the Tropic of Cancer (the 23.5° north latitude mark). This will take place at 6:07 a.m. ET/3:07 a.m. PT. (You can look up the time for your location here.)

What is the summer solstice?

The Earth’s axis — think of it as an invisible pole that the Earth spins on — is tilted rather than perfectly upright. This tilt always points the same direction. As the Earth orbits the sun, different parts of the planet receive more sunlight — thus our seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall.

Following the winter solstice, the Northern Hemisphere begins to get more sunlight; the daytime and nighttime hours are nearly equal at the spring equinox, which takes place in March.

During the summer solstice, “the sun shines directly on the Northern Hemisphere and indirectly on the Southern Hemisphere,” NASA explains. Thus, anywhere north of the equator gets a peak amount of daylight (or a full day of sunlight if you’re at the Arctic Circle). And contrary to what some may think, the Earth is actually furthest from the sun in its orbit during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season.

What about the Southern Hemisphere?

June 21 marks the 2018 winter solstice for people south of the equator. Residents of places like Australia will experience the year’s shortest day (and the start of winter).

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Driver with head full of racist tattoos gets into car accident with deliveryman on bike





A man with a head full of racist tattoos — including one that reads “AM A PSYCHOTIC NEO NAZI SERIAL KILLER SKIN HEAD FOREVER FOREVER” — got into a car accident with an Asian deliveryman on a bicycle in Brooklyn on Monday night, authorities said.

The heavily inked motorist was behind the wheel of a U-Haul cargo van when he collided with the rider aboard an electric bike on Broadway near Gerry Street, in front of the Food Bazaar Supermarket in Williamsburg, at about 9:30 p.m., authorities said.

Despite the man’s tats — which also included one that reads in all caps “I hate s–cs n—ers Indians Lebians women” — police said the crash appeared to be an accident and no charges were filed.

“I saw them take the guy (bicyclist) away. I think he was bleeding — middle-aged,” a witness said. “I think he was really injured.”

The bicyclist was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan in critical condition. He’s expected to survive.

The driver remained at the scene of the accident and answered questions from police.

The man — who declined to comment — passed a field sobriety test and has a clean criminal and driving record, law enforcement sources said. Neither his identity nor that of the victim was released.

by William Lopez

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