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Tougher rules on used car dealerships take effect in city

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The city is going after slippery used car dealers with new rules requiring them to disclose more information to customers.

The rules, which took effect Sunday, require dealerships to give buyers a consumer bill of rights, which explains that dealers must post prices for cars and can’t charge more than the posted price. Customers must also be told they are not required to go through the dealer for loans, and they have the right to know all the terms of a sale before they sign anything.

Customers have to sign the document, and copies will also have to be posted in the sales office.

Secondhand car dealers now have to offer buyers a contract cancellation option, giving them two days to back out of the deal once they’ve had a chance to review it without a salesman present giving them the hard sell.
“Buying a used car is a major financial commitment,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “By requiring used car dealerships to offer additional disclosures, we ensure that hard-working New Yorkers are able to have a fair and transparent deal when purchasing a car. These rules provide added protections for all consumers, especially those who fall victim to predatory practices.”
The rules were created under legislation passed by the City Council.

Businesses are also required to give out a disclosure form for customers taking out a car loan — disclosing the lowest interest rate offered by other financial institutions for a loan with similar terms, so customers will know if they’re paying a higher rate.

All the documents must be provided in the same language used to negotiate the deal.

There are 686 used car dealers licensed in the city, and the Department of Consumer Affairs says it’s received more than 7,500 complaints about them since 2013.

Common tactics include tricking customers into buying expensive add-ons on their cars, charging high interest rates without disclosing the rights are marked up, and misrepresenting monthly payments to make a car look cheaper than it is.

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Evacuations, rescues as ‘historic’ floods hit northeastern U.S.

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New Jersey declared a partial state of emergency on Tuesday as forecasts for further heavy rainfall posed new danger in parts of that state, New York and Pennsylvania, where rescuers hauled people from waterways, flooded cars and homes.
Following several days of torrential rain throughout the northeastern United States, the National Weather Service issued new warnings for flooding in areas around Binghamton, New York, near the Pennsylvania border, and in New Jersey.
Federal forecasters warned that areas in the region could see as much as 4 inches (10 cm) more rain on Tuesday.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement five of the state’s 21 counties were under a state of emergency, where additional rainfall could further complicate flood cleanup.

“Parts of our state have received nothing less than historic amounts of rain, and some communities received an entire month’s worth in just a few hours,” said Murphy.
The police department in Brick, a town of 75,000 on the Atlantic coast, said on Facebook that residents were barred from returning to 105 homes without a security escort until township officials finished inspecting them.

In Seneca County, New York, emergency crews were evacuating some residents by boat and taking them to a nearby shelter, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

“Flooding is one of the primary killers with regards to weather. It’s not tornadoes. It’s not wind damage,” said Brett Rossio, an Accuweather meteorologist. “It doesn’t take much. Even just a foot of water can pull you away very easily.”

More than 8,000 people had lost power in areas drenched by the storms and the Red Cross said it was operating shelters. It was not immediately clear how many people were in them.

“It’s Mother Nature so it’s a fluid situation, watching where the rain falls and if there’s additional evacuations necessary,” said Jay Bonafede, the Red Cross spokesman.

Both Pennsylvania and New York have already activated their emergency response centers for the storms, which started over the weekend.
Molly Dougherty, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said some people affected by the flooding had been recovering from deluges three weeks ago.

“People are looking at losses of most of their belongings and, in some cases, we’re still concerned about the safety of folks and making sure they’re able to stabilize,” said Dougherty.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-weather/evacuations-rescues-as-historic-floods-hit-northeastern-us-idUSKBN1KZ1PX

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New York names new state author and poet

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state has named two new writers as the state poet and author.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that Colson Whitehead will serve as state author and Alicia Ostriker will be state poet.

Whitehead is a novelist whose most recent work is “The Underground Railroad.” He will succeed former state author Edmund White.

Ostriker has written 16 poetry collections, with her latest titled “Waiting for the Light.” She takes over from former state poet Yusef Komunyakaa.

The honorary titles are bestowed every two years as a way to celebrate reading, writing and the arts.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/new-york-names-new-state-author-and-poet/2018/08/16/52d15aec-a10e-11e8-a3dd-2a1991f075d5_story.html?utm_term=.aedbcc262d5d

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Go Back-to-School With OurBus: Tech Company Offers New Transportation Option for State College, PA Students To NYC

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OurBus is expanding to more than two dozen college towns across the United States, targeting busy students who are looking for inexpensive and convenient travel options for visiting family, friends and vacationing. To kick it off, OurBus is starting service from State College, Pennsylvania to New York City.

State College service will depart from South Fraser Street, Thursday through Monday.

“While serving both leisure travelers and commuters has been a priority for us over the last two years, we’re eager to now expand our service to more college students, starting with State College, Pennsylvania, with additional service starting soon in Newark, Delaware, California and Florida college towns,” said Axel Hellman, co-founder, OurBus. “Many of these college communities lack convenient and budget-friendly transportation options to major metropolitan cities and towns.”

The company will be offering complimentary bus rides to prospective students visiting select colleges starting this fall as part of the college initiative. OurBus will also be piloting additional luggage service for students going back-to-school, beginning with Ithaca this August. Services like these are a testament to OurBus’s commitment to the student traveler!

The company understands the needs of students who are juggling academics, sports, work gigs, and life. OurBus offers express bus service to major cities on the East and West coasts, and Florida, including “pop-up” routes during Spring and Winter breaks.

The company brings flexibility and creativity to developing bus routes in partnership with current and future customers, via crowdsourcing.

OurBus currently offers bus service serving students in:

Binghamton, New York
Fort Myers, Florida
Ithaca, New York
Miami, Florida
New York City
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Syracuse, New York
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Washington, DC
By using crowdsourcing to bring efficient bus service to leisure travelers, students, and families on a budget, OurBus is bucking the traditional bus service model, which utilizes a point to point network concept, recognizing that travelers need reliable and efficient transportation that’s close to their home, with less transfers, and less time in the car.

On OurBus, riders can be as productive or as relaxed as they want to be, with all buses equipped with free wi-fi, individual charging ports, bottled water, and bathrooms.

The company is now offering the OurBus Select Membership program, targeting students, frequent travelers, and families on a budget. Members will receive 50 percent off of 10 tickets, for $49.99.

It’s easy to book tickets and suggest new service, by downloading the free OurBus app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. OurBus customers have the ability to:

Source: https://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12424791/go-back-to-school-with-ourbus-tech-company-offers-new-transportation-option-for-state-college-pa-students-to-nyc-expansion-to-delaware-florida-and-west-coast-university-towns-coming-soon

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