Inside NYC - August 13th, 2019

Inside NYC (Aug 13th, 2019)

Council Considers Hostels / Racial Disparity in Fare Evasion Stops / 'Public Charge' Rule

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Here are today's ten most important NYC stories, efficiently ranked & summarized by smart humans, not algorithms:

1. City Council will soon consider a bill that would legalize hostels in an effort to boost the city's tourism. In 2010, state lawmakers passed a law meant to cut down on illegal hotels and Airbnb rentals, but that law effectively banned hostels as well. Now, under the bill co-sponsored by Councilman Mark Gjonaj and Councilwoman Margaret Chin, hostels would become legal in the city, with their own department and classification. —WALL STREET JOURNAL 

2. The MTA and NYPD are attempting to crack down on fare evasion, but a new report from the Daily News shows that Black and Latino New Yorkers make up the "vast majority" of people stopped by police for turnstile jumping. Out of the 682 people arrested for fare evasion between April and June, 86 percent were black or Latino, and 71 percent of fare evaders who were issued with a summons instead of arrested were black or Latino. The Daily News notes that since the NYPD began releasing fare evasion data in 2017, the numbers have shown that officers are much more likely to stop people of color for turnstile hopping. —NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 

3. With the Trump administration set to change the benefits immigrants can receive, city officials are urging people not to opt out. new immigration policy from the Trump administration could deny green cards to immigrants who use programs like Medicaid, SNAP, and Section 8 Housing Assistance. Before the new rule, which goes into effect October 15, Homeland Security could deny green cards to immigrants declared a “public charge” for receiving Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Now, city officials say immigrants should contact a lawyer and avoid opting out of their benefits until more information is available. —GOTHAMIST 

4. City and library officials say the New York City library's Culture Pass program is an "enormous success," with more than 70,000 museum and theater tickets given out in its first year. Since the program's launch last year, thousands of New Yorkers have taken advantage of the free tickets for museums, events, and performances from the 50 institutions involved in the program, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Second Stage Theater. Before the Culture Pass program launched, officials estimated it would provide somewhere around 58,000 tickets. —AM NY 

5. After narrowly losing the Queens DA primary to Melinda Katz, Tiffany Cabán assured her supporters that "I’m going to keep fighting,” hinting that she might undertake another run for public office. Cabán said she has received job offers from some Democratic presidential candidates, but she hasn't ruled out a bid for another public position, without naming specifics. However, Cabán admitted her savings are running low after her last campaign, which could hinder any future run.—NEW YORK TIMES 

6. A 35-year-old police officer died from suicide Tuesday morning, officials say, marking the eighth NYPD suicide this year. NYPD officials say they're looking into all of the cases of officer suicides, and they urged any officers who need help to come forward. Officials have not yet released the name of the officer. —WCBS 880

7. Google Maps will now show the location of rentable Lime e-bikes, which are present in Staten Island's North Shore and the Rockaways. With the new update, commuters can see the location of Lime bikes, how much charge is left of the battery, and how long a trip on one of the bikes will take. Dockless bikes, like those offered from Lime, aren't terribly common in NYC yet — they're only present in a few neighborhoods in Staten Island, the Bronx, and Queens. —CURBED 

8. Police confiscated more than 1,600 knives from NYC students during the past academic year — a 92 percent increase from 2015, according to analysis from the New York Post. The numbers appear alarming, but a Department of Education official said the rise in confiscations can be credited to an increase of unannounced metal detector scannings. —NEW YORK POST 

9. A "mildly venomous" snake has been missing in the Bronx Zoo for more than a week now, but the zoo says it's "confident" that the snake isn't a danger to visitors. Zoo workers noticed the 3 ½- foot-long mangrove snake was missing last Tuesday evening, but the zoo noted the snake is likely still in its exhibit — and even if it wasn't, mangrove snakes are typically afraid of humans. —PEOPLE 

10. Nearly 70 percent of New Yorkers rent their apartments, so Curbed provided a list of the top 10 tenant rights that any NYC renter should know. Some highlights include the right to live in a building without pests or hazardous conditions, the right to have heat during colder months and hot water throughout the year, and the right to form a tenant's association with neighbor tenants. —CURBED 

Written and curated by Sean Wolfe. He is a tech reporter based in Brooklyn, New York, and has previously worked at Business Insider and GIE Media. Follow him on Twitter at @seanthomaswolfe.

Editor: David Stegon, senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology.

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