Airbnb Host Creates Petition To Confront New York Lawmakers

The surveillance video provided by the police department shows that no supervisor or monitor stopped the 14-year-old when he ran out. “He is supposed to have one-to-one supervision at all times,” Fontaine said through tears. “He has the mental capacity of a 7- or 8-year-old.” The New York City Department of Education issued a statement saying it is working closely with police. The school is not commenting. The Oquendo family filed a “notice of claim” Wednesday, said Perecman, marking the first step of a lawsuit against the city of New York. He declined to give further information about the claim. Police say Avonte was last seen wearing a gray-striped shirt, black jeans and black sneakers. He is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds. Missing posters are being handed out, and the surrounding areas are under investigation, WABC reported. “He doesn’t know that, you know, ‘I can get hurt in the street, someone can grab me and take me.’ He doesn’t know that,” Fontaine said Monday. “He doesn’t know fear.” Anyone with information about Avonte is asked to contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

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(Credit: Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET) Airbnb just got a few thousand more supporters in its ongoing dispute with New York state. The rent-out-your-home service has thrown its weight behind a petition authored by a New York City host named Mishelle. In the petition, she asks the state’s senate to fix what she calls a “poorly written law,” which could curb Airbnb’s reach in the region. “The reason this is happening is because of a poorly written law originally designed to stop slumlords from running illegal hotels with dozens of rental apartments,” Mishelle writes. “As a New Yorker just trying to pay my bills, I don’t understand why they think I’m a slumlord.” “I figure that if we get 20,000 people to sign the petition, we’ll get the state Senate’s attention,” she continues. “If we hit that goal by October 20th, I pledge to deliver the signatures to every senator myself.” As of this writing the petition has more than 18,500 signatures, the majority of which were gathered within the last 24 hours. Airbnb also got behind the petition on Monday by sending out an e-mail to its thousands of New York members. One member forwarded the e-mail to CNET. “The New York attorney general has subpoenaed the records of almost all of our New York hosts,” Airbnb’s global head of community Douglas Atkin wrote in the e-mail. “We are fighting the subpoena with all we’ve got, but poorly written laws make for even worse enforcement, and unless you help to stop it once and for all, the laws may never get better and New Yorkers will continue to suffer.” The debacle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb has been ongoing over the past year, but it got heated when Schneiderman filed a subpoena earlier this month. The subpoena requests three years’ worth of data on thousands of Airbnb New York hosts. Airbnb has said that it has 225,000 community members in New York. The Attorney General’s Office is specifically looking for data on 15,000 hosts — it’s unclear if this includes almost all of Airbnb’s New York hosts.

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Apartments As Hotels (This Oct. 14, 2013 screen shot provided by Airbnb from their website shows a typical search for listings o

soil. “It shows the inherent flaws in the U.S. policy decision to try in the U.S. because once you arrive on U.S. soil, that ends the interrogation of these high-value detainees,” King said. He added that that wouldn’t have happened had al Libi been sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and faced a military commission there. U.S. or military court President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have previously said they prefer to try people such as al Libi in American courts. In 2009, Holder said five detainees with alleged ties to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks would be transferred from Guantanamo Bay to New York for trial in civilian court. Holder then reversed course, announcing that accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others would be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo. Al Libi was indicted in 2001 by the federal court in the Southern District of New York in the embassy bombings and in connection with his alleged roles in al Qaeda conspiracies to attack U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said last week that there was no chance that al Libi would end up at Guantanamo.

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Thousands of city residents are using websites such as Airbnb.com to list apartments or rooms for as little as $35 a night, a phenomenon officials say is illegal in many cases, undercuts the hotel industry, avoids taxes and threatens apartment building safety. New York’s top prosecutor is demanding that Airbnb turn over data on city dwellers who have listed on the site as part of an investigation into whether residents are breaking a state law barring sublets for fewer than 30 days if occupants aren’t present. But many residents in the nation’s most expensive city say they’re providing a service that’s valuable to them and their guests. Subletting for nights at a time is often the only way they can afford to pay rents that average $3,000 a month and can top $6,000 in the most desirable areas. Seth Wenig/APMishelle Farer supplements her income by renting out her Brooklyn apartment through Airbnb. “I use Airbnb to supplement my income, and it’s allowed me to go back to school,” says Mishelle Farer, a 32-year-old former U.S. Army sergeant who rents her second bedroom in Brooklyn’s artsy Williamsburg neighborhood through Airbnb for $60 to $70 a night, depending on the season. Farer says she covers about half her rent through such sublets. And besides, “I’ve met so many wonderful people from France, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, the Philippines.” Travel guide author Pauline Frommer says Airbnb and smaller sites such as flipkey.com , couchsurfer.com and housetrip.com fill a need in a city where hotel prices average $275. “New York hotel prices are truly outrageous,” Frommer says. “The city is overwhelmed with visitors, and it’s practically impossible to find an affordable hotel room, so you need some kind of outlet.” Airbnb started five years ago in San Francisco, after two roommates couldn’t afford their rent and inflated air beds for paying guests. It now operates globally in 35,000 communities , currently offering 500,000 listings, and is the world’s biggest short-term rental company. The site takes 6 to 12 percent of every rental. In New York, the company says about 15,000 people are offering short-term rentals ranging from $35 for a private space in a Brooklyn studio to a $60 walkup in Times Square to $120 for a garden apartment in Brooklyn’s Red Hook to $921 for an antiques-furnished loft in Tribeca. New York City has been aggressively challenging Airbnb, contending many sublets on its site are illegal because residents aren’t there.

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