Pavilion Theater's Owner Is Really Sorry For Being the Fruit Police

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Image by Flickr user Fried Dough
The owner of the Pavilion Theater, Park Slope's surprisingly godawful movie theater, has extended an apology to Michael Kass, the 41-year-old cinemagoer it called the cops on last week for bringing strawberries into its fruit-phobic establishment.

Owner Ben Kafash told the Daily News, "I think the way the situation was handled was not correct and we apologize sincerely." Kafash also promised to work with Kass to hold a series of neighborhood meetings, and said he'd like to open a juice bar in the theater.

At the same time, though, the Pavilion has also quietly deleted their Facebook page, where Kass first made his complaint. Things were getting a little rowdy over there.

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Famously Terrible Park Slope Theater Called Police on Moviegoer Over Fruit

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Image by Flickr user Fried Dough
The Pavilion Theater is reportedly on high alert for these red menaces.
The Pavilion Theater, Park Slope's preeminent movie palace, has had a bit of a public relations problem for a very long time. First there were the complaints that the theater was filled with bedbugs, complaints one of the managers, Ross Brunetti, wrote in a public letter were "rumors" and untrue.

The bedbug fervor subsided after 2012 or so, but the complaints continued: about the famously indifferent employees, the busted HVAC system that left the theater freezing in the winter and broiling in the summer, the various mysterious spills that left the place unpleasantly sticky year-round, and the things like torn screens and fuzzy picture quality that seem like they should be, you know, avoidable. In 2012, a fuming IndieWire critic dubbed it "the worst movie theater ever." Yelpers seem to agree.

As of Sunday, though, as Fucked in Park Slope was first to report, they have a different public relations problem to face, after kicking a 41-year-old diabetic father of three out of a screening of Divergent because he had fruit.

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As Fast Food Workers Walked Off the Job, Giant Industry Lobbying Groups Tried To Convince Us How Awful a Living Wage Would Be

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Image via New York Communities For Change
Striking fast food workers in Union Square yesterday.
A summer of protests over fast food workers' impossibly low wages reached its boiling point yesterday, when employees in New York and 49 other cities walked off the job in a one-day strike. In Lower Manhattan, our own Raillan Brooks interviewed Tyeisha Batts, a 27-year-old Burger King worker who makes a staggering $150 a week. Meanwhile in an alternate, much plusher universe, several juggernaut industry lobbying groups waged a media blitzkreig, claiming that low wages are good for people like Batts. In fact, they argued, raising the minimum wage to $15 or even $10 an hour would hurt her and other "low-skilled workers" by denying them "the opportunity to get a job and receive 'on the job' training."

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Forget the Farm Bill: New York Legislators Push for GMO Labeling

Categories: Food Fights

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Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc
In case you missed it: Twin bills are currently moving through the New York Senate and Assembly requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. After Proposition 37 was shot down in California last year, New York's might seem like a fruitless effort against a monolithic biotech lobby, but it's part of a renewed effort to address the issue nationwide--New York is now one of 27 states that have introduced legislation to regulate GMOs.

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Bloomberg Says Plan to Reduce Salt in Our Food Is Making Progress

Categories: Food Fights

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Earlier today, Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced that he's been working with 21 different food companies, including Heinz, Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, and Butterball, to reduce the amount of sodium in pre-packaged foods.

Though it's the most recent publicized battle of the mayor's three-term war on food, Bloomberg actually announced the plan in 2008 when he partnered up with the National Salt Reduction Initiative in an effort to reduce the amount of salt in food across the entire country.

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Pump the Brakes! This is About Health, Not Attacking or Supporting Soda Sizes

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There's plenty of shit to dislike as well as like about the two parties involved in the lawsuit over the soda-size restriction set to go into effect in March.

In the eyes of many New Yorkers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come off as an obsessive control-freak during his three terms as mayor. So, when news that the New York City Board of Health, which consists of officials whom Bloomberg personally appoints, passed the bill in September to limit large-sized soda-pop, critics saw it as yet another move by the mayor to dictate to New Yorkers what's best for them without actually considering their opinion.

In Bloomberg's defense, even if he's overreaching in his authority again, at least there's a convincing link between sugary sodas, obesity and the onset of various diseases.

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Boycott at Brooklyn Wendy's Apparently Causes Owner to Rehire Worker Fired For Striking

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via Twitter
Protestor celebrates rehiring of employee at Downtown Brooklyn Wendy's.
Management at a Downtown Brooklyn Wendy's probably thought it was sending a stern message to its staff after one of its employees was fired this morning for participating in yesterday's city-wide walkout.

Well, just hours after laying down the law, it appears that the owner stepped in and hired the worker back. Surely the decision wasn't solely out of the kindness of his heart, but perhaps more directly inspired by the wellness of his wallet.

Hours of protesting and boycotting staged by the worker's fellow employees and passersby left business at the Wendy's on 425 Fulton Street rather barren for most of the day.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who traveled to different fast-food joints around the city to lend his support to workers, announced the news of the rehiring on Twitter this afternoon:

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Protesters Say Trader Joe's Meat is Causing "Superbugs" That are Harmful to Humans

Categories: Food Fights

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Eric Weltman addressing the crowd with his wingman, Joe the Pig.
It's been a week already fraught with food paranoia porn--we found out that rice contains arsenic, and that there may (read: won't) be a worldwide bacon shortage next year--but yesterday, a couple dozen middle-aged and elderly protesters from multiple organization gathered outside of Trader Joe's on 14th Street and 3rd Avenue and, dressed in assorted floral shirts the supermarket is known for, demanded the chain stop serving meat from livestock raised on antibiotics. The argument the speakers peddled was that these antibiotics are harmful to humans because they're causing strains of "suberbugs," or bacteria all but immune to medication. And to hammer their point, they brought a petition with nearly 558,000 signatures gathered from around the country, and a guy dressed up in a pig suit.

"Eighty percent of antibiotics are not used on people," Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union, told the small crowd. "Superbugs are promoted in that situation. Superbugs end up in our food." She later chided Trader Joe's, saying that the store "has a responsibility to serve only meat and poultry raised without drugs."

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Report Says Excessive Fines for Street Vendors are Hurting the City (And Are Bad for Vendors, Too)

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University of Wisconsin report.
A report released today argues that the city is excessively fining street vendors and in doing so is actually losing out on revenue it would get with a fine system that's more fair.

The report, called "Fining the Hand that Feeds You," from the University of Wisconsin, argues that high fines are less likely to be paid than lower, more reasonable fines -- and that if the city made them easier to pay, they would bring in more money. It was released this morning in partnership with the the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center and with support from City Council members who are pushing legislation on the topic and held a hearing today on street vendors.

Last year, the report notes, the city handed out more than 26,000 tickets to street vendors -- many costing vendors $1,000 for infractions that the authors say are minor and unrelated to health and safety, including vending too far from the curb or carrying their vending license in their pocket instead of wearing it around their neck.

Given their modest incomes, most street vendors simply aren't able to pay $1,000 fines, the report argues.

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Blackface, Genital Mutilation, and Cake Cutting in Sweden! Do They Add Up to Racism, Sexism, or Art?


Oh, my. We're not sure how we missed this story out of Sweden last week (which makes that country's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo read like Cinderella in comparison), but thanks to Channing Kennedy and Jorge Rivas at Color Lines, it came screaming at us this Monday morning.

So here's what appears to be, at first glance, something of a simple question:

When you combine someone painting themselves dark in blackface, putting their blackened face at the head of a cake made in the shape of a woman's body, then have someone else perform a female circumcision on the body and feed the baked-good genitals to the screaming, writhing blackfaced head, what's at play here?

Is it racism, sexism, or art? Or some bizarre combination of all three?

When this happened in Sweden of all places, last week, it turned out to be a not so simple question the more you delve into it.


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